The church will fail at meeting the needs of Christians who struggle with homosexuality if it doesn’t value friendship the way it values marriage.
During the past 20 years, Christians felt they were in a war for marriage. They felt they needed to protect it. This indirectly excluded Christians who struggled with Homosexuality because the Church didn’t focus on meeting the needs of those members. The Church used energy to politically defend it’s idea of marriage and didn’t save any energy for meeting the needs of these particular Christians.
When the U.S Supreme Court was listening to the arguments concerning Prop 8, both sides arguing their case referred to marriage as an ancient historical institution created by humans for the reproduction and creation of a family and where love can be experienced. This human connection has been in existence since the beginning of human history.
The Church also keeps this human interaction called marriage in place and believes that God created this human relationship. The Church has created multiple theologies concerning this topic.
But one human interaction American society and the Christian Church has ignored that has been in human civilization since the beginning of time is the relationship of Blood Brothers .
As a Christian who struggles with Homosexuality, I look to the Christian Church and the scriptures for guidance concerning my life. As I have studied to understand a Christian ethic of sexuality, I realized my Christian evangelical community’s theology of sexuality is more influenced by Disney eros and Western American eros rather than a Biblical Christian tradition eros.
At the same time, I was studying about this eros love, I ran into another love, one called Phila love, a love that seems to be lost in the Church. A love I think can solve the issues of Christians who struggle with homosexuality. This is called Brotherly love. And this brotherly love has been known throughout human history as a
And the Church starts with this love.
It started with Abraham and God making a blood Covenant as friends. (James 2:23)
And it was reaffirmed when Jesus made a Blood Covenant with humans(all the New Testament)
Blood Brothers, depending on it’s lived in context, can be the greatest expression of male friendship. All throughout human civilization it has been celebrated and praised in myths, art, legends, ancient stories, and is still practiced in remote areas of the world for thousand of years, just like marriage. (look up the book called Blood Brothers by Jack Donovan, it is a book that is filled with 100 to 200 stories of rituals and cultures that celebrated blood brothership. Look at the author's multiples sources, it is amazing. Also, just google it and do some research)
“The desire to create blood-brotherhood seems to be a natural outgrowth of male friendship, an acknowledgment of the simple fact that men often develop bonds with men outside their biological family just as they do with their own kin. It is an answer to the question, "Why should we, too, not be brothers?" Blood-brotherhood extends the biological family; it creates a meta-family- a family beyond family. It borrows from the emotional range natural to brotherhood-Loyalty, camaraderie, mutually understood trust, and a sense of mutual empathy and attachment based on sharedhistory, experiences, and interest.” - Blood Brothers, Jack Donovan
We see these male friendships at times exist within our own lives. I know a couple of male friends that have this kind of connection and actually celebrate it. Since our society and Christian churches don't know how to celebrate these certain relationships anymore, we have words for these friendships that help us deal with the awkwardness. We call it bromance.
Historically, the church used to celebrate it and even had a ceremony in which the two males would take communion together and make a covenant with each other for life.
Wesley Hill talks about these covenants in his book called Spiritual Friendship.
The love between friendships is great! They can be better than marriages, they can be more intimate than marriages, and it was also created by God. The Church was so concerned with fighting for the value of marriage, it forgot to fight for the value of friendship.
The concept of a blood brother is remarkable. If you had a blood brother, anything they had was yours, and anything you had was theirs. You would defend each other’s honor, family, resources. You would celebrate with a ceremony that involved both of your blood (sounds similar to what God did with Abraham and what Jesus did with the Church) in front of a group of witnesses. You knew you can count on this person for anything. It was a covenant for life!
Christians who struggle with homosexuality have a hard time being in Church communities because we don’t know if people are committed to us for life. Church leaders like to say trust in God for your needs because it takes the burden off of them to actually sacrifice their idea of family.
If Christian churches incorporated an ancient historical Christian idea of covenants between people of the same-sex like they incorporate covenants of people of the opposite sex, then our idea of Church community will be way more intimate and committed which is an environment that will bless and meet the needs of many more humans that need to experience love and commitment.
The gay marriage debate was about people of the same sex fighting for an idea that they want someone to commit to them for life and meet their needs. Besides sexuality, I see gay affirming humans asking the question that blood brothers answered, “Can someone be committed to me for life?” “Can others celebrate with me this covenant I am making with someone of the same sex as me?”
The answer to these questions is yes!
Let’s make blood brothers in the Church!
God did it with Abraham and Jesus did it with his Church.
Why can’t we?
This is basically what those that struggle with homosexuality are asking for,
“Can someone make a covenant with me?”
“I promise to be there for you, defend your honor, protect your family, give you what is mine?”
“Can you do the same?”
“Would you want to do this?”
“Would you want to be my blood brother?”
Pastors and Church leaders, the burden is on you to transform our Churches and create a more intimate and committed community of friendship and marriage.
If you can create, encourage, and celebrate an ancient idea called marriage to meet the needs of those who are heterosexual in the church.
Then you can create, encourage, and celebrate and ancient idea called Blood Brother to meet the needs of those who are single, lonely, and longing for deep intimate friendship.
Pastors and Church Leaders, talk about Blood Brothers, let’s do it.