The False Teachings Regarding Celibacy from City Church of San Francisco

The False Teachings Regarding Celibacy from City Church of San Francisco

Here we go again. I’ve seen this issue come up before with other Christians, other churches, who hold all sorts of falsehoods about celibacy.  I will be offering comments and criticisms of the views presented in this letter from a San Francisco Church – a link, with excerpts from the page, is below.

The Bible teaches that abstaining from sexual behavior is for all single persons, regardless if they are hetero, bi-sexual, or homosexual, or of some other orientation.

Furthermore, the Bible does (Link): not teach that God “gifts” people with celibacy or that only some, only a few, will be celibate, or that (Link): life long celibacy is an heroic feat possible for only a minority.

Review a bit of my life story: I am over the age of 45, a hetero-sexual woman who long desired marriage, marriage did not happen for me (and it may never), yet I am a virgin, but God did not remove my sexual desire. I still have a desire for marriage, and also a libido.

If I can remain celibate this long, and I have in fact done so, there is no reason for this San Francisco church to imply it is cruel, impossible, or unrealistic for LGBT persons to remain celibate over a life time.

While being celibate over a lifetime is not always easy, it is in fact possible.

Remaining celibate for a long time comes down to self-control and choice, not some magical rare gifting where-in God only zaps a few people with celibacy and removes a sexual drive. The Bible says all believers in Christ (Link): have self-control but churches such as this one operates under the assumption that this is not so.

(Link): A Letter from the Elder Board of San Francisco

Excerpts:

A Letter From The Elder Board

…..WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THIS NOW?

1. God is bringing LGBT Christians through the doors of City Church.
As you read this perhaps you, your friend, or family member are one of them. They desire to follow Jesus, and are eager to live faithfully to the gospel and desire spiritual growth. Some have been living celibate lives and want to know if we can talk out loud about this.
Others report they have become Christians at City Church. Some report that while they were raised in the church, they left it, but have returned and experienced great renewal.
And many hope for a life long partnership one day that will fulfill their basic human need of belonging, companionship, and intimacy.
Others are already married or partnered and know this is a safe place for them to grow in their relationship.

2. Our pastoral practice of demanding life-long “celibacy”, by which we meant that for the rest of your life you would not engage your sexual orientation in any way, was causing obvious harm and has not led to human flourishing.
(It’s unfortunate that we used the word “celibacy” to describe a demand placed on others, as in Scripture it is, according to both Jesus and Paul, a special gift or calling by God, not an option for everyone). In fact, over the years, the stories of harm caused by this pastoral practice began to accumulate.
Our pastoral conversations and social science research indicate skyrocketing rates of depression, suicide, and addiction among those who identify as LGBT. The generally unintended consequence has been to leave many people feeling deeply damaged, distorted, unlovable, unacceptable, and perverted. Imagine feeling this from your family or religious community:
“If you stay, you must accept celibacy with no hope that you too might one day enjoy the fullness of intellectual, spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical companionship. If you pursue a lifelong partnership, you are rejected.” This is simply not working and people are being hurt. We must listen and respond.

3. We feel a growing sense that this counsel is not necessarily the way of the gospel.
While members of the LGBT community have always been welcome at City Church, we prevented people from joining our church if they were unwilling or unable to practice lifelong celibacy. ….

..SUMMARY: WHAT HAS ACTUALLY CHANGED HERE?

…On the other hand, we want to be clear what this now means. We will no longer discriminate based on sexual orientation and demand lifelong celibacy as a precondition for joining. For all members, regardless of sexual orientation, we will continue to expect chastity in singleness until marriage.

/// end excerpts from City Church web page

If your church position is that any and all sexual behavior is fine and peachy, so long as the person is married, AND you’re arguing you are now hunky dory with homosexuality, that would mean, I take it, that you are saying  you are fine with LGBT marriage, and are saying LGBT persons may have same-sex relations so long as they are married to their same-sex partner?

And what if marriage never happens?

I’ll tell you what happens and what should happen:

The person has to remain celibate, if they claim to be a Christian who wants to respect God, God’s morals, and what the Bible has to say about it.

Look, guys at San Fran church, I would dearly love to marry, but no “Mr. Right” is materializing on my front door step.

I may never marry.

If I were still completely a Christian (I am quasi agnostic currently), I’d have to sexually abstain. And I am HETERO. You should expect no less from LGBT persons.

In my time blogging or Tweeting about being a hetero celibate, I have heard from other other HETERO celibates, some in their 40s, 50s, and older, all of them to date have been Christians, I believe.

These heterosexuals are still abstaining – many of them wanted to marry, but they never met the right person, so they remain single.

Please stop acting as though life long, or decades-long, celibacy is so very difficult that it’s this impossible standard nobody can achieve, so you drop it as a biblical sexual ethic.

Just because something is difficult does not mean it stops being right or possible.

Just because it seems that everyone else is doing something (i.e., sex outside of marriage) does not mean you should just say, “Aw, screw it, nobody is living this celibacy stuff out any more, let’s just drop this expectation!”

Where does the Bible say to base morality on popularity or on how many people are doing or not doing something?

If everyone began robbing banks tomorrow, would your church start saying,

“We no longer demand our members to be honest, and work for a living to pay their bills, but it’s okay if they rob banks.”

If you wouldn’t slack off on other biblical mores such as stealing and robbing, why would you do so in the area of sexuality? Why is sexuality an exception here?

Due to liberal political correctness, is that it? That’s not a solid reason, either.

I have to laugh at all the liberal Christian and ex-Christian accounts, blogs, and groups I follow on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere, who keep arguing that Christians have turned virginity (or celibacy) into idols – oh no they don’t. This post serves as another example of that.

Christians are ditching and dumping celibacy and virginity teachings faster than you can blink and eye.

There is no so-called Christian “idolizing of virginity” going on, as liberal and ex Christians proclaim – spare me.

Christians should be among the forefront of society defending sexual abstinence, but here they are, acquiescing to culture. Or they (Link): don’t want people to be angry with them, nor do they be perceived as “mean”

They are fine with fudging on biblical ethics in the process.

I have to say, every time I see these types of web pages – such as the one published by this San Francisco church – all I can think is that they are robbing some Christian celibates of a motivation to continue sexually abstaining, since they continue to chip away at a basis or rationale for anyone to remain a virgin or celibate.

Churches like this one are sapping hetero celibates of the the strength to keep going and holding on. Churches such as “City Church” are supporting LGBT persons at the expense of hetero celibate adults – enough of that! They should knock that off.


By the way (and I’ve already tweeted them a link to this blog post)…

the (Link): San Fran City Church Twitter account

@CityChurchSF


Related Posts:

(Link):   Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals” (ie, it’s supposedly an impossible feat for any human being to achieve)

(Link):   False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): “God’s gifting of singleness is rare” – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage -and- God gifts only the rare the exceptions the few with the gift of Marriage

(Link):  Self Control – everyone has it, is capable of it, but most choose not to use it

(Link): The Gift of Singleness – A Mistranslation and a Poorly Used Cliche’

(Link): Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex – supposedly – Re Celibacy

(Link): Singleness Is Not a Gift

(Link): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One

(Link):  The Myth of the Gift – Re Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy

(Link): Pastors avoid ‘controversy’ to keep tithes up, author says – Confirms What I’ve Been Saying All Along, Re: Churches: Contrary to Progressive Christians, Churches / Christians Do Not Support or Idolize Sexual Purity, Virginity, or Celibacy – they attack these concepts when not ignoring them

(Link): Theology of Convenience, Expediency, and Borne of Culture – Christian Preachers and Writers Diminishing Seriousness of Sexual Sin

(Link):  Some Researchers Argue that Shame Should Be Used to Treat Sexual Compulsions

(Link):  Christian Preacher Admits He Won’t Preach About Sexuality For Fear It May Offend Sexual Sinners

(Link): No, Christians Do NOT Support or Idolize Virginity and Celibacy, they attack both)

(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol

(Link):  Some Researchers Argue that Shame Should Be Used to Treat Sexual Compulsions

(Link): Christians Selling Out Hetero Celibacy By Defending Homosexual Behavior – Re: Jars of Clay Controversy

(Link): Editorialist at WaPo Argues That Single Christian Adults Can Have Sex So Long As They are Chaste About It – Also Speculates that Jesus Was “Probably” Celibate

(Link): Sometimes Shame Guilt and Hurt Feelings Over Sexual Sins Is a Good Thing – but – Emergents, Liberals Who Are Into Virgin and Celibate Shaming

(Link): Sometimes the Bible is Clear – Regarding Rachel Held Evan’s Post

(Link): Sex, Love & Celibacy by Christian Author Dan Navin

(Link): Nobody Bats An Eye at Condemnation of Hetero Sexual Sin – Observations from Duck Dynasty Controversy

(Link): Southern Baptists open to reaching out to LGBT – but still don’t give a flying leap about HETERO CELIBATE UNMARRIED ADULTS

(Link): Church Touts Homosexuality as a Gift, Not a Sin

(Link): The New Homophiles: A Closer Look (article) Re: Christian Homosexual Celibates and Christian Homosexual Virgins

(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles

(Link): The Activist Who Says Being Gay Is Not A Sin – double standards for homo singles vs hetero singles

(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner

(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity

(Link): Why Do Christians Ask if Homosexuals Can Change Their Orientation – Why Not Explain that Celibacy is an Option?

(Link): Being Against Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Homophobe (editorial by a homosexual man)

(Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?

Advertisements

American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution

American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution

(This post has been edited and updated, especially towards the bottom, to add more commentary or links)


For about the past year, I have thinking about blogging about this topic but put it off until now.

I have seen liberal Christians, ex-Christians, left wing Non-Christians, and moderately conservative Christians complain or mock American Christians who claim that American Christians are being persecuted in the United States due to being  Christian.

In the past, I’ve seen liberal Christian blogger RHE (Rachel Held Evans) comment on this subject on her blog, on her Twitter account, as well as the Liberal, quasi- Christian, Stephanie Drury bring this up on her (Link): “Stuff Christian Culture Likes” Facebook group from time to time.

bakecake
Above: Accurate Visual Representation of How Some Pro-LGBT Groups Treat Christians. (Artist Unknown.)

I’ve also seen moderately conservative Christians I am acquainted with discuss this in Tweets or on their blogs.

To reiterate a point I’ve made before, I do sometimes agree with SCCL’s Drury on some issues, and I even periodically Tweet her links to news stories I think she may want to share on her Twitter account or on her SCCL Facebook group.

However, I totally part ways with Drury on some topics – like this one.

The view of liberal Christians, ex-Christians, liberal Non-Christians, and even some moderately conservative Christians, is that American Christians are not under persecution in the U.S.A. for being Christian, or for practicing Christian beliefs.

I am not sure if the liberal or moderate conservative disagreement on this issue pertains to semantics (the terminology involved), or if they are actually blind and oblivious to the harassment that Christians, especially conservative, or traditional valued, Christians, face in American culture.

It is my position that American Christians do in fact face harassment – especially from the left wing – in the United States for being Christian, for wanting to practice their faith and carry it out in public, and for defending it in public.

If you are a liberal who objects to the term “persecution,” how about, instead, the words or phrases, “harassment,” “bullying,” “picking on,” “hounding,” or other terms?

I do not see American Christians getting a free pass in the United States to hold certain views or to practice their beliefs.

The left (and I’d include severe anti-theist atheists here, on this point, regardless of their political standing) insist that Christians keep their Christian faith walled off, private, and separate from all other areas of their lives.

Continue reading “American Christians, Liberals, Liberal Pet Groups, and Persecution”

Standard Christian View About Sex is Actually Creating Controversy: “Major Ministry Will Fire Employees Who Don’t Believe That Sex Is Only For Married Straight Couples”

Standard Christian View About Sex is Actually Creating Controversy: “Major Ministry Will Fire Employees Who Don’t Believe That Sex Is Only For Married Straight Couples”

(I have edited this post a few times to add additional thoughts – there is also a December 2016 update below in regards to the left wing BuzzFeed and ‘Stuff Christian Culture Likes’ witch hunt story about HGTV hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines)


Among some progressive Christians or progressive Christian groups, this news story was quite the controversy about a week ago when it was first published.

I read in another news source that IV (InterVarsity) says that their position on these issues has been misunderstood.

I have some more comments to make under the excerpts here:

(Link): Major Ministry Will Fire Employees Who Don’t Believe That Sex Is Only For Married Straight Couples

Excerpts:

A Christian organization that leads student religious groups on more than 600 college campuses will fire any of its 1,300 employees who say they do not agree with the organization’s theological interpretation on sex: that it is only appropriate within a heterosexual marriage.

That means that any InterVarsity Christian Fellowship employees who believe that churches should perform gay weddings, who endorse sex before marriage, who condone pornography or who hold any number of other beliefs might be included in what the evangelical organization calls “involuntary termination.”

Coming from a major evangelical institution, the policy revives debate about how churches should handle questions of sexuality and who can define themselves as evangelicals.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday, the ministry’s vice president Greg Jao said that since InterVarsity employees teach college students about biblical views, it is imperative that they share the same beliefs. Four or five people have been fired so far, and he expects more to follow in the next month.

Continue reading “Standard Christian View About Sex is Actually Creating Controversy: “Major Ministry Will Fire Employees Who Don’t Believe That Sex Is Only For Married Straight Couples””

Christian Mingle Dating Site Ordered To Accept Homosexual Singles

Christian Mingle Ordered To Accept Homosexual Singles

This is the same site that has hetero-sexual Christian rapists on it (see this link for more on that).

(Link): Christian Mingle Ordered To Accept Homosexual Singles

  • Dating website ChristianMingle has (Link): settled a lawsuit and now will accept same-sex searches. Previously, the site only allowed women to search for men and men to search for women.
  • A class-action suit was filed in 2013 by two gay men against Sparks Networks Inc., the owner of ChristianMingle and several other dating sites. The suit alleged that the sites were in violation of California’s anti-discrimination law

(Link):  Christian Mingle Can’t Block LGBT Singles From Using the Dating Site

(Link):  LGBT singles can now find love on Christian Mingle, after site settles discrimination lawsuit

Excerpts:

  • The site that sparked the lawsuit, Christian Mingle, boasts 15 million registered members. But the switch might not change much for LGBT Christians, Justin Lee, the executive director of the Gay Christian Network told the Daily News.

Continue reading “Christian Mingle Dating Site Ordered To Accept Homosexual Singles”

Single, Adult Woman Lies on Church Employment Form About Pre-Marital Sex and Sexual Orientation, Says Friend – Letter to Ask Amy Advice Column

Single, Adult Woman Lies on Church Employment Form About Pre-Marital Sex and Sexual Orientation, Says Friend – Letter to Ask Amy Advice Column

I’ll paste in the letter below, and probably Amy’s response. I think Amy dropped the ball on her reply, for the most part.

I’m using this letter not so much as it pertains to homosexuality, but the phenomenon of singles (or anyone, I guess) lying about their sexual habits or pasts, especially in a church context.

When I was growing up, my parents encouraged me to seek a marital partner at church. The thought being that I could meet a decent, kind, stable man at a church and marry the guy.

The problem is (as I’ve detailed on this blog time and again) is that churches attract all sorts of weirdos, perverts, and losers (and liars).

If you are a single Christian woman who insists on meeting a single man at a church, you better be well aware that just because a guy is attending church, works at said church, or says he loves Jesus and is a Christian, does not mean he is a nice guy or is honest. He might be a child rapist, a woman abuser, or have a raging pornography addiction.

The letter below is about a lesbian woman who misrepresented herself (her sexual nature / sexual history) to a church to get hired, contra to  Ask Amy’s spin on it (you can read a copy of this letter here):

  • Dear Amy:
  • I have a huge dilemma. “Jane” and I have been good friends since middle school. I love her like a sister.
  • Recently, Jane accepted a job at a church as the youth director in the town where we attend college. She is good with youth and is very outgoing.
  • However, Jane was not fully truthful when applying for this job.
  • The church asked all applicants to affirm its faith statement and a code of behavior that prohibits premarital sex. Jane signed the code of behavior, indicating that she would not have premarital sex.
  • To further confuse the issue, she told them that she did not have a boyfriend. In truth, Jane does have sex. However, she is a (quiet) lesbian.

Continue reading “Single, Adult Woman Lies on Church Employment Form About Pre-Marital Sex and Sexual Orientation, Says Friend – Letter to Ask Amy Advice Column”

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable 

The other day, I posted this (part 1 to this post):

I have re-listened to the podcast this evening and wanted to comment on some of what I heard.

In the program, there is a guy named Rodney who was once a conservative Christian, who drifted into liberal theology, and who now says he has a “deistic philosophy” and he says he is “agnostic about most religious questions.”

He says he has same sex attraction, and was put off to Christianity for (among other reasons):

How American conservative Christianity tends to over-identify with, or promote, the Republican Party (right wing American party), and that some preachers are too condemning of homosexual persons.

Rodney also says he does not accept the notion of an eternal Hell.

A few times, Rodney mentions that he has a deist- like view of God. He thinks all of us humans are rats, the earth is a big laboratory, and God is a scientist in a white lab coat observing us all but not intervening.

Rodney thinks if God is involved with human life, that God should do things like cause all members of ISIS (terrorist group) to drop dead of heart attacks. He does not believe that God helps people to pass school tests, find parking spaces, or cures diseases.

The show had a Christian author and guest on named Os, who replied to some of Rodney’s points.

_Some of my thoughts on the show and the topics Rodney raised._

1.) Politics and Liberal Vs Conservative Christianity

I am right wing politically and have been a Republican (GOP) my entire life.

I have very large misgivings about the GOP the last few years, though, so I’m not totally sure where I stand politically, though I do not ever see myself becoming a liberal or a Democrat.

I do agree with Rodney that too many conservative Christians conflate Christianity with the Republican party.

But then, a lot of liberal Christians or liberal Christian denominations entwine a lot of liberal beliefs and causes with the faith too, (such as support of abortion, the Democratic Party, liberalism, and homosexual marriage).

Continue reading “Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable”

What Celibacy Means – “Living without sex doesn’t mean living without love” by W. Hill

What Celibacy Means – “Living without sex doesn’t mean living without love”

My one-time stalker, blogger and professed Christian celibate and sexual purity apologist (though not one in reality – regarding the apologist part, that is), John Morgan (link), will have a hissy over this article I am linking to in this post (he visits my blog and/or Twitter on occasion to steal blog post ideas and concepts), because he thinks celibacy is non-applicable to homosexuals, an idea I have refuted (Link): here.

(If Morgan feels that yes, celibacy is applicable to homosexuals, he needs to go back and re-word one or two of his essays to clarify.)

Morgan should be glad that homosexual celibates are speaking up about celibacy and presenting it as an option for singles, because the heterosexuals in the church are not!

Rather, the hetero preachers and Christian writers and bloggers continually -and incorrectly- depict celibacy as a special super power that God grants to a tiny few, and that most are not capable of, when the reality of it is that the Bible says all adult believers are capable of sexual self control (see link and link), not just a small, tiny, specially gifted group of singles.

(Link):  The Gay Catholic Writer Who Changed My Life [A discussion of celibacy] by W. Hill

  • Eve Tushnet taught me that living without sex doesn’t mean living without love.
  • ….Tushnet is a gay Catholic writer who embraces her church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality.
  • By the time I learned about her, I’d been admitting to myself for a few years that I was gay, though I hadn’t told many other people yet. I was still too frightened and unsure of what kind of welcome (or lack thereof) I’d receive.
  • You know those novels and movies about the yearning, aching twentysomethings who are trying to disentangle and sort out their erotic and religious longings, while dreading loneliness and rejection above all else?
  • That was me. Imagine Charles Ryder from Brideshead Revisited, all angsty and insecure, but with a small-town-USA upbringing, and you’ll get the picture. I needed a lifeline. I was hungry to know I wasn’t alone.
  • What Celibacy Means

    In the years since reading Tushnet’s article, I’ve come to think this isn’t only my question. It’s the same question asked by a growing number of people who identify as gay and Christian.

Continue reading “What Celibacy Means – “Living without sex doesn’t mean living without love” by W. Hill”