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Coming Out As A Gay Christian: 'I Choose To Not Act On My Gay Desires'

Grady Smith, a former writer for Entertainment Weekly, is sharing his experience as an openly gay Christian--mind you, an openly gay Christian that chooses to abstain from sex with men, based on the belief that it's against God's plan. 

It's certainly an interesting--and we'd assume, frustrating--expression of faith. 

Smith writes on his blog:

First off, what do I mean by the term gay Christian? That’s simple. I mean that I’m a Christian man who believes Jesus Christ is the savior of the world. I believe he died and rose again and offers a way to Heaven for all people. I also happen to be a guy that finds himself attracted to other guys. Please hear this: those two facts are not mutually exclusive!

Now, I choose to not act on my gay desires because I think scripture makes it pretty clear that that’s not God’s ideal plan for people. I’m not angry or jaded about that fact, nor do I look at sacrificing my own sexuality to God as a tragedy. To me, it’s simple obedience — and it is not shame-based. I know that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Heck, I was created in His very image! (And so were you!) But, like every other Christian that’s ever lived, I’m simply in the ongoing process of learning how to not give in to every natural desire that I feel — whether that has to do with sex or not.

Smith acknowledges his efforts to come to terms with his sexuality and to not act on his same-sex attraction haven't been a walk in the park; he explains:

I spent well over a decade feeling tortured by my own feelings, addicted to pornography, and deeply ashamed of my nature. I used to spend hours on the family computer Googling terms like “garlic” and “Gap hoodie,” frantically hoping that I could push my “gay” searches far enough down the alphabetical auto-complete menu that my parents wouldn’t ever see them.

He also shares that he's not alone in his journey, citing various friends that have confided in him that they too are going through a similar experience. He maintains:

I’m not here to dictate how anyone else should live their lives. I’m not here to condemn anyone. I’m not here to offer a “solution.” All I can do is invite people into the beautiful awkwardness of my experience, where things aren’t nearly as black and white as popular culture might prefer. Fortunately for all of us, Jesus loves the gray areas.

What's your take, Instincters? Considering that Grady (fortunately) makes no claims of being an ex-gay or renouncing his sexual orientation, what do you think he's adding to the dialogue?

What do other gay Christians, both sexually active and not, have to say in response?

 

(H/T: The Gaily Grind)

Comments

I have never had sex maybe I'm gay but I still cannot in view of being a Christian. Its strange as I always being attracted to men anatomy and yet I'm hiding it in real life

We have seen this all before. A few years from now, he will be back, admitting that he has had a hook-up. They always do. And we will welcome him back, as we should.

What a waste of time watching this ....yeah they choose a good looking actor(works -got my attention) to help us out of the darkness :-(((( " just believe in god and you live happily ever after "...yeah right -and so sad that you guys posted this here -why do we still need to talk about this ...2014-he(or for whom he works) should live how they want -but dont start a video -to show me how i shoud live my live and safe me -im gay and im fine thanks !

He focuses on abstaining from "gay desires."  He clearly means sex.  He is choosing to limit his experience with life itself, particularly love of another person.  True, one can use a book and paste a smile on one's face.   But, neither will change the fact that is choosing to not engage with life.  There are so many people in the earth who have such limited opportunities on this earth to fully experience life.  Unfortunately, he will likely not seek psychiatric treatment.  When he finally 'gives in' to his urges, he will likely focus solely on sex and continue to be a emotionally stunted person.

The pervasive misunderstanding of the Bible in American mainstream Christianity is appalling. He needs to find a church that understands it in context and in the subtleties of the original language, not the garbage KJV.

Dangerous sentiments that will be helf aloft by backwards religious institutions who spout the "love the sinner, hate the sin" mantra. "Hey, see? It IS a choice." Poor guy...if this is his true situation, I feel sorry for him. And if this is taken to a wide audience and applauded as rational, I feel scared for all of us.

He will find his way. He obviously has been taught that being a homosexual is ok, but practicing homosexuality is not ok. Did King James want more population & thus more taxes paid by citizens? That would have been a good reason to rule to humans NOT to be homo. Was there an illness associated with shrimp in that day? What better way to get people to NOT eat shrimp! Tell em they'd go to hell 

News flash. King James was a prancing homosexual. I meant to say "practicing" but auto-correct changed it. ;-)

He will find his way. He obviously has been taught that being a homosexual is ok, but practicing homosexuality is not ok. Did King James want more population & thus more taxes paid by citizens? That would have been a good reason to rule to humans NOT to be homo. Was there an illness associated with shrimp in that day? What better way to get people to NOT eat shrimp! Tell em they'd go to hell 

That's exactly what I was thinking.  There's this new "tactic" that the anti-gay lobby is attempting in order to build a bridge to us, or so they claim...  The new stance is that "having homosexual attractions is not a sin, but ACTING on those attractions IS."

He's definitely been brainwashed with that thinking and it's because he was raised in the Bible belt.  Just like I was.  I'm to the point where I love God but I hate Christians.  

I have never heard anyone else say this.  This is comforting.  We do many things we wish we hadn't. We wish to do many things we might never do.   We believe what we believe.  We feel the way we feel.   This is so simple yet unsolvable.....

Unfortunately this guy is missing out on 2 of the universes greatest gifts, romantic love and physical intimacy.....   What a waste of a lifetime.......

I am a Gay Christian as well and I think that the fact that he is living his life the way he feels and sees that God wants him to live his life all the more power to him. I will live my life with my boyfriend who is also a Christian the way we feel and see that God wants us to live. Good for you man!

This reminds me of the way I suffered for the first 20 years of my life. No more suffering,.. 

Why is it that whenever homosexuality is being discussed, the opposition  automatically refer to the bible? They Immediately become devout Christians! Are there no logical arguments to be made?

Been there done that! One may as well pray that your skin be a different color or that you had wings! 

We are who we are, and the sooner we learn to love ourselves as we are, the sooner we will be able to allow things like organized religion to shape who we are... Making us fools & hypocrites! 

I feel sorry for the poor guy. It's a shame that he's so brainwashed by religion that he's going to miss out on one of the most pleasurable things in life.

This guy is  a good actor. Unfortunately not good enough. He is only creating another stumbling block in his journey to accept that Christian and gay does not meld. There are many of us who want their cake and eat it to. I can not afford to be that dishonest. I hope for the young gays who see this explore that it is only a point of view and granted only one. Be yourself, in your work, in your scool...in your church, in your life. Who else is going to be the choir director...

THis is His Path he needs to take.

I Hope you Learns Jesus dosn't care if he acts on his gay feelings.

That the Bible verses that Say its an Abomination and Stuff for one thing arn't in the New testament. THere in the Old testiment.

Grady Is trying to be honest and open and is really trying to help I think.

But People need sexual contact he's bond to have relapses..

Hey, I can't say the guy's decision makes any sense to me personally...but it's his life, we can't force our life onto someone else. If he identifies as a Christian first and as a gay man second (and chooses to interpret the bible in the way that he has), and this is the sacrifice he feels he needs to make, then what the fuck business is it of ours? I may be a gay atheist, but I also identify as a human being and believe other human beings have a right to do whatever the fuck they want. *drops mic*

Honestly, as an openly gay Christian happily engaged to the love of his life, I love Grady Smith's honest approach here. I think he's brave for living in his truth, I find him intelligent and believable not brainwashed or simple-minded. Also: note his lack of condescension. He does not beckon for other openly gay Christians who live as I do to "resist" their sexual desires nor does he rail needlessly against marriage equality. He simply shares how he chooses to live. And I love that he's bold enough to share such an unpopular testimony in a way that does not degrade the experiences of so many youth in this country who feel weighed down and confused by how their church feels about their sexuality and how they wish to determine their own sexuality for themselves. We need more stories like this one.

This is sad. He claims to recognize he is created in Gods image yet denies the very essence of his being. Why should he believe God did not i tend for him to be who he is?

Why doesn't he choose not to act on his desire for hunger? Or going to the bathroom? Maybe stop acting on your desire to cough if you feel a desire to clear your throat. Stop acting on that pesky desire to write with your right hand or know who's coming in the front door of your house when someone walks up the steps and rings the doorbell...

I mean, really. Why is it that it's always the GAY "desires" that get singled-out as the unworthy and illegitimate of human intuitions and needs?

...it's because YOU CAN'T STAND WHO YOU ARE.

Say it.

Sad so sad. God's will is for no one to be alone. This guy is in denial. The bible doesn't speak against homosexuality.

I think that was very respectfully and aptly put. Here, here.

One day, a headline will appear, "Blue Ball Explosion Kills 1, Injures 20 at Area Starbucks."

It's amazing how many people here are Condeming this man for how he chooses to live his life! Gay liberation is more than having sex, which is really what the gay culture is all about. You don't know how this man feels, what is in his heart. We hace allowed the struggles of the GLBT movement to be forgotten. We are one community, instead what has become a vapid culture of selfies and classification of anyone who is ga, otters, jocks,
twink, fem, and on and on-- doesnt allow this man to have his relationship with Christ? I find that narrow minded and par for the shallow course of what gay men, in particular, have pigeon holed the rest of us. The person who wrote something to the effect that self denial is wrong. Well according to the gospel Jesus was very clear that one has to pick up his cross and walk with it. We don't walk inthis man's shoes. As pope Francis said about gay people "who am I to judge'? We need to allow our community to not be so mean. There is room for all of us at Gods table. Furthermore there is nothing wrong with a gay man to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I might add, if mire gay men would have such a better relationship in the spiritual realm they might be alot more content, less judemental, and perhspfs learn the meaning of what the word 'joy' means. Sex is nott the end all of life.

A true relationship with Christ does not require you to deny the truth of who you are. This man's life is being ruined by fundamentalists, the US equivalent of the Taliban.

 I completely relate to what he says. I've been in that place as well. It's a very complicated place to be. The bible also says that heterosexual sex is a sin in you aren't married.  But I think they feel exempt from that one. ( i do know people who practice abstinence.)

now that I'm older, sex is not my only way of defining who I'm am. In the past, I really think I rebelled against this way if thinking. I think many gay men marry women to have the "traditional family" but step out and find the sex they really find fulfilling and not just for procreation .

i am glad to read the posts of those who respect him for what he believes instead of bashing him. 

It's a great big world. It's so sad we can't get along with each other and just let people be who they are and not what we think they should be.

If you're wearing "I don't act on my gayness" as a badge of honor, you have absolutely no place complaining about the "culture of shame" so prevalent among Christians. You're legitimizing that shame, you're celebrating it. Your dialog isn't a freezing the problem, it's perpetuating it.

*addressing the problem

To each his own. If that's the path he chooses then best of luck to him. Who are we to judge?

The really cool thing about being accepting of other people and their lifestyles/orientation is that you simply need to accept and co-exist. If he thinks this is his best way to live, then it's his choice. If things change for him in the future, that's his struggle, no one elses. And to not try to preach his choice as the only way? Beautiful. Not how I would choose to live but it's not my life. Good for him. :)

Christianity is based on Christ. All the condemnation is old testament. Jesus came not to enforce the old ways but to free us from them. Moreover, he said nothing about gays, and hung out with prostitutes, lepers, the homeless, and all those condemned by the greater society. That said, its likely gays were among his friends without judgement and condemnation.
He will regret hiis guilt motivated abstination when he gets older and he's alone and lonely.

Proverbs 23:7

King James Version (KJV)

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...

You can't just be gay physically, it is who you are. When I finally came to terms with that, I became a much happier person. It's a shame this dude is so hung up on religion. There are many religions in the world, not just Christianity. My guess is that most of the canned phrases that he referred to were brainwashed into him when he was a kid, growing up in probably a Baptist or Pentecostal church.  I can relate to that too. Poor guy and so hot-- maybe one day he will grow up.

It's a shame that he doesn't allow himself to find someone just because of his religion, the bible says plenty of things.. many are contradictions too. It's a shame he will follow it so hard.. but at least he accepts himself..

I think the worst thing is that he is frigging hot! 

This guy needs to understand that sex with the same gender is not "wrong." The political times when this was written, and the actual text indicates that man should not own another man like he owns a wife. The ownership is wrong. Every gay condemnation was reworded slightly by the translators of the day as well. He also misunderstand that thinking a sin makes him guilty of it. So, not acting is not preventing the "sin." And "For God so loved the wold..." that passage has no disclaimers to sexuality.

If you didn't have a problem with they way you are living then why post it here to me you are still try to figure out how to be happy in your own skin i wish you the best and i will pray you find peace to live happy and not self hating there is nothing wrong with you God loves you for who he made you too be

I am gay and my mom is muslim, but she tried to raise me as a christian. I have been deeply conflicted about God and whether to believe in him or not, and still remain that way. I have also been conflicted about my nature and whether it is "perverse" or not. After having the chance to love a catholic man, both those conflicts were put to rest. I realized that love in its purity has no gender, and it made me feel like I couldn't be any closer to god's image than I am when I am loving this man. The Bible was written by man, I think it is important not to take it as the literal word of God but more so as a light guide. Yup, pick and choose. God is found in your heart, in love, not a bible or a hateful pastor/church. 

I agree

Bull$hit....I hope his type of Christianity allows him to masturbate...

the old test advises against tattoos.  so he gets one on his left arm.

Sad thing is that he makes everything about sex like all the other bible bashers - why he doesn't say about rejecting to love someone, spend live with that person , share beautiful and less beautiful moments - very sad because the only thing God wants is for him to be happy 

sad to see how brainwashed he is in relation to "not acting on his feelings" how about just accepting what Jesus made you as? a person? forget the "gay", "straight" whatever! we are all just people very sad to think he could go down the road of having a wife having kids who ultimatly will be lied to... i have no words except for i was once in his shoes, worried myself sick about the religious side of things. argh!! it makes me so mad!!! sex is a healthing thing for mind body and spirt, just accept who you are!!

Self loathing much? 

There are many sins in the bible. Most of them mentioned in the Old Testament. As a Presbyterian myself I believe the Old Testament is more of guidelines and I follow the New Testament a lot more. How ever you interpret the bible is your choice. That is something that should be force on someone

The only way I would believe that his decision is not shame based is if he takes every other commandment in the Bible as literally as he does the one about not having sex with men.  If he does not (and I'm guessing he doesn't since he cuts his hair), then he can lie to himself all he wants but he is living in shame and self hatred.

Let' --the Bible also says all adulterers should be stoned to death AND there are at least 6 or 7 incestuous couples in the in but this is OK cause it's preserving the seed of the father! YUCK! He  seems to be a nice guy but he should read the Bible more before living by it. 

He's straight.

straight to bed

this is so sad... pull the bible out of your ass and replace with a dick, its great...stop spreading this bullshit, stop hiding behind religion.!

I am in the same exact boat. Jesus died and rose again making a way for all people gay or straight to have a perfect union with God forever and joins us in His Spirit when we believe and trust Him. But the gray for me is much greater. I rely on the presence of His Spirit for truth and wisdom, not a book that was written by other Spirit filled knuckle heads like me. The only difference is that I am in a committed same sex relationship where sex is abstained from quite a bit but I do not believe scripture is absolute but rather relying on the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit has led me into freedom in my sexuality as a man that simply enjoys the companionship and intimacy and occasional physical expression of that with other men.

Well the answer to your conundrum is to abstain according to your religion.  Good luck with that.  As an atheist, I feel what you are proposing is a waist of a life.   I feel you only get one shot here so you better have some fun, but treat your body like a temple.

I do think more gay men need to be more relationship focused and more healthy focused in their decisions.  I commend you for that.  Even though we have a difference of opinion, I respect your goal to make decisions that are healthy for your 'soul' and body. Best of luck.  You're not hurting anyone.  

Amen brother!

He should read Book of Samuel as should everyone. Yes they got gay in the Bible!

If he is 'choking the chicken' then he is "spilling his seed upon the ground".....or perhaps a sock.  The Bible speaks of that as well.  And we know, from Oprah, that we need to get rid of the semen and let it refresh to keep it viable.  Its such a conundrum.  As a well-groomed gay man, if he gets his hair cut (rounding his head), then that is an abomination.  Don't forget the shell fish, yeah, and wearing mixed fabrics.  Such complexities.

The Bible also forbids wearing clothes made of two different fabrics. Does he follow that, too? This biblical literalism is a dead end and has nothing to do with Jesus' core message of love and acceptance.

The Episcopal Church in the US is totally ok with gay Christians having sex as long as they're married (as possible considering local laws, at least partnered). It even has a gay bishop who is yes, gay-married.

Suggestion: CONVERT.

He is defying God, frankly.  

Sad to see someone setting themselves up for a fall.  It's an impossible denial of your natural instincts that God gave to you.  He made you.  He didn't make you as a mistake if you believe in him.  He didn't make you to deny yourself and drive yourself insane suffering over what someone else told you should not be your way.  Be Gay dude and if you are happy jerking yourself off all the time then go for it but we all know there is no way to stop your thoughts when you are doing it.

SO, you don't eat when you're hungry or sleep when you're tired?  It's the same thing!  Sex is a body function, as natural as the day is long.  Some day you're going to realize that you've missed out on SO much in the world and it's going to be too late.

Not acting on you natural desires is depriving yourself one o the joys of living this human experience. Good luck to you I hope it works out. As for me I am going to enjoy ALL of my natural desires and live this life as fully as I believe God intended it for me.

Progressive and cool, I dig it.  

It's a cool attitude, I concur. 

As long as he is not working against or advocating harm to the rest of his, let him live the rest of his life with his hand.  I have no doubt that he will wake up one day, old and alone and regret his foolishness, but that is his choice.  

If I'm made in Gods own image, than there's nothing wrong with me - nor any part of me that I should ignore. I'm not breaking any of the commandments. I'm not harming myself nor others. Therefore I am gay, and I am searching for my soul mate. The person God has place on this Earth that will make me complete. I feel he is facing a greater sin by ignoring who he is, because he is ignoring who God made him.

Couldn't agree more. We are either beautiful creations or not. Either way be yourself. Also it says in the bible that all the commandments come down to love. He didn't say how you had to love

*then there's nothing...

Let's hear it for writing posts while sitting in meetings and not taking the time to proofread. Ugh. I HATE that mistake SO MUCH! lol

It's his right ffs and no-one else's business. He does not judge or condemn anyone else so no-one has a right to judge or condemn him! Good luck to him I say.

Yes, that's the way we should live, "silently suffering". You've been so sadly brainwashed, I'm only blaming your parents, not you. I doubt very much if you had been raised in NY vs. Virginia, you'd be quite happy in the arms of another man. But please live and let live - equally.

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