Being a Gay Christian

Here are my struggles to reconcile my religion & sexual orientation. I used to think that being a Christian and being gay were mutually exclusive. God revealed to me that I am his child, created Just As I Am. God’s awesome gift comes with challenges, yet opportunities to share the good news to many who have rejected religion. Or who have suppressed their sexuality to keep their religion. I welcome this ministry and the unbelievable strength he gives me to do it.

Name:

I'm gay and while that does tell you which gender I want to fall in love with, it tells you nothing about my lifestyle. As you read you'll learn about that.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Enlightenment All Around

One of the joys of faith is talking about it. Hearing other people’s insights and interpretations helps me grow in my own faith and helps me see another perspective of God through another person’s eyes. Usually it’s little things, though often a little thing can be quite enlightening. In fact, I believe this is one of the many ways God speaks to us today, through other people.

For example, one of my co-workers was relating to me something he had learned in a Bible study about the time of Moses.

“Do you know why God had to send 12 plagues?” he asked. I of course thought of the age old tradition that it took that many to soften Pharaoh’s heart.

“It also took that much misfortune to convince the Hebrews to pack up and leave,” he added. Of course! I thought, the light bulb going on. In fact, perhaps that’s the reason there’s little corroborating evidence in secular history. It wasn’t so much to convince Pharaoh as it was to convince the masses of people to leave their relative comfort and safety in Egypt. And it’s human nature that when they wrote their history, they managed to paint themselves as nothing but willing to follow God into the wilderness. Suddenly the story makes more sense knowing human nature and the way I suspect God really works.

Another “ah ha” came from Pastor Steve in talking about the Pharisees and Sadducees. During Jesus time the Pharisees were the liberal arm of Judaism. By the time the gospels were written, they had become the conservatives. The much maligned Pharisees at least were the ones who came out and talked with Jesus.

Now, God and I have a relationship where we can laugh together. In that spirit, God has often spoken to me through fortune cookies. Just because the message is typed on a slip of paper inside a cookie, the message’s pertinence to my prayers at the time gave me no doubt who the author really was.

Once when I was feeling frustrated about my personal live, I received several messages from numerous sources (yes, at least two fortune cookies) that told me to be patient. But humor aside, most of the insight I have about God comes from other people,

Some of my favorite and definitely most memorable conversations were with people who saw God radically different than I do. I have had enlightening talks with atheists, numerous fellow progressives, a Muslim, many Catholics, several conservative Bible literalists, charismatics and the occasional fundamentalist.

The hardest people to talk with are born again Christians and fundamentalists. Born again Christians have typically experienced the spiritual high of finding Jesus and are often locked in a never ending crusade to find new religious highs to feed their spiritual addiction. If you can’t help them get a “fix” they often belittle you.

Fundamentalists are difficult to talk with because they have usually have a predetermined mindset that they are right and I am wrong. So it’s impossible to really talk intelligently with someone who isn’t seriously listening to you.

Most of the time, though, my talks are with fellow Christians trying to live a good life, trying to love God and the rest of the world. To me this is a prime way that the Holy Spirit works through us. Whether it be a minister, a fellow Christian or sometimes even someone antagonistic, God can enlighten us through their words. The Jewish faith uses friendly argument as a key tool to deepening their faith.

If you’re frustrated waiting for God to speak with a voice like thunder, you probably need to listen to his small whispers all around you. Or pay close attention to that next fortune cookie you break open.

1 Comments:

Blogger neuroticillinifan said...

You make many good points here, and I will say that you've shared some enlightenment with me today. I had not before heard, nor thought of for myself, this reason for the 12 plagues, but it indeed does make much sense!

Also, I agree with you about the fundamentalists. They are very stuck in their "I'm right. You're wrong." stance. It seems that many even have a difficult time even being able to agree to disagree.

And yes, I should listen for the whispers. I'm sure I've missed my share of those through the years. . .

2:42 PM  

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