Sexual Diversity...

I have several non-Christian friends who are openly gay. I have a Christian friend who has "same-sex attraction" and is actively part of the "ex-gay" movement. And of course, I have lots of very conservative Christian friends who think homosexuality is akin to getting "I love Satan" tattooed on one's foreheard...

Well, something like that.

Recently, a friend and classmate from my seminary "came out" as a lesbian. She asked her friends to understand the time and prayer that had gone into her decision to openly accept what she was feeling. She said she could not even connect to God until she reconciled what was happening inside of her. And now she feels joy.

I don't know if she will continue with schooling, but I hope our friendship continues. I care about her, she has cool hair, and I value the insights she is learning in this stage of her journey.

I can remember at least half a dozen conversations she and I had, one-on-one or in small groups, regarding homosexuality. I can look back and see her wrestling, as I myself have done from a different vantage.

Like her, I never thought it was a simplistic question. I am sorry for the hateful things said and done, inside and outside of the church, and am ashamed that faith is so-often automatically associated with hatred, racism, homophobia or close-mindedness. All sorts of unchristlike behaviors and attitudes.

While I'm unwilling to universally denounce Scriptural references to homosexuality (there, I listen and wrestle rather than decry, denounce or assert) I am equally unwilling to accept the harsh or easy answers my conservative, Pentecostal background has offered. The Law without love is dead.

I believe there is gray area in the Kingdom of God, and I believe there is much none of us can or will ever understand on this end of death.

I am open to the idea that Scripture, God-inspired though it is, may still be replete with historical, social or cultural nuances from specific times and places that were never intended for GENERIC universal redistribution.

Most importantly, I believe that all good gifts come from the Father of lights (James 1:17) so that goodness itself comes from love itself, and that the God we worship is love incarnate - not in some metaphorical, ephemeral way, but in a real, personal God who manifested in history as a real, personal Savior.

I look forward to ongoing insights, exploring faith from my friend's newly-engaged vantage. I can't cookie-cutter myself with any of my friends: gay, ex-gay, homophobic, etc... we all have such different points of reference and experience. But that's the point: I don't have to agree with their entire set of bullet points to love and respect them for the experiences they've had, the struggles they've endured, and the journeys God has led them on (sometimes unwittingly).

I guess that just makes me a filthy, wishy-washy existentialist.


read more about my thoughts on Christianity in the real world at
http://www.essenceproject.blogspot.com/...

2 comments:

Existential Punk said...

Nice post and i thank you Peter, for your humility and honesty, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, your friendship! I love you and appreciate you! Adele

Mervin Malone Jr. said...

Honestly – I think it's sad that much of the modern day Christian community expends a great portion of its energy marginalizing gays and lesbians. There are far more important things going on in the world – things like war, famine and bigotry of all sorts. I don't honestly know HOW Christ felt about homosexuality, but it's wrong – as many of "Christian" leaning have done over the centuries – to assume that He must've been against it when He never even mentioned it.

This is a nice post (and blog) by the way!

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