It’s important to preface this by saying I am writing specifically to Christians. Others may certainly read and respond, but it is unlikely that those outside of faith in Christ will grasp, understand, or appreciate what follows. This is about our mission as Christians to love one another – the least, the lost, and in this case, the politically leveraged.
As our culture has moved into the realm of full embrace and promotion of same-sex romantic and sexual relationships, there is an increasing tendency for believers to resign themselves to having lost this battle of the “culture war.” Churches avoid the topic and most Christians prefer to adjust to the new norm rather than fight what seems like a futile battle – one that leaves us marginalized as haters, discriminators, and bigots.
We counsel each other that “this is just the way of the world,” or “the church lost this round a long time ago and there’s no going back now.” Such a calculation is predicated on a tragic misunderstanding that our mission is to save a culture. It’s not. It never has been. It’s always been about saving individual souls. Our mounting inclinations towards ambivalence on the issue of same-sex relationships is crippling that effort.
I was shaken when I read the gut-wrenching testimony of a man named Joseph Sciambra. It is explicit, sordid, and at times sickening as he details the practices of the homosexual culture he surrounded himself in for years. You should be prepared emotionally before attempting to read it. But you should read it because while there are thousands of men and women whose stories are like his, you never hear them. They go untold. The suffering of gays and lesbians is masked by a public propaganda perpetrated by political agendas and evil exploitation that pretends immersion in and acceptance of same-sex romantic and sexual relationships brings fulfillment to people.
After detailing his tortured pursuit of identity and acceptance in a gay life that will shock you if you’re unfamiliar with what that entails, Sciambra acknowledged what we Christians know:
Immediately the yearning of my heart returned, and I heeded the call to bring something from outside of myself back in – even if it didn’t fit.
The anticipated harmonic convergence that was supposed to take place through skin-to-skin contact didn’t materialize. Many of the older men, who had lost husbands and lovers to AIDS during the 1980s, and had already experienced the bathhouse culture which inevitably gave rise to the massacre, partially turned away from the decadence and ensconced themselves in semi-exile on the outskirts of the Castro. They largely constituted the faction which would later push for same-sex marriage. For awhile, I was one of them, and I remained semi-content with a single lover. But male homosexuality was never a monotheistic religion; the gay male community is a pantheon of various shrines housed inside the bars, bathhouses, and now on geosocial networking apps, where thousands of headless torso shots start to look like the marble fragments of ancient Greek and Roman demi-gods. But the gay gods are a polyphony of numerous false deities; each melodiously promising contentment to the worshipper. My live-in lover was an altar I knelt before a few times, but then I wanted to get up and walk away once my prayers for inner realization remained unanswered.
Now certainly there are those in gay and lesbian romantic and sexual relationships who will counter this assessment given their current reality. Just like adulterers who think they can manage, porn addicts who convince themselves they are in control, or fornicators who believe the euphoric sense of pleasure they derive from surrendering to their powerful urges will persist, there are plenty of lesbian and gay people who insulate themselves from the emptiness of a life lived in rebellion to God’s will. But as thousands of their fellow-travelers will admit, buried deep within them is a nagging awareness of the futility and hopelessness of their chosen path:
There was a battle taking place between how my body was designed and what I wanted to do with it. I think I knew I was losing. However, I always found solace in friends who were having similar problems and in the collective exuberance of the gay male community to dance through disaster and disease. We kept getting hit, but you get back up. One of the last songs I heard in a gay club: My loneliness is killing me, I must confess, I still believe…
I still expected that, somehow, everything would turn out differently for me. Although I didn’t believe in much of an afterlife, when I remembered long dead friends I thought that they were at rest and experiencing a perpetual embrace that tragically alluded them in life. Sometimes, I thought this eternal enfolding comprised the resolution of death. It started to look good to me.
Did you read that, Christians? Death started to look good to him as a way to overcome the despair his sinful choices had wrought. How dare any of us wearing the name of Christ encourage, embrace, and promote such anguish in the name of “love.” This is precisely why believers should experience flashes of righteous anger (the turning-over-the-money-changers-tables kind of anger) when we see supposedly fellow Christ-followers strutting around pride parades with “love the gays” tank tops. They don’t love them. If they loved them, they would attend those parades only to offer an escape from the emptiness of revelry and depravity, not to celebrate it.
And we should do so with urgency before it’s too late, as it almost was for Joseph. Praise God Joseph survived:
On what was to become my final night as a gay man, I was willing to risk everything one last time. My quest for acceptance, love, and manhood remained entirely and hopelessly incomplete. I ended almost exactly where I began; I stood at nearly the same point in space – ten years later. But I was still scared. As for the boy, he never left me. Being gay, and having sex with men, didn’t make him into a man. He was still searching and he took me along for the ride. Except my body was breaking down. Early that morning, I would stumble half-dazed from a gay sex-club. I collapsed into the gutter. I vomited blood and the violent stomach contractions caused my colon to completely empty its contents. I reached into my underwear – I was bleeding internally. My life was streaming out from both ends. Where I thought there existed a doorway into the sublime, I had kicked-open the gaping passageway to death. This was my final humiliation. If heaven meant some sort of afterlife and hell was an immediate and everlasting conclusion to this torture, I chose damnation.
Joseph got up that day. And he walked away from the homosexual relations that nearly killed him. He was healed spiritually in a manner that reveals yet again that we are never too far gone for God to redeem us, never too lost that He won’t find us when we seek Him. But the scars of those years of rebellion to God remain, and bear witness to why you and I must never be silent:
But as the years pass by, my health problems are compounded; I feel old. The few friends that survived our previous existence are all similarly plagued. We accompany each other to doctor visits and continually send get well cards and have healing Masses said for one another. Our quest for love came to an end in unrealized dreams, damaged bodies, and the graves of the dead.
Christians, this should be our call to arms. If Christ lives in us, we must take action, caring nothing of what fools may say of us or of our motivations. We must reach, minister, love, and lead in boldness.
Our corrupt media and political culture benefits financially by pushing the gay agenda. They are motivated by money. As believers, we are to “come out and be separate from them” (2 Corinthians 6:17) and not conform to their ways (Romans 12:2). We are to be motivated by love; and truth is love. Abandoning people to their sin, its tortures and empty promises, is not what men and women of Christ will do. Ever.
We will tell the stories of men like Joseph in the hope that there’s another young man or woman somewhere who will hear us, meet us, that we can impact and lead to redemption before he or she arrives on the streets of Castro. Those experiencing same-sex attraction are precious souls, designed for communion with God. They figure into God’s eternal architecture and therefore they should figure in ours. We should not turn away; we should not leave them. Perhaps more than anything else, their testimonies reveal that they are hungry for love, fulfillment, contentment, inner peace, and identity. We know only Christ offers that.
They tragically look for it in rebellion to God’s will rather than surrender to it. Where does it lead? Joseph says it best:
In our overwhelming desire to understand the world and ourselves, we were willing to go against Nature and God Himself. We disregarded the fundamentals of physiology and for that violation we paid dearly on an unbelievably devastating collective and individual basis. In the process, we threw our bodies and the surrounding culture into chaos; in a feeble attempt to right ourselves we demanded that society recognize our rebellion. But a law instituted by men hasn’t changed our physical structure.
Indeed and amen. It’s heartbreaking to read, and yet this is a perfect reminder of why we do and say what we do and say as Christians. These are tortured human souls. They are not the enemy. They are captives to the enemy who is destroying them. Those who know this and do nothing to try to liberate them do not love them. And they are not of Christ.