Allan Edwards is the Pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania. He recently sat down with reporter Rachel Martin from NPR to discuss his decision to marry a woman, despite his homosexual tendencies. The entire interview is available for listening at the bottom of this article.
Even though Pastor Edwards finds men attractive and wants to have sex with them, he thinks acting out on these desires and fantasies is a sin. He is very open about this during the interview and explains his reasoning behind his decision to become involved with a woman as a life partner.
Here is a bit of the interview:
You decided that your faith was so important, and you believed you couldn’t be both a gay and a Christian, that you just decided to sequester that part of yourself?
That’s right, but I don’t want to label myself gay. There are friends of mine who identify as gay Christians, and they believe that for them, a life of celibacy is necessary.
So, you decided that you didn’t want to be celibate, that you wanted a marriage, you wanted a partnership, you wanted a sexual relationship with a woman?
We should point out there are several Christian denominations that do not consider gay relationships to be sinful, that allow ministers to marry gay couples. Was that just never an option for you?
I actually tried to go down that road. Right, so the center of Christianity is the Bible, OK. Accepting that tenant, which is kind of an essential tenet of Christianity, I thought, OK, if we can get to a place where we understand that the Bible doesn’t actually prohibit this thing that I think is prohibited then it would be OK. And, so I studied different methods of reading the Scripture, and it all came down to this. Jesus accepts the rest of the Scripture as divine from God. So if Jesus is who he says he is then we kind of have to believe what he believes.
So, basically, since he interprets the bible as saying being gay is wrong, he wont indulge in his natural instincts of being with a man. If he found text in the Bible that allowed it, things would be different. Instead, he would be conducting the interview with a guy named Steve (presumably), in place of his wife Leeanne, by his side.
Rachel asked him if other churches were sinning by condoning this practice and he responded that sin was too loaded a word but had this to say about the matter:
So, friends of mine who are in the Christian tradition, who don’t see homosexual relationships or activity as outside of the bounds – I think that they’re in error. And, I would say that especially pastors and Christian teachers who tell people it’s OK to engage in homosexual behavior, that they’re leading people astray. They’re leading people away from something really beautiful that God offers, and that is wholeness, redemption, and grace.
Pastor Edward’s wife decided she would join in on the questioning at around this point in the interview. When she was presented with the obvious concerns of a woman getting into a relationship with a man who desired men, instead of women, she had this to say:
Sure, there were concerns. Absolutely. As we were dating and even through the process of being engaged, Allan had to come to me one day and share that he had fallen into the struggles of pornography again which is something he often would turn to whenever he wasn’t feeling satisfied and was struggling against some of the feelings that he had.
And, I wondered if he was going to be able to put something like that behind him or if it was going to be something that would affect our relationship.
Pastor Edwards jumped in towards the end of the interview and wanted to address any doubts that people might have about how strong his relationship is, or if it will even last:
Folks have said that to me. They said, you know, one of these days you’re either just going to ruin your family’s life or you’re going to commit suicide. And, that’s hard to hear, obviously. But, I guess my response to that is everybody has this experience of wanting something else or beyond what they have. Everyone struggles with discontentment. The difference, I think, and the blessing, I think, that Leeanne and I have experienced is that we came into our marriage relationship already knowing and talking about it. And, that actually, I think, is a really powerful basis for intimacy.
They say communication is everything in a relationship. There you have it.
Listen to the full interview here:
H/T: Pastor likes men | Featured Image: Youtube screen grab