Vicky Beeching’s decision to come out publicly as a lesbian is so important because she is such a prominent figure in evangelical circles. As I mentioned on this blog yesterday, there is good evidence that the news has given many other gay Christians the confidence to come out.
Of course, there have been comings-out before this, including among evangelicals. Sally Hitchiner, an evangelical Church of England priest, was outed as gay on national television last month. I confidently predict that the number of comings-out, among Christians generally and evangelicals in particular, will increase over the next few months.
The phrase “coming out” tends to be used as short hand for “coming out as gay”. I find this slightly irritating, as there are lots of things you can came out as, whether to do with sexuality or otherwise. I hope we will also hear about the coming out of bisexual, asexual, trans and other Christians who have been wrongly excluded from equal inclusion in the Christian Church.
I admit this desire is influenced by the fact that I am bisexual. I know lots of bisexual Christians, but I cannot think of any prominent Christians in the UK who are openly bisexual (please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this).
Sadly, much of the media, and even parts of the LGBT movement, seem to regard “bisexual” as simply a variant on “gay”, and barely worthy of being mentioned in its own right. I’ve been introduced on the radio as a “bisexual Christian writer”, only to be described as “gay” a moment later by the same presenter who has introduced me. While most gay and lesbian people are very supportive of bisexual people’s rights, there are a small number of gay people who are just as prejudiced against bisexuals as any homophobe is against gays.
I sometimes come across Christians who say they are OK with people being gay but have a problem with bisexuality. In some cases, this is because they believe that gay people “can’t help” being like that, but bisexuals could simply choose to enter only a mixed-sex relationship. This is as offensive to gay people as to bisexuals, implying that attraction to members of the same sex is some sort of pitiable condition.
All these issues relate not only to whether LGBT people are given equal inclusion in the Christian Church, but why they should be. There are a range of arguments in favour of equality and inclusion, some of them contradictory. Pro-equality Christians hold the views they do for varied reasons and I sometimes find myself disagreeing with liberal Christians on sexuality just as much as conservative ones.
The more Christians talk about their varied sexualities and gender identities, the more it will be possible to have a real discussion on Christian sexual morality and how it relates to life, faith, ethics and politics today.
Prior to becoming Christian I was bi-sexual. I could now fall into lust with a woman or a man but because I fear and love God and believe the Bible is the word of God I refrain from my fleshes natural desirer
Thanks for your comment, Emily.
Could you not also fall in love with a woman or a man?
Probably. I love my female friends fiercely. Some women inspire and amaze me. I think romantic love, unrestrained by the love of God can be or become sinful quickly and outside of God’s ordained relationships which are clearly outlined in the word as between a man and a woman, are sinful. I imagine I could also be in love with two men. And this may sound vulgar but I could also fall for someone far too young to be proper or legal. I’m just saying, as a former prostitute I am well aware of human depravity. But even prior to all that, as a child in second grade, not even knowing about sex, messed around with my girlfriend. It could be said I was ‘born that way,’ but then in all fairness I would have to mention other thing, not appropriate to even mention on a blog of something I experimented with only a couple of years later. I also was born a liar and a thief. I am not being flippant about the very real struggle and complicated issues involving human sexuality. I do not envy anyone that struggles with same sex attraction or identity confusion. But as Christians are identities should be in Christ alone. Celibacy and refraining from lust or ungodly romantic relationships are possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. Will it be easy? No. An extremely heavy cross to bear for some but life here on earth is fleeting. We are here to glorify God and a marriage between a man and a woman is Gods idea. I welcome all people in the church. I don’t believe people living in homosexual sin any worse than this living in heterosexual sin. I just know that no matter how unpopular or difficult truth is, it does not cease being the truth. I am single and celibate. By the grace of God alone. It’s my reasonable act if worship to offer my body as a living sacrifice. Its important as believers to embrace people, but not their sin. It’s doing God and people a grave disservice when Christians condone sin because people are born in a certain condition, because its deception. I personally would rather suffer the loss of romantic love and sex for the rest of my life then knowingly live in sin. I know better so I have no excuse. But hoping and believing for that God ordained husband.
I apologize for all the grammatical errors. I wanted to add why I think its a disservice to people to accept this type of relational/sexual sin, because it denies people hope for true freedom. It is impossible to experience true freedom while bound in sin no matter how many people believe it is not sin. It took me 9 years and lots of fasting, prayer, pain and internal conflict (only God knows why it took me so long to finally recieve the freedom Christ died for me to have) but I am now free in that area of my life. It’s probably because it took me that long to finally understand that I am now a completely new creation in Christ, old things have passed away. If people dont know the truth they have no hope of reprogramming their minds to believe the truth. It’s the truth that sets us free.
Surely this is a non-issue for Christians because of the fact that the only ethical Christian sexual relationship is a lifelong, monogamous one?
A heterosexual Christian will want that relationship to be with someone of the opposite sex; a homosexual Christian with someone of the same sex.
A bisexual Christian could have that relationship, in theory, with someone of either sex, but in practice they will have to pick one or the other for their lifelong monogamous partner, or behaving unethically as Christians by having multiple sexual partners (either concurrently or serially).