Aaron Taylor writes at First Things:
Is it possible to embrace a gay identity and be a faithful Christian? . . .
The inability to appreciate that “gay” has different levels of meaning within our culture, and that not all of these levels are in total opposition to Christian truth, is frustrating. . . . Christians did not convert the ancient world by insisting that pagans must agree to our definition of terms before a conversation could begin, and the New Evangelization will fail if we insist that people have a mastery of in-house Christian jargon before we are willing to tell them the good news. . . .
If we are going to have a discussion about whether there can possibly be anything good about being gay from a Christian perspective, we have to first talk about what it means to be gay in non-reductive terms. To begin to do this, let us take a brief look at three aspects of the experience of same-sex attraction: homosexuality, same-sex desire, and same-sex friendship.
Later in his essay, when discussing same-sex friendship, he writes,
The superiority of [David’s] love for Jonathan is not a statement of his sexual preference for men over women. It is a statement of the superiority of friendship-love over erotic desire.
He continues to describe the “intense passion” of same-sex friendships in the ancient world, the intensity and passion of which make modern men—ever-striving to strike just the right heteronormative tones—immensely uncomfortable. We Christians—all Christians, no matter their sexual orientation—have much to learn from the LGBTQ+ community about what intimate, committed friendship can be.
It’s a stunning indictment that non-Christian gay men are better at chaste friendship with one another than straight Christian men are.
I’ve heard it said this way before: We mustn’t throw the homosocial baby out with the homosexual bathwater! As Taylor puts it,
Gay people have wheat and tares growing in the field of their sexuality, and must take care lest the tares suffocate the wheat. Yet that should not blind them to the fact that wheat is wheat, not tares. The result of fallen human nature is not that everything about being gay is evil, but that what is good is difficult to separate from what is evil. But this does not stop gay Christians from naming as good what is good and embracing it as part of who they happen to be.
So can one be gay and Christian or not?
We should identify which aspects of being gay contribute to the flourishing of gay people as individuals and to the flourishing of their communities. We should also identify without fear those aspects of contemporary gay identity and culture that are incompatible with the Christian moral life.
Read the rest here.