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Where I Turn Down a Gay 'Wedding' Invitation


Dear Katie,

I hope this letter finds you well. You’ve been on my mind lately as it’s been a few weeks since we’ve met up. We’re overdue to grab a coffee – I hope we can soon. I also want to thank you for thinking of me as you sent out invitations for what I know will be a big day for you and Joanna. I’ve known you since before you met her (two years ago now, is it?) and I appreciate all you’ve shared with me about how meaningful that relationship is to you.
It was especially kind of you given my Christian faith. You've never directly asked me my views on gender or sex in much detail. But I think our conversations must have touched on it enough times to at least make you a bit unsure of my reaction when you sent the invitation.
I have to say 'no' to your kind invitation. You know that I care for you and that I value our friendship. You know I don't reject you because you are gay. So, would it be too much to ask of you if I explain why my faith would make attendance at your ceremony an unloving thing to do? You know from all the discussions we've had that I respect your intelligence, so I trust you won't see the style of my writing as mansplaining. If you are willing to read, I will try to explain my beliefs in a simple and basic way.
You have rarely talked to me about my faith and my few attempts to bring it up has not – seemingly – met with much interest on your end. You asked me once what God thought about cheap beer and 80’s music - but I think that’s the extent of it (He’s not a fan in case you’ve forgotten). But our talks have revealed that we still share the love of many things: culture, films, music, books, and spiced rum.
But my relationship to God isn’t just a small piece of my life that can fit neatly into a drawer. It’s rather a pair of glasses that enables me to see and interpret everything else – just as your atheism affects everything you see – be it consciously or unconsciously. It’s because we each wear different glasses that my declining to attend a day which is important to you may not make any initial sense.
Atheism
Your atheism posits that all the world is the result of time and chance acting upon matter. But as a Christian, I believe the world was created with a purpose, to be received and experienced with gratitude, and lived out with the intention it was created for. For that reason, you see our mutually beloved spiced rum differently than I do. You see it through the materialistic lens. You see your taste buds as the fruit of evolved bacteria that just so happen to derive pleasure when put in contact fermented molasses.
You may give thanks to me if I happen to buy you the drink – but that’s the extent of your gratitude. I see the rum differently. God knew we’d figure out how to make rum and so he gave us taste buds specifically to enjoy it. He also gave us cinnamon and other spices so that we could blend the rum in a way that angels approve of. God allowed us to discover rum because He is good, wants us to be happy and give Him thanks. We both enjoy it – but for me, it's an act of worship. For you, it's a chance meeting of molecules. Our rum drinking is different because our universes are different.
The same is true for my sex. Like rum, we may both enjoy sex - but I have sex different from you. And that’s not just because I’m a bloke. As an atheist, you see sex as one of the accidents of the universe – more pleasurable than most perhaps – but still purposeless in the ultimate sense of the term. But as a Christian, I believe sex is a gift given by a kind God whose heart is bigger than Christmas. It’s a gift that is intensely purposeful and we should not use it in accordance with any impulse we may experience. Like electricity, it is a great gift – but misuse of that powerful gift may harm. We have many rules regulating how electricity is managed in public places – not because we don’t value our citizens, but because we do.
Purpose
God knew that He was going to save the world through Jesus sacrificial death and that He would be with His people in full, unrestrained love forever. Because God knew that’s where He was taking human history, He created male and female and established marriage as the life-long union of one man and one woman and that relationship is to be the one place where sex is done.
He does this for everybody’s sake (including those who are single) so that we can all see and be reminded of where God is taking history. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and the wife is to respect her husband as the church does Christ. Marriage and sex – when used in the way God created – gives the world a picture of who God is.
You may be tempted to think that my ultimate desire for you is that you ‘be straight’. No. In my neighborhood, I am surrounded by heterosexuals who have prospering mutual funds, but bankrupt souls. They don’t know their Creator and their heterosexuality doesn't earn them any brownie points with Him. My desire for you is that you’ll come to know this God. You may call this my (ahem) missionary position. And so it is. It’s a position borne out of friendship. Though you express little interest in getting to know the One who has given you so much, you're still invited to His house.
Not all Evil
You may also be tempted to think that I see your relationship with Joanna as being all evil. This is not the case either. There's much good that I see in your relationship with her. You love one another, care for one another, and enjoy each other’s company. It seems you are good friends, and friendship is a gift from God.
My belief is that God has given us sex for a purpose and that using that gift for other purposes only causes harm in the long run. That's why I cannot celebrate this day with you - because I think there is something better. Of course, given your atheism, any talk of purpose (and therefore sin) is silly. Life has no ultimate purpose - and therefore purpose cannot be misdirected.
I know some Christians who would acknowledge everything that I’ve said above about the Biblical purpose of sex, yet they would still attend the ceremony out of affection for you as their friend. I feel the weight of that. But the more I consider that, the more convinced I am that it would be unloving to attend. Given my beliefs about the universe, humans, life, sex, and love, being there would only be hatred dressed in a suit of politeness. Do you really want me to celebrate something with you that I think will bring you harm in long run? If there’s one thing that we both share, it’s that neither of us like fake people – and showing up would be polite fakery.
I understand if my refusal stings. Please consider it from my point of view. From my end, I would love to continue the friendship we’ve enjoyed over the last four years. Like rum and sex, I've received your company as a gift from my God.
Every kind intention,

-Joshua
___________________
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bkFor a look at what else the Bible says about close friendship across the gender divide please check out Forbidden Friendships - available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle in the USA and the UK.

Comments

  1. You judge someone, you crap on their friendship, you write this because you hypocritically still want their friendship and then you POST IT ONLINE! Seriously? The lack of genuine human awareness and sensitivity here is breathtaking.










    ."

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  2. Wow a very good and detailed response, God bless

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my God you pompous, self-righteous asshole. I hope she cuts you out of her life completely. I can't even begin to describe to you how egotistical and judgemental you are. She is obviously not your friend. You obviously see her as some "salvation project" to make yourself feel better. You compare her to rum and sex. Directly. She isn't even a human being to you.

    As a christian, please stop speaking for us. You make us look terrible.

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    Replies
    1. "As a christian, please stop speaking for us.You make us look terrible."

      As a Christian,please explain what gives YOU the right to speak on my behalf or that of other Christians'??
      Your ignorance and stupidity is not something I wish to be associated with.Obviously you failed to grasp the meaning of what was written and due to your OWN stupidity resorted to name calling, like some spoiled brat.

      Delete
  4. This was so beautifully written and so spot on. I love the sincerity and personality that comes from this. I think that everyone in the world should see this so they can understand the legitimate Christian point of view; that we should be loving towards others, but not encourage others' sins. It's just beautiful altogether.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @BrandonSeeSound13 April 2017 at 14:25

    The amazing thing about this article is that you actually posted it. You probably don't even realize how incredibly douchy this response is to the wedding invitation and it is sad. You, and christians like you, are being ignored as we pat you on the head and say "ok ok. that's nice" like a alzheimer who just declared they went to mars for lunch and just returned. We look at you and shake our heads and dismiss you without telling you how ignorant you are being. So you go along in life thinking you are an alien in the world and you have to fight the good fight for jesus. But the reality is the UK and USA are filled mostly with christians who look at the christians on their left and right and can't believe the world is acting like they act. You are the world and you are making the world a terrible place. Sure you do some good but this sort of hate creates the conditions that you condemn. I hope you see the truth one day. I hope you can learn to love. You think you are, but you've been blinded. Please examine your methods for determining truth.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Regardless of what some may think,being married in the eyes of God requires the participants to be 1 female and 1male.
    Anything other than this is a product of Western liberal ideals which are forced upon the silent majority,too afraid to speak out against it lest they be labeled homophobic!
    Nothing is free from this ridiculous political correctness, whereby if you attempt to stand up for your values,culture,religion you are immediately labelled a derogatory name in order to silence you.
    George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, it was NEVER intended to be a guidebook!

    ReplyDelete
  8. How incredibly pompous and long-winded. Where is your humility? Couldn't you have just apologised and said you couldn't make it.

    And why would God like posh rum and hate cheap beer, do you think he is a snob?

    ReplyDelete

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