Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More on gay celibacy

By gay I mean a person who is same sex attracted. There are Christians who consider same sex attraction to be an inescapable fact about themselves, and not a sin in itself. However, in obedience to Christ, they maintain that they are obligated as a matter of obedience to Christ to live celibate lives. 

It is possible to hold that homosexual acts are sinful, and something to be ashamed of, but homosexual orientation is not. 

I am very sympathetic to the orientation/act distinction. One of the things that has fueled the gay rights movement has been the perceived failure of Exodus International. Biblical injunctions seem exclusively directed toward homosexual acts, not homosexual orientation. But charges of prejudice make sense only if what one is accused of prejudice against is something about which one has no choice. We can choose our actions, even if we can't choose our orientation. 

See Wesley Hill's discussion here. 

15 comments:

John Moore said...

How do you explain Matthew 5:28 - "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a [person] lustfully has already committed adultery with [him/her] in his heart"?

Hal said...

Would a kleptomaniac who realized stealing was wrong be proud to be a kleptomaniac?

Ilíon said...

"By [mad] I mean a person who is [wrothful]. There are Christians who consider [wroth] to be an inescapable fact about themselves, and not a sin in itself. However, in obedience to Christ, they maintain that they are obligated as a matter of obedience to Christ to live [apathetic] lives.

It is possible to hold that [wrothful] acts are sinful, and something to be ashamed of, but [wrothful] orientation is not.

I am very sympathetic to the orientation/act distinction ...
"
==============
VR: "But the sin would be an action, not an orientation. The Bible, so far as I can tell, does not condemn homosexual orientation, only homosexual acts."
Does the Sovereign Lord of the universe condemn merely the *act* of murder? Or does he condemn the "orientation" from which the act flows?

Does the Sovereign Lord of the universe condemn merely the *act* of fornication or adultery? Or does he condemn the "orientation" from which the act flows?

Does the Sovereign Lord of the universe condemn merely the *act* of theft? Or does he condemn the "orientation" from which the act flows?

Does the Sovereign Lord of the universe condemn merely the *act* of [insert your favorite sin here]? Or does he condemn the "orientation" from which the act flows?

SteveK said...

Victor,
You've changed the situation here. You've removed the part where the person is proud of their condition (SS attraction). Expect different responses in this post but note that being SS attracted is a *disordered* human condition.

Victor Reppert said...

Proud in this context simply means the lack of shame. One accepts oneself as being gay much as one accepts oneself as having black skin, or blue eyes, or blond hair.

Crude said...

I'll add that same-sex attraction is a disordered desire. But there's more to being gay than that, as the (generally but not totally horrific) LGBT subculture should illustrate.

That gets more complicated. The sodomy and desire for it is disordered, but there's apparently more to same-sex inclination than that. For instance, lesbians tend to be really fat and have hilarious politics. On the upside, there's Milo.

Victor Reppert said...

In people like Wesley Hill, he sees his gayness as evidence of a higher calling to live a celibate life. He takes an unchangeable fact about himself and uses it as a call to do something else with his life.

Ilíon said...

^ The real question is, how does God see the matter? You know, the same real question that he all must face.

Hal said...

llion,
If I were a theist , I would share your view. Of course I think that God would see the matter quite differently than conservative Christians do. Since there is nothing immoral about being gay or engaging in gay sexual acts, He would surely disapprove of those trying to condemn the LGBTQ community and their supporters.

oozzielionel said...

Hal:

I am curious. If you were a theist, how would you go about determining God's view? Would you, like some, rely on God's revelation of himself? Or would you, like others, search deep within yourself? Or, perhaps like others, determine God's view by the prevailing popular opinion?

Ilíon said...

^ "Or would you, like others, search deep within yourself?"

That one. 'Cause, after all, he *is* a theist already. It's just that his god is himself.

Ilíon said...

"Proud in this context simply means the lack of shame. One accepts oneself as being gay much as one accepts oneself as having black skin, or blue eyes, or blond hair."

Really? That's what 'proud' means?

Miguel said...

Dr. Reppert, excuse me if this is slightly off-topic, but are you a member of the Society of Christian Philosophers? And if so, what is your opinion on the recent controversy involving prof. Swinburne's talk about homosexual acts?

For those who don't know, here's a quick summary: the SCP invited Swinburne to give a talk on ethics and sexuality. Prof. Swinburne defended the traditional christian view that homosexual acts are disordered; Michael Rea (current president of the SCP) issued a note "apologizing" for the discussion of such a topic among the SCP, and other members joined in criticizing prof. Swinburne and those who came in his support. Some members have asked for an official apology by the SCP and a note that they would not marginalize or (cotribute to the marginalization of) discussions and defenses of traditional christian morals that may be controversial today. A petition was sent to the SCP asking for an apology to professor Swinburne (signed by philosophrs like Robert Koons, J. P. Moreland, Edward Feser, etc), and in face of the silence and inaction of the SCP some philosophers are cancelling their subscription and association.

I must say I find it deplorable that an organization like the SCP, that at the very least should not marginalize traditional views, would act like this.

Victor Reppert said...

I think that there should be room for disagreement about these issues, and that the deliberate marginalization of any idea (as opposed to mere disagreement) is almost always a bad idea. There are reasons for the traditional position that have to be taken seriously. If they turn out to be mistaken, that is a subject for argumentation. But we need to resist the notion that
gay people need to be protected from moral disapproval. The right to disapprove of someone's actions is as much a right as the right to free speech or the right to marry.

Ilíon said...

^ And yet, you choose to use leftist language, the only purpose of which is to marginalize those who either will not bow to, or are too slow in pivoting to, the latest leftist pieties.