Monday, April 24, 2006

The Process Continues

This is a continuation of the series that started here. I have been internet chatting with a pastor I encountered in on a Christian Chat site. I had just recently "come out" to myself and was struggling to see myself as not as gay but as a pastor and person of integrity that also happens to be gay.

Hi Bill,
The psychologist in me began to think about the last message I sent. I was wondering why I felt the need to mention the porn. I guess I am still not ok with me checking out porn. In pastor mode; should I feel guilty about porn? I am not looking at it at work. I do ebb and flow with my usage of it. I do feel bad because people are doing this so I can get off to it. What is one supposed to do with sex drive when one is alone?My therapist would probably ask if I want you to get angry with me and chastise me. Maybe I am still looking for a reason to say that I am a bad and evil person, not fit to live.

Thanks again


I'm barely awake yet so forgive me if this goes astray or makes little sense. I think you told me for two reasons: one, you may want to be chastised; two, you needed to tell someone.

Right off the bat you should know I'm not going to chastise you. That's not what I do. I listen and try to help. As far as I'm concerned, chastisement is not help, it's a motivator by guilt and I think our church has used quite enough of that over the years. That and I don't think Jesus was a guilt-tripper.

The problem with porn, beyond the fact that it is exceptionally tempting because it appeals to our deep instincts, is the moral quandary it causes. On the one hand, there are those who use it to deal with their drives in the alone times. I'd rather see that than dangerous promiscuity any day. And there are monogamous couples who use it to rekindle flames that have perhaps dwindled over time. I think there are times when it can be healthy.

That being said, there are also times when it can be horribly unhealthy. I'm not even going to argue about the conditions in the adult industry itself, I don't know enough about it, beyond reports made by those who already have an axe to grind. I'm talking about the addictive qualities it can have. I think if porn use stands in the way of a regular, healthy expression of God's gift of sexuality, then it's a problem. Trouble is, that is the case for quite a few people. This is indeed a thick, messy topic.

So, in other news, I'm glad that you laid back and laughed and had a heart to heart with God. It sounds as though you're coming to terms with your sexuality gradually, and dealing appropriately with issues raised by your discernment. This does my heart glad.

Talk with you again soon.



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