One study of the biographies of 1004 eminent people found homosexual and bisexual people overrepresented (11 percent of the sample), especially among poets (24 percent), fiction writers (21 percent), and artists and musicians (15 percent) (Ludwig, 1995).

When I read this statistic, I was not surprised, but more impassioned than ever to my commitment to drawing and nurturing artists in the church. There is a small, but growing percentage of those who practice homosexuality in our society. It is easy to prove to Bible believing Christians that homosexuality is prohibited in scripture, but effecting our culture to curb the tide of homosexual practice is more complicated.

I remember when musician and worship songwriter, Dennis Jernigan, visited our college to share his testimony which included redemption from a perilous homosexual lifestyle. I can’t help but think his story is similar to many others who find themselves facing such temptations. Raised in a Christian home, his father was a very traditional masculine man who had very little understanding or appreciation for his son’s artistic bent and sensitive nature. Over time, unable to gain his father’s approval, as all children need from fathers, he rebelled from the very core of who his father was in an effort to find his identity. The bitterness was so great toward his father that he resented any heterosexual masculinity that remained in him, identifying with others who felt ostracized by society as he did: the homosexual culture. Thankfully, God has since freed him of this lifestyle to become a fully redeemed husband and father. I believe Dennis’ story is typical of many homosexual men. I have known a few Christian friends who have succumbed to the deception of homosexuality and their stories relay this similar kind of brokenness and confusion.

In “The Leadership of the Sexes,” Michael Gurian spells out the fascinating science behind real brain differences between men and women. Contrary to some popular belief, there are real brain differences between the sexes. There is no “third sex” of any kind in the ways our brains are wired. However, there are those who think and behave differently from the usual male or female ways of thinking and behaving. There are kids who feel that something must be wrong with them because they don’t quite fit in with the other girls or the other boys. Our sex-crazed society has been quick to teach children to question their sexuality by exploring sexual options. As Christians we know that God finds sex between a husband and wife as the only “sexual option.” Science backs up the Judeo-Christian view with the dangerous physical and psychological risks that are associated with people who deviate from God’s one option. What Michael Gurian has found is that there is a distinctly “male brain” a distinctly “female brain,” but that there is also a whole range along the spectrum between where we fall on the male/female brain grid. There is the “bridge brain” which is either a male who has some more middle of the road tendencies (between the male and female brain) in his brain or a female who also has more middle of the road tendencies in her brain. The scientists are not saying that males ever convert to think totally like females or vice versa, just that there are those women who think less like the typical woman and men who think less like the typical man.

I will venture to hypothesize that it is these “bridge brained” people who tend to question their sexuality the most, especially when hurt or confused. Many of these types of people are artists of all types. The individualistic and non-conformist artist lifestyle lends itself well to being a little outside the norm. For example, women tend to have a more highly developed corpus collosum, or brain connector that helps each side of the brain talk back and forth. This connector is stronger in musicians so that you find men who are musicians better able to perform tasks that women typically dominate. A man who has a bridge brain may feel the need to express emotion more readily, which triggers uncomfortable stress hormones in the typical male brain. The bridge brained woman may excel at leadership or advanced technical thinking, and may feel ostracized by women who do not understand. These bridged brained women and men are not created homosexual. If they were, the homosexual lifestyle would pose no special health risks. Rather, they are made by God with unique gifts, challenges, and advantages that differ from those of their peers. The lifestyle of the artist tends to provide a culturally acceptable way for those who need to express their unique identity.

So what does this mean for those of us in the church? We must be a safe haven for those who are different from the norm. In our families, we must be careful not to operate out of fear of our children becoming gay, that we force them into an artificial gender mold we have created for them. My daughter should have the freedom to be as girly or as sporty or as intelligent or as bold as God has created her to be. Likewise, my sons should be allowed to pretend to shoot things as well as to freely express and discuss their feelings as much as they like. I, as a parent, refuse to mold my kids into my narrow view of what they should or should not be. I provide a compass of moral value laid out in scripture, but I allow them the room to interpret God’s purpose for their lives.

In our churches, we must do the same. We must open our arms wide to those we do not understand, seeking to see from their perspective, and even identify with their pain. We must father and mother those who were never taught that there is room in God’s plan for many various individual expressions of masculinity and femininity. We must be intentional in drawing and cultivating artistic talent from outside and from within. If these bridge brained people have a place to shine within church culture, they will not need to look outside the church for validation, to the world that lies to them about who they are. Homosexuals also tend to be very gifted, intelligent, and wealthy people. This means that if we do not grapple with the intelligent questions they ask, providing them with only trite answers, we will lose our brightest minds. We will even be losing out on the the potential of healthy families and the wonderful children that may result. We will lose some of them tragically to AIDS. If we can’t find a place for their expressions in the church, we will lose their bodies, their souls, and their spirit.

We need those who are currently lost to homosexuality back in the church. We need a vision of seeing these people actively creating, communicating, and expressing the gospel to those who need it most. Business leaders of our day are capitalizing on them. The culture of the day is winning their hearts. If all we do is call their lifestyle wrong, we are only widening the rift between us. First, we need to value them as real individuals, as people. With a spirit of love we pray to God for the wisdom to help them find the truth about the identity and purpose God has for them. This issue is only going to intensify in the days ahead and the sooner we take the time to look at the complexities of the issue, the better prepared we will be to reap the harvest of these precious ones.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30 NIV84)

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