Sexuality and Gender

The Church: One Family, One Body, One Temple

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 11/26/2013

Nick Roen, who has same-sex attractions, suggests “An Alternative Script for Same-Sex Attraction” for the church to offer Christians who reject the world’s encouragement to fulfill this desire because of their greater desire to follow Christ:

More Than Prohibitions

Many Christians answer this question [of how the Christian with same-sex attractions ought to live] by appealing to the prohibitions of Scripture. They point to the Bible’s clear teaching that homosexual activity is sinful because it goes against the grain of the created order (Genesis 2:18, 23–24), and is therefore outside the boundaries God has set for acceptable sexual expression (Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10).

Christians are right to appeal to the authority of the Bible for the manner in which we should conduct our lives (2 Timothy 3:16). However, if prohibition is the only message that those with homosexual desires (Christian and non-Christian) hear from the church, then our message is incomplete.

Saying Yes to Something Better

What the church needs is an alternative script. And it must be a holistic script that accounts for the real emotions and desires of those with SSA. We can’t live a life of only saying, “No!” to our desires. We need to be able to say “Yes!” to something greater, something better.

The most basic—and the most glorious—thing that I have said “Yes!” to is Jesus. The joys of following Jesus are everlasting and complete (Psalm 16:11; Mark 10:29) and make the temporary promises of sin seem woefully lacking. However, following Jesus does not make my yearnings for human intimacy and companionship magically disappear. What does Christianity have to say to those areas?

God has brought us together as a new “people for God’s own possession, so that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). We’re siblings adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5). Every person in the church is a needed member of one body (1 Corinthians 12:12–31). We’re living stones being “fitted together” into one building around Christ, the corner stone (Ephesians 2:19–22). These images depict a profound interdependence, which we’re told is necessary “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13).

Roen recommends specific “areas of church life to cultivate,” but the bottom line for him is that the church needs to intentionally build the kind of close relationships between its members that reflects this biblical interdependence—for people with same-sex attractions, for singles, for everyone.

What if they heard not simply, “Don’t have that relationship!” but, “You are welcome in the church, and in all these relationships, and we will seek to support you in your walk of faith with community, loving relationships, and hospitality”?

That is the beginnings of a wonderful alternative script.

Read the rest of Nick Roen’s post.