|Faith in our Gentle Savior|
We are often asked by younger gay Christians where are the good role models? What they see is short term relationships. Divorce is common – be-it straight or gay, but for a gay community where role models are few, such breakups posed the question whether the younger ones in their teens and early 20s are destined for such regular breakups. However, our relationships have been influenced by a closet lifestyle, the lack of positive affirmation by society, family, friends and church which would have helped to provide support, legal standing, and binding affirmation before God and our community. With much greater freedom for younger gays, they faced a far better world than the generation that grew up in the 80s and 90s.
The past generations of Gay Christians can offer their testimony of Faith. Growing up in the 80s, and 90s, with no Internet, seemingly alone in a hostile world living in a closet, with condemnation from society, the church, family and friends is not easy. This was made far worst with self condemnation, the inner conflicts and turmoil immobilizing our Christian Faith. Our lives were taken away from us, put into a virtual jail, for which there was no escape and no one to cry out to. Many lost their childhood and Christian faith to a hostile and unforgiving church environment.
We can offer our testimony of faith, tested through fire-both internal and external trials. It is a life totally shaken, and faith challenged. It is when everything is taken away, when even our very existence is considered sin by others, we are taken to the point of humility. When all are taken from us, even our dignity and self respect, do we still worship God, is our relationship with Him tangible and firm on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, rather than based on head knowledge. Do we still worship Christ as Lord and Savior, even when the Church rejects us?
There are very few Gay Christians who attends church regularly. Many do not stay on for long despite growing up in the Church and being active in their young adulthood. For who can accept what the heavy burden we put on them, our demand that they be celibate. Despite the recent claim by City Harvest Church that they accept gays, it is at best conditional. They are treated as pariah, with no same sex relationships allowed, and no sex outside marriage yet not being allowed to get married. If Jesus had accepted us only based on such conditions and condemnations, there wouldn’t have been any church. The fact that few Gays are Christians and they stay away from the church in droves speaks poorly of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Gay Christians many who were once fervent for God and truly believed in the lies told, had entered into the ex-gay programs, believing that it was God’s will for them to turn straight by prayer and strong will, became discouraged over time and many become suicidal not able to change what was innate. There may be outward behavioral modifications due to “brain washing” but it takes a lot to keep up this façade. At the end, many leave the program and the church as well. With their sincere faith and emotions crudely abused and manipulated, many lived in a delusional world with deep hurts, bitterness, and religious rationalization. Many still claimed they believed in Jesus, but few attend churches any more. They were blamed for remaining gay, and accused for not making the "choice" to change. The guilt left a lasting damage and condemnation for apparently failing God.
After going through the program, they still remained gays and transgender, but the abuse had left a great trail of damage making many emotionally manipulative, deceptive, an emotional black hole and a wet-blanket prone to tears to seek sympathy. They have a tendency to be self centered, living in a self delusion, craving for sympathy and attention. They weren’t given any dignity and now crave for the dignity and self worth lost. It takes incredible faith, courage, self realization and reflection to undo the harm done in the name of Christ, to pick up the pieces torn a thousand times over and still trust in God and the organized church. It takes Faith and a determined choice to come back to God.
I believe that God is calling back those who have been cast away and wounded by the church – to draw them back to Jesus Christ. Only the work of the Holy Spirit can heal them of the great emotional harm and brokenness caused by the church. This healing has begun since the 70s in the MCC Churches in America, and now in Asia to create a safe space for gays. The tent is getting wider and larger as God’s heart of compassion and grace reaches out to these dry bones whose faith has been abused and broken. There is a cry arising in our hearts, to be connected back to God, our first love, our passion and faith renewed in our gentle Savior. God is calling forth an army arising from the dry bones for truly many have been dried spiritually and emotionally, buried and forgotten in the backyard of our churches. Know that It was the Church that had rejected us, and not Christ Our Gentle Savior.
Pass me not, O gentle Savior. Heal us by thy grace and mercy. Make us whole again from a wounded and broken Spirit. Help us to forgive, those who have sinned against us for judgment belongs to You alone. We come before You O Blessed Savior with a contrite and broken heart seeking Your grace and mercy in our lives. Hear our humble cry O Gentle Savior, Pass us not.
Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Thou the Spring of all my comfort,