Appearances, Assumptions, and Judgements

As I drove towards my small group tonight, I was curious how things would turn out after telling them my story last week.  I didn’t know if it would end up being a major topic of conversation or if it would just sort of slide on by.  For the most part, it never came up… except on one major issue.

We have been going through 1 Corinthians together and this week we were reading chapter 8 together.  The overarching theme of the chapter is on the freedom we have in Christ but how we need to be willing to relinquish that freedom if we may cause another brother or sister in the church to stumble.  We had a good conversation about what this means today and how our behavior is seen is not only important for those in the church, but those out of the church as well.

Ever since I returned from working overseas, I have been staying with a female friend of mine who happened to have an open room in her apartment.  My conscience and intentions with her have been completely clear since I moved in as being that I struggle with homosexuality, there is no temptation whatsoever in living with a girl.  However, when one of the leaders at my church heard about my living situation, he voiced a little bit of concern.  Had he tried to get to know me a bit more and perhaps dig a little deeper, I would have been more than willing to share my story with him.  I found out later that he had brought up my living situation with Luke (who knows of my struggle) and had voiced more concern there.

Anyways, tonight at small group, the guys confronted me on this and mentioned the fact that in view of the scripture we read, perhaps I should consider moving out.  I really struggled to know how to respond to them.  I recognize where they are coming from and how my living situation may appear to individuals in the church.  At the same time, they know that the truth of the situation is that there is no temptation or issue for me.  I also mentioned to them that if I ended up moving in with a group of guys, I would then have the church questioning if it is smart for an individual dealing with same sex attraction to be living with guys who could be a temptation.  I am screwed either way.

I am a bit lost right now, not knowing what I should do.  I feel as though I can’t control all the different perceptions that people may have of me.  I can’t control their judgements and assumptions.  At the same time, I want to be obedient to God and if this is truly an issue, then I want to do the right thing.  More than anything, I am scared that if I move out, I will end up more isolated and alone than I am now.  I feel helpless.  My prayer is that God will give me discernment regarding the situation and if I should move out, He would provide a healthy place for me to live.

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4 thoughts on “Appearances, Assumptions, and Judgements

  1. 9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating[c] in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged,[d] if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers[e] and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

    I think one important distinction to make about this passage is that it is talking about real people. It sounds like most of the men in your church who have this charge against you of living with a female are worried about some mysterious “straight man” who’s going to come along, see you living with a girl, move in with his own female roommate and then start having sex out the whazoo. From my limited knowledge of the situation, there is no one stumbling because of your decision. The passage in Corinthians is concerned about our relationships with REAL people and building others up in their faith. Its realizing that we have an impact over others with our decisions, but its not meant to scare us into inaction. You living with a girl has good outcomes. It creates community, and it gives you another barrier to hooking up with some random guy. This passage is merely telling you to balance your own benefits with the benefits of your community as a whole. Don’t go on a witch hunt for everything that might cause someone to screw their life up, rather look at the REAL relationships you have, and be mindful of those. John Doe is not your brother, Luke, Will and the men of your church are your brothers. And maybe, their convictions are leading you to stumble. Moving by yourself would probably not commend you to God 😉

  2. Sex out the whazoo for a straight man must be more challenging. 🙂

    In all seriousness, I have thought long about this and it seems to be less Gospel-oriented to make a woman and man ALWAYS live separately and more to do with a culture of a by-gone era where men were straight.

    However, biblical submission also plays a role here. The previous commentator makes salient points in that regard, so I’ll simply say I agree with his assessment.

  3. I pretty much agree with the previous comments. It seems that you have a room for yourself, and that’s fine! ‘Tis not like you two are sharing a bed, and I believe that you will not hurt your female friend in any way. She’s a friend, a support, an emergency contact person (or could be). ‘Tis great to be able to tell about your day or share your sorrows with a friend instead of talking to the fly on your ceiling. I lived with two other roommates before for two years: one male and one female. As long as I knew and treated them as good friends, there would not be temptation of any sort, so you just have to set things straight in your mind. Living in a one-bedroom now gives me more freedom, but I find myself mostly out of the house with friends and co-workers. I think that you’ll do fine living with your friend, even if ’tis a guy. Even if there are some folks who would worry about temptation and you not being able to control your penis, you have to show them that you’re different compared to what they think sometime.

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