Being The Person God Created You To Be

Recently, I have had a perspective shift. I have always wanted to be able to live fully as a gay Christian man but I could never justify it for myself. There would always be doubt, or fear, or just the fact I could not justify the text of the Bible with my own life. Through reading a book this week, that has changed. In the past, I have gone in circles from accepting my sexuality and faith fully to denying myself of sexual pleasure with other men. Hopefully I can continue to remind myself of this time and continue to live a life of acceptance of both my faith and my sexuality. The book I was/am reading is God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality by Jay Michaelson (It was one of the recommendations for the book discussion). Never has a book changed my life more than this one (I would say a close second would be Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer but that is another post). He makes a case that prohibiting our sexuality, “the closest”, and trying to change our sexuality are all against Biblical teachings and principles.

The point that hit me the strongest was his new look on the Creation of Adam and Eve. I had never heard his interpretation before. In order for this to make sense, forget all of what has been taught on Adam and Eve and sexuality from Genesis. Though I have not fully figured it out, I thought it was a very interesting perspective. Hopefully it can show more about God and who He is. Michaelson made the point from Genesis 2:18 that everyone should have a companion, whether gay or straight, as the verse states: ” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him” (NLT). Personally, I had thought about this before but he went deeper than that. Here’s the rest of the passage so Michaelson’s logic can be followed more easily.

Genesis 2:18-25: Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.

“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”

24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame (NLT).

 

He went on to say, that God brought all of the animals of Creation to Adam to name BUT to ALSO find a companion, making the point that finding a companion was the main focus and God letting Adam name all of Creation secondary. God did not right off the bat give Adam Eve and told them to multiply but looked through all of His Creation for a companion. When there was not a companion in the animals of God’s creation, God created Eve from Adam’s rib. Michaelson makes the conclusion from these verses that God has a companion for everyone, whether gay or straight. Eve was specifically for Adam and God knew that they would be best for each other. He also knew He eventually needed to populate the earth with humans. Hopefully this makes sense to all my readers.

Some questions I have been pondering from this is that Genesis 1 is a summary of all of Creation. Genesis 2 specifically goes into the Creation of humans. Genesis 1:11-12 says “Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good” (NLT.) Why would God give Adam a companion (or helper in the NLT) that was an animal if His intent was for them to continue to procreate the kinds that they were? It only references this for plants but in nature we see it in plants, animals, and humans. That leads me to the question of when was human sex created? When was animal sex created?

Another thing I ponder is Michaelson universally uses that God gives a suitable to every individual person, meaning that gay relationships would be accepted by God and fully justified to have sexual relations, when he interprets God giving Adam Eve but in Genesis 1:27-28 ” So God created human beings in his own image.

    In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

My question is why do we not take “be fruitful and multiply” universally, which would condemn same sex relationships?

There is also looking at animal homosexuality vs. human sexuality. Animals do not have a soul so they do not commune with God like humans nor do they live under rules. I just wonder what animal homosexuality has to tell us about human sexuality. Is it also a consequence of sin or is it just natural? Michaelson makes the point that homosexuality is natural simply because we see it in nature – in animals.

These two verses also remind all of us that we were created in the image of God. God has no gender, no sexuality. Male and female, gay and straight are all ways of showing more about who God is. I get a little bit angry when conservative Christians force their children into gender roles. Gender roles, as we know them today, were not created by God. They were created by humans. The NIV translates the word “effeminate” as being a sin. I would argue that God is effeminate. God can show himself as effeminate. We are created in the image of God, according to Genesis, and since God did not have any gender why do we feel the need to live strictly to gender roles? We need to live how God wants us to live, without being so obsessed with how masculine or feminine we are.

I leave my readers with my one thought that I had this morning: Never apologize for the way God created you. As gay men, we may get discouraged or be afraid for being open about who we really are but God wants us to live in truth for Jesus is Truth. I challenge all of us, myself as well, to stay strong in God and the way He created us and to be who we honestly are as much as we can.

-Josh

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3 responses to “Being The Person God Created You To Be

  • Matthew Ciszek

    I feel your pain and struggle; indeed, I have been at the same place of attempting to rectify what I know to be true – that God made me, that I am a child of God, and that I am called in love to serve Him – and what I read in the scriptures. Having grown up in a tradition of Biblical inerrancy, it took me a long time to get to the point that I was comfortable being BOTH a gay man in a relationship and a Christian.

    Some food for thought: Most Biblical scholars, even those in more conservative traditions, concede that most of the first 5 books of the Bible were written by multiple people. This explains the fact that there are TWO creation narratives in Genesis, with differing viewpoints. I believe that the Bible, while divinely inspired and a source of great comfort and struggle, is not the inerrant word of God handed down from on high. It contradicts itself, it was formed over thousands of years or oral and written transcription, and we as English speakers/readers read the Bible in an imperfect translation that can never capture the true meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek.

    Blessings on your journey! I’d love to chat sometime further about all of this. As I said, it took me years to get to the sighlty more comfortable point that I’m at right now.

  • Rich

    The comment already given goes to a point I have made before. We are reading imperfect human translations of the Bible. They may at times bring the prejudices of the human translator. If anyone thinks there may be inaccurate translations, then we must take refuge in the fact that these translations are man’s and not God’s. This article reminds me of the saying, “God made me (the way I am) and God does not make mistakes.”

  • Michael Valdez

    I think Michaelson makes a valid point from Genesis 2:18 that everyone should have a companion, whether gay or straight, as the verse states: ” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him” (NLT).

    My story is growing up in a legalistic Pentecostal home. My mom didn’t want me at birth because I was male. She wanted a girl and after more kids (boys) her fourth child was a girl, the desire of her heart.
    My dad was hardly in our lives as a minister of the gospel he had very little time for his family. Traveling the US and being away 6 months or more out of a year he was definitely an absent father.

    For me, the world might be saved but his family would be lost.
    I had no clue who I was growing up and moving cross country every year didn’t help. As soon as I made friends, once again it was time to move.
    I was 15, when my dad finally deserted us. He left us for another ready family. For many years I wondered what was wrong with his wife, three boys and baby girl that he would choose another wife, three girls and one boy over us. Did I cause this to happen because I was such an evil person?

    During the same time, I started on a rebellious path. It wasn’t until my 18th birthday that I rededicated my life to the Lord. Soon I was faithful to church and found such Christian love that I never once felt in my own home.
    Church peer pressure helped me to stay celibate for 10 years. Looking back, I now see that my pastor was grooming me for the day he would tell me it was time to get married.

    There is more to my story but to make a long story short. My marriage crumbled after 8 years of marriage. If I didn’t know who I was during my youth at 38 years old I found myself in a major identity crisis.

    Personally, I never felt bad for being gay but did feel uneasy when sleeping around. I’m still discovering myself but having a life partner helps to make me feel complete. I think if physical reproduction was so important in the beginning, then, spiritual reproduction is vitally important now.
    For me, the bottom line is to be one with my partner. My help mate makes life worth living. Then, as Christian, he and I can bring souls into the kingdom of God. That will make eternal life worth having. I heard it before like this, “Only what we do for Christ will last!”

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