"Our society may place a great emphasis upon a sexual identity, but Scripture does not. As a matter of fact, our identity should not be placed in anything (such as our sexuality, gender, or race) other than Jesus Christ."
That's Christopher Yuan, well known Christian speaker and author who struggles with same-sex attraction, yet affirms the sinfulness of homosexuality. Yuan's powerful testimony not only covers his exodus from the homosexual lifestyle, but also his recovery from drug addiction and discovery that he is HIV positive.
That's a hard standard for all of us to live up to, but one outstanding example is making waves thanks to NPR's Weekend Edition.
"Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He's attracted to men, but he considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.
"I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?" he says. "So for me, it's not just that the religion was important to me, but communion with a God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am."
Where he is now is married. He and his wife, Leeanne Edwards, are joyfully expecting a baby in July."
Despite Allan's attractions, he doesn't call himself 'gay.'"I think I made conscious choices along the way to say this is something I experience, but this isn't the thing that defines who I am personally."
When Allan married his wife Leeanne she was well aware of his sexual struggles, but, according to Leeanne, the way they see it it's not that different from any other marriage, "There's always going to be situations where a partner is sexually attracted to someone else and isn't necessarily dealing with sexual attraction with their partner."
In fact, in spite of their unique circumstance, the Edwards should be an example to Christians everywhere, not only of being loving and understanding of each other's struggles, but of picking up our crosses and following Christ.
In a day where Christians are accused of reading their 'bigotry' into the Holy Scriptures, Allan wrestled with what God had to say about his attraction to men, looking for affirmation.
Edwards says he "studied different methods of reading the Scripture and it all came down to this: Jesus accepts the rest of the Scripture as divined from God. So if Jesus is who he says he is, then we kind of have to believe what he believes."
Christopher Yuan says he went through a similar process. "I was looking for biblical justification and wanted to prove that the Bible blesses gay relationships… Eventually, I realized that I was wrong—that same-sex romantic relationships are a sin. My years of biblical language study in Bible college and seminary, and doctoral research in sexuality, only strengthened this conclusion. No matter how hard I tried to find biblical justification and no matter whether my same-sex temptations went away or not, God's Word did not change."
Yuan's studies also led him to a life of preaching the Bible; he teaches at Moody Bible Institute, but unlike Allan Edwards, Yuan remains single.
In an interview with the Christian Post, Yuan clarifies the calling of Christians, regardless of who they are attracted to.
"Holiness is our standard and we all are called to be holy whether we have heterosexual or homosexual feelings. Holiness with reference to our sexuality means one of two things. If you are married, complete faithfulness to your spouse of the opposite sex. Or if you are single, complete faithfulness through abstinence."
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