It was time to settle for a boring loyal dude.

Filed under the category of Losing control of the narrative, I bring you Why It’s OK To Settle In Romantic Relationships – Refinery29

When I met my now soon-to-be fiancé, five years ago, I didn’t really think much of him – or us, as a thing. There was no magic or butterflies. We were in the same group of friends at uni and we had flirted a bit, but he was way more interested in me than I was in him. So I was just kind of messing around and seeing where that would go, when we ended up sleeping together.

He was not my usual type, to be honest. On a dating app, he wouldn’t have stood a chance, with his serious tone and all. Also, I was 25…

[Now] I’m okay with trading some passion for support, for showing up for someone who’s there for me when I need them. I’m done with the fantasy, with chasing a spark that would disappear anyway. I’m much more invested in building a sustainable future with someone who I trust and can come home to after a bad day and just be myself, even my tired-looking, annoying self. But I had to learn this, I had to rewire my brain into separating emotional rollercoasters and actual feelings.

The most highly rated comments demonstrate that the ugliness of the AF/BB model is becoming more and more recognized.  The top rated comment (with 221 upvotes) notes that the intended endorsement for settling fell flat:

OP almost sounds like she’s trying to convince herself she wants this relationship… nowhere does she mention attraction, sexual attraction, spark, or the chemistry that makes long term relationships successful – even if that initial honeymoon period really does fade. Her relationship sounds exactly like the relationship that I just ended because it was lacking attraction and devolved into friendship.

Commenter Slickshoe responded by pointing out how brutal the post was to the boring loyal dude, drawing 118 upvotes:

I’d be devastated if I was her partner and read this……….. I feel like OP had all these grand delusions of herself when she was younger and thought she deserved all the hotties or whatever until she finally grew up and realized that she’s not all that and probably isn’t going to land all these guys who are out of her league so she took whatever she could get. That is so sad.

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Posted in Cracks in the narrative, Finding a Spouse, Ugly Feminists, You can't make this stuff up | 21 Comments

Not that there’s anything wrong with that

To see where where the complementarian argument of Not heterosexuality but holiness is headed, see the 2015 article at The Gospel Coalition (TGC) titled Godliness Is Not Heterosexuality.  In the article Pastor Ed Shaw complains that Christian parents don’t want their children to become gay like he is:

I was recently on a panel talking about same-sex attraction at a large Christian conference. One of the questions I was asked was a thinly veiled version of the one question many Christian parents most want to ask me: “How can I stop my children from being same-sex attracted?” or (as no one has really had the courage to put it) “How I can I stop my child from becoming like you?”

It’s a revealing question. The number of times I’ve been asked it (always in roundabout ways) demonstrates how great a fear it is for many Christian parents—to raise a child who might be sexually attracted to their own sex. It’s not something they want to have to share in the Christmas letter in years to come—either openly or by what’s clearly left unsaid.

The great hope is that they’ll be able to write of happy marriages, numerous grandchildren, and continued involvement in a good evangelical church. They don’t want to have to say instead that a child is gay, that there won’t be any grandchildren (at least, not in the conventional way), and that their son or daughter is now part of some LGBT-affirming church (if any church at all).

What they want from me is a few simple steps they can take to stop that from happening—ban their young son from playing with his sister’s dollhouse and discourage that sister from playing football when she’s older.

Shaw explains that Christian parents shouldn’t be concerned with such things.  What they should be concerned about is that their children grow up to be holy, and being gay can make them holy.  He quotes another pastor whom he says gave the right answer when asked how to help prevent children from being gay:

So I was helped enormously—hopefully like everybody else listening—by the reply of another panel member at that conference. A heterosexual minister, he runs his church’s support group for same-sex attracted church members. He’s also the married father of two sons. He said something like this:  “We, most of all, want our boys to grow up as godly and mature Christians. Some of the most godly and mature Christians we know are same-sex attracted. So why should we be so afraid of them growing up as same-sex attracted?”

I was flabbergasted by this reply. It finally blew apart my wrong presumption that same-sex attraction and godliness, like oil and water, don’t ever mix. It made me recall that some of the most godly people that I’ve ever known have also experienced same-sex attraction. In fact, one of the Christian leaders I most respect as godly has been made so through his struggle with same-sex attraction.

…that panel member is a parent whose main ambition for his children is the right one—godliness, not heterosexuality. I’m sure it doesn’t mean he’s praying his boys will grow up to be same-sex attracted. But his reply showed he has what we should all care about in our response to the gospel of grace—Christlikeness. Being like Jesus is the true biblical definition of godliness.

Shaw is one of three gay Christians who run the site Living Out (along with Pastor Sam Allberry and Sean Doherty).  This is relevant because while Shaw isn’t speaking for Allberry in the TGC article, posts on the Living Out website speak on behalf of the three of them.  The article Does Living Out support ‘gay cure’ or ‘conversion therapy’? makes it clear that Living Out has the same objection to the idea that being straight is somehow better than being gay:

Why we do not support the idea of ‘gay cure’

1) Homosexuality is not an illness. But using the language of ‘cure’ makes it sound like it is, which could be very damaging to vulnerable people (such as a young person coming to terms with their sexuality), making them feel ashamed of who they are at a very deep and fundamental level, and perhaps in some cases even contributing to suicidal feelings. Thankfully, we are not aware of any organisations in the UK which do support the idea of a ‘gay cure’. Our belief is that all of us have fallen sexual desires (whether heterosexual or homosexual), and that what we need isn’t more heterosexuality or less homosexuality, but the holiness found in Jesus Christ.

2) Attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation assumes that being gay is somehow more problematic than being straight. We believe that heterosexuality as we encounter it in this world is just as fallen as homosexuality. If a person changes from lustful desire towards people of the same sex to lustful desire towards people of the opposite sex, that is in no sense an improvement. So, attempts to change sexual orientation could be a distraction from the real goal, which is sexual purity expressed either in fulfilled marriage or in fulfilled singleness…

Keep in mind that Denny Burk, the president of the CBMW, co-wrote a book arguing against conversion therapy because the goal should be holiness, not heterosexuality.  At the same time Burk asserts that homosexual desire is sinful, and that the idea of a gay Christian identity is wrong.  Yet he also has declared that Pastor Sam Allberry of Living Out is a man the Lord has raised up for our time.  This kind of pretzel logic is exactly what complementarians have traded in for decades regarding feminism, and they are now doing the same thing regarding homosexuality.

Posted in Complementarian, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Dr. Denny Burk, Living Out, Pastor Ed Shaw, Pastor Sam Allberry, Sean Doherty, The Gospel Coalition, Uncategorized | 164 Comments

Not heterosexuality but holiness

As I’ve outlined my series on Loud and Proud Complementarians there is a striking connection between the complementarian movement and activism for conservative churches to accept homosexuality.  In a nutshell, complementarians are now doing regarding homosexuality what they have done regarding feminism for decades.

Consider Dr. Denny Burk, the current president of the CBMW.  Burk announced his book Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change in October of 2015.  He became president of the CBMW eight months later.  Burk’s focus on homosexuality may make him seem like an odd candidate to lead what most would assume is an organization focused only on feminism, but the CBMW has positioned itself in recent years as the center of conservative Christian response to homosexual activism.  The 2017 Nashville Statement regarding gay marriage is now featured alongside the CBMW founding Danvers Statement on the organization’s website:

cbmw_nashville

True to complementarian form Burk’s focus has been to give the appearance of orthodoxy on homosexuality while cutting off anyone whom he deems is too traditional on the subject.  In Transforming Homosexuality, Burk and his coauthor Dr. Heath Lambert affirm that both homosexual acts and homosexual desire are sinful, but at the same time argue against reparative therapy (emphasis mine):

The Bible teaches that God’s plan for all Christians is to transform them into the image of Christ. It’s a process that takes a lifetime to complete. But this transformation is nevertheless what the Holy Spirit is doing inside of all Christians—not just some of them—including those who experience same-sex attraction. The change that God wishes to accomplish in same-sex attracted individuals is not necessarily heterosexuality but holiness. For this reason, our book opposes reparative therapy as a Christian approach to change.

Holiness, not heterosexuality is a catchphrase among conservative Christian gay activists, and Burk literally wrote the book on the subject.  To see how core this idea is to conservative Christian homosexual activism, try searching on the term.  Not surprisingly, the top editorial reviews for the book on Amazon are from Pastor Sam Allberry and Rosaria Butterfield:

“Denny Burk and Heath Lambert have written a clear, compassionate, and thought-provoking book on how the gospel brings transformation to those struggling with homosexuality. Our hope is not the heterosexuality-or-bust shtick of reparative therapy, but the wondrous prospect of growing in holiness and Christlikeness that comes through repentance and faith. This is essential reading for every pastor and for any seeking to bless and minister to those with same-sex attraction in our churches.” —Sam Allberry, Associate Minister of St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead UK; author of Is God Anti-Gay? and James For You

“In Principles of Conduct, John Murray reminds us that ‘the line of demarcation between virtue and vice is not a chasm but a razor’s edge.’ In Transforming Homosexuality, Denny Burk and Heath Lambert shine scholarly and pastoral light on that razor’s edge, helping Christians to discern the difference between sexual temptation and sexual lust as it bears on same-sex attraction. This is a bold and provocative book. It will also likely be a controversial book. But it is predominantly a loving book that seeks to help people with unwanted homosexual desires be transformed by the full knowledge that God’s grace for us in Christ is sufficient for all our various struggles and sins.” —Rosaria Butterfield

Another example of Burk skirting the line is his review of Gregory Coles’ Book, Single Gay Christian.  In the run up to Revoice, Burk explained why he hadn’t written about the (then planned) event:

1. I’ve already written extensively about the celibate gay identity movement. For starters, you can check-out the book that Heath Lambert and I co-authored Transforming Homosexuality in which we argue that same-sex attraction and sexual orientation are morally implicated in scripture. I make a similar case in an article I wrote for The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society titled “Is Homosexual Orientation Sinful?” More recently, I wrote a review of Gregory Coles’s book that takes a critical look at his version of celibate gay identity.

Burk says he was critical in his review of Revoice worship leader Gregory Coles’ book Single, Gay, Christian, which is technically true.  For reference, here is how Coles describes the book on his website:

Is it possible to be gay and still follow Jesus? And if so, what happens next? If you believe the Bible calls you to celibacy, is it possible to embrace that calling without feeling like a divine typo?

Single, Gay, Christian is the story of one person’s journey through these questions. It’s about acting like your own alter ego, about getting epiphanies from mosquitoes, about singing happy birthday to yourself while literally hiding in a closet. It’s about being gay, loving Jesus, and choosing singleness in a world that fears all three.

After opening with two full paragraphs praising the book, Burk does reject Coles’ embrace of a gay identity:

So there is much that I resonate with in Coles’ story. In the end, however, I share the same concerns about the book that Rachel Gilson expressed in her review at TGC.

First, this book falls squarely within the celibate gay identity genre, in which the author rejects gay sexual behavior and gay marriage but embraces a gay identity.

Burk then quotes a truly blasphemous section from the book, and instead of soundly condemning it responds tepidly that he doesn’t know how to reconcile this perspective with scripture or natural law:

Is it too dangerous, too unorthodox, to believe that I am uniquely designed to reflect the glory of God? That my orientation, before the fall, was meant to be a gift in appreciating the beauty of my own sex as I celebrated the friendship of the opposite sex? That perhaps within God’s flawless original design there might have been eunuchs, people called to lives of holy singleness?

We in the church recoil from the word gay, from the very notion of same-sex orientation, because we know what it looks like only outside of Eden, where everything has gone wrong. But what if there’s goodness hiding within the ruins? What if the calling to gay Christian celibacy is more than just a failure of straightness? What if God dreamed it for me, wove it into the fabric of my being as he knit be together and sang life into me? (pp. 46-47)

Coles suggests that same-sex orientation may be a part of God’s original creation design and that homosexual orientation within Eden is an ideal that exceeds that which people experience outside of Eden.

I do not know how to reconcile this perspective with scripture or with the natural law.  Same-sex orientation is not simply a “creational variance” (as Nicholas Wolterstorff has described it). Scripture teaches explicitly that homosexual desire and behavior are “against nature”—meaning against God’s original creation design (Rom. 1:26-27). Nor can I reconcile this perspective with what Coles says elsewhere about same-sex orientation being a “thorn in the flesh,” which suggests that same-sex orientation is not a part of God’s original design. Which is it? A thorn in the flesh or something God “dreamed” for people as a part of his original design?

After pointing out other instances of terrible theology in the book, Burk concludes his review with:

I really enjoyed getting to know Coles’s story. I can’t help but admire his continuing commitment to celibacy and traditional marriage. I want to cheer him on in that and say “amen.” Still, I am concerned that the celibate gay identity perspective he represents is not biblically faithful or pastorally helpful. And the issue is important enough to flag in a review like this one. Evangelicals need to think their way through to biblical clarity on sexuality and gender issues, but the celibate gay identity view is muddying the waters.

Burk does just enough to separate himself from Coles’ radical gay activism while praising Coles for living as a faithful Christian.  It is also worth noting that while Burk disagrees with Coles embracing his “Christian” gay identity, Burk went a long way to create room for just that by declaring that heterosexuality isn’t God’s plan for Christians.

But while Burk has weak kneed criticism for Coles, he is effusive in his praise of Christian gay activist Pastor Sam Allberry (emphasis mine):

Sam is a same-sex attracted Christian, and a faithful brother. I cannot overstate how grateful I am for his life and testimony. The Lord has raised him up for our time. If you haven’t yet read Sam’s book, you need to. It’s titled Is God Anti-Gay? (Questions Christians Ask).

Posted in Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Dr. Denny Burk, Dr. Heath Lambert, Gregory Coles, Loud and proud complementarians, Pastor Sam Allberry, Revoice, Rosaria Butterfield | 39 Comments

Loud and proud complementarians: Holy homosexuality.

On the fringes of complementarian homosexual activism is the idea that while gay sex is sinful, gayness as an orientation is holy.  Dr. Albert Mohler describes this sentiment coming out of the Revoice conference last year:

In one of the more astounding moments of Revoice, Nate Collins read from Jeremiah 15 and then asked:

Is it possible that gay people today are being sent by God, like Jeremiah, to find God’s words for the church, to eat them and make them our own? To shed light on contemporary false teachings and even idolatries, not just the false teaching of the progressive sexual ethic, but other more subtle forms of false teaching? Is it possible that gender and sexual minorities who have lived lives of costly obedience are themselves a prophetic call to the church to abandon idolatrous attitudes toward the nuclear family, toward sexual pleasure? If so, we are prophets.

Keep in mind that this movement is designed to transform conservative Christianity.  This is on the fringes (today) of the complementarian movement to accept homosexuality, but it is far closer than all but a handful of observers understand.  Rev Thomas Littleton explained this back in June of 2018 in his post Revoice Response:  Albert Mohler and the Missing Link:

The highly controversial Revoice conference is about a month away. We broke the story over six weeks ago, exposing Revoice and its stated goal of “Promoting LGBT+ Flourishing in historic Christian tradition.” Today the machinery of The Gospel Coalition and the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission is in full swing attempting to “cover” the story in a way any trained media savvy believer would find disturbing. What IS NOW being said by TGC and ERLC is coordinated and calculated. What is NOT being said is intentional and dishonest.

First, little, if anything, was said in the weeks after our initial exposure of the conference on May 10. The first major outlet promoting Revoice was Living Out, the ministry of TGC editor and ERLC writer and speaker, Sam Allberry. His ministry is a collective of Same Sex Attracted gay priests from the UK / Church of England. Sam Allberry’s endorsement of Revoice was a massive red flag that signaled a broadening of the message of “SSA/ Gay Christianity” to the radical “LGBT+, Sexual Minority, Queer Christian” language of Revoice.

What none of these responders do, including Albert Mohler, is ADMIT that the reason REVOICE was and remains controversial is that it is in CLOSE PROXIMITY to the heart of their own camp!  Do not miss that fact, of which they are attempting feverishly to keep you ignorant in the “comprehensive article” published by Colin Smothers.

Littleton also connects the dots between Revoice and CBMW president Denny Burk:

Denny Burk works at Boyce College and is a ERLC/TGC speaker on issues related to sexuality and LGBT as head of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Collin Smothers, who compiles the articles and provides the critique above, also works for CBMW. Both are disciples of Dr. Albert Mohler of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Burk’s article was among the first responses posted on May 30th –almost 3 weeks after the story broke. It recommends a “wait and see” attitude regarding the Revoice Conference despite its radical language of “Queer Christianity” and “LGBT+ Christian.” In the Burk piece, he has the screen shot of a workshop titled “Redeeming Queer Culture an Adventure” which he inserted 24 hours BEFORE it appeared on the official Revoice website.  During a Twitter exchange, Burk was asked about the timing – how he had the new workshop screen shot in advance – after which he blocked the author of the question. In the days following, in Twitter streams among Revoice leaders and Burk, Denny messaged to one of the Revoice leaders that they should talk but not in the open Twitter stream. However, this issue should not have back room communications given its goal of changing the conversation (and teaching) of the Church and all conservative denominations impacted by it. Denny Burk echoes what Dr. Mohler has said on the topic of homosexuality in years past, as if sexual orientation, is the topic of Revoice. However, the language of Revoice – LGBT+ (sexual minorities) Christians / Queer Christianity – is radical, unheard of in the Church and represents uncharted waters for the Church.

Another example of the argument that being gay is holy is from Gregory Coles. As Littleton notes, Coles wrote this in a book endorsed by D.A. Carson (president of The Gospel Coalition):

Mohler quotes from Gregory Coles’ (worship leaders for Revoice) Book, “Single Gay Christian,” which is heartily endorsed by D.A. Carson, and then tosses in the statement “That is an astounding question.”

“One of the individuals involved in the conference and a book published just last year asked the question: ‘Is it too dangerous, too unorthodox, to believe that I am uniquely designed to reflect the glory of God? That my orientation, before the fall, was meant to be a gift in appreciating the beauty of my own sex as I celebrated the friendship of the opposite sex?’ That’s an astounding question.”

Is it really, Dr. Mohler? Coles’ academic specialty is Minority Rhetoric and racial, feminist and gender theory. Either you just got played by Coles or you are using Coles’ quote to PLAY US!

Here is D.A. Carson’s endorsement of the book:

“To say this book is important is a painful understatement. It is the candid, moving, intensely personal story of a gay young man who wants to live his life under the authority of King Jesus and who refuses to accept the comforting answers proffered by different parts of the culture. Superbly written, this book stands athwart the shibboleths of our day and reminds us what submission to King Jesus looks like, what it feels like. This book needs to be thoughtfully read by straight people and by gay people, by unbelievers and by Christians. It is not to be read with a condescending smirk, but with humility.”

D. A. Carson, president, The Gospel Coalition, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Posted in Albert Mohler, D.A. Carson, Dr. Denny Burk, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Living Out, Loud and proud complementarians, Pastor Sam Allberry, Rev Thomas Littleton, Revoice, Social Justice Warriors, The Gospel Coalition, Thirty Pieces of Silver Blog | 69 Comments

Christian hospitality requires accommodating gay sex.

Hospitality is the buzzword complementarians use to normalize homosexuality and demand that Christian parents provide gays with special access to our children.  I’ve previously shared where Rosaria Butterfield and Pastor Sam Allberry (both of the ERLC) make this case.  Pastor Matt Chandler (also of ERLC) likewise recently discovered that Christian hospitality requires that Christian parents bring gays into their homes.

But the wonders of Christian hospitality’s accommodation of homosexuality don’t stop there.  Pastor Sam Allberry’s Living Out website explains that Christian hospitality requires that parents must not forbid their adult children from spending the night with their gay lovers.  From How should I respond if my child comes out to me? (emphasis mine):

If your child is an adult and not living at home, then it is important to recognise that they are already making their own decisions and living their own life. Some people feel very uncomfortable with the idea, for example, of their adult children having a sexual partner to stay overnight in the same room. In my view, Christ’s call to show hospitality and acceptance in such a situation outweighs the need to send a message about whether a sexual relationship is right or not. Church discipline is precisely that – church discipline. It can only be exercised by the church, not individuals. Of course, you may want to talk through your beliefs with your child (provided you also listen to them explain theirs). But that can be done through an adult to adult conversation in which each person is able to share their opinions and accept that the other person may not agree. (Remember: if you disagree with their point of view, then by definition they disagree with yours, so grace is needed on both sides!)

This is an odd application of the term hospitality, because they appear to be talking about an adult child having their gay lover over in their own place, not in the parent’s home.  However, this ambiguity may be intentional, and it may be designed to discourage parents from refusing to accommodate adult children who want to bring their gay lovers into their parents’ home to stay the night.

Either way, hospitality is the term conservative Christian gay activists are using to normalize homosexuality.  The same article on children coming out as gay explains that normalizing homosexuality is in fact the goal:

Normalise it

I mentioned just now that you have temptations and sins too. We are all fallen, and almost all of us struggle with sexual temptation. If you do not experience same-sex attraction, you probably experience opposite-sex attraction to people to whom you are not married instead! So, reassure them that you don’t see yourself on any moral high ground above them. If appropriate, even mention (without details!) that you struggle with sexual temptation too and that you don’t regard their feelings as any different to yours – we are all tempted and we all need grace and forgiveness.

What is interesting about this claim is that if it is true, the same would apply to necrophilia, pedophilia, bestiality, and incest.  The same would be true for this claim as well (emphasis mine):

Whilst their sexuality is an important part of them that you must accept and not deny, it is not the whole of who they are.

 

See Also:

Posted in Complementarian, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Living Out, Loud and proud complementarians, Pastor Matt Chandler, Pastor Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield | 114 Comments