I read an article last week by John Pavlovitz. John and I have never met, but I’d like to change that someday. I like the way he writes, I like the way he thinks, and I think we’d get along pretty well. This particular article was featured on Huffington Post. Overall, I thought it was essentially good. I agreed with many of the things he said, and resonated with a lot of his challenge to the rest of us straight, Christian folks.
But then he completely lost me in the last two paragraphs. In something that has become something of a theme in my reading and thinking on the topic of Biblically faithful Christianity and the LGBT community, Pavlovitz writes something beautiful, and then takes it just one step too far. Here’s what he says:
They are choosing to be the most honest, authentic versions of themselves. They are choosing to be led by the unfiltered direction of their hearts, just as you and I are. They are choosing to relent to the things that in all of our lives, never can be chosen.
The only relevant choices for straight Christians are whether or not we will treat the LGBT community as fully complex, intelligent, emotionally intricate human beings; and whether or not we will be willing to examine both our personal opinions and our theology accordingly.
Again, I really enjoyed and agreed with the majority, the vast majority even, of Pavlovitz’s post. But this goes just one step too far. Here’s where, and why.
I am a heterosexual male. Married to a wonderful woman, with nearly three kids. While it’s true that I never made a conscious choice to be straight, I make conscious choices about my sexuality every day. For example, it’s perfectly normal and natural that I have a physical desire to sleep with (or, if you rather: mate with, procreate with) women other than my wife. There are even some that believe this is good for the gene pool and, indeed, our species.
But it’s not how God designed marriage or sexuality that is a part of a covenental marriage. Pavlovitz says that the choice LGBT people make is simply one to be their most authentic selves, and: “To be led by the unfiltered direction of their hearts.” My friends, we know that to follow the unfiltered direction of our hearts BEFORE they are changed by Jesus and the Gospel is to follow them to our own destruction. Before we are saved, we are slaves to our sin. That’s true whether you’re gay OR straight.
Pavlovitz is right about one thing: we, as Christians, must do a better job of understanding our LGBT friends and brothers and sisters. We must not simply reduce this issue to “plumbing”. But what Pavlovitz suggests is just one step too far.