When I wrote "I choose not to be straight" I finished with a flourish:
For in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, gay nor straight.
This has led some to wonder whether I am abandoning all other identities other than Christian. If so, then my post proves too much. We shouldn't identify according to modern categorizations of sexuality but neither should we identify as anything. We're simply in Christ. In every other sense we're a blank sheet.
But I'm not saying that. Firstly, Paul is happy to speak to people about their particular identities and responsibilities as Jews/Greeks, as slaves/free and as male/female. What he's saying is that all are on an equal footing and have full access to God in Christ. That's the Galatians-3-sense in which there is no "gay or straight" - these labels mean nothing in terms of our ability to come to God in Christ.
But of course there are a thousand ways in which our nationality, our gender, our calling and, yes, even our sexuality shape us. Those identities are not eliminated by being "in Christ" but they must all be re-thought, re-ordered and re-established as sub-identities by grace and through faith.
As we do that - as we re-think sexuality - we come up against something we don't find with, for instance, gender. From Genesis 1 onwards, gender is a given fact of our humanity. Only in the last hundred years or so have westerners thought of sexuality the way we have. Therefore, when the re-think comes, gender has infinitely more hold on us than these modern categories.
One Facebook commenter took me as abandoning all sub-identities, gender included. Not at all. And one of my biggest beefs with PoMo-Sexuality is its side-lining of gender in favour of a rather Gnostic love of 'desires.' One of the great problems with our modern view of sexuality is its disregard for the given-ness of our physical lives. I am male, I am in a one-flesh union - FACT. Who I am determines what I do with my sexual desires, my sexual desires don't determine who I am.
So gender has a hugely more massive purchase on my identity than "sexuality." But in my opinion, the way to challenge our modern categories of "sexuality" is to begin with "heterosexual". Before we say "You mustn't be a Gay Christian" I'd rather we said "You mustn't be a Straight Christian." There are many reasons for this.
Firstly, leading with repentance is a gospel move. Secondly, if we're going to subvert a whole system of thought we need to say disruptive and shocking things. But thirdly - and mainly - I think a side-B "Gay Christian" can end up being far more subversive of our false perspectives on sexuality than an unthinking "Straight Christian." The side-B "Gay Christian" has done a lot more work on these identity issues and on the meaning of Scripture than your average, unthinking "Straight Christian." The "Straight Christian" probably doesn't even know they are capitulating to unbiblical categories. The side-B "Gay Christian" is at least offering a measure of resistance to them. Therefore celibate "Gay Christians" are worthy of far more respect than those who, by default, buy into an unbiblical framework but simply happen to be on the more acceptable end of the spectrum!
This came home to me when I posted an article called "Is God homophobic?" I upheld the biblical teaching of sex belonging solely within the marriage of a man and a woman. This, however, was not enough to satisfy a commenter called "Independent Voter." He wrote...
Despite your watering down and deflecting, God’s word on this remains the same as it ever was: That homosexuality is an abomination, that God gave them up to their vile passions to receive in them the results of their chosen lifestyle. yell and scream all you want and call me whatever you want to call me. You nor I can change a word of The Bible. (emphasis mine)
Notice the irony? He doesn't want to change a word of the Bible - so instead he's changed several. Where the Bible is interested in behaviour, he's interested in "homosexuality" and in "lifestyle" - terms from Freudian and Adlerian psychology. He has no idea that he has capitulated to an atheistic world-view. He's just being "biblical." That's why we need to go after the "Straights"!
So... Yes to sub-identities. Yes to the importance of gender. Yes to sex belonging in marriage between a man and a woman. But, please No to an unthinking "Straight" Christianity.