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Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality Paperback – September 27, 2010
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From the Back Cover
This is a book written primarily for gay Christians and those who love them. Part memoir, part pastoral-theological reflection, this book wrestles with three main areas of struggle that many gay Christians face: (1) What is God's will for sexuality?(2) If the historic Christian tradition is right and same-sex behavior is ruled out, how should gay Christians deal with their resulting loneliness? (3) How can gay Christians come to an experience of grace that rescues them from crippling feelings of shame and guilt?Author Wesley Hill is not advocating that it is possible for every gay Christian to become straight, nor is he saying that God affirms homosexuality. Instead, Hill comes alongside gay Christians and says, 'You are not alone. Here is my experience; it's like yours. And God is with us. We can share in God's grace.' While some authors profess a deep faith in Christ and claim a powerful experience of the Holy Spirit precisely in and through their homosexual practice, Hill's own story, by contrast, is a story of feeling spiritually hindered, rather than helped, by his homosexuality. His story testifies that homosexuality was not God's original creative intention for humanity---that it is, on the contrary, a tragic sign of human nature and relationships being fractured by sin---and therefore that homosexual practice goes against God's express will for all human beings, especially those who trust in Christ. This book is written mainly for those homosexual Christians who are trying to walk the narrow path of celibacy and are convinced that their discipleship to Jesus necessarily commits them to the demanding, costly obedience of choosing not to nurture their homosexual desires. With reflections from the lives of Henri Nouwen and Gerard Manley Hopkins, Wesley Hill encourages and challenges Christians with homosexual desires to live faithful to God's plan for human sexuality.
About the Author
Wesley Hill (PhD, Durham University, UK) is assistant professor of biblical studies at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality (Zondervan, 2010), Paul and the Trinity?: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters? (Eerdmans, 2015), and Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian (Brazos, 2015). He is on the editorial board for Christianity Today and writes regularly for that magazine as well as for Books & Culture, First Things, and other publications.
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However, the one thing I vehemently disagree with is his notion that he, and men like him, are “celibate gay Christians”. Nothing could be further from the truth. A Christian who thinks he's "a celibate homosexual" is truly neither. If such a man is celibate, then he is celibate. If he is celibate with homosexual desires, then he is not a homosexual any more than a person who is tempted to drink alcohol every day, but doesn't, is an alcoholic. To be Christian and have homosexual desires does not make one a "gay Christian", he is simply a Christian with sinful desires like us all. Who reading this thinks that they "are" what they "desire", though they abstain because the Word of God instructs us to, and for our own good? As our Creator, God knows what he made us for, and attempting to mate with the same gender is not it. God has created no one as a homosexual being, and no one is "born gay". They gay community can chant that all they want, but that doesn’t make it true. Truth is not found in intimidation.
We are, however, all born sinners and are all subject to be tempted to pursue any of a variety of sins that violate Gods design for us. I firmly believe that some Christian people are to some degree same-gender attracted, many married men are, but that simply does not make them a homosexual. "Attraction" does not always necessarily have to mean a physical or sexual attraction. When young people today feel a strong attraction to a same gender friend, they quickly assume they must be "gay", which the homosexual community are quick to help affirm, and many end up following the lie that they come to believe about themselves. Homosexuality is Satan’s lie about Gods Creation, and I for one have no desire to test God. Life is temporary. Eternity is forever. Why does sin make us so shortsighted such that we demand to give into any temptation that plagues us? If the Christian is tempted to have what he does not possess, why not be tempted to possess self-control? If we all gave in to what tempts us, earth would not be “diverse and tolerant”, it would be hell.
I would recommend Washed and Waiting for everyone wanting a better understanding of what it is like to have same sex attraction and still be in fellowship with the evangelical community. My prayer is that we might all grow in our love for one another that church will be welcoming to all - regardless of their particular struggles.