Jay's got hope

Stuff’s changing in the sexual identity world. Early in 2008, Wendy Gritter talks up some new directions and all along the way College Jay has been waxing eloquent about his journey. He has a post that I am linking to because it illustrates a fresh, clear Evangelical perspective on sexual identity development.
Here is a bit to get you started:

I like Wendy Gritter, and I like New Direction. She’s a sweet and Christ-focused woman and I think New Direction is one of the most Christ-centered ministries for people that deal with same-sex attraction. I was upset when I read her recent blog post about a colleague that has been claiming New Direction “doesn’t offer hope anymore.”
Now, I’m not going to refute that statement here. Ms. Gritter has already done extremely well with that in the linked post, and I highly suggest you read it. I will offer my own personal story, though. I’ve never been involved with New Direction (sadly, I’m not Canadian), and the only contact I’ve had with Ms. Gritter is through comments on her blog. However, I think out of all these types of ministries, New Direction’s philosopy most closely resembles my own, and even I have been accused, in a round-about way, of not having enough hope.
Usually when someone makes that kind of snarky remark about hope, what they mean to say is that I’m not falling over myself in an effort to be straight. I’m comfortable and happy as I am. I’m not comfortable with my sins or my temptations, mind you, but at the same time I’m not stressed about how I dress, or how I talk, or how I express my emotions, or whether or not a pretty young woman turns my head. The way some of the ex-gay ministries talk, you’d think that a “normal” heterosexual existence with a dog, yard, and three kids was a Biblical mandate.

Now go read the rest and send some love toward Mr. Jay.

10 thoughts on “Jay's got hope”

  1. Jay
    Ok, I think I understand your point. I think I misunderstood that earlier paragraph in the previous post.

    I didn’t mean to say that relationships, family, jobs, or any of the other pleasurable things in life were unimportant. I just meant to say that they can’t lead one to salvation, nor are they proof of salvation.

    On this one you’re right, but I think you are right in another less obvious way.

    Following God may cause us to deny things that other people couldn’t imagine living without. However, the contentment of knowing that we are following God more than makes up for that.

    Denying yourself tends to bring happiness in this life too. I’m sure former presidential candidate John Edwards had a great time with his mistress. But If he had kept it in his pants his life wouldn’t have turned into the living hell that it is today. 😎

  2. Warren,
    Thank you! LOL. If I slip away for awhile, it’s because I’m delving deeper into the refreshing thoughts of this young man.
    I’m just about to write an email to a number of folks from the ‘golden days’ of Exodus telling them about your site. Your honesty with yourself and the world is so refreshing to my own spirit; I trust my friends will find the same. Most memorable line so far: “likes guys but God gets in the way”. Beautiful, simply beautiful!
    On another post, someone (Lynn-David, I think) suggested moving that subscription check box. I agree. I almost hit submit before remembering to check–yet again. Perhaps directly under the “Submit Comment” button…

  3. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I’m always amazed when a random rant like this somehow hits a nerve. I can’t respond to everything because I’m in a bit of a hurry, but there’s one thing I want to address concerning the comment about how our hope is in nothing but Christ.
    I didn’t mean to say that relationships, family, jobs, or any of the other pleasurable things in life were unimportant. I just meant to say that they can’t lead one to salvation, nor are they proof of salvation. Many ex-gay ministries don’t seem to take that view, and it stinks of the “prosperity Gospel” that was big in the 1990’s. I’m very much against that stuff.
    Are lives are supposed to be happy, but fulfilling God’s will comes first, and certainly the Bible speaks often about how Christians suffer for their faith (both at the hands of outside forces and their own temptations). I guess I take John Piper’s view on this (and he owes a debt to others, especially C.S. Lewis). Following God may cause us to deny things that other people couldn’t imagine living without. However, the contentment of knowing that we are following God more than makes up for that.
    Again, thanks for the comments, and God bless.

  4. Jay is a great guy, as far as I could see from his website. It’s not very often that one can see someone giving up physical pleasure for spiritual well-being. It would have been a lot easier on him if he lived two centuries ago, but in this age I think his journey shows great resolve. This kind of attitude might be announcing a new trend.
    I agree with Drowssap, though. Life cannot be discounted even for greater purposes, because life must be part of those purposes. One stands or falls with the other.
    I don’t believe in morals based on rewards. To quote a friend of mine: You do what you must do, don’t do what you should do or others would do. This is a reward in itself, if you are true to what you must do on your journey here.
    Too bad science cannot say much about why people don’t act as a bunch of molecules.

  5. Jay,
    I check in on your site often and appreciate your posts, especially this one. IMHO, your priorities are in the right place and your blessings will flow from there. I also believe your ability to be grounded and centered in your convictions will guide you with an unwavering ability to see clearly what is best for you. There is always going to be outside noise but the small, still voice inside speaks to us in a deep and personal way that leaves little room for doubt . From what I read, it seems like you are interested in those things and those people who will bring out the best in you and how you can bring out the best in them – if so, this will also be another indicator as to who and what is right for you.
    I also respect your ability to transcend the negativity directed toward you on other sites. It says a lot about your character and convictions. Emily and Robert were awesome in their clear and fair assessment of your post.
    Thank you for being genuine and honest and authentic. It is really inspiring to see someone who knows what he wants and is guided by that rather than everyday circumstances. With that foundation, you have a lot to look forward to.
    BTW – someday we will talk about your interest in music =-0 🙂

  6. I’ve read him before and really like his take on things. He’s not stressing and allowing his life to take shape. We really don’t know that much about sexual develpment and I think his approach is refreshing.
    He is who he is. He doesn’t try to make himself anything else. He knows his faith. He is not pretending. I really like his approach.

  7. And I guess it is for this very reason that a companion is so important that so many ex-gays *do* in fact have relationships during the course of their lives. One may have the best etheral thoughts on it, but when one has no one to come home to, be held by, etc… it’s easy to shut down to the point of repression that the other stuff — career for instance is unfocused.
    I see it more as a matter of reality, and the more “ex-gay” stories I heard the less reality of celibacy, too, was brought to the forefront.

  8. Our hope is not in anything on this Earth. Nothing. Not our family, not our friends, not a spouse, not children, not jobs, money, cars, trips, pets, not anything. Our only hope is Christ crucified.

    I believe in God, an afterlife and traditional morals. But let me just say that I completely disagree with this widespread view on the meaning of life.
    If God didn’t think that life on Earth was important why would he give it to us? Your spouse, your kids, your job and your bank account are all important. This life and all that you do matters.
    If you believe God created the world for a purpose (and I do) it’s pretty clear that he is fond of hard work and perseverance.
    Do this test sometime.
    A) Work as hard as you can for 1 year to reach a goal
    B) Pray as hard as you can for 1 year to reach a goal
    See which path God rewards more. The smart money always bets on the hard worker.

  9. After a rather grueling journey through ex-gay ministries, I think I can venture a guess as to why said individual mentioned that hope is not being offered. Simply and realistically put, a lifetime of celibacy is not going to happen for most human beings. And when I use the term celibacy, I am not including the usual panorama of ex-gay experience: slip and fall, slip and fall year in and year out. To me, that is not celibacy in any honest sense, but I also surmised that many ex-gay ministries see it as struggling (and trying) rather than two people committed to one another in what they would perceive as sin.

  10. AMEN!!!! – I know I’ve said that before, but I can’t think of many times where I’ve meant it as much as I do right now!
    Thanks Jay 🙂

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