The BBC recently produced a short documentary film about a couple of British Christians with same-sex attraction. It was a fascinating piece that sought to address a wildly contentious subject that has split popular opinion in the Church of today.
One of those interviewed was David Bennett, an Oxford academic who both identifies as gay and openly states that he has committed himself to life-long celibacy. Bennett, who is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Oxford and is a fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA), spoke at OCCA’s youth apologetics training forum, Reboot, explaining more about his journey to faith in Christ.
“If I didn’t know God and Jesus, I’d say ‘no I don’t want to be celibate,'” Bennett told the 1,000 young people in attendance. “But Scripture was really clear to me, that gay marriage wasn’t an option.”
“I had to give that up,” he continued. “It was very hard when I became a Christian, because a lot of my LGBT friends didn’t understand. It was a very difficult path, but it has been an amazingly joyous and glorious one, too.”
Then, after Bennett came off stage, a BBC reporter pressed him on his sexual behavior or lack thereof.
“Let’s be clear on celibacy, so, no sex?” she asked.
“Yeah, no sex,” he replied.
“No kissing?” she continued, clearly perplexed by his answer.
“Well, problem is, they are all linked,” he replied. “If I kiss someone, there is going to be sexual desire involved.”
The reporter then suggested that Bennett’s bold personal choices would surely result in him being starved of an incredible life experience.
“Do you not feel you are going to be missing out?” she asked.
Bennett’s answer to that was, quite frankly, profound.
“No,” he replied. “The thing is, that’s what I want people to understand — that God is real.”
He continued, speaking of his conversion experience:
“When I was saved in that pub when I was 19, I met a real God, a living presence in my body that provides intimacy for me. So, I don’t need to have sex,” he said.
“The problem with our society is that we think that sex is intimacy, but that’s not true,” Bennett added. “It can be, but only in the right context.”
The BBC reporter then suggested that Bennett’s beliefs, which are clearly in line with the Bible, could be “dangerous” because they express the idea of “denying yourself” in some capacity.
“I think that’s a fundamental misunderstanding,” he boldly replied. “I’m saying I’ve fallen in love with Christ, the living God incarnate, and he’s fulfilling me. I’d say you’re reading me in a way that is actually about your own perception.”
Bennett has just released a book, “A War of Loves,” in which he recounts his dramatic story, “from his early years exploring new age religions and French existentialism to his university experiences as an [LGBT] activist,” according to the book’s description.
“Following supernatural encounters with God, he embarked on a journey not only of seeking to reconcile his faith and sexuality but also of discovering the higher call of Jesus Christ,” it reads.
To learn more about Bennett and his incredible story, click here.