I came across a few posts that I liked and wanted to share them. The first two are written by Wesley Hill, author of the book Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality - a book that I highly recommend! In the following two posts from the blog Spiritual Friendship, he focuses on different aspects of friendship including celibacy, intimacy, and friendship “after 30″.
When I speak to groups of Christians about celibacy and friendship, one of the questions that always comes up is whether intimate friendships are attainable in churches today, particularly for single young adults. “You speak positively and hopefully about friendship,” people say, “but are you and other celibate gay Christians actually satisfied by the friendships you’ve found? Do you have the companionship and intimacy you need?” This NYT essay points to some reasons for skepticism on that front. And if emotionally fortifying friendships aren’t attainable for young adult Christians, then is celibacy really a viable option for those Christians? Outside of religious orders, where proximity, regular unplanned interactions, and a setting that nurtures meaningful speech and mutual self-disclosure seem more readily available, where are the kinds of friendships that will sustain “parish celibacy” (which is the way I’ve started referring to the Christian practice of celibacy outside of vowed religious contexts, etc.)? [read more]
If friendship needs to be seen afresh in our time as an intimate love in its own right, distinct from the love of spouses or romantic partners, then we need stories of friendship that show us how its rediscovery is possible. I’m always on the lookout for such stories, and I just finished reading one of the best I’ve encountered in some time, Gail Caldwell’s Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship. How do we build loyalty and intimacy from the nitty-gritty of dog walks and car rides and canoe trips and phone calls? Many young Christians, particularly, are wondering about the practicalities of forming lasting, sacrificial friendships. How do we actually do it, in day to day life? Reading Caldwell’s book wouldn’t be a bad place to start looking answers to that question. [read more]
And this last post is written by Wade Burleson, former president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. I enjoyed reading it and especially appreciated his approach in loving members of the GLBT group SoulForce.
For the one who finds himself attracted to same sex sexual relationships, the evidence of God’s grace is not the complete absence of homosexual sexual desires and/or behavior in the justified sinner, but the internal attitude of the justified sinner toward his tendencies of desire for and participation in homosexual behavior. The same could be said of the justified sinner who struggles with other sexual sins, addictions, and moral transgressions. Though God’s grace finishes the condemnation of our sins for us, it only begins the battle over our sins in us. [read more]