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Showing posts from March, 2015

Another interesting blog post

Somehow I chanced upon this blog post one day and I'm pretty amazed at how this guy, Josh, is gay and yet married to a woman. Now, before you dismiss him as an ex-gay advocate for the now defunct Exodus, I must request that you read his entire blog post, which is nothing short of a miracle. It generated 4,248 comments so it probably must have gone viral. Even though it's almost 3 years old, the content is still as fresh as ever.

Now if you've not got the time to read it, a highlight was him answering the question that many have posed before, and I'll quote directly:

The truth is, what people are really asking with the above question is “how can you be gay if your primary sex partner is a girl?” I knew that I was gay, and I also knew that sex with my wife was enjoyable. But I didn’t understand how that was happening. Here is the basic reality that I actually think many people could use a lesson in: sex is about more than just visual attraction and lust and it is about mo…

Coming Out - a poem

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"I love you."

"I love you."

These were words spoken to me not by my lover (I have none currently), but by two close friends, at two separate places and times sometime last year.

As I recalled them last night on my bed, I started to weep.

"What love is this?" sings Kari Jobe.

What love is this really? The fact that someone outside my family would love me, could love me, was so healing. It took away the dull ache from my heart that was left there by trying to let go of my one-time crush.

It was unconditional, pure, sweet love that these friends offered.

And for their love, I am grateful.

It's difficult to explain why I felt so much. Perhaps it's because "Words of Affirmation" is my topmost love language.

I then pondered on the love of God, but was unable to. But something struck me as I lay there on my bed. It was the Bible verse - "I love because you first loved me."

It was the same with these friends. My love for them multiplied last night as I recalled …

Healing prayers

Last week in cell group, A. prayed a prayer that was tremendously healing. It was incredible and I was not only very touched, but tremendously encouraged.

You see, the cell group message was on the 7 exchanges that took place on the cross when Jesus died for us.

As I listened, I pondered silently on 2 out of the 7 points as my cell leader preached and could not help but wonder about my gayness. She declared, "Jesus took our sicknesses to give us healing," and also that "Jesus took our curse to give us blessing."

Now if I were like Vicky Beeching, I would confidently declare that my being gay is a gift from God. But I cannot say that with 100% conviction. I still struggle with being gay. "But if this is not a disease, and it is not a curse, then it has to be a gift, shouldn't it?" I think immediately. And so, I confuse myself.

Well, near the end of cell group, we were told to pair up to pray for one another. We had 3 in our group and we were encouraged…

An Instagram handle

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Since I like reading books so much, I thought I'd create an Instagram account chronicling the various books I'd read on LGBTQ issues. I'd do short reviews on them as well and you can add me on Instagram at @lgbtq.books if you're interested. 

I did this so as not overwhelm the readers of this blog with books reviews cos not everyone likes reading books. I'll still be posting my thoughts or excerpts on books that have made a deep impact on me though - like I've done with Andrew Marin's Love is an Orientation and Matthew Vines' God and the Gay Christian here on this blog. 
I'll endeavor to post on Instagram once a week, just like I do on this blog, and will alternate between books that give a Christian perspective on LGBTQ issues and secular titles. There will hopefully be a good mix of fiction and non-fiction titles. 
Ideally, this Instagram account would eventually catch the attention of writers and publishers and they'd send me free copies of books…

A nation mourns

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So the funeral and 10 eulogies for Mr Lee Kuan Yew that was broadcasted on national television just ended.

Even as I type this, there are people chanting his name along the road just outside my apartment. (The entourage just drove past our house en route to Mandai Crematorium where he'll be cremated.)

I was a little emotional once or twice in the week as I read the newspaper reports and articles chronicling his contribution to this country. He had done so much for us. It is incredible.

Without him and his team, I might not have the affordable, first class education that I've enjoyed these many years.

Without him and his team, I might be living in a slum, instead of this lovely apartment that I share with my family.

Without him and his team, I might not be able to type in fluent English on a laptop with a secure Internet connection right now.

Without him and his team, I might be starving instead of being able to have 3 square meals a day and more.

But more than just listing dow…

Another except from Love is an Orientation

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This book is so good, I had to post another excerpt (which is kinda rare when I read):

"From a straight Christian perspective, the ideal life is to get married and have a family. From a gay perspective the ideal is to come out and live a happy, sexually reconciled faith as an active gay man or lesbian woman. And for those believers with a same-sex attraction who don't fit into the other two ideals, the third ideal is to be celibate. What each ideal has in common is that they all focus on sex - or lack thereof - as the standard by which to judge a life.

...

There's a fourth ideal that gets overlooked, an ideal that is not based on sex: It's OK to be yourself before God and not conform to any of the other three ways that seem ideal to the outside world.

The fourth ideal communicates God's acceptance, validation, affirmation and unconditional love in meeting people as they are, where they are. Some critics might think this fourth ideal is the same as a blanket accept…

Love is an Orientation - An excerpt

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So I went to Pelangi Pride Centre yesterday and borrowed Andrew Marin's Love is an Orientation. I've heard so many good things about it and was not disappointed.

Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 1:

"Through all these outward Christian successes John's soul was scarred because he thought he had to keep his attractions a secret. Daily he wondered why God would let him have these problems. He had decided at age fifteen, when the attractions first began, that he would earnestly pray one prayer every night: "Lord, when I wake up in the morning please just let me be straight like everyone else."

John prayed that prayer every night until he was thirty years old. And every morning for fifteen years he woke up dejected and broken because he still had the same attractions he never wanted in the first place. By the time I met him he was thirty-four years old, and like many others in his situation had determined that one of the two conclusions must be true.

The firs…

On Wesley Hill's Travelogue to Oz

If you know me well (most people don't), they'll probably know that I'm a Wesley Hill fan. I can't quite remember when I first came across his work, probably twitter or something, but once I read Washed and Waiting, I was hooked.

So it was no surprise to find myself agreeing wholeheartedly to a short post he wrote on his trip to Australia. He spoke on matters gay and Christian, which is probably no surprise if you are familiar with him. However, unlike most out there, he is an advocate for deep spiritual friendship for gay Christians who are wanting to stay celibate. This is quite different from those who push for same-sex marriage or relationships.
In any case, after reading the post, I immediately forwarded it to two close friends I have who are in a Whatsapp chat group we share. The gay Christian friend reflected that it was beautiful to have that kind of commitment from a friend.
The commitment, namely, is one of a friend, or a couple, who walks alongside the gay C…

Books I'd recommend (Part 1)

Last night a friend dropped by to borrow some of my books for an assignment. So I thought I'd blog about some of the books written by gay Christians, and those by straight ones, on the topic of homosexuality.

The list below is in reverse chronological order, starting from the book I read most recently. The corresponding reviews are based on my (sometimes faulty) memory and I'd advise you to read up more about them on their corresponding Amazon pages I've linked to just to be doubly sure you know what you're getting yourself into.

So here goes!

1. Gay and Catholic: Accepting my Sexuality, Finding Community, Living my Faith by Eve Tushnet

This is a brilliant book that I finished very quickly because of the conversational style of writing employed by the author. It is part memoir, part advice-giving and is generally great resource for gay Christians who might be grappling with their same-sex attractions for the first time.

Eve was a convert to the Catholic faith in her un…

Book review: God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines

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I've been following a couple of blogs and following on twitter dealing with LGBT issues in America. Last year, the one of the more controversial focal points was on a newly published book - God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines.

This book leans towards the progressive stance, and argues for same-sex marriage equality. Matthew Vines took a year off school from Harvard and went to research in depth on the various "clobber verses" in the Bible against homosexuality. (They are often used to "clobber" people with you see.)

Well, someone sent me an ebook compiled by leading Christian authorities that was a series of counter arguments against the book. This I have not read. But this intrigued me to no end and I was determined to get the book to see what the fuss was all about. 
The book is well written but I don't agree with all the conclusions Vines makes. I actually have half a mind to blog about the clobber passages here on this blog. But we shall see how…

Encouraged by cell group

I was on my way to cell group (okay this doesn't have anything to do with why I was encouraged so if you're interested in that bit, skip to the next paragraph) and so I boarded a double decker bus. When I got on to the second level, I sat down, and across the aisle was a stunning Caucasian woman I'd never seen before. She was like a mix of Lee-Ann Rimes and Renée Zellweger in their earlier days. I tried to ignore her but couldn't help but keep stealing glances at her. She was absolutely a delight to look at. Then I alighted. Kinda anticlimactic, I know. But such is life. 
In other news, cell group today was really encouraging. The bit that got me the most was the part where my cell leader preached on self-control. 
Here's the relevant verse: 
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable…

Disputed Mutability

So the large part of tonight has gone to reading posts on the Disputed Mutability blog. This is a blog devoted to ex-gay issues, thoughts, analysis and insights. I must say that the author has put a lot of thought into the posts and the fact that she even edits them before putting them up says a lot about her.

I love the posts because they articulate so much about what I feel about reparative therapy among other things. I also found the posts on "Why I Forsook my Gay Identity" particularly insightful.

What I loved most about the blog is that the author didn't seek to be straight. She simply realised that gay sex was not in line with what God wanted and backed away from it. Because Jesus was the better option.

Wow.

It is a pity that the author has stopped posting since 2010, probably due to a busy schedule (the last couple of posts were spaced out due to the author being pregnant and subsequently being mother to a newborn).

It's strange how into the blog I was, readin…

Silence

Last night I had steamboat at my cell leader's place with a couple of cell members. It was a nice cozy little affair and I was surprised it was much more comfortable than I thought it would be. Except for one little bit. The food was good and as we tucked into the feast, the topic naturally turned to marriage and babies, housing and renovations as two of them were getting married and another about to give birth. I was strangely silent throughout as they yammered on. Well, what could I say when I wasn't even sure whether my next relationship would be with a guy or a girl? What could I say indeed? So I just kept quiet and listened to them; it was interesting fodder for conversation one must admit. Later on, the half-in, half-out of the closet me kept my mouth shut when someone said he didn't have a girlfriend for as long as he lived, when what I wanted to say was, "Hey, even I had one, and you haven't?" I suppose that would be rather rude and this wise crac…

Connor Franta's coming out video

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For the uninitiated, Connor Franta is a YouTube personality who very recently came out as gay. I just saw his coming out video and thought I'd share it here because it's great. And his reasons for coming out are applicable to all. So enjoy!