The World Does Not Define Us

1440x900 300x300 The World Does Not Define UsAn Offensive Faith

Matt Moore is a Christian blogger who openly acknowledges his struggle with same sex attraction.  He has written extensively of a past spent pursuing sex with other men, drinking, and drugs.  He became convinced of the sinfulness of his lifestyle in 2010 and became a follower of Christ.  Matt has blogged extensively about Christianity and the sinfulness of practicing homosexuality.  You can learn more of Matt by visiting his blog at http://moorematt.com/.  He also appears on The Christian Post.

On February 5th, news articles began appearing which told of Matt’s picture and profile on an app called Grindr.  According to its website, this app allows users to locate nearby “gay, bi, and curious guys for dating or friends”.  One of the prominent uses of Grindr is to facilitate “hook ups” by listing users in order of their proximity to each other.

So it is no wonder that Matt’s appearance on this site was cause for concern among other Christians.  But for those who placed a target on his back because of his outspoken views on the sinfulness of a homosexual lifestyle, LGBT groups and gay rights activists quickly seized on this and the news articles soon found their way to websites such as Huffington Post, Gawker, Daily Mail, MSN, etc.  In a blog post on February 6th entitled ‘Yes, I was on Grindr.’, Matt writes about the circumstances and his error in using this app.

An Ongoing Struggle

To further their cause, those with a pro-gay stance framed the headlines and wrote the articles in a way that misrepresent the things that Matt himself says.  Here is a sampling of some of the headlines:

  • ‘Ex-gay’ found on popular gay hook-up app Grindr
  • ‘Ex-gay’ Christian blogger admits to using Grindr dating app after being publicly outed but says he hasn’t changed his anti-homosexual views
  • Matt Moore, ‘Ex-Gay’ Christian Advocate, Exposed On Grindr
  • ‘Gay cure’ Christian advocate exposed on Grindr
  • Surprise! Ex-Gay Activist Not So Ex-Gay After All

First, let me say that the above headlines and the accompanied articles reveal an intolerance and hate toward Christians that these groups so often accuse us of.  And it is evident that they are taking great pleasure in the hardship and struggle of another.

But aside from that, these headlines are intentionally misleading and not factual.  I don’t recall Matt ever referring to himself as “ex-gay”.  And no where in his extensive writing can I find a reference to himself as having been “cured” from homosexuality.   To the contrary, Matt has been up front with his readers in stating that his attractions toward men are still with him.  In March, he wrote this:

‘I can, in truth, firmly say that the longer I keep turning away from my homosexual desires, the less in strength they become. My homosexual feelings have definitely diminished since the night God started drawing me to Himself in September of 2010. Are they completely gone? No, they are not. Will they ever be completely gone? I do not know…’ 

In a post from July, he had this to say:

‘There are multitudes of people who have “tried out” Christianity for a while, but after a time they turn away from it and resume the gay lifestyle. The secular world uses these cases all the time to point out the supposed inefficacy and ignorance of the Christian faith. But our faith is not inefficient, the real problem is that these once professing Christians never had genuine faith in Jesus Christ; they had faith in a systematic program that they hoped would rid them of homosexual desires. When their desires and temptations did not magically disappear as they assumed would happen, they packed their bags and left the whole idea of Jesus behind. This is exactly why I am so open about my current struggle with homosexuality. I do not want to give anyone a false idea of what a life of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is really all about.’

And finally, in a post just one week ago, Matt had this to say:

‘What gives me assurance, and what I believe speaks volumes of the grace of God and the power of the gospel, is that year by year, month by month, week by week, day by day—-I continue to fight the fight of faith. I have sought after Jesus and I have turned from sin daily. Throughout all the ups and downs, the fluctuation of my circumstances and emotions, the frustrations of having to build a completely new life, and the often very real and sometimes overwhelming loneliness of this path I’m on—I stand firm and with my whole, imperfect and sin-tainted heart say, “Jesus Christ is everything.”

Many, many days I have failed to fight perfectly. I have at many times in my walk stooped down and willingly spoon-fed myself the familiar, vile vomit that is sin. Yet, in each and every one of my failures— I was given grace; grace to repent and to keep following after Jesus. The Lord gives me grace each and every day, despite the failures or successes of the day, to believe the truth that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that despite my inability to offer God anything, He offers me everything—He offers me His Son. And in believing this truth, the truth above all truths— I am able to wage war against the hopelessness that fights to consume my heart and destroy my soul. The life-enabling grace given to me because of Jesus Christ, and only because of Jesus Christ, sustains me—to the surprise of many. And even often to the surprise of myself.

I don’t know Matt personally, but what I gather from his writing is that he is a man who confesses to daily temptations to sin.  And that temptation to sin, among other things, includes temptation in the area of homosexuality.  It is unfortunate that Matt found himself on Grindr.  It is damaging to his reputation and will have consequences I am sure.  It was sinful.  But what this stumble does not do is define Matt as a hypocrite, or as many of these news sources and pro-gay blogs or news sites would put it, reveal him to be ‘another fake “ex-gay” Christian’.  Matt did not claim perfection, nor did he claim victory over temptation.  His pursuit is not one of becoming heterosexual; his pursuit is of the things that God loves, of holiness, of living to please God, and of eternal life.

So, What Now?

I don’t know what is next for Matt.  Perhaps he will see wisdom in taking some time away from writing in order to focus on his pursuit of Christ, or maybe he will carry on with his blog in much the same way he has up until now.  Will this incident foster in him an even greater faith in the Lord, or will he respond to this by walking away?  Whatever the case may be, the response of his brothers and sisters needs to be wrapped in love.  Sure, call this what it is, a  slip up, a stumble, a speed bump, sin, disobedience; all are true.  But it need not be the end to a journey.  It isn’t an occasion for condemnation or ridicule.  It is not the time to send him away or quit on him.  Now is the time for Matt’s brothers to rally in support of him, to show compassion for him, to pray for him, and to relate to his struggle in the way they relate to their own or those of all of the other sinning saints in their midst.

Matt is our brother.  Our brother who speaks of an ongoing struggle with same sex attraction and temptations.  Let’s not be shocked or astonished that Matt has stumbled in an area in which he has admitted weakness.  Join with him in his pursuit of Christ and his desire to be holy.  Let the world be drawn to the love of God by our love and care for each other.

Final Thoughts

Matt, should you ever read this, know that you are never out of God’s loving reach.  This needn’t be the end to your journey.  It doesn’t disqualify you from praising God for the blessings He has bestowed on you, be it privately, with your church family, or with the world via your blog.  Maybe some people will look at this and feel that you let them down, but that let down is more the result of unrealistic expectations placed on a brother, and a hope that should be placed in Christ alone, not in another man.  And your story doesn’t end here.  The power of God to work through you is just as great now as it has ever been.  And your story of turning from a pursuit of sin to a pursuit of God; and from a setback to a renewed and continued reliance on God, is no less powerful had the setback not been there at all.  Let the world react as it will; they do not understand the workings of God.  Only God and your faith will define the significance of this incident for you – no one else is given that authority.

7 comments
Andrew
Andrew

Hi Dan,

As a gay man who has been in a long-term (more than 10 year), stable, monogamous and happy relationship with my husband, I too join the voices critical of ex-gay programs and their proponents.  I agree with you that some web articles and comments about Matt Moore have been insensitive and should have been more appropriately worded, but it's important not to lose sight of the fact that the campaign against ex-gay programs is one not based upon "intolerance and hate toward Christians", but based upon a genuine concern that these programs are harmful.  There is substantial evidence of this, particularly in the form of witness statements of people who have left these programs.

Dan, both you and Matt have talked about your "shame" and "struggle" with homosexuality, and the "overwhelming loneliness" associated with your self-enforced celibacy. Are either of you seriously in a position to advocate that kind of life to anyone?

I have thankfully never thought that homosexuality was wrong, and I believe this has allowed me to lead a life that I can honestly say is happy, fulfilling and stable and I can see no reason why it won't remain that way in the future.  It's not just us; there are many, many happy gay relationships out there, and we personally know quite a few long-term gay couples.  This is why I can confidently advocate to people to accept their sexuality and say to them that long-term, monogamous and faithful gay relationships not only do exist, but are thriving.

I encourage you to consider the morality of the situation, and refrain from reinforcing self-loathing in others by calling homosexuality a sin, and to also refrain from advocating celibacy as an option in all but the most desperate of situations where a gay relationship is totally incompatible with that person's religious beliefs (once again, never reinforcing those beliefs).

I genuinely hope that you can overcome your struggles, regardless of whether you choose to remain on your current path or not.

Andrew


Dan7005
Dan7005 moderator

Hi William,

Thanks for your feedback.  I just felt like I wanted to speak up about it in a way that didn't deny sinfulness, but yet would still be encouraging of his walk going forward.  Most of us don't garner this amount of attention when we stumble so I am sure this has not been easy for Matt to process!

Dan

WilliamOKC1
WilliamOKC1

I agree with you. I wish the best for Matt and hope God will use this painful and embarrassing situation to strengthen Matt in his faith. God has a way of bringing good out of bad. I happened to see Matt post about this. I left a comment encouraging him. God forgives and life goes on. Thanks for reminding me to keep praying for Matt and anybody who is under pressure to abandon following Christ.

Dan7005
Dan7005 moderator

@Andrew

Hi Andrew,

I appreciate you stopping by the blog and commenting!  I thought you brought up some important points and I enjoyed getting your take on them, and so I thought I would give you mine.

As to “ex-gay” or reparative therapy, I can understand your belief that it harms people.  I haven't chosen to pursue this course myself, and I don’t support anyone, child or adult, being forced or coerced into participating in these programs.  However, I don’t feel that we should deny any adult the ability to participate in one of these programs should they choose.  These programs do need to be held accountable in some way to give the prospective participants an honest portrayal of what “success” has looked like for those who undergo this treatment.  Too many have gone into these programs expecting to come out in a couple months as a heterosexual man, with no lingering homosexual urges.  This, I think, is what has been most despicable about these ex-gay programs.  They gave people false hope of an outcome that was not at all probable.  And as a result of this false hope, many participants were spiritually and emotionally crushed that this didn't work for them. Certainly God must hate me, or I don’t have strong enough faith, or I didn't pray hard enough, so it’s my “fault” I am still attracted to men.  It is sickening to lead people into feeling this way.

Insofar as my talk of shame and struggle that you bring up, I don’t believe that I have had much to say about shame...struggle, yes.  If I recall correctly, the times I have mentioned shame are in describing how I felt as a teenager as these feelings of attraction to other guys were developing.  I don’t think these feelings of shame are uncommon for gay teens and I see no reason to not mention it.  As to celibacy being in ways a struggle for me, I’m not sure why you would feel that this reality precludes me from “advocating” this type of lifestyle to anyone.  And I would take issue with your use of the word “advocating”.  I discuss many topics on this blog, one of which is homosexuality and celibacy.  But I generally approach it from the standpoint of relating my own personal journey - not in a way that I am preaching to others a lifestyle that they must adopt or face the “consequences”.  

People of any sexual orientation struggle every day.  Some struggle at being faithful to their spouse, some struggle with pornography  some struggle against domestic violence, some with drugs/alcohol.  Life for so many of us is just that - a struggle.  The “overwhelming loneliness” I sometimes speak of is very real.  But who is to say that even if I had continued my life as an openly gay man pursuing relationships that I wouldn't still have struggles with overwhelming loneliness?  I certainly had lonely times before choosing celibacy, so it is unfair to characterize loneliness as a symptom exclusively rooted in celibacy.  I know plenty of single people, gay and straight, who struggle with intense loneliness.  For that matter, I know a couple of married people who feel overwhelming lonely in their marriage.  I don’t view the pursuit of sex as some sort of potentially viable cure for my loneliness - nor do I suspect that you mean to say this either, given your 10+ year monogamous relationship.

And Andrew, I have absolutely no doubt of your honesty when you say you have a happy, fulfilling and stable relationship.  I don’t find it hard to believe at all.  My own personal observations of the “gay community” from my time in it differed from yours perhaps.  I was more familiar with very short term, sometimes “open” relationships as well as one night stands and multiple partners.  But I too was aware of long term, happy, committed relationships.  But I guess for me, the fact that you and others do have happiness and monogamy in your relationship does not have any bearing on the choice that I have made to pursue Christ and honor Him in my celibacy.  This has nothing to do with choosing what will make me “happy”.  It is about choosing what I believe to be right in the eyes of the Lord, based on my own faith, and research and reading of the Bible.  And this choice I have made gives me times of vast amounts of joy and happiness - celibacy is not all "doom and gloom"!

Andrew, you asked me to consider the morality of the situation and to refrain from reinforcing self-loathing in others in calling homosexuality a sin.  First, I have intensely considered the morality of the “situation”.  And the conclusion I have come to is that it would be immoral of me to believe that God considers homosexuality a sin yet tell anyone otherwise.  And second, the label of sin which is applied to same sex sexual activity was not placed there by me.  Quite frankly, I would prefer that homosexuality were endorsed by God as being an equal compliment to heterosexuality - I would like that immensely!!  But in reality, it is not.  God calls homosexuality a sin; and the God of the Bible is the basis for my moral determinations.  It would be immoral for me to pretend that homosexual sex is anything but sinful.  And in further regard to the “reinforcement of self-loathing”, I would never suggest that anyone hate themselves for being homosexual; nor do I hate anyone who is gay.  That, in my estimation, would be immoral.  I do not at all hold out homosexual sex as some "super sin" which calls for hatred and condemnation.

Additionally, I would say this: I do not advertise or promote my blog whatsoever to gay publications, gay media, gay groups, or even heterosexual secular groups or outlets.  I blog here, and occasionally my articles appear on The Christian Post.  That is the extent of my reach.  So anyone coming to this blog has intentionally searched it out for whatever reason.  Or they may have stumbled upon it at the CP, which obviously, is a news and information publication/website for Christians who (for the most part) support the choice of celibacy.  That being the case, I find it a little ironic that you are suggesting that I not be allowed to have my own blog on which I can write entries that describe my life and my faith because you disagree with it; all the while you are promoting your version of morality (on my website) without being asked to refrain from it.  I have every right to base my morality on that which I determine is true, just as you have that right as well.  But to suggest that your morals override mine in a way that you may speak of certain issues but I cannot just seems a rather hypocritical and intolerant request.

Andrew, I was sincere when I said that I appreciate your comments here on my blog.  And I hope that you will feel comfortable in continuing to comment in the respectful manner which you have here.  I always strive to be respectful of people with viewpoints that differ from mine, both here and in life.

Thanks again Andrew,
Dan

Andrew
Andrew

Hi Dan,

I agree that it is nice to have a respectful conversation between two people with such fundamentally different outlooks but without the vitriol that you often find on online discussions on this topic.

Now when I was drafting my first post on your blog I had a lot of things to say, so I felt it necessary to be as concise as possible.  I certainly hadn't really finished, and I don't think I explained fully my reasoning behind my request that you not tell others that homosexuality a sin.  Let me be clear - I believe saying that injures people.  It injures people regardless of whether or not you believe that it's OK to have same-sex attractions as long as you don't act on them.

Take Matt for example.  I truly fear for his personal safety.  He is in a desperate situation where it appears that celibacy is not a viable option for him, nor is living a lifestyle characterised by short term same-sex flings, nor is gay marriage (I'll explain why not later) and nor is straight marriage.  There aren't really any other options left.  He is at very real risk of suicide - a professional therapist would struggle with this case I suspect because of the fundamental contradictions between his religious beliefs and his emotional needs.

Now you may argue that Matt can get beyond this current problem and have another go at celibacy, but I fear he doesn't have very many chances left to be successful at it before he gives up in despair.  At that point, it's anyone's guess as to what happens next.

Gay marriage isn't a viable option for him while he believes that homosexuality is a sin.  It's no wonder that both your and Matt's experience with the gay community is characterised by very short term relationships and one-night stands - how could you possibly make a solemn commitment to another man for life - effectively committing yourself to sinning for life!  Falling in love must have been a terrifying experience for you!  And it's all so unnecessary - the real possibility of happiness that marriage can bring awaits both you and Matt, if only you both could let go of the belief that homosexuality is sin.

Now here's my point (sorry it's taken so long to get here!): right when Matt is at his most vulnerable, a whole bunch of people, including yourself, reinforce this poisonous notion - imprisoning him into a lifestyle (celibacy) that it appears he cannot implement.  You don't have to tell him to hate himself - it's a given that this will happen anyway.

I sincerely hope that Matt runs far away from people telling him that homosexuality is sin and surrounds himself with people who accept him as he is (including if he ultimately decides to lead a celibate life), but I fear the opposite is far more likely to happen.  Boy am I glad I'm not him.  No one could ever convince me to give up my beautiful marriage in exchange for such appalling pain and misery - but let's face it - that's exactly what some Christians are asking me to do.

I hope you can see now that I'm not being "intolerant" or "hypocritical" when I ask you to stop telling others that homosexuality is a sin.  It's not like the Jewish custom of not eating pork - a totally harmless quirk (no one ever suffered from not eating pork!)  I ask you that because it's fundamentally harmful - even if you believe that same-sex attractions are OK, and say so.

Andrew

Dan7005
Dan7005 moderator

@Andrew

This article about Matt is not about reinforcing a poisonous notion. First, Matt has talked at length and openly about his choice to profess faith in Christ and his belief that any sexual activity outside of marriage is inconsistent with that faith.  In my article, I was supportive and encouraging of him.  My hope was that he see that a "stumble" in this area did not mean that he failed or is a failure in the eyes of the God whom he professes faith in. It was not at all about imposing a celibate lifestyle on to him. He has chosen that for himself, and my writing was meant to give him hope. Hope that he need not give up because of a mistake. I never said or implied that he had "better stay committed to celibacy". In fact one of the options mentioned by me that could follow this was walking away from the faith. I'm not quite sure how, in your view, my support and encouragement of him in persevering in an area that he has stated a desire for is poisonous. I am more inclined to think it poisonous to seize upon a moment of weakness in order to impose on him values that he does not ascribe to, and thereby confuse him even more in his weakness.

You said, "I hope you can see now that I'm not being "intolerant" or "hypocritical" when I ask you to stop telling others that homosexuality is a sin...it is fundamentally harmful..." I disagree that any action of mine is fundamentally harmful. For one, the belief I hold that "the Bible calls homosexual sex a sin" does not have the power to harm another. It is simply my belief, albeit one I assert is based on truth. Further, my position that "as a follower of Christ, because the Bible calls homosexual sex a sin, I seek to live a life characterized by celibacy" is, in and of itself, not harmful either. The only power it has to impact another is if they themselves agree that the God of the Bible is likely real, and also agree that my statement as to the sin of it, as well as the consequences for not believing in Christ are true. Because if you don't believe in God, why would you feel impacted in any way by me saying it is sin? Wouldn't you simply dismiss all that I say in the realm of God and religion? And I am speaking for myself here Andrew, not for any "Christians" who may have made hateful statements about gays in the past, or misused the Bible to promote hate or violence. I know that happens and some have thrown homosexuality around as if it is the driving force of all that is bad in the world. You will never hear me speak like that about homosexuality, nor will you ever hear me criticize or condemn anyone simply for being gay. In short, my beliefs about the sinfulness of any sex outside of marriage gay or straight, do not lead me to take action that seeks to harm anyone. 

Again Andrew, I can understand in some ways why you characterize celibacy as being about "appalling pain and misery", but that is not the reality of the situation for me. Yes, their are times when I feel depressed, in pain, and miserably alone...but I would not describe my life as one being filled with pain and misery. In hindsight, I can see how my writing may lend itself to people having that opinion though. And one of the thoughts that I will surely take away from our conversation is that I need to do a better job in my writing of expressing the totality of my experiences so that the joy I feel is more evident.

Andrew, I've gathered from your comments that you are not a Christian. The Bible is very clear that Christians are not to judge you or anyone who doesn't believe (1 Cor 5). And although the Bible says that none of us are good, I know many gay people who I would characterize as "good" people...and by good I just mean they are people who are kind to others, friendly, caring, etc. To be honest, I'm pleased we've been able to have this conversation and if you lived nearby I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy meeting you out for coffee and talking more about this and other subjects! But at any rate, the fact that me, you, or anyone is a "nice" person does not change those things for me which the Bible calls sin. So the hardest part of this is trying to convey to you that I don't dislike you or hate you in anyway because you are gay or for any other factor we have discussed here. And if you knew me in person, you would never feel that when you were in my presence that I was scrutinizing or judging you in any way, or thought of you as possessing any more or less worth as a person than I. And while I'm happy for you in that you find yourself in a stable, monogamous long term relationship, a part of me certainly wants to see you find the same love for Christ that I have found...not because your discovery of that has any bearing on the choices that I have made for myself through my faith, but because I want you to know God's love as I do, and I want His promise of eternal life for you as well. And Christianity isn't initially about making a choice whether to stay in your relationship or not, to have sex with other men or not, or to fight feelings of attraction or not; it is initially about nothing more than believing in Jesus Christ as your savior - and the rest - the specifics of how that will look in your life - will flow from there.

If you have a moment, would you let me know your thoughts on the following? You can respond here or via email: dan@fallanddie.com. In having this conversation of morality and of what may or may not harm or damage others, I don't know too much of what you are basing your own personal morals on. What is the basis of your morality? And if you found a sizable number of people who disagreed with you in some aspect of your morality, what would be your response to that, how would you determine whose morality was superior?

I probably haven't addressed all of the points you raised in your last comment, but it is not intentional - I am just out of time for the moment!

Thanks again Andrew for the good conversation! (longest comment ever!)

Dan 

Dan7005
Dan7005 moderator

@Andrew

Hey Andrew,

I had a feeling that you had more to say!  :)

I really do understand how from your point of view, openly acknowledging my belief that what God call's sin is in fact, sin, can injure people. I understand it because only a few years ago I shared your point of view. My attitude was very much one of "don't impose your hateful views on me".  But I think my attitude was shaped in part by my assumption that the "God Hates Fags""You Are An Abomination", and "Fags Die, God Laughs" sign holders which I have seen in the media and at gay pride events in both Milwaukee and Chicago, were a true representation of what most Christians believe. For sure, it is the misguided belief of some, however the attitudes represented by those signs have not been consistent with the behavior of the leadership or congregants in my church and within the friendships that I have developed with other Christians. It is also not consistent with my faith or my understanding of God and the Bible.

My belief is this: I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  And this means that for me to form my own opinion of morality, (in the realm of homosexuality or anywhere else), outside of what is biblical, is nothing short of creating my own religion with myself or some other person as my god.  So for me, my choice is to either adhere to no religion and acknowledge no god, to be led by a worldly religion based on the constantly changing values or morality of man (which often differ from state to state, country to country), or to place my faith in what I have determined to be the truth and the basis for my beliefs; that the god of Christianity created me and has laid out certain unchanging parameters which He knows are best for people to live within.  And knowing my sinful nature, He sent His Son to the world to live a sinless life, to die on a cross, and to be raised up - for me.  That by placing my faith in Him, I am cloaked in Jesus' righteousness and God no longer sees my sins and He gives me eternal life. And while I know I may have seemed to stray a bit from your previous comments, I want you to understand where I come from.

The main thrust of your argument, as it seems to me, is that upholding the belief that homosexual sex is sinful is hurting people, and in Matt's case as well as others, may lead to suicide.  Obviously I do not want this to happen (and I know you weren't implying otherwise).  First off, I want to say that I do not believe that anyone goes to hell for being gay, or for gay sex. The Bible states that people go to hell for their failure to have faith in Christ. It would seem completely un-Christian for someone to tell you or any non-Christian that you  need to stop having sex with men so that God will be pleased with you, and you will then be on your way to Heaven. Christianity teaches that we are saved from judgment based on our faith, not based on anything we do or don't do. Step 1, in my estimation, is to place our faith in Him, and He will guide our steps from that point onward:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)

I would take issue with your statement that Matt has no options left. Matt is free to pursue whatever course he so chooses. I understand what you are saying about his "feeling trapped" because of his beliefs.  I can relate to that in some ways. But in your assertion that because he is gay and his beliefs preclude him from sex with other men, he therefore is doomed to be miserable and will possibly commit suicide as a result seems misguided   What of all the single people in this world, Christian or not, gay or straight, who seek marriage and have not found a partner?  Should they all be on some sort of suicide watch?  What of the already married man who just cannot feel like he is "complete" and fully happy without finding a second wife; does this mean that we must let him have two wives - because everyone deserves to be able to do whatever it is that makes them happy?  And Andrew, I am not implying that gay marriage and bigamy are one in the same; but a major motivator in what you are saying seems to be that people should do what makes them happy - and all I am trying to say is that one's happiness can be a dangerous thing to base an argument of morality on.

You said that "the real possibility of happiness that marriage can bring awaits both you and Matt, if only you both could let go of the belief that homosexuality is sin."  In turn, I would suggest to you that you are missing out on a very real love and joy that a life of faith in Christ can bring to you, if only you could let go of the belief that morality is based on subjective man-made standards and entertain the possibility that we were created by a God who is more powerful and more intelligent than ourselves. Further, I have close friendships where I feel very much loved and am able to love my friend. I understand that in so many ways, a spouse adds a different dimension to one's feelings of stability and that sense of being significant to someone else, but I would counter the implied necessity of that with the reality of just how many married heterosexuals and gays in committed relationships find themselves not feeling loved or significant to their partner. Whatever form of relationship you are in with a significant other, just as with celibacy, you are not promised a life filled with happiness and contentment. No other person can guarantee for you any particular emotional state in your life. But I have found consistent (not yet constant) feelings of love and comfort from God, both directly and through the people He has placed around me. And while His Word does not promise 24/7 happiness to me in this life, He does promise joy now, and an eternity of joy to come. And it is really the point after we pass from this earth and go to be with Him that Christians are called to live for - not in a present pursuit of pleasures.

(continued...)