0. Introduction

This, then, is the fruit of my confessions (not of what I was, but of what I am), that I may not confess this before thee alone, in a secret exultation with trembling and a secret sorrow with hope, but also in the ears of the believing sons of men–who are the companions of my joy and sharers of my mortality, my fellow citizens and fellow pilgrims–those who have gone before and those who are to follow after, as well as the comrades of my present way.

– The Confessions of Saint Augustine

In this, my very first blog post ever, I feel like I have so much I want to say.  A lifetime’s worth of experiences, thoughts, and feelings regarding faith and sexuality that have largely been left unsaid.  But all in due course.  Instead, let me convey what I hope this blog will be about.

I am an evangelical Christian man with same sex sexual attractions who believes that God calls His people to experience sexual intimacy only in the context of a heterosexual marriage.  I have sought to live faithfully to this conviction, which has meant forgoing marital relations.  While the pursuit of chaste living is a struggle in itself, this pursuit has been made more difficult by the silence and scorn of the evangelical Church of which I am a part.  The church cannot fulfill its role to be an instrument of Christ’s grace for its homosexual and bisexual members unless the church brings to light and destigmatizes this very real issue.  My prayer is that this new blog will be a drop in a stream of open conversation about homosexuality that will make the church more true to its Christ-given mission.  My hope is that my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ with same sex sexual attractions who struggle in silence will be encouraged and emboldened.

A few words on the title of this blog, Confessions of a Gay Evangelical Christian.  “Christian” is the single term that I identify with.  By it, I mean a person who has put their hope and trust solely in Jesus for their salvation, a person who has been called by God to be a child of God through Jesus His only begotten Son.  While the term “evangelical” can have many different connotations, including theological, social, and political, I use it in a particular way, namely a segment of the Protestant church that believes in the orthodox doctrines of the church including inerrancy and authority of scripture, original sin and brokenness in today’s world, and salvation through the historic Jesus alone.  I disavow any social and political implications of this term.  The word “gay” can be controversial within the evangelical church, and I hesitated using it.  By “gay”, I only mean having sexual attractions toward the same sex.  As used in the title, it does not connote any behavior or social/political association.  I’ll address this issue more in a future post.  Finally, I use the term “confessions” in its two recognized meanings.  The first definition is “a formal admission of one’s sins with repentance and desire of absolution“.  Same sex sexual attraction is an area of my life fraught with sin and temptations to sin, and I look to share my struggles and the absolution I have received.  The second definition is “a statement setting out essential religious doctrine”.  Same sex sexual attraction has generated much theological controversy, and sorting through some of these will be an important part of this blog.

Here starts the journey.  A journey of truth.  A journey of hope.  A journey of redemption.  To God be the glory.

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About coagec

I am a single Christian man with same sex sexual attractions who believes in traditional sexual ethics. My relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in my life. My church home is with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). I love my work as a physician, as I get to participate in God's work of healing.
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21 Responses to 0. Introduction

  1. Josh W says:

    I wish you good luck in your blogging. While I’m on the other side of the Tiber, I’m in the same (or similar) place as you, SSA-wise. This is a good time to get our stories out there!

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    • coagec says:

      Thanks Josh for your support! I only just realized that I need to approve comments; hence, the delay in approving it. Sorry, still learning the system!

      Like

  2. ahcontraire says:

    OK, if you say you are a Christian, and also a physician, why not have a public dialog on the medical safety of Sodomy, gay and straight, and ask these two simple medical questions?

    That is, Doesn’t the medical community recommend that you, “Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.”?

    Yet, now there are some in the medical community that now say it’s OK to “Sleep with the waste that gets flushed down in the toilet?” and that it’s possible to live a perfectly normal life.

    You are a physician, correct?

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  3. coagec says:

    Thanks for your comment ahcontraire. I am indeed a physician, and I intend to discuss health issues relating to homosexuality in due course, including the topic you raised. My current focus is on presenting the most pertinent aspects of homosexuality in my life, but as the blog matures, I will venture into other issues that haven’t been as relevant to my experience.

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  4. Denver Todd says:

    I understand how you are defining your terms, but “gay” really does have a socio-political definition, and you are lumping yourself in with the everyone else who uses the term. If you really mean same sex attracted, then why don’t you use that term?

    If you are part of the PCA, then you are in a church that is moving toward acceptance of sodomy and same sex marriage. Silence and scorn is just not as prevalent as you think. Perhaps celebration and acceptance is more like it.

    Please be careful of using the term “evangelical.” It really does define a set of doctrinal beliefs. For example, if you believe that a person is called by God to be a child of God, then you that is not Evangelical doctrine. That is called election, and it is part of reformed doctrine, not evangelical doctrine. The evangelical church is not confessional. They don’t subscribe to any confession, and the use of confessional snippets within the evangelical church, like yours form Saint Augustine, is purely trendy.

    The Belgic Confession defines a true church as where you will receive true preaching, administration of the sacraments, and church discipline. That last one is the hardest. What is the last time you hear of that in the wider Evangelical church, let alone your own particular church? I would propose that true church discipline would be lightyears more effective than silent suffering.

    Eschewing sodomitic relations in favor of celibacy is good, but is it good enough? I will propose that all men are called to marriage, even those who are same sex attracted. Wise church leadership would support this, and I would challenge you to start considering yourself pre-married rather than gay.

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    • coagec says:

      Thank you Denver Todd for your comment. I intend to explore many of the issues you raised in future blog posts, but I will provide some brief thoughts currently. I believe terms such as “gay” and “evangelical” do not have a single definition but rather can mean different things in different contexts. This is why I specified how I will use the terms in this blog. The PCA, unlike PCUSA which recently approved gay marriage, maintains orthodox doctrines on sexuality. The current official position, which is unlikely to change in foreseeable future is:

      “Homosexual practice is sin. The Bible teaches that all particular sins flow from our rebellious disposition of heart. Just as with any other sin, the PCA deals with people in a pastoral way, seeking to transform their lifestyle through the power of the gospel as applied by the Holy Spirit. Hence, in condemning homosexual practice we claim no self-righteousness, but recognize that any and all sin is equally heinous in the sight of a holy God.”

      I really appreciate my denomination’s affirmation of orthodox teachings on sexuality with recognition that homosexual acts are no worse than any other sin. However, PCA like all other evangelical denominations has much work to do to put into practice the parity among all sins and equal standing of homosexuals before God. This is why the church discipline you noted currently falls short of how Christ would minister to homosexuals and why most evangelical Christians with same sex attractions suffer in silence. As to your exhortation to consider myself premarried rather than gay, I must decline as I believe scripture calls us to be disciples of Christ first and foremost and teaches we are complete in Christ regardless of marriage. In any case, I am already “married” as the church is the bride of Christ.

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  5. John says:

    Looking forward to more dialog and insight. Thank you for the encouragement. Keep it up. Thanks also for all the others taking the time to comment.

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  6. Amy says:

    Your courage is commendable and I look forward to reading more!

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  7. Chinwe says:

    I found this blog very randomly, but I also wanted to encourage you in this effort. I’m sure it can’t be easy but I pray for encouragement, wisdom, strength and faith for you. God’s Grace to you!

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    • coagec says:

      Thanks for your encouragement Chinwe! I feel very blessed to be able to share my story regarding same sex attractions. Ultimately, it’s more about God’s gracious work in my life rather than my own strivings, so I hope to be able to tell His story faithfully.

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    • Look it’s my friend Chinwe! I find you in interesting places.

      I too ran across this blog and was interested to read. Look forward to reading more. Let us know how to pray for you.

      Like

  8. Dave Farmer says:

    I stumbled across your blog from your comment and David Gushee’s Part 4 post on ABP/RH. I noted above the question as to whether you should call yourself gay. I thought I would point out some statistically relevant research performed by the Gay Christian Network on how gay and straight Christians aren’t using the same language. The link is a short video summarizing the findings. It points out the gap and demonstrates the importance of understanding what gay people mean by the word gay (sexual attraction that may not reflect actual sexual behavior). Understanding this can help with the conversation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpdsdk6J00E

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    • John Gallegos says:

      Dear Friends and Family,     Regarding Gay issues, we have a golden opportunity to show the world what we are against stand what we are for (much harder).     Please consider looking at this very new blog and making some thoughtful comments.  If you are not familiar with the idea of Side A vs Side B, then

      the You Tube post  mention below does an excellent job of explaining. Have a good and Godly day. John

        “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” Friedrich Neitzsche

      ________________________________

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    • coagec says:

      Thank you for your comment Dave. There indeed is confusion and misunderstanding regarding the term “gay”, which is why I specified my definition for the purposes of this blog. I plan on addressing this issue in a future post.

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  9. John says:

    Thank you the you tube video was helpful.

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  10. Dave Farmer says:

    As a Side A, gay Christian, I knew there was some disconnect in understanding terminology, but quite frankly, I was shocked the difference was as great as reflected in the research.

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    • coagec says:

      Well, I believe communication is important to bridging the gap. One of my hopes for this blog is that some of the misunderstandings about gay Christians would be cleared up.

      Like

  11. Scott says:

    Just wanted to encourage you in this blog. Although I have a long list of issues from my own fallen condition, SSA is not one of them. All the same, a great many of my friends do and their response has covered the spectrum from denial to embracing to anywhere in-between. In an attempt to learn to live both faithfully and graciously in this rapidly changing culture, I’ve been returning to this topic regularly for refining and improvement. From the little I’ve read so far (came across a link you posted in a TGC comment), I’m excited to see your thoughts, experiences and wisdom on how to better pray for, live with and come lovingly alongside my friends in a similar situation. Given your experience, you may already be well acquainted with Peter Hubbard’s “Love into Light” (http://www.amazon.com/Love-Into-Light-Gospel-Homosexual-ebook/dp/B00DHR7KMY) but I’ve found it to be an excellent read that may very well dovetail nicely with your experiences. May God bless you and keep you as seek to humble yourself and live transparently in front of Him — I’m encouraged and challenged by your adventure in this blog!

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    • coagec says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words! I am hopeful of the good work God is doing and will do in His church to make the gospel more present in how homosexuality is addressed by the church.

      Like

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