Tim and I met a few years ago at a 24 watch party. His natural intelligence, unabashed geekiness, and “Snaps” skills made us quick friends. Plus, he managed a Starbucks so there was free coffee in it for me.
Before long, I needed a new place to live and so did he. With a third friend, we rented a house together. Our friendship grew. Soon, I discovered that Tim is a serious Christian whose poignant reflections on faith and life set him apart from the pack. He was an usher in my wedding. One day, Tim told me that he had been in a years-long battle with same-sex attraction. Thus began a new aspect of our friendship.
I don’t know if my feeble attempts to support him helped at all, but Tim’s transparency was important for me. I learned a lot about the many different ways individuals experience homosexual inclination, the extent of sexual promiscuity amongst gays, and what is and isn’t helpful for those of us seeking to love our friends and family members grappling with homosexuality.
One lesson in particular stands out from the rest. Tim vacillated between acceptance of his sexual inclinations and the greater calling of his faith for years before finally finding rest in the decision to let Jesus be enough. That arduous journey was made much, much more difficult by voices from within the Church encouraging him to embrace his inclination to homosexuality.
During times when I wonder if my work with the Manhattan Declaration is worth it, I think about Tim. I imagine what it would be like if friends, counselors, pastors, and theologians worked to convince me that my greatest struggles with sin were unnecessary. That to be prideful, lusty, and greedy is just “how I was made” and that God loves me just the same. How tempting to believe such a lie! How much would I need voices of truth reminding me of my higher calling? To remind me that while God loves me just as I am, He loves me enough to make possible something greater?
When it comes to policy, God’s purpose for each human life is not an argument that yields great results in the public square. And that’s okay. Science, reason, and experience ought to form the basis of our arguments; ultimately, all truth points to the Creator. But the Manhattan Declaration is about much more than just public policy. Its subtitle is “A call of Christian conscience.” We aim to remind the Church of its role as the voice of Truth, no matter the prevailing tides in the broader culture or politics. To speak Truth is to love.
Learn more about Tim’s story in his own words! Check out the video below: