The Unintended Consequence
When I was younger, I enjoyed watching numerous television shows. I even participated in fandoms and fanfiction. I appreciated the camaraderie and the deep friendships among the characters. Truly, these characters loved each other on a profoundly spiritual level. However, many of the writers within each fandom wanted to write the characters as gay and wanted to write homosexual romance stories.
If two men expressed happiness at finding each other alive after a horrific ordeal, they were immediately misconstrued as being gay. I suppose straight men would be indifferent and apathetic about whether the other man survived through numerous horrors.
As entertainment shapes society and is in turn shaped by society, the suppression of friendship which is spiritual love in favor of sexual pairings which is confined to the flesh indicates severe dangers within our cultural beliefs and values. Because friendship is pure and spiritual - liberated from physical bounds - when friendship is removed, people lose all understanding of what love actually means. People yearn for a spiritual love, yet in a culture that has confused love and sex, they will avoid genuine and sincere love to avoid sexual misunderstandings.
.Scripture attests to a love that transcends physical bounds.
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth." (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)For Valentine's Day, I had written an article describing the nature and actions of love without any reference to sex. But there are other examples in scripture where men expressed a spiritual love. Paul called Timothy "my beloved and faithful son" (1 Corinthians 4:17), and he repeatedly referred to congregations as "beloved" Can you imagine each leader of a local church announcing his love for the congregation by using the words "love" and "beloved?"
Therefore, love is a purely spiritual quality that transcends the physical yearnings. A love without sex is the purest and most sincere type of love. Unfortunately, this culture cannot comprehend a spiritual and transcendental love. Because sex is absent from friendships, friendships have historically and have inherently championed the transcendental love founded upon the spirit.
At the Last Supper, Jesus announced: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:12-13)
Even Jesus proclaims the ultimate love found only within friendship. This liberated love is the greatest commandment. Jesus said, "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Mathew 22:37-40)
I don't know if I can repeat this often enough: that love is spiritual and that to pursue genuine love, we - dear readers - must pursue relationships based on strong emotional and spiritual attachments without any physical feelings to confuse us. The unintended consequence of gay sex - and indeed, the unintended consequence of over-idealizing any romance - is the removal of friendship and the removal of spiritual love in favor of fleeting flesh. Not even men and women can be friends together without some suspicion.
People without friendships have no one who they can trust. People without friendships lead isolated and lonely lives. Because they have no one who they can share their thoughts and feelings with, any problems or troubles they experience will remain with them and will have no outlet, leaving them to suffer heavy psychological burdens that cannot be lifted. In an article written by Janet Kornblum about the loss of friendship:
Americans have a third fewer close friends and confidants than just two decades ago — a sign that people may be living lonelier, more isolated lives than in the past.Love is what establishes communities. Paul wrote about a community: "their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love," (Colossians 2:2). Without love, the community disintegrates into fear and suspicion of each neighbor because everyone becomes a stranger to one another. As a result, communities cannot unite to cope with shared obstacles.
In 1985, the average American had three people in whom to confide matters that were important to them, says a study in today's American Sociological Review. In 2004, that number dropped to two, and one in four had no close confidants at all.
"You usually don't see that kind of big social change in a couple of decades," says study co-author Lynn Smith-Lovin, professor of sociology at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Close relationships are a safety net, she says. "Whether it's picking up a child or finding someone to help you out of the city in a hurricane, these are people we depend on."
research has linked social isolation and loneliness to mental and physical illness.
When friendship is removed due to fear of sexual misunderstanding and when people no longer connect emotionally with those who they call friends, then our society will suffer an increased epidemic of mental illness. Yet, this is neither the goal nor intention of homosexuals.
I call this loss of friendship an unintended consequence of gay sex because gays and lesbians consider their actions a matter of equality. Nonetheless, this is a real consequence of gay sex that injures society and friendships. One of the arguments they use is to inquire, "who are you to say who we can and can't love?" However, that question reveals the confusion between love and sex. The problem is not with who they love; the problem is with who they have sex. And this confusion through eliminating friendships and spiritual love is what injures people emotionally and mentally.
Here are some more scripture verses that both detail the difference between flesh and spirit, and also describes love as spiritual:
"Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control." (Galatians 5:16-17, 22-23)I think it would be great for friends and for congregations to express their love for one another - yes, say "I love you" - during the course of a week or a month to see how it affects and changes the friends and the congregations. Yes, try to reclaim the spirituality of love librated from the flesh.
"Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11)
"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart." (1 Peter 1:22)