I found this article linked off of a long discussion related to a gay fellow participating in a worship team, over at Scot McKnight’s blog. Wesley Hill’s poignant piece is what I want to highlight here.
Hill gives a heartfelt description of the deep frustration and intense loneliness he has experienced because, well, I’ll let him explain it himself (the “Auden” to whom he refers is another author):
I am drawn to these haunting confessions of Auden’s because I, too, am a homosexual Christian. Since puberty, I’ve been conscious of an exclusive attraction to persons of my own sex. Though I have never been in a gay relationship as Auden was, I have also never experienced the “healing” or transformation of my sexual orientation that some formerly gay Christians profess to have received. But I remain a Christian, a follower of Jesus. And, like Auden, I accept the Christian teaching that homosexuality is a tragic sign that things are “not the way they’re supposed to be.” Reading New Testament texts like Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 through the lens of time-honored Christian reflection on the meaning and purpose of marriage between a man and a woman, I find myself—much as I might wish things to be otherwise—compelled to abstain from homosexual practice.
Hill makes a vital point in his article, which we straight Christians who still believe homosexuality is not God’s standard, must take to heart. People need to feel love. They need community. This is true even for someone like me who’s in a deeply satisfying heterosexual marriage–how much more for someone who does not have that privilege, whether through orientation, through a broken marriage, or through whatever combination of life’s circumstances leaves them alone!
If we as believers do not provide a loving, sustaining community for those who are alone, how dare we blame them for seeking that love somewhere else? If we are (rightly) to teach that gay relationships, like other extramarital sexual relationships, are outside God’s standard, then we have got to be the sort of “how few” Wesley Hill is seeking. As he himself concludes:
Will the Church shelter and nourish and humanize those who are deeply lonely and struggling desperately to remain faithful?