Book Reviews,  Christianity

Struggling as a Homosexual and a Christian

I really appreciate Tim Challies’ review of Wesley Hill’s book Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality (Zondervan, 2010). Wesley Hill is a Christian who has a homosexual orientation, and he has been that way for as long as he can remember. Here’s a snippet from Challies’ review:

Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality is his attempt to answer some of the most difficult questions, and to answer them not in an abstract sense, but from the perspective of someone who has labored over them and shed many tears along the way. What does it mean for gay Christians to be faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God’s will for believers who experience same-sex desires? How can gay Christians experience God’s favor and blessing in the midst of a struggle that for many brings a crippling sense of shame and guilt? These are the questions the church needs to be willing and equipped to answer. We have to be able to do better than “Homosexuality is wrong.” And that’s what this book is all about.’

Challies is uncomfortable with the term “gay Christian,” and so am I. But that is the phrase that the author uses for better or for worse. The book has flaws, Challies says, but it also has a lot for evangelical Christians to chew on. Go read the rest of Challies’ review. It’s really good.


  • Mark

    Can a person be a true and faithful Christian and have homosexual orientations? Yes, as lomg as the person doesn’t give into his/her homosexual tendencies in actual homosexual acts.

  • Kelly

    Actually, plenty of Christians who are also gay, from the Bishop of New Hampshire to the Lutheran Pastor down the road from my house, to my neighbors, and some of my favorite cousins are just that, Gay, in relationships that are monogomous, loving and faithful.

    You are asking the wrong question. The real question is, “Why are any Gay people concerned with the homophobic opinions of fundamentalists, when older, more historic and better educated denominations that USED to think this way do not anymore, would welcome them and have made a far more intellectual intersting, Christian, and gracious understanding that they and their relationships are not inherently sinful just because they are gay?”

    Happily, that is the question most of the gay Christians I know, and people who are looking for a church but who are not in one yet, including most of the ones I know raised Baptist, are now asking.

  • Mark

    You cannot be a true believer and be in an unrepentant homosexual relationship. Just like you cannot be a true believer and be an unrepentant thief.

  • Derek

    You are part of a tradition that dates much further back than the mainline denominations. Jesus spoke of this ancient tradition and lineage in Revelation 2:14.

  • Chris

    Yes Kelly and I am sure that the lying Christians are much more comfortable around other liars, or the thieving Christian’s are much more comfortable around other thieves.

    The real question as a Christian leader is how can anyone encourage someone to increase their self and decrease Christ?

    How can anyone identify themselves by their sexuality while still identify themselves with Christ?

    You seem to be happy with a question that can only lead people away from the faith. It’s one thing to personally abandon God’s word but it’s quite another to lead others to do the same.

  • Tim Warner

    The terms must be defined. Is homosexual a noun or an adjective as used in these discussions? Am I a homosexual Christian? Am I a Christian homosexual? What do you think? What does God think? Is homosexual something I am or something I arbitrarily choose to do? Does homosexuality spring from the deepest part of my constitution, or is it a response to a deeper brokenness? Is it something of which I can repent or is it something which I must control, deny, repress,change? Is it possible to turn the homosexual “switch” off or to turrn the switch to the heterosexual option? If I “AM” homosexual, how can I repent? If I “do” homosexual, I can repent.

  • Kelly

    Mark, Derek, Chris, you are only fundamentalists.

    Learn your place.

    If you cannot make an argument rather than the fundamentalist stupidity of comapring unrelated topics (something that is not a sin, as understood by Christians in better denominations than yours, with things that are) you have nothing to offer people, be they gay or hetero, and your responses to my post make this clear.

    As I said, the question any gay Christian should be asking is why would they even consider belonging to a fundamentalist church?

  • Chris

    Kelly if you want to be taken seriously, and I assume you do, you might want to learn YOUR place first!

    You are less than Christ! Your sexuality is less than Christ! Your opinions are less than Christ! Your desires are less than Christ! Your words are less than Christ!

    Truly come to an understanding of the above and then you might be ready to have a real conversation over this topic!

  • Kelly

    Chris, my opinions on this issue ARE those of Christ. Churches far better educated, more loving, and which addressed issues of racism and misogony FAR faster than your own, have made JUST that point.

    Let that sink in a minute. Or an hour. Or a day. But deal with it. It is reality. There have been a lot of times fundamentalists/conservatives have said just what you have when referring to other topics, and then, later, looked back at their words and had to cringe.

    There is nothing left to discuss on this topic.

    It is a topic like racism, or the status of slavery. It is settled. I am right. My denomination and the others listed are right. And you and yours are wrong.

    Period. End of discussion among educated and tolerant Christian people. I don’t bother to discuss why slavery is wrong, or racism is wrong, or why the earth is not flat either.

    You and the Southern Baptist churches have nothing to offer Christians or non Christians, gay or straight on this topic. Except, from the experiences I have heard from gay people and their families who were once in your denomination, hurt and pain.

    But, don’t worry. Just like on slavery and racism, your grandkids will come around. Just (as it did with those topics) a lot slower than the rest of us. Hey, we can already see it happening.

    In the meantime, when the Southern Baptists and others put out such homophobic nonsense as this author has, the rest of us will be pointing out that the Baptists do not speak for Church (big C) on this topic.

    Or any other for that matter, and that other churches have different views which are tolerant and welcoming. It is a lot harder to be tolerant, and grow, but, it is what God calls us to do, not take the easy path and play to the discomfort many people were raised with on this topic.

    Once again, the question any gay Christian should be asking is why would they even consider belonging to a fundamentalist church?

  • Chris

    Poor Kelly! Don’t you know the last ditch effort of someone with the weakest position is to claim “I am right! Period!”?

    It show’s how out of touch you really are! You are right in the heart of the enemies deception and you don’t even know it! How tragic and sad!

    You talk about the easy path and do not even realize that you are the one who is on it!

    I do believe that the church will move towards what you call “tolerance”( but in reality is compromise) for a bit of time. While the younger generation right now, due to their immaturity and lack of life experience, has a “live and let live” attitude, the truth that heterosexuality is Gods design and best plan for humanity will become abundantly clear to most of them (truth always wins out.)

    Sorry Kelly but your “revolution” has already failed!

  • Tim Warner

    The deeper thinkers on this issue, who are Christians and who are scripturally literate have to somehow come to a conclusion. God does NOT have two anti-thetical wills, one for “pro-gay” Christians and one for “anti-gay”Christians. So it’s not a matter of fundamentalists versus liberals, it’s a matter of truth versus non-truth. I believe, as one who struggles deeply with my homosexuality as a Christian, that God’s word, God Himself as the Father through revelation in the OT and as the Son, Jesus, and in NT scriptures has clearly shown that while the condiotion of homosexuality is (in my opinion) a perhaps unchangeble result of the fall of man – just as any other result of the fatal flaw of our human sinfulness – this does not mean God sanctions homosexual activity. I struggle with this daily. i lose the battle, I give in, I get up, I cry out to God. This is not an easy battle. I have known years of defeat, and years of -if not exactly victory- at least an abatement of activity. But like the cripple, I will walk only in Heaven…free of the results of sin, and free of my own sin.

  • Chris

    Praying for you Tim! Know that your struggle and pain brings you closer to Christ!

    “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

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