Your World:Sex and Saints
They saw homosexuality as a matter-of-fact impediment, one example among many, and not an object of special loathing. Rather, chastity was a shining object of joy. I could hear themes of the walled garden and of keeping oneself pure, even at the cost of death.
But my own garden I have not kept. Living in an oversexualized culture, I can barely comprehend purity. It is as if the borders of my garden are trampled and destroyed, and I can only walk the edges and imagine what God meant to be there, and what older brothers and sisters in the faith so readily saw and loved.
A narrow-focus fight against homosexuality, couched in Bible proof-texts, misses the point. We need to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the beauty of chastity, and we can begin by admitting that it is something we only dimly understand. Rather than trying to think for ourselves, we should listen to the community of faith before us, around the world and through time. They knew something we didn't know.
We live in a reckless age that is amnesic and self-fascinated. Welding together fresh opinions in the basement will not solve this problem. We need to take the time to listen to the wisdom of our forebears in faith—and, harder still, to find the courage to put it into practice. If they are right, in practicing chastity we will begin to experience healing joy. Then, perhaps, we'll find the words for it.
Larry Holben's What Christians Think About Homosexuality is available from Amazon and other book retailers.
Frederica Mathewes-Green also authored last week's Books & Culture Corner: "My Cab Ride With Gloria | Meeting a legend, tearfully." (Mar. 3, 2000)
Visit Frederica Mathewes-Green's Web site at www.frederica.com
Earlier "Your World" columns by Frederica Mathewes-Green columns include:
- Psalm 23 and All That (Feb. 15, 2000)
- The Abortion Debate Is Over (Dec. 28, 1999)
- The Thrill of Naughtiness (September 6, 1999)
- Escape from Fantasy Island (July 12, 1999)
- Men Need Church, Too (May 24, 1999)
- My Spice Girl Moment (January 11, 1999)
- Moms in the Crossfire (October 26, 1998)
- Gagging on Shiny, Happy People (September 7, 1998)
- Whatever Happened to Middle-Class Hypocrisy? (July 13, 1998)
- I Didn't Mean to be Rude (May 18, 1998)
- So I'm Sorry Already (April 6, 1998)
- Don't Blame the Publishers! (February 9, 1998)
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