Straight Side B: How to Do It Right

On the “What is Side B” page, I write about the term as if it belongs to gay Christians. (Perhaps there’s some sort of subconscious liberation dynamic going on there.) But in fact, side b is ultimately a theological position, and anyone can hold a position. Below is a link to an article published last month over at Evangelicals for Social Action. The author is Misty Irons, a straight, reformed evangelical who agrees with side b theology.

I can’t endorse every line of the author’s post. For example, I agree with writers like Ron Belgau who would stop short of saying that this is a Roman’s 14 issue. But I can enthusiastically share her article as a shining example of a straight Christian who has, at real cost to herself, been intentional about moving beyond assumptions and theological positions developed in a vacuum, largely devoid of any meaningful interaction with gay people, and into a place of understanding and intimate familiarity with her same-sex attracted brothers and sisters.

It’s a lengthy article, well worth reading in its entirety. But here are some of my favorite excerpts to serve as an appetizer if you haven’t got time to devote to a full read-through at the moment:

“Now, when the conservative church gets the feeling that they might have been wrong about something, we don’t apologize. Instead we shift ground. We tell ourselves we’re still basically right, we’re just fine-tuning, and we kind of pretend that we never made some of those outlandish statements in the past, even though we tolerate perfectly well those who continue to make them.”

“These days I’ve been hearing a saying that goes like this: “You shouldn’t call yourself gay, because your identity is in Christ.” Another version I hear: “Calling yourself a gay Christian is an oxymoron.” I’m still trying to figure out why so many in the church have latched onto this mantra, as if getting it wrong on the issue of choice and getting it wrong on the issue of change somehow puts us in the credible position of now being able to dictate to gay people about such a personal matter as what to call themselves.”

“…whichever view you hold to, we should be able to agree that aside from differences in orientation, gays and straights both experience sexuality in the same way. That is why the best analogy you can use to understand homosexuality is not adultery, not fornication, not struggle or temptation. The best, most useful analogy you can use to understand homosexuality is heterosexuality.”

“If straight Christians were to love their gay brothers and sisters in Christ like that, there would probably be no need for an organization like the Gay Christian Network, because the regular old church would be doing its job.”

You can read the full article here:
Homosexuality: What’s Next for the Conservative Evangelical Church?



One thought on “Straight Side B: How to Do It Right

  1. Thanks for the article Mike. The question on how to label myself “gay christian…SSA” has been haunting me lately. I’m working thru it, trying to figure out what this life is supposed to look like.


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