Are you gay?
But are you secretly gay?
No. No, I am not.
Are you a Christian?
Yes! By absolutely nothing I’ve done or earned, and only through the deep, far-reaching, irresponsible, inclusive love of Jesus, I am a Christian. It is my deepest hope to wear the name of a Christ-follower well, because it’s both an incredible honor and and the same time completely terrifying to know that I bear the name of Jesus when I call myself a ‘Christian’. I strive to honor that responsibility, and ask forgiveness for the times when I fall miserably flat. Thankfully, God’s grace is bigger than my blunders. (Can I get an ‘amen’?!)
How do you reconcile your beliefs on homosexuality with Christian faith?
The more research I do, the less comfortable I am with the traditional Christian position on homosexuality. The more I dig, the more compelling reasons I find to shift this traditionally held paradigm. (More on this in coming posts.) I don’t claim to have a perfect, air-tight theology on the topic. However, I’ve come to understand this issue as many others in my life of faith, and that’s simply to trust Jesus. I believe that Jesus really meant it when he said that the entire law and the prophets hang on the two commands to (1) love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind, and to (2) love others as myself. As nice as it would be, I don’t feel any pressure or obligation to have all the answers of how theology fits together, on this or any other issue. I just need to continue listening, seeking, and trusting Jesus the best I am able. I trust in His overwhelming grace if I mess this up, and rest in His deep peace that I am responding the best that I am able to His call on my heart. But the strongest way that I reconcile my beliefs and faith? The absence of a nagging sense of worry or conviction, replaced instead by the deep peace I feel when I follow what I know to be Jesus.
Why do you care about this?
I’ve long been convinced that however we understood the Bible to speak about homosexuality, that we have failed miserably to treat our gay brothers and sisters with the love, compassion and understanding that I see expressed by Jesus in the Bible. It wasn’t until this past year, though, that I felt a very clear sense that Jesus was leading me to care more deeply and personally about this issue. (It was a series of experiences, actually. I didn’t believe that I could have heard God correctly at first. Or at second. Or at third. The idea that the Church might be standing firmly behind common cultural understanding of the issue rather than living out the heart of God was overwhelming. And felt arrogant. I didn’t know what to do with it all. Or rather, I worried that I knew what I was being led to do, but feared the personal consequences of actually following through.) I didn’t understand why Jesus would put this issue on my heart—a straight, married, Christian mama of 3 young kiddos (one of whom has special medical needs), with a beyond-full plate, who treasures relationships with several conservative Christians. (Perhaps that’s why I’m called to care?) But at a certain point, I realized that it doesn’t ultimately matter if I understand the reasons why Jesus laid this on my heart. What matters is that He has. Very clearly. To deliberately ignore that leading would be deeply wrong.
Do you actually know gay people?
Yes, I do. Several, in fact. They are teachers, coaches, pastors, insurance professionals, gymnasts, models, scientists, actors, military officers, students, Quakers, Jews, Atheists, Christians, Agnostics…… friends.
Do you know any gay Christians?
Yes, I do. I read doubt in this question, a wonder if it is actually possible for someone to love Jesus and experience same sex attraction at the same time. From what I have seen, the answer is a resounding yes. I’ve experienced God’s presence in the lives and words of these gay friends in powerful ways, and can affirm that I see God’s spirit at work in gay believers just as with straight.
You make me feel uncomfortable when you talk about this.
I’m sorry. Being uncomfortable is never fun. (And, um, that’s not really a question.) 😉