Gay sex, monogamy, prostitution, & sin
London. Beginning Dec 5, 2005, homosexual couples in Britain will be able to enter into into civil partnerships that will be recogized under law hence allowing them to enjoy some benefits such as same tax and inheritance benefits. The Church of England, House of Bishops advised that clergy who intend to enter into this civil partnership must offer assurences to their bishop that they will remain chaste i.e. celibate with no sex. Some in the Anglican communion such as Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev Dr Peter Selby calls this a "grudging and fearful response". Whilst on the opposite end of the spectrum, the Nigerian Anglican Church, Archbishop Peter Akinola, is demanding the suspension of the Church of England over its decision to even allow priests in same sex relatiohsip to register as domestic partners.
The Gay culture has been marked by a need to relook into Christian sexual ethics which are generally defined for the straight Christian community. The Gay community is well known for sexual prosmicuity where Gays have multiple partners. Even when finally settling down into one partner, there is a strong temptation to go outside this monogamous relationship. This is issue is not limited to the GLBT community but is an issue in the straight community. However, Gays are much more vulnerable without the community support and constraint in the straight relatiohsip where the relationship will inevitably involve the two families, and friends. Unlike Gay relationship which are casual in nature with little impact on others, the straight relationships bear much impact to family and friends which constraints the couple from breaking up without due considerations. There are other factors such as bearing a child in wedlock, and having to pay child support and the community shame that follows which will discourage though not prevent an open relationship with multiple partners. Long term Gay relationship are not bounded by marriage and the issues relating to ownership and child custody if a breakdown do occur. Whilst prostitution is common among the straight couples, it is perhaps less in the Gay scene as it is offered free in a mutually consenting manner. Hence, the tendency for Gay breakups and multiple partners during a lifetime is much more common. As society move in the next 50 years to accept Gay relationships and marriages making them more open and transparent, the issues will innevitably change to mirror a straight relatiohsip.
An "open" relationship is so prevalent within the Gay community among men, with notions such as sex buddies, recreational sex, and sexual orgies involving more than two persons. Gays have a very high sexual drive and given no constrain that exist in the straight community (they will do likewise if not) Gays will have a number of partners, who even after a sexual encounter and a breakup will remain good friends. How do we as Gay Christians respond and what is the Word of God on this matter?. What is the purpose of sex? Is sex only for procreation? Is Open sex permissible? What about monogamous sex?.
The Christian fundamentalist have argued that God created sex for procreation. (Gen 4:1). "Now Adam knew Eve ...". The purpose for sex is no doubt for procreation but could it be also to deepen the relationship between two parties. God created Woman out of Man in Gen 2:23. for companionship with men (Gen 2:18). In the same manner sex is to provide this mutual bonding and joining between man and woman. In Gen 2:24, it talks about man and woman becoming one flesh, and indeed in the action of sex, the flesh of man in physically join into woman and the seed of man enters into woman. This union between man and woman through sex extends beyond the physical, to the soul, and spirit, i.e. to the emotions where the two souls between intrinsically intertwined. As such, sex is created to be a very powerful and sacred tool if treated as common to be used in an open manner with many partners would result in damage to all parties concerned. This view of sex was clearly emphasized by Paul in 1st Corithians where many in the church were practising secual immorality and having multiple partners even with prostitues. Paul reminded them through sex just as in Gen 2:24, you are joined to the party you have sex with (1 Cor 6:16). Sex incorrectly used as in the case of sexual immorality is sinning against our own body i.e. it damages and cause harm to our own lives just as our outward sinful actions can cause harm to others. In summary, sex is the method for which God intended to bring and unite two beings into one and causes incredible damage if no long term relationship is intended and the sex is only casual, due to the deep bonding created which will be broken crushing our emotional being. Therefore, sex should be entered into with extreme caution and only for a monogamous long term relationship.
For Christians, there are additional obligations to Jesus Christ. In 1 Cor 6:12, it talks about marriage in the monogamous sense although being lawful i.e. nothing wrong is really not helpful if through our sexual relationship we come under intense physical desires for each other's body which controls us. Through sex, we become very effectionate to each other forgetting in 1 Cor 6:13 that our body is primarily for the Lord and only secondary for our sexual desires. Unlike our relationship with God, this body will one day be destroyed (1 Cor 6:13), and God will create new bodies for us just like Jesus had when we are resurrected (1 Cor 6:!4). In essense as our body belongs to Christ, we are one with Christ, and married to Christ. As we "joined" into God through becomming a Christian by Jesus death and resurrection at the cross of calvary, we become one "flesh" with Christ, and our Spirit is united with Christ intimately such that His Holy Spirit dwells in our body. because of Jesus death at the Cross, He paid for our sins, hence God sees us totally cleansed, spotless. So we have a monogamous relationship with God.
When enter into relationship with a third person (whether monogamous or not), we are joining that one flesh established between God and Us with a third party. If it is a prostitute, the body, spirit, soul of the prostitute will become one with us, hence we are essentially making our entire body a prostitute. In 1 Cor 6:14, we are "forcing" Christ to have sex with a prostitute when we have have sex with one because it is not our body but Christ's. Not only do we damage our emotions, we come against the sanctity, righteousness and holiness of Christ. Therefore, being a Christian imposed a far higher standard of living than a non Christian. As the only cleansed person to God is a Christian, a Gay Christian should be joined together to another Gay Christian only as not to defile Christ. i.e. We cannot be unequally yoked to a non believer whether we are in a straight or gay relationship, the same rules applies. For Gay Christians this is a very difficult rule as there are practically very few Christian gays. Therefore, in 1 Cor 7:1, with all the issues and problems pertaining to sexual relationships, Paul exalts us not to enter into one if we could. But knowing the practical impossibility of this (1 Cor 7:2), we can have a husband or wife but know that once we are married or joined together in sex, we own each other (1 Cor 7:3-5). So for Paul being married in a monogamous relationship is not the best but is permissible as a concession to our natural desires (1Cor 7:6) and therefore not a commandment.
There are many who uses the "Love Commandment" as a guiding principle in sexual relationship. The commandment to love God with all our hearts and soul and to love others as ourselves are clearly violated with open sex and even having a monogamous relationship with a non christian. As Gay Christians by having Open sex, we are damaging our emotions as sex brings about a joining of our spirits and soul and if this is casual then damage would occur when we break this link soon after sex. We are not loving ourselves neither are we loving others. Even if there is mutual consent and we as gays believe we can separate our physical and emotional areas of our lives, in truth our whole body is intrically linked, and whether we like it or not, damage is being done. When we enter into relationship with non Christians, we are defiling Christ as we are joining what is Holy into what that has not been cleansed by the blood of the lamb and shows disregard to the supremacy of Christ in our lives. However, the "Love Commandment" was not a commandment to Christians. It was in the context of a teaser question to a Jewish man which was to bring him into frustration of knowing that one can never fully love others nor God hence bring Jesus death and resurrection into focus. If it is by the "Love Commandment" we would have truly failed and give all sorts of reasons to justify our failures such as "we are all sinners". We do not understand that by Jesus death a greater guideline prevails and that is God's underserved mercy and grace.
We see God's grace and mercy in the areas of sexual relationships in 1 Cor 7:12-16. In 1 Cor 7:12 even though we have an existing relationship between a Christian and a Non-Christian which is essentially "living in sin" by joining our body which is of God to what is uncleaned (though sex). Yet, God is so good. Because of Jesus, His mercy endureth and God saw our love and comitment to those that we are having a long term relationship with even though they may be non Christians and God accepted them because He saw that our sin has been forgiven once and for all. our continuing transgressions are paid at the cross of calvary. And God went beyond just tacit acceptance. Through His Grace giving us what we do not deserved, God blessed our seemingly immoral relationship. In 1 Cor 7:14, instead of condemnation, God blesses that relationship. Even though what is joined now to "God" in a threesome relationship is uncleaned, God is willing to bless the relationship and make it as though it is "clean". God's love for us, His grace is so amazing that He had full consideration of the desires of our hearts. In the Corinthian Church in AD50, there were not many believers,and many would have husbands or wives who were not yet believers but God has called us by His abundnant grace and mercy to bring peace into that relationship that they too might ultimately know Him (1 Cor 7:16). In AD 2005, in Singapore, the number of Gay Christians are even far less. Gay Christians are unlikely statistically to ever be able to find a Gay Christian partner. Yet, the call of God today is that He will indeed bless those relationships that we are in today even with non Christians for He is a good God and will bring good out of these circumstances.
In summary, as Gay Christians let us enter into Christ honoring relationships in a long term comitted monogamous relationship with another Gay Christian to avoid the emotional damage and destruction to ourselves and to ensure that we give Christ due honor and rememberence as the "owner" of our bodies by commiting our relationship to a Christian believer as not to defile the sanctity of Christ. But let us also be guided by God's amazing grace and mercy knowing that He will indeed bless the existing relationships that we have even with non Gay Christians.