I know there is a lot of debate over whether or not same-sex attraction is a real thing; if people are born this way. I’ve heard common arguments like, “it’s a result of the fall.” Well, that’s nice, but it doesn’t make it go away and it doesn’t help. It’s also a terrible argument…I’ll get to that later…
I’m going to tell you how it feels. When you know someone who is gay or identifies with the LGTBQ community, it changes perspectives and common, very misguided, stereotypes. One word of advice, straight people cannot tell us how it feels; ie. Pastors, professors, friends, news anchors, writers, etc. The only people who can give us this information are the ones who experience it directly. Another noteworthy piece of advice is to not assume that everyone we speak to or come into contact with is heterosexual. We’ve then immediately categorized someone in our minds and base almost everything off of our assumptions. Never assume. It’s hard to do, but we should try it. Even I have had to learn to do this. We all have biases and assumptions about various kinds of people.
Since I was a child, I’ve had a passion burning in my heart for God and for Scripture. The only way I can describe it is how the prophet Jeremiah does in the Old Testament; “His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (NIV, Jer 20:9).
But, there has always been this other component of myself…that I’m gay…and how on earth can those two things live together inside of me? I was taught in the church that they cannot co-exist. Being gay, or having those thoughts, need to be expelled. The problem was, and I tried so hard, I prayed so hard…I anguished over this about myself and lived in turmoil and shame, guilt, fear, isolation, depression, and anxiety…the problem was, it never went away despite me crying out to God; despite me crying out to be “just like everyone else.”
I have been taught that I am like someone who has sex with animals, someone who has sex with children, someone who lives in polygamous relationships, and someone who is committing sexually immoral and deviant acts. This is still taught currently. These comparisons are still made by conservatives in their arguments against LGBT inclusion in the church even though they are fallacious arguments. I have been taught that it is my “cross to bear.” I have been taught that it’s like a disease; like alcoholism, and if I would only abstain from acting on my feelings then I will be okay. This is the solution given by the church. This is their answer? There is no Biblical basis to this.
This response isn’t good enough. “It’s a result of the fall,” isn’t good enough. To tell someone that they are far from the original intention of God’s design…to use this argument one must realize, under that argument, that ALL is far from the original intention of God’s design-everything is. If you believe that that argument holds water, then you have to apply it to all and not solely to the homosexual, who is NOT a sinner because they’re homosexual, but because they’re simply a sinner; just like everyone else. It’s like telling crippled person that they’re far from the original intention of God. Is this the case? Then aren’t we all discard-able to some degree? Or how about this…how about Christ as the original intention all along. The Trinity as omnipresent before all of creation. “Christ is all and is in all.”
The church and people in the church; the way this has been handled, has made me feel like not only am I a sinner, but I am worse than that. It’s like I’m some sub-human creature who may possibly have a chance at Christ’s love or redemption, but only if I repent of something I cannot change inside of me. I am not alone. I’m going to say that again; I am not alone. This is what we are doing to people. And we wonder why no one wants to come to church? We wonder why people are not drawn in or attracted to Christ or to Christianity-and then we tell ourselves it’s because they’re non-believers and they cannot understand God; they’re attacking the church; they’re the ones who won’t conform? No- I am a Christian. And there are many others like me who have been barred-BARRED out. We’ve been pushed out because we are not fit. It’s not that we don’t want to come or be apart of, act out, or live out our faith with and among the body of Christ. It’s that the church, the conservative church, doesn’t want us.
Well, Christ does. And “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit” (Matt 7:18; Luke 6:43). Or, “…and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). Additionally, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44). It is impossible for someone to be drawn to Christ, but for the very the work and intention of Christ himself. If gay brothers and sisters are called, who are we to turn them away and bar them out? Is this not one of the most hideous acts we can do to a fellow believer?
Homosexuals who desire monogamous, committed relationships under God are nothing like people who practiced temple prostitution, bestiality, pedophilia, pederasty, or polygamy. Look at the numerous examples of breaking off of the “traditional marriage view” by David or Solomon in the Old Testament (this is only one example). Or the fact that Israel willingly broke Torah law by marrying Gentiles and having relations with them (Esther/ Cyrus; Boaz/Ruth; David/Bathsheba, etc.) Yet, these are the things we dismiss. We would accept David or Solomon despite their acts against the “marriage model.” But, the homosexual…this doesn’t include you. The Samaritan, yes. The Prodigal son, yes. The woman caught in adultery, yes. The thief on the cross, yes. The pagan Gentiles, yes. But, the homosexual…this doesn’t include you.
This is how it feels.
Thank God for non-denominational churches who break off of others because they know this is happening and is wrong. Thank God for the PCUSA, the UMC, and other protestant denominations who are acting on behalf of Christ. Thank you. Your work and your sacrifice saves lives.