|Surviving being Christian and Gay|
It is true that we survive by drawing near to God - not to internalise the anti-gay Christian right aggenda but to obtain affirmation, love, and acceptance from Jesus Christ, and an understanding of the bible that same sex relationships is not a sin but a gift from God.
One of regrets is not being able to tell my obviously Gay Christian friends from the mega churches that they were gay. Coming from an era where even the “G” word was not mentioned, it is often covered up by a zeal to become good Christians – to read the bible more, and to have more quiet times.
That was two decades ago and the teens today seem to have much less worries and fear of coming out – the Internet forums connecting people of the same sex orientation when previously it felt so lonely.
As the conservative and evangelical churches are the most anti-gay theologically with an almost demonic zeal, it would have been expected that gay evangelical Christians would be the most self-conflicted and quickly leave the church.
The liberals would be expected to easily reconcile their faith and sexuality and remained in more progressive churches.
Yet, being Gay and Christian can be so de-constructive that our theological faith tradition seems to matter little:-
a) The Evangelical Christian coming out of the closet and accepting himself would not be comfortable with the liberal GLBT churches and instead be found in their small separate closets in the mega churches, accepting themselves and still believing in Jesus but no more passionate for the ministry and call of God in their lives.
b) The Progressive Christian coming out of the closet and finding it comfortable in the more liberal GLBT churches, but instead of being the wounded healer still leaves the church to believe in a more mystical faith. Jesus becomes an abstract and a metaphor for love.
At the end, being gay and Christian is like facing a hurricane on the inside which challenges the core of our being, our intellect, our faith in Jesus and the bible as God’s word, the meaning and ministry of Christ here on Earth irrespective of our faith traditions.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
To the unbeliever, God will initiate the communication to get our attention. To be believers, we are to initiate the communication with God. Prayer is a dialogue, a two way conversation. God is willing to communicate to us without ceasing, not just words, but other ways through dreams, visions, and a knowing revelation by the Spirit of God. Even silence.
We have to learn how God communicates. The Spirit of God who dwells within us yearns jealously and consistently to have fellowship with us. He is not going to have any rivals. Do we want intimacy with God or the acceptance by the World/religion and their anti-gay theology.
When we come to God and seek more of Jesus as a “cure” for being gay, it is a one way communication of trying to force God to accept our agenda. We may do it zealously for 20 years and waste a lot of effort and time when we could have done so much for the Kingdom of God.
The Churches condemnation and the ex-gay movement brain washed us so that we are unable listen to God with clarity. We get thrown the clobber verses without understanding the pagan religious, historical, and cultural backgrounds which are significant because religion plays such an important part of the lives of the ancients.Homosexuality becomes the sin rather than pagan religious worship and its associated sexual practices.
In the opposite direction, Queer theology helps to reconstruct all absolutes and pre-conceived ideas even the reality of God and Jesus but our faith can be self-centred on our religious ideas and not the revelation of the bible of who Jesus is.
When our Christian religion is centred around us and our ideas, God is still there but often will not go along with us and that tangible relationship and voice of God in our lives are often lost.
We throw out the whole bible including the revelation of Christ as the Messiah because of our mis-interpretation of the 6 clobber verses. We hang on tenaciously and summarised the Bible as the Love commandments making Christianity no different than many other faiths because we do not want to be conflicted by what we read.
Hence, although we are spending more time reading the bible and praying in order to “de-gay” ourselves, we are just perpetuating/internalizing the lies that we have been told by the Christian Right. There is no revelation or communion with God rather trying to force God to accept that being gay is wrong and to change us of what He has created us innately. We are hitting ourselves against the hard rock which will not budge.
What keeps me sane, and focused on Jesus when many Christians would have departed from the Faith be-it from the Evangelical or liberal background.
a. Intellect. God gave me an intellectual mind to understand arguments, logic, and to see the inconsistencies and flaws in them. As the bible is not prescriptive, one must have an intellect to deduce what the bible is saying across 2000 years of history, religion, and culture, and to a different audience which was probably not its target audience in the first place.
b. Spiritual. Since the age of 12, I wrestled with God. Often, like Jacob, I don’t quit easily until God gives me a revelation of Himself in a real and tangible manner. Faith to me was seeking God and not be satisfied until He show Himself real to me. I believed by Faith but wanted also to experience God.
c. Spirit-filled. It is the revelation from God in the Spirit. Many a times I would spend hours speaking and praying in tongues. My journey out of the closet started in the late 90s, when I was surprised by God when I heard Him whisper to me that I am Gay and saw Him smiling in acceptance. I already knew many years before.
d. Listening–Since young, I read and listened to the voices of religion and history, respecting the ancient writers and their stories. I heard their whispers and insights. History and Social Sciences were my best subjects. God gave me a listening ear and an understanding mind. The bible became an experience of listening to the Holy Spirit who wrote the bible.
What keeps you sane, what keeps your faith in Jesus Christ going when the entire church, family and friends seems to condemn you? It starts with seeking God, not to confirm the rhetoric we heard, but to seek God, to know Him first, how He sees us, our sexuality and the good plans He has for you and me.
God's grace, mercy and love be to you in Christ Jesus our Lord and savior