You do have a talent for asking the tough ones, don’t you, Snark?! (BTW, I like the surname, and find it very well chosen, considering… ;))
Uh, several items need to be taken into consideration here. Where there is an objective standard at hand on which most of the world is agreed, reference to it is certainly called for. In your initial example, that is, it would be inappropriate to say “go for it” if you have reasonable doubts as to whether the person would successfully negotiate the slope in question. But rather than a simple warning, what would show more respect for him as an individual would be to describe the slope and its pitfalls and let him make the judgment as to whether it is too rough for him. This of course presupposes that he is a levelheaded adult who will not feel pressured into trying something to avoid looking “chicken” or to show off; in such case, you would know from your relationship how best to steer him away from a situation in which you feel he would essay something he cannot handle, out of a desire to “prove” something.
Now, in the case in question, while you and I would both agree that there is an objective standard, we would disagree as to what that standard in fact is. And while I would myself not encourage you to indulge in a one-night stand with another guy, if you should fall in love with him and decide that you want to spend the rest of your lives together, I would make a sincere effort to deal with your scruples as regards the sexual attraction you two would obviously at that point be feeling for each other.
At the same time, I would have to respect your own standard which says that, for you, any gay sex act would be sinful. (Please note that I am subverting my own notion of what is moral to honor yours, given that I am in a position where I am advising you. I would, quite obviously, not take the same stance if discussing this issue with matt_mcl – presumably the question would not come up!) As I noted several times when the issue has been raised, I would encourage self-acceptance and self-love as regards your orientation, which is effectively unchangeable (allowing that you may be able to condition yourself long-range, and that you are in fact bisexual, as was evidenced by your stated physical reaction when you were engaged), combined with you doing what you yourself consider moral. Please note that I am not judging the CoJCoLDS standard as regards homosexuality, but I need to say that you must not judge yourself on how you measure up to what they say, but by how you measure up to the standard you set yourself – presumably working from their standard as a loyal if sometimes inactive member, but interpreting it according to your own condition. What is key to me is not what you do but how you react to who you are.
Having said all that, I personally feel that a healthy committed relationship would not be sinful, and would not myself be at fault for encouraging you to find your happiness in one. But I would, in fact, be acting against your moral stance in doing so by encouraging you to follow your desires and in doing so commit what you consider a sin. Paul has some choice remarks in Romans about those who do this – being themselves free, they lead others to fall short of the mark and in doing so themselves sin.
I’m overjoyed to know what Evergreen has done for your peace of mind. And I hope that you come to a resolution of this burden on your soul, for your own sake.
And, hey, dogsbody? I don’t tolerate other people’s beliefs – I accept them as what works for them – while reserving the right to disagree and, in doing so, to encourage them towards my own, with due respect to their own intelligence and dignity, and freedom to choose their own way to go. To me, there’s a non-subtle distinction there. Comment?