Halden has pointed us to a very poignant reflection on homosexuality by Wesley Hill, asking the question, “Will the Church be the Church for homosexual Christians?” You should read it before you read my meager considerations below.
Hill is a committed Christian and “non-practicing” homosexual. Perhaps “non-practicing” is a curious way to put it; as is clear, he does not, and cannot, partition his male-attraction to a latent and unaffective part of his brain. It is constitutive of his experience and longings in the world, as he tries to make sense of Christ’s call to a moral order in a disordered reality. In his case, he is more aware than others that the disorder is not “out there.” It cuts across the deepest parts of our personality, with wounds that endure, despite the sincere intentions of a superficial faith (“I’m trading my sorrows”) or a creative reworking of God’s order (the liberal project). In the latter, we literally become the creators — usurpers of God’s creative holiness; in the former, we dismiss a creation that doesn’t really need to be redeemed.
Submitting to the Creator is all the more difficult when the disorder is not of our making, when we find ourselves (our very self) with desires, not in-themselves sinful, but nonetheless, if acted upon and made real in our relations, contribute to a subversion of God’s order. This is a hard truth, to say the least. Our longings — what we believe are proper objects of fulfillment — do not necessarily partake of the beauty and goodness which inheres in God. The sources of the disorder in these longings are not easily located, i.e., “why am I made this way” does not always have an answer, other than the classic Pauline-Augustinian answer: the Fall.
It is fundamental to secular anthropology that morality can be read off of nature, under conditions of “fulfillment” given from humanity itself; it is fundamental to Christian anthropology that morality must re-create nature, under conditions of “fulfillment” given by God. The secular and Christian hermeneutics are irreconcilable here. It is futile for Christians to argue against the sanctioning of homosexual practice using the secular presuppositions of an anthropology “from below.” The Christian theorists of “natural law” must be tempered by this point. However, this is not to say that Christian morality “condemns nature” per se; rather, it “fulfills nature” as it is intended by its Creator. This is part of the larger fact that Christ did not come into the world to condemn it, but to bring it to holiness (by way of His sacrifice and our repentance).
So, the homosexual has an especially difficult cross to bear — a cross given in his creation as this particular human being, a homosexual human being. And if all of us were more honest about how deeply we are fallen, we would discover similar “creation-constituted” crosses, and probably many that are sexual and relational. Yet, our hope is found in a Cross that is neither taken away (Jesus was tortured and executed) nor sanctioned (Jesus conquered death). Our life in Christ is, thus, both a sickness unto death and a healing unto life. Our disorders must be borne and taken to our grave, so our faith can be revealed in the glory of a new creation. With this as our foundation, the necessary and fulfilling relations with homosexuals in the Church, that Hill eloquently pleads for, can be nurtured.