Monday, June 27, 2011

Same-Sex 'Love'

I got this blog comment on one of my old posts from 'Anonymous' that I would like to share with my readers. I will be posting this same question on our Courage e-group to get the opinions and reactions of fellow brothers and sisters, which I will collect and post here as a follow-up post to this entry. My reply to his query below sums up what I personally believe on the issue of homosexuality in general.

Does Courage recognize that two persons of the same sex can love each other? I know same sex couples, who are in committed and loving relationships. They care for each other, tend to each other's needs, and plan their lives together. But because they have sex with each other, then all that caring and loving still don't count? Now, I would agree that some - straight or gay - have sex with different motivations (lust, sensual adventure, etc.). Maybe I can understand why some people would object to that. But I can't understand why the same should apply to Joe and Larry who have been together for years and who have been at each other's side in sickness and health, through ups and downs. Their love should not remain as "love which dare not be speak its name." Love is love. - Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for taking the time to comment.

First of all, I want to assure you that I truly understand your sentiments and where you are coming from. To address your question, here is my personal stand:

I believe I can love anyone, even members of the same sex whom I feel attracted to, without having sexual intercourse. It is not a condition for me to express my love and for him to love me back in return.

You may not agree with me, but I must tell you that from experience the most fulfilling and enduring friendship between two persons of the same sex is one that is mutual, nonsexual, and pure. When a person loves you this way, you can truly be sure that he is not after your money, fame, or favor. At this level of friendship, there is authentic freedom and space for each one of you to grow as a person without the trappings that come along with an emotionally-dependent and sex-based relationship.

My friend, I believe that deep within a person struggling with same-sex attraction, is that little boy that cries out desperately for love, but that this love is often misinterpreted as sexual love. I am more inclined to believe that our deepest unmet needs are in fact nonsexual in nature, which include affirmation of our God-given sexuality as male and female, true compassion, and a feeling of belongingness which many of us never experienced while growing up. These unmet needs are at the very core of our struggle. For most of us though these legitimate needs have been 'sexualized' in an attempt to fill that huge void inside us and to appease the little boy's desperate plea for affection.

It is noteworthy to mention that many gay men who have been in this lifestyle admit that sex has never really filled up that terrible void inside of them which begs the question why.

This puts the sexual act in its rightful and proper perspective, which is between a man and a woman in marriage, and I want you to understand that this is not some teaching that is imposed upon me by the Church or that which I follow blindly and neither is it discriminatory against gays. With all my personal limitations and weaknesses, God has made me realize this truth early on though somewhat vague which is much clearer now. More than a religious belief or teaching it is a personal unshakable conviction that I have right now. I am also aware though that this can be hard to accept among LGBTs and I cannot force anyone to accept it, but I must stand up for what I believe.

You know, sometimes, love can be misguided and blind as well. It can be very difficult for us to tell two guys who are "in love" with each other that their relationship is not good because we fear to be branded as "homophobic", "narrow-minded", or "politically incorrect." We care more of what other people might think of us rather than what God would tell of us when we come face to face with Him alone one day. We fear to offend their feelings and so we approve of their relationship as something good and desirable. If you know somebody who is running fast towards the edge of a cliff, would you not try to stop him on his tracks for fear of causing him some slight physical injury? Isn't that the most loving thing to do at that moment?

If you happen to be caught in this situation there is a middle ground, which is speaking the truth in love.

In the secular and relativistic society of our times, we need to always speak of the truth with love especially on the topic of gay relationships. I want to share with you this quote from Pastor Bill Campbell, author of the book Turning Controversy Into Church Ministry - a Christlike Response to Homosexuality:

Jesus did not hide the truth; he called the adulteress to repentance. But neither did he insult her, condemn her, or throw her out. His grace embraced her and sent her forth to live a better life. If he had demonstrated grace without truth, he would have let her stagger down the path of personal destruction. If he had spoken truth without grace, he would have clubbed her with the law and sentenced her to stoning by the crowd.

Truth and grace – have you ever tried putting those two together without minimizing either? Without God’s help, it is a daunting task. Grace without truth hampers, confuses, and even deceives. Truth without grace cuts, wounds, and destroys. Those who approach thorny matters such as sexual addiction, homosexuality, and adultery with only truth become experts at alienation. Those who bring love into such discussions but avoid the truth are unable to confront patterns of behavior that hurt self and society. Both are important; neither can function properly without the other. Salt is essential to the body, but separated into its two elements, sodium and chloride, it can be deadly. (p. 13)

Sadly in our times there is too much emphasis on 'love' without regard to what is true. I saw on the news lately that New York has legalized same-sex 'marriage' and that there is a gay church here in the Philippines that are officiating this kind of 'union' even if this is against our civil and church laws. I am inclined to think that this is where you might be coming from. In this case, we need to remind everyone of the truth that gay marriage is clearly not a part of God's original plan for us, that it is something of our own making in defiance to His will, yet on the other hand we need to embrace people who are struggling with same-sex attraction and convince them of the fact that they like anyone else deserve to be loved and respected, and that the Church cares for them and desires only their ultimate good. We in Courage along with other faith-based ministries here in the Philippines and around the world are proof that the Church truly cares for people struggling with SSA (same-sex attraction).

I hope I was able to enlighten you a bit. It is perfectly okay if you cannot seem to grasp this whole thing all at once. Ask God in your prayers for the gifts of understanding and wisdom. I do not pretend to have all the answers to your doubts and questions. God alone, who is Love and Truth, can give you 'THE ANSWER'.

In the end, only His unconditional love can heal us and meet our deepest needs.

God bless you.


Courage Blog Moderator


  1. What a beautiful answer. I have many friends who are in or seeking committed same sex relationships, who reject Jesus and the church because of the perception that the bible condemns homosexuals.I myself am contemplating the possibility of living together and growing old with an SSA brother whom I love, while being faithful to the call to chastity; a relationship based on chaste companionship and strict abstinence from sexual activity.I believe that the friends whom I speak of above should be embraced with truth and grace, rather than rejected outright. I think you summed up your position well in your final statement, which if I may paraphrase, says that ultimately it is God's unconditional love that can heal and meet the needs of persons who have embraced the gay identity as well as those who struggle with SSA. I pray that God will continue to guide, enlighten, and heal those of us who struggle with SSA, and I enjoin all to pray that God may meet the homosexual persons who reject His truth and saving grace where they are, reveal Himself to them and bring them to a deep inner conversion.

    Also Anonymous (not the same one who made the query)

  2. Hi Anonymous2,

    Thank you for your very encouraging comment and to God be the glory and praise.

    You shared about your desire to live with a fellow SSA brother in chaste companionship and brotherhood. I guess that is one more important issue that SSA persons face when they grow old if they have not been given the opportunity to marry and have kids. The thought of living old alone is also scary for me.

    Let us continue to pray for persons with SSA who have bias and prejudice against the Church. This is probably one of the biggest stumbling block to their conversion. Unless they see the Church as a caring institution, they will continue to wander far away from God.

    For some strange reason you sound familiar to me or maybe it's just me, but I commend you for your spiritual maturity and desire to live a chaste life.

    God bless you.

  3. Dear Moderator,

    Thank you for your reply.

    It seems that you agree that two persons, who happen to be of the same sex, can have deep feelings for and an emotional bond with each other. That in itself is not wrong, you said. But you believe that these people should remain in celibate and platonic relationships. (It’s funny to use term “platonic”, considering the history of Plato but I won’t go into that). On my part, I view as legitimate, relationships between two consenting same sex adults, which do not in any way cause abuse or damage to the persons involved and other people. Sexual relations that come from such a feeling of warmth and care is entirely different from the sex “for money, fame and favor” that you mentioned. Perhaps, that was the experience of some of the members of Courage and I recognize that things like that take place. But same things happen among heterosexuals. I think it’s not fair and dishonest to reduce all LGBT relationships into commercial transactions.

    I think the difference in our views ultimately boils down to what we believe is God's will as expressed in the bible or perhaps even in natural law. I'm not a theologian and would not be an authority on such matters. But let me say this. Interpreting the bible can be quite tricky, a difficult task really. Slavery was once justified using the bible and natural law. Some sects justified racial discrimination based on a plain reading of the bible (e.g. the Mormons, before they changed their sect's stand in 1978). The bible was used to discredit scientific facts that nobody question nowadays like the fact that the earth is not the center of the universe. Now, I know that the the Old Testament has some passages condemning sodomy (not homosexuals per se, as you said). Paul's epistles also said something on homosexuality (though it’s remarkable that Jesus himself said nothing about the matter). There are varying interpretations of these passages, some in line with your views while others are not.

    My point is this, the interpretation of the Bible requires context and Christianity itself has changed some of its interpretation because as society marched forward people found out that certain beliefs of old are wrong, unfair, and unscientific. And so slavery, as a legal institution, was discarded and we’ve made our amends with Galileo’s legacy. Science, little by little, is giving us more information about sexuality. Homosexuality is no longer considered a mental disease. It’s in fact recognized that suppressing it may be detrimental to a person’s well-being. Just like on slavery and geoncentrism, people may be wrong on their interpretation of the Bible with respect to homosexuality.

    Now, I am not one to say that your stand to remain celibate is wrong. If that keeps your peace of mind and heart, then I for one will not question it. Live freely as your conscience dictates you and I sincerely hope for your happiness.

    But I do find it wrong for the Church to judge all LGBT relationships as valueless, as untruths and as objective disorders. I find it difficult to accept that church-based organizations such as Pro-Life and Courage (I saw the documents) would send letters to Congress opposing the anti-discrimination bills in Congress, which only seek to guarantee protection for LGBTs against discrimination in schools and workplaces. Where is fairness and justice in that?

    Thank you for your time. And I’m glad we got into this conversation.

    I’m Mike, by the way.

  4. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for the lengthy and cordial reply. We are free to disagree with many things, but it should not make us 'enemies'. We are all children of God after all.

    It is very much possible for two persons of the same sex to establish a healthy, emotionally mature, and chaste relationships with each other. The thing that complicates this relationship is the attraction that one may have towards the other or both. In that case, living out that chaste friendship can be challenging because of the risk of falling into emotional dependency and later on sexual temptations.

    I respect your stand on this issue. It's no different from the hundreds I've heard and read before.

    On my part, I hold on and strive to adhere to the biblical standards of sexual morality as revealed in the Scriptures. I have deemed it to be the way to go and live my life which is in accordance to my deeply cherished values despite the enormous challenge. It is the only way for me to bring harmony to my life and be at peace with myself.

    If you think all these things are purely religious/spiritual stuff, I've also made some secular and scientific inquiries on this subject and I invite you to spare some time to read it as well. It's on the sidebar of the blog entitled "Straight to the Point". You can also read "Redeeming the Rainbow" just beneath it as well.

    I understand that this is a very sensitive and controversial topic. As I have said in my post, I cannot force anyone to share my views and make it their own. I believe we are all in a personal journey of self-discovery and growth. We are all in different phases of growth and stages of development. But no matter where each of us is right now, let us not cease in searching for the truth and in time God will show us the Way.

    Again, thank you Mike for your time. Let us pray for one another and may we never cease to love others despite the differences.

    God bless you.

    Courage Blog Moderator.

  5. Homosexual sex is discouraged because of medical, psychological and scientific reasons. Check on Dr. John Diggs report on the health dangers of homosexual sex, the report of Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the study of Dr. Paul Cameron. Also search the web for hepatitis, anal, oral cancer, AIDS and find out what population do these conditions commonly exist. Another danger is the risk of transmitting these diseases to innocent population such as children and unsuspecting wife and girlfriends who have bisexual partners infected with these conditions.

  6. love has NO gender!I approved for same sex relationship!this is NOT a sin this is a SPECIAL BLESSING from above....ALL of us have its Right to love and to be loved!whatever that it is!Thank You!

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  8. @Anonymous

    Thanks for commenting. I respect your views.

    Indeed, it is not wrong to love another 'man' for God has commanded us to love another but let me qualify that one.

    We are commanded by God to love others, but in the case of 'love' between two men it doesn't obviously refer to "sexual" or "erotic" kind of love.

    This is the cross that every same sex attracted man carries within himself. Yes I can love that guy that I feel attracted to but NOT in a sexual way. Any deviation from that is directly contrary to the will of God and therefore sinful.

    Please re-read again my post above. It sums up my view on this topic.

    God bless you.

    CP Moderator