Joshua Gordon

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Guelph, Ontario, Canada
I live in Guelph - an artsy, tree hugging university town in Ontario. I work hard to be a creative and innovative influence in the places I find myself. Most of the time that looks like networking with other creatives, researching, or filling up my sketchbook / journal with ideas.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shoot Yourself in the Foot Day.

All right. I've decided that today is hot-button topic day, also known as Shoot Yourself in the Foot Day. For your information, SYITF day is whenever I decide it is and there may or may not be recurring SYITF days to follow.

I'm not totally sure of where I stand on homosexuality. As a Christian, I know that many of my fellow believers state that the Bible is extremely clear on this issue, and I understand where they are coming from. There are numerous verses that do speak with great clarity to this issue. However, I am also aware that during the American Civil War, many Christians also said that the Bible clearly condoned human slavery. Scripture can be twisted and misunderstood, especially because of fear. I'm not so quick to jump on the Christian 'condemnation bandwagon'.

That being said, I earnestly desire to follow God with both my life and my belief system. I also firmly believe in applying the full strength of my mental capability to the issues that I encounter. So:

Thought #1
Gary Thomas wrote a fantastic book called Sacred Marriage. The central tenet of his work is that God intended for marriage to make us more holy, not more happy. Marriage's purpose is first and foremost to make us more Christlike. Through our spouse, God reveals to us the areas of our lives that need to change. As we learn to love, to live with anothers best interests placed ahead of our own, we grow.

Though #2
A while ago, I saw part of an Oprah episode. It was an accident, I promise. Anyway, Oprah was interviewing a woman who'd been straight her entire life. She went through a divorce in her early 40's, and in the wake of her disillusionment, decided to experiment with a same-sex relationship. I watched as she told Oprah how incredible it was to be with another woman. She talked of the intuitive understanding she had for for her partner. She glowingly described the intimacy they shared that grew intrinsically from their shared womanhood. She said she knew she was born a lesbian because none of her straight relationships were ever this easy. A thought suddenly flashed into my mind: Of course same-sex relationships are easy. They're both women, and they automatically understand one another in ways that a man never could. I was, quite honestly, extremely surprised by that thought. Immediately on its heels, though, came another.

Thought #3
I wonder if the potential for spiritual and personal growth in same-sex relationships gets short circuited. In my experience with my wife, I've had to learn to completely overhaul my thinking process. Sexuality is a perfect example. I am definitely visually oriented. Sarah definitely is not - if she was, she probably wouldn't have married me. I am definitely not emotionally oriented. Sarah definitely is. In our sex life, I try to the best of my ability to meet Sarah's emotional needs. She in turn, works to adjust to me. Through this conflict-readjustment process, Sarah and I sacrifice our natural way of thinking - our default settings, if you will - in order to more fully love each other.

Wrap Up
Because I love Sarah, I force myself to learn and do things that don't come naturally to me - so I can fulfill Sarah's unique needs as a woman . Because Sarah loves me, she also works hard to change her mindset in order to complement me as a man. I believe that because of this re-orientation I've become a better husband, and I am more like Christ.I suggest that healthy male-female relationships inspire spiritual and personal growth that is unmatched.

There, I've just shot myself in the foot.


B. Nagel said...

ONE of the thoughts that has stuck with me most fiercely from pre-marital counseling is the need in marriage to die to each other as you die to Christ. To grow together as you grow each other.

Peter said...

Something to keep in mind, (American-style) slavery as it was taught to us is very different than biblical slavery. "Old-testament" slaves could own property, and (ignoring such cases as Joseph's, which I would consider to be a different crime on the part of his brothers) had some measure of control in whether or not they became slaves in the first place (by avoiding debts and crime). This is very different than (as the Americans did to Africans) being dragged from your bed away from your family and tossed on a boat and taken to a place where you have no rights what-so-ever.

As for homosexuality, before any condemn, I direct you to John 8. Lead others as Christ did - love them first.

Joshua Gordon said...

That's interesting, Peter. Jesus told us (John 13:35) that our christian 'trademark' should be our love for one another. I am sad that Christianity is today synonymous with intolerance, homophobia, and cultural paranoia.
Jesus didn't say that people would know we were His followers because we are right. We should strive to be known for our love.