I guess I'll first give you a short(ish) background about myself. I'm 31, was raised in a Christian family, went to a Christian elementary, jr high, high school. When I was 12 years old, I began to discover that I had attractions to men. I tried to make myself think about girls, because I knew otherwise was unacceptable to my family, my church, and I thought to my God. I can vividly remember one morning waking up sobbing and telling my mother that God didn't love me anymore. I didn't tell her why. I don't think I knew why. But looking back, I realize it's because I felt so seperated from His Love.
Continuing on... I dated girls in high school, because I was terrified of someone thinking for a second that I wasn't straight, but never felt ashamed persuing, say, less than perceived masculine activities (ie: piano, gymnastics, art, etc.) I was never like the other boys, and knew it. I went off to college where I began to embrace my sexuality. Maybe a little too much. I completely turned my back on God, became a self-proclaimed agnostic, because I was unable to fit the things I was taught growing up with what I felt in my heart. Eventually, years later, I had a friend invite me to church, and everything came crumbling down. I felt God's love and knew that He was calling me back. Then the problem became my sexuality. Where does that go? Where does this fit, I asked myself. SO I shelved it, didn't really think about it, avoided those verses like the plague. Which brings us to today...
My mother has never supported my sexuality. She loves me, I don't doubt that. And there have been periods where her and I have had discussions and then years pass where we don't speak about it at all. Only now, that I've been in a relationship for almost a year have I felt the need to speak to her about it. And things have not been easy. I've been researching, investigating, disecting, devouring, scouring the Scripture trying to make sense of things, trying to convince her that it's not wrong. I know the verses, I know that some people believe it to be temple prostitution, inhospitality the sin of Sodom, etc. but so far it hasn't made the case for me. I hear what they are saying and, in context it makes sense, but when I really sit down and read the Bible in my hands it doesn't always gel. And trust me, I want it to gel.
I'm having a very difficult time with this, and I feel like the more I read and study the more confused I become. I've only recently started reading the OT for the first time and so much of it just, to be quite frank, shocking to me. For example, when I read in Numbers about the son of Eleazar being praised for running a spear through an Israelite man and a Moabite woman mid coitus, thus saving the whole community from plague. (And this is 2 books after Moses hands down 10 commandments.) To me it seems dangerous and contradictory. I just imagine someone today killing an adulterous couple because he claims it to be his duty, that God honors it, that in doing so he is being "passionate" and showing "zeal."
Additionally, (this is only something I've recently discovered, and I hope someone can provide me a logical explenation) I find it disheartening and suspicious that verses have been removed from the Biblical canon. I didn't believe it until I cracked open my Bible, flipped to the verse, and saw the numbers just skip. I was never told this growing up. I find it sort of infuriating. There must be a reason, an answer.
In the end, I just feel very very very confused, and, to be honest, sort of numb. I just pray daily for guidance and direction, and have confidence that God will provide a path.
So my question is: has anyone gone through similar experience? And if so, how did you come to terms?
Second: Can anyone provide any good books that can better describe what is meant in the "clobber passages." And not necessarily, the most convenient view of acceptance, but the truest. Or even better, one that contrasts and compares.
Third, I feel like I'm so desperate to change my mother's perspective (and I think in turn make things ok for myself), how did any of you convince or alter the perceptions of those you love who thought otherwise?
And lastly, (as uneasy and maybe disturbing this is to address, and not quite sure how to) as a gay man I love men, I am completely and utterly attracted to my partner physically and emotionally, yet I sometimes wonder why anal penetrative sex can, well, be yucky. And I know it's not for everyone, and I enjoy it, but I just cant help wonder if this is what God inteads. Make sense? Sorry, if I grossed anyone out with that.
Thank you all, for your time reading and any advice you can provide. I am so blessed to know that there are many on this journey with me, some further along than others, that are willing to hold out a hand.