Coming Out Narratives


I really do doubt if there is a person on the face of the earth who can claim, 'God loves me just as I am'

In the drama of the current 'coming out narratives' that we hear from celebrities there does seem to be a particularly Protestant theological strand that runs counter to our traditional belief of what we are and who God is. This phrase, 'God loves me just as I am' needs a little dissecting. It is rarely given any qualification nowadays, even rarer does it receive any criticism, even in the Catholic Church. The phrase, 'God loves me' can be aptly used by any sinner, but only a certain kind of sinner can follow it up by saying 'just as I am'.


St Jerome: Someone forgot to tell him God loved
him as just he was
The only people who can really assert that God loves me, 'just as I am', are those who would follow a 'once saved, always saved' creed that denies the idea that we inherit a fragile, fallen human nature and that we can turn away from God and fall into mortal sin. It also denies that the sinner can, in Christ, be restored, healed, forgiven, purified, forgiven indeed, cleansed indeed time and time again. If God loves us, 'just as I am', then why the need for Purgatory? Why indeed, the need for the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ our Lord?

The phrase, 'just as I am' limits the possibility for divine grace to work in the soul. Last night, a local man who I know who sleeps in a loading bay was pelted with eggs by youths while he hid under his sleeping bag. Does God love those youngsters who threw eggs at him 'just as we are'? Or does God wish to see their repentance? Does God love the paedophile, 'just as I am'? Does God love the armed robber 'just as I am'?

There are things we can say about Christ and His Mother which we cannot say of the rest of the human race. One of them is this. Mary, being without stain of sin of any kind, is loved by God, just as she is, because she is 'full of grace' and is perfect in her obedience to the will of God. God loves her as she is because she is perfect, spotless and holy. She is Immaculate. Christ is fully God and fully man, the Son of the Father, able to say that the love that the Father has for Him is perfect, because He Himself is perfect and obedient to the Father. Christ can say, God the Father loves me 'just as I am'.

For Christ is the Just One, the perfect image of the Father, the true Son. He can say, 'I am just'. He - and He alone - can say, 'I am' for before Abraham was, 'I Am'. He is the Eternal Word. For any Christian to say that God loves me 'just as I am' implies a total lack of understanding of repentance, indicates a spirit of pride, as if we are blameless or in some way lacking in any guilt.

God loves you just as you are? You won't be needing us then!

This phrase, which is rolled out by so many claiming the Christian identity, but who then discover their sexual preference is for people of the same sex, or some other passing sinful pleasure, is a complete abandonment of the very basic Christian principle that we are sinners who have been bought by the Precious Blood of Christ - that in Him we receive a spirit of adoption in which we are truly children of the Father.

Now, in all this I would not say that those who 'come out' in public, especially if they are Christians, are doing something terrible. What I object to is this defiant gesture in 'coming out' that rejects the most fundamental principles of the Christian teaching on sin and salvation. If someone wants to say, 'I am gay and/or I have had sexual relationships with others of the same sex, but God loves me' I cannot object. The phrase 'God loves me' can easily imply, 'even though I have sinned so many times against Him'.

"Hand over the money and, while we are at it, remember that God loves me just as I am..."

However, if someone says the same and adds to the end of that assertion this is 'because God loves me just as I am' that person, whoever they are, has, it can be argued, rejected the Christian Faith, because the same phrase can be used by the pornographer, the adulterer, the terrorist, the miser and the thief. If God loves us 'just as we are' we can, by implication, wallow in our mortal sins until we die or Christ returns, with no compunction whatsoever.

God loves me. I don't know why, but God loves me. It is certainly no doing on my part that God loves me. I give God a million reasons not to love me, but God loves me. I may not be fit for Heaven by the end of my life, that is unlikely, but God loves me and if by His grace I die in a state of grace, strengthened by the Sacraments of Holy Church, He will show me His Salvation, the glory stored up for me and all who long for the reward that He alone can give, but if with my many faults, I believe that God loves me 'just as I am', then I, along with a host of Christian celebs, am utterly deluded, for, as St John says, 'if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.'

*I charge a 10% service charge and, remember, God loves me just as I am
In my experience - and I have some - there is no 'magical solution' for the homosexual or the person with 'same-sex attraction'. There is no miraculous 'cure' for the condition of homosexuality.

What Jesus does offer to us is healing, a very different thing, and a continuous process of healing it is that will, if not completed in this life, be completed in the life to come. Is it really that controversial to hold onto that view? How do these celebrity lesbians and homosexuals know God loves them 'just as I am'? Where is that in Scripture? For all they know, God might have a plan for them to marry someone of the opposite sex for their eternal happiness and for His Glory, or some other path.

I guess that if I had maintained consistently, since my conversion to the Catholic Faith, that God loves me 'just as I am', I wouldn't be getting married to a person of the opposite sex in a Catholic Church this year, but then, hey, there is no accounting for those freaky Catholics who actually believe the Church's teaching. Best to go with the flow and see where it goes. Eh? No? Let's face it, there is only one 'coming out narrative' that the World wants and that just so happens to be the one that refuses to honour Christ and His Church and that spreads the 'LGBTQI' agenda around the globe. I guess that's just a co-incidence we'll all just have to live with.

Comments

Joe Potillor said…
Interesting thoughts...I agree with them entirely
Jacobi said…
God loves us all, but not as we are, because we are all sinners.

A person of homosexual incliniation does not sin as such. A "Gay" person that is one who indulges in homosexual activity, does sin, therefore does not enjoy the complete love of God, who calls on us to be perfect, Matthew 5 : 48, that is, not sin.

Quite simple really!
Kristin LA said…
Heartfelt congratulations on your impending nuptials!
Unknown said…
Growing up Southern Baptist in Georgia, every Sunday at the time of the altar call, we would sing l00 verses (well it seemed like 100) of a hymn called Just As I Am. Of course the assumption was that if you walked the aisle to the altar, you would amend your life.


Just as I am has taken on a whole new meaning amongst many of today's PC Christians.


Seattle Kim
Savonarola said…
Surely the phrase as we use it means, God loves me just as I am in my sinfulness. He does not want me to stay there of course, but will continue to love me as I try to move on from my sinfulness. How is this not the Catholic view?
Unknown said…
Yeah congrats, Bonester! Wish I lived closer, I'd play the organ for free at your wedding.

Also congrats to the future Mrs. Bonester.


Seattle Kim
Nicolas Bellord said…
Interesting post. I have heard several people excusing some bad behaviour saying "well that is the way I am" or "that is my view". Is it not a cry of despair? They have struggled perhaps with some besetting sin but without sanctifying grace they are unable to overcome it? So they despair of improvement and give up. Salvation is only through Christ. But can somebody who is far from the Church, perhaps through no fault of their own, receive sanctifying grace in some way?
Matthaeus said…
I would like to add my congratulations on your forthcoming marriage to those you have already received.
May God grant you both His grace, and many years together.
Annie said…
As a Catholic, I believe that God loves me. He brought me into existence because He loved the very thought of me. He loved me from the second He imagined me and that love will go on forever - even to giving me the freedom to choose Hell, as terrible as that would be. For that reason, I can say with complete confidence that God loves me.

What I could never say is that God loves me just as I am because that would mean that He loves the sinful part of me as well and that can never be. I simply can't imagine any Catholic who understands his faith even attempting to say those words. We're either in a state of sin or recovering from sin, if we've just walked out of the Confessional (and we all know how long *that* lasts). But even when we're momentarily sinless we've still been weakened by sin and then God gives us the graces from the Sacraments to strengthen our resistance to further sin - another sign that He doesn't love us "just as we are" for then He would leave us alone and that would be disastrous.

What temptation to pride are the words, "God loves me just as I am". If we make it to Heaven then, yes, we will hear those glorious words and know they're true because we are free not only of sin but of even the temptation to sin. That's okay, though, because in this vale of tears I know that "God loves me" and that's enough to give me hope that with His help I'll make it.
viterbo said…
there is a wretched well-known lgbt hymn writer bloke in my chicken neck of the woods - his miserable self-centred 'here I am lord', is a pop fav at every mass - what does the hmmmm-hymn really say? 'iazz gay yaw lord sa ya gotigit widit you all come ta me see where Iaz is or ffiffit!' This is respected and vociferously defended hymnnmudihmmm stuff by supposed apostolic sons who really aren't courting Truth, Lord have mercy, just itching for a millstone round his shoulder spike.

p.s. God bless you and the woman to whom you will be made one, Mr Bones. And remember there was Hollywood crooner called Eddie Fisher who wrote his sex life (an old Hollywood ho who's daughter was Carrie Fisher who had to read the book to respond to media) Carrie Fisher said ' I felt like I needed to get my DNA fumigated', but in the book ho-ster Eddie Fisher accused Debbie Reynolds of being a lesbian. An accusation which, Carrie Fisher, defender her mother Debbie Reynolds in later book wrote - 'My mother is not a lesbian, just a really, really bad heterosexual' - for which there was a lot of compassion in the world before lenin-labels-and-liberalist became the fascist-fist of rolling fashion. Congatulation, Laurence, God bless you and yours.
Anonymous said…
Great - your's getting married Mr. Bones!
Prayers for you and your wife to be!

God bless you both!

Barbara
Anonymous said…
Congratulation Bones!
Romulus said…
The root of the problem is that people confuse "love" with "like". Love is an act of the will, a desire for the good of a person. Liking is a sentiment, an affective disposition. The fact that God desires the good for each of us does not at all equate to a belief that each of us, as he is at present, enjoys God's pleased approval and favor.
Unknown said…
Omg Viterbo---you must be near San Francisco. Dan Schutte, ex-priest and composer in residence at San Francisco U (a Jesuit University) sends me emails wanting to come and do music workshops at the Novus Ordo parish where I am organist, pianist and choir director.. I've thought of asking him if he'll be bringing his. 'Partner' if we invite him. But I'm not that snarky, so I just delete his emails.
May God bless you, your future wife and any children He sends your way!

An interesting rejoinder to the "God loves me just as I am" is to remind them that Jesus always called people to repentance. Never did He permit them to remain in their current states.
viterbo said…
@unknown: no i don't live that particular chicken neck of the woods - unfortunatley the protestant phemomenon of 'here I am lord and hurry up about it because i can't be buggered seeking You or Asking for You or, indeed, knocking on any doors for You', is world-wide. Thing is then the only 'lord' they get is one of their own making because they're all staying put in perdition land - something bergoglio INC. preaches and teaches with such sauve you'd think they were made of suede. It's only when truth comes into the picture that they turn into the real anti-truth bristled boar's with a vegeance that they are.

happily there was and is enough truth in our awareness that we can see the bore/boar behind the slack habit.
jaykay said…
Dear Bones: coming to this very late but sincere congratulations on your forthcoming wedding. God bless you both.