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Collection of ebooks and software FREE for CIR Members
by Michael Tays Carter
Homosexuality was a biblical issue long before it became a political one. This booklet answers six important questions about man's existence and whether or not a God of perfect love exists. Are we only here by chance governed by an amoral "spirit of the universe?" Could it be there is a moral God who has set moral boundaries for our good--a God who loves us enough to literally save us from ourselves?
ONE: What about my Unmet Needs?
There is an Eat-Drink-And-Be-Merry-For-Tomorrow-We-Die party going strong. It is hosted by the famous "I-Have-Needs" with the popular "Get-Your-Needs-Met-Here" to greet you at the door. "Hate-The-Law" is dancing the night away with "New-Christ-Consciousness." "Doubt-The-Bible" has the crowded room in the palm of his hand. No one wants him to leave, but he has had so much to drink he staggers, and "Easy-Way-Out" has to show him to the door. Morning comes, and the place is still packed with people who all have needs at the Eat-Drink-And-Be-Merry-For-Tomorrow-We-Die party.
Married people who cheat have needs. Drug addicts have needs. Murderers have needs. Pedophiles and rapists have needs... What is to stop any of us from meeting our needs as we see fit? Who cares about the idea of rebelling against a moral God or hurting another human being in order to meet our (selfish) needs? When living a pure life seems too hard, what does it matter if we take the easy way out of pain?
You are not alone. Help is available.
You did it again. You messed up. You’re doomed to failure, why even try? These words of condemnation ring often in the heads of those on the recovery journey. Recovery from an eating disorder, addiction, trauma or other life-altering behavior is imperfect, fraught with difficulty and pitfalls. No one wakes up one morning “cured.” There’s no quick fix, and the road to healing and sanctification is often long, hard work, and requires deep spiritual transformation.
One of the most enduring challenges when fighting the battle toward wholeness is silencing the inner critic: the condemning voice that threatens to undo all our progress as we continue our march. It holds an unattainable standard of perfection in recovery over our heads, so that when we do make a misstep or give in to weakness, we see ourselves as utter failures, rather than beloved children of an understanding Father who holds our hand each step of the way.
Accepting God’s grace, even when we fail, ignites within us
While going through some of my childhood possessions, I came across something which took on a profound meaning to me: a kitten poster.
This was the first poster I got as a six year old. I immediately was captivated by it because of its cute factor. A small kitten, hiding in a paper bag? What's not to love?
You know, the phrase, "the cat is out of the bag?" Well, I couldn't deny that ditty followed me throughout my life, eating disorder shenanigans and, of course, my disclosure of and recovery from them. After all, within my book, "Thin Enough," I wrote a poem starting the chapter on disclosure, entitled, "The Cat is Out of the Bag."
Disclosure - it is intimidating.
Hug Me! Do We Fight Our Help?
I love this adorable cartoon post.
Dinosaur number one pleads, "Hug me!" to Dinosaur number two, who responds, "I'm trying."
I immediately thought of the "fighting your help" principle, both on the recovery front and the much larger spiritual playing field.
Many of us struggling with addictions, disorders and vices often employ a lot of self-sabotage when it comes to interaction and, yes, actual help.
We reiterate such statements as...
"I've made too many mistakes."
With those statements, we push others away; we fight our help.
And, of course, we do this with God.
There is a great contrast between love and lust. Lust is more of a sexual or greedy feeling, while love is more of a secure and content filled feeling we get from giving and receiving. Lust does not have to be something sexual, it can be a greedy desire for more money and power, etc. But for this article, I am using it in its sexual context.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 sums up the common traits and variances of love and lust.
LOVE is kind = considerate, caring, giving, thoughtful, understanding
Lust is envy = jealous, greed, spite, resentment,
LOVE is not proud = humble, submissive, meek, modest
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
Artist, Gerald Moira, creator of the 1898 piece, "The Silent Voice," is a haunting image. In it, we see a young woman with an ethereal creature whispering in her ear.
To me, it calls to mind recovery from addiction as it relates to silence and the voice. Personally speaking, my restrictive abusive childhood discouraged any use of my voice which was considered displeasing. "Children are to be seen and not heard." That's how the saying goes.
And that sentiment had its oppressive hand in my eating disorder development and thought processes. Things "innocently" started out as a desire to lose weight and be thin. But it wasn't long before the disorders, in all of their different forms, became about control and exerting my declaration of independence. In short, disordered eating/image became my voice screaming against the silenced abuse, inequity and toxic environment I endured.
But, just because I've been removed from that confining time and space, does not mean my need to deal with those triggering voices is over. Quite the contrary, in fact. For whispers still come from unexpected corners.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21
And these whispers are certainly not affirming. In the context of disorder and self-destructive tendencies, the whispers go more like this instead…
Remember when things used to be so great...
Remember how in control you were...
Remember how much better you looked being thinner...
Over the past decade, I have read many of your stories. Accounts of long and frustrating months, often years, in “gay recovery” groups accompanied by a severe and deep loneliness that grew steadily stronger instead of weaker. You close many of your testimonies with "I have learned to accept myself as gay, I know God loves me, and I am finally being true to myself."
I have not shared this before but, for a period of time, I very seriously considered joining your efforts. You had my attention and you had my respect. You see, your testimonies almost convinced me that I had chosen to run a doomed race. But there was one common claim in your media that just would not sit right with me; the statement it didn’t work. I needed to find out what it was and how it had failed you.
Was it the day in the park when you watched a young couple kissing and cuddling on a blanket and you could no longer rationalize the self-denial?
Perhaps you determined screw it the day your church made you feel more like a project than a Christian brother or sister.
Or could it have been that one evening, when you just needed someone to talk to and the only person who offered to come right over was Kirk, the guy you sometimes chatted with on gay.com and who is now your current partner?