The Bible was once widely accepted as the definitive source for reliable answers about same-sex love. Today, new religious and scientific research questions longstanding biblical views. Among those seeking an answer to the question “what is truth?,” I hear much fear and confusion about what they should believe.
Many sincere people with same-sex attraction never act on their desires. Many sincere others study (and pray) hard before concluding that same-sex relationships can be godly. The complexity only increases. Some come out of such relationships becoming convicted of sin. Others come out of homosexuality but later return becoming convinced it is ok. Still others go back and forth numerous times. As one of my Facebook friends recently updated his relationship status: “It’s complicated.” Yes, it is!
In our culture, there simply are no “new and provable” facts that will bring both sides to mutual agreement (one way or another). As researchers of backfire studies found, facts are less important than established beliefs – particularly on highly salient issues. The stronger the support for a fact, the more entrenched those on the other side become in their belief. And yes, you can count on a counter-fact to soon follow.
The confusion produced in this atmosphere turns to frustration and anger. This soupy mix is nothing short of a religious war by sincere people on both sides. The political culture war only adds fury to the mix. The battle becomes “gay” versus “ex-gay” versus “ex-ex-gay” versus “ex-ex-ex gay.” Try making sense of this and you’ll get a headache. Try attempting dialogue between these two groups and they’ll be sure you get a headache!
Is there a way forward? YES, there is. Join me in my next post.