It feels good to finally make it public–I love a man. I’m a Southern Baptist pastor, and it’s true. Allow me to tell you about this relationship.
I met this man in college. Over the course of three years, we became the closest of friends. We spent late nights together filled with conversation–both serious and ridiculous. We celebrated victories together and individually, supported one another through difficulties, exams, and relationships. I spent many a late night falling asleep on his dorm room couch or even on his bed while I was making a half-hearted attempt to study into the wee hours of the morning.
After college, he celebrated with me and my wife Mindy on our wedding day. He was as exuberant as can be, truly rejoicing with those who rejoice. As I moved to Louisville and he back to the East Coast, one would think that the relationship would slowly fade. Not so. As we both matured in our faith and as men, our love for one another only deepened. I was busy with seminary, work at UPS, marriage, and soon to be children. He had a fast-paced and demanding job with relationships and his own responsibilities to care for, yet he was faithful in keeping up his end of the relationship with thoughtful cards, phone calls, and visits.
He celebrated our first child with us. He spent his hard earned money and precious time to fly out to see us several times in those early years. He was just as excited to welcome our second child into the world. He has been a precious gift to our family, cherishing our children and my wife. Each of his generous visits were often accompanied by gifts and were always guaranteed to leave our hearts full of the joy of the Lord.
We spent countless hours in phone conversation, on Skype, and communicating via email. Often we would talk for upwards of two hours about struggles, occurrences, funny stories, and the grace of the Lord.
As my wife and I moved to Newberry, his visits continued. In fact, he volunteered to pay his own way so that he could help us move from KY to SC. It was such a blessing to have this brother with us during the travails of those first few days in Newberry.
We built things together. We ran together. We enjoyed God’s creation together.
I had the blessing of watching the Lord change his desires and call him toward training for the ministry. I had the amazing opportunity to write recommendations for this man whom my soul loved. I have quietly celebrated as the Lord leads him down a path I myself walked only a few years ago, and I have prayed for God to provide him with a faithful, loving, and supportive wife.
As I struggled through my first year as a pastor, he was there. There to cry with me. There to discuss difficult theological topics. There to pray for me. There to challenge, encourage, and love me. He, more than anyone other than my wife, understood and fully empathized with my deepest hurts. He cried with me and Mindy during our miscarriage. He hurt for our family.
For all of these things and for a future filled with more of this kind of love, joy, and Christian brotherhood, I must say, “Lord, I thank you for this man that I love.”
There are two groups that tell us that this kind of love is impossible. First, our culture. If I were to tell nearly anyone on the streets these days that I felt this way for a man, they would insist I was experiencing homosexual attraction. This is a lie.
Second, the Church. Our churches would have us believe that the “brotherly love” the Bible encourages will somehow develop over a bowl of buffalo wings while watching a UFC fight. This is a lie.
We as the Church have conceded the kind of love I share with this brother of mine to the homosexual community. We are fearful. Fearful of misinterpretation by our culture, fearful of vulnerability, fearful that maybe it’s unbiblical.
This is a lie from the prince of darkness. He wants brothers in Christ to feel uncomfortable with truly loving one another. He has perverted brotherly affection with homo-eroticism and made it completely inaccessible to the believer. We as believers can no longer conceive of the kind of love Peter encourages–“a sincere brotherly love, [loving] one another earnestly from a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22). Where is the love that is characterized by a tender heart and a humble mind (1 Peter 3:8)?
Satan has stolen David and Jonathan relationships from us, brothers in Christ. What will you do about it? To love another man as your own soul (1 Sam. 18:1) is not homosexual love; it is the love of Christ. It is a true willingness to lay down your life for your brothers (1 John 3:16). We must build these kinds of relationships with one another: men who truly love other men.
Men, if we begin to display the love of Christ for one another, we will begin to establish credibility with the homosexual community. They don’t believe we can love other men. Prove them wrong. Perhaps then, after seeing the true light of the Gospel love of Jesus, they will be drawn from the darkness where Satan holds them captive and into the marvelous light of Christ’s self-sacrificial love.
12 thoughts on “I’m Southern Baptist, and I Love a Man”
U know sometimes our seriousness is not going to give us knowledge at all. I was freaked at the beginning of this story. Now I clearly get it.
This is a beautiful story but I’m not sure if it honest or open. It felt like something was missing. If it is just brotherly love, why the explanations! I think they are fooling themselves. I pray no one is hurt.
I’m sorry, but this article *totally* misses the point.
I am gay. I am also a Christian, a believer in the Lord Jesus.
Yes, like the author of the article, I do have plenty of non-romantic male friends.
But I also tend to fall in love with men, not women. This is not a choice on my part, nor is it the scheming of the devil. It is just how I am wired — a bit like being left-handed in a right-handed world.
To dismiss my romantic longings as “satanic perversion” while waving the flag of “David and Jonathan” friendship is unnecessary, and simply punches me in the gut so he can feel better about himself. I’m not impressed.
Chad, you should meet some real, live, devout, prayerful gay Christians sometime. We’re nice people. Oh, and by the way, I’m a pastor too.
I remember when I used to define myself I thought I was a good guy because everyone always called me the nice guy. I thought I knew what was good and what wasn’t. I thought if I was a good person it would be good enough. Then I was introduced to alcohol and sex and I loved em both, I believed I was hard wired to, and I believed nobody could tell me I was wrong. Then I met a friend who started taking me to a bible study, which I was open to. Most of the time in those studies I just sat there pretty quiet because a lot of the things we would go over and the leaders would say were sin I was doing in my everyday life so I chose not to listen. But my friend would catch me doing these things and he would call me out, for a while I just thought he was judging me, but then I began to realize he was doing out of a genuine love for me and a desire for me to repent and come to follow Christ. I pray that you find a friend like that or like in my situation, that a friend like that finds you and shows you the error of your ways through love so that you may repent and be transformed like I was. Merry Christmas.
I am sure you are a nice guy and truly love the Lord. After reading your response to this article a couple questions popped into my mind. I am sure being a Pastor you are seasoned in your knowledge of Scripture. Out of pure and loving curiosity what are your interpretations of the following verses that refer to homosexulaity? 🙂
Leviticus 18:22 – “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
Romans 1:26-27 – “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
1 Corinthians 6:11 – “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
We are all loved by God, made in His image but born into sin. We are all hard wired to desire sinful acts/desires. But there is hope. The Holy Spirit can and will help us through those deep desires. I know this to be true because His Word is truth but also because I have personally experienced it.
Much Love and God Bless you Michael.
Well this was awesome. Well said. I’ve seen how barren friendships between Christian men can be. I’ve also seen many fight that assumption, talk about real things, pray together til the tears fall, and rejoice as true brothers. As a wife, I have prayed and continue to pray for a Jonathan in my husband’s life. There is something significant to be had in such fellowship that can’t be done in the marriage relationship. Nothing that supersedes a marriage; just something unique to brotherly love.
Well done for claiming God’s design. Well done for rejecting the perversion with which sin has replaced that design. Well done.
Thank you, Chad! I’m blessed to say that I love several men, like David and Jonathan loved each other (I Samuel 18:1)! If you’re open to it, can we talk, further? God has done some amazingly awesome things in my life, but I’d rather not share them on a public blog (yet; I’m open to WHATEVER God wants to do, in, for, and through me!).
Reblogged this on most amazing X – a plan by Golden 20s Proust Fans and commented:
In my blog I am looking at “love” appearing in different garbs through History.This is a blog I nappreciate for its daring.
A must read on this same subject!
A Bigger World Yet: Faith, Brotherhood, & Same-Sex Needs
By Tim Timmerman
A Bigger World Yet is about an ache and a longing in our culture for friendship and brotherhood. It is a book about emotional orphans with wounds and hungers of the heart. This book is about boys who needed connections to loving men and friends growing up, but instead received abuse and absence. This book is one Christian man’s spiritual odyssey. A Bigger World Yet is a song of hope. Less
From the back cover:
This book is a wrestling match. It is about the precarious journey of many men in our time. A Bigger World Yet is about an ache and a longing in our culture for friendship and brotherhood. It is a book about emotional orphans with wounds and hungers of the heart. This book is about boys who needed connections to loving men and friends growing up, but instead received abuse and absence. This book is one man’s spiritual odyssey.
These pages are for those who follow Christ and want to do something for men who struggle with sexualizing their own gender, rather than just passively debate over the matter. This is for men and women of God who want to get their hands dirty and not sit on the sidelines of a topic that is tearing the body of Christ in two. A Bigger World Yet is a song of hope.
Beautiful and well written! And so true. I thought of my best friend who has been there for me during life’s struggles and joys! I love her dearly… I think ‘sisterly love” is more socially accepted than “brotherly love” because as a world we see women as lovers and men as non-feelers. But I love that you point out it is biblical! It is also so important to walk with people the path of faith!
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