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.


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.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tapestry Conference

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Tapestry, a LGBT religious retreat for the gay affinity groups of the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church DOC, and the American Baptist Church. We met in Indianapolis, ironically at the same time as Exodus International (the ex-gay organization) was meeting 60 miles away in Marion, IN.

The theme was Live, Love, Laugh and Lead. There were some great speakers and some inspiring music. I met several very interesting people and was inspired by all the allies the LGBT community has in our churches.

So I wanted to share a few of the ideas that I took away.

Understanding Being a Minority

One woman in my small discussion group said she felt like a minority, not because she was straight, but because so many people at the conference were so well versed theologically. I told her that many of us are self-taught. When something dear to you tells you that you are not worthy, you dig into it and try to find resolution.

At fist I tried to find the loopholes in the scriptures. But then God showed me I had made some wrong assumptions. Like I wrote in my previous entry, I don’t study scriptures to validate what I am, I study it to maintain relevance of religion in my life.

But a bigger theme she mentioned was that so few of us are actually blessed with knowing what being a minority feels like. And until you experience the vulnerability, the marginalization, it is difficult to sympathize with other minorities. Being a majority is not a blessing from God or a sign of his love. It’s merely an accident of circumstances. But so many lift it up as something holy.

New Reformation

We are beginning to experience a new reformation of the church. The turmoil of churches today is happening not from outside influences, but from people growing up in the church who find they cannot accept the dogma handed down for generations.

As such there is a new rediscovery of the scriptures and what their place is in our lives. More and more people are not satisfied with the interpretations of scripture coming from their pulpits and are reading and studying themselves. Look at the interest in the Gnostic writings. I’ve been reading some books on these writings and when you take a critical look at the Bible, you have to admit it’s definitely tailored to influence patterns of belief.

In fact one book stated that if Alexandria had defeated Rome, we’d have a completely different version of Christianity.

I believe we are truly entering a new enlightened age, where religion is personal and a one-on-one relationship with God is more embraced than ever.

LGBT Influence

One speaker asserted that LGBT Christians are the core force in this new reformation. Or insistence in inclusion has many praying and studying in ways most of us have our whole lives. There are internal struggles that will always occur when the need to be more loving conflicts with our religious convictions.

And in my life, when I reach these impasses, I have to remember Christ’s greatest commandment – love. So when loving someone is contrary to conviction, love has to win out. Changing my religious convictions hasn’t shattered my faith. Quite the opposite in fact occurs as through these struggles our faith matures and grows stronger.

Our mere presence and desire to fully serve God as we are called will be a perpetual thorn in their sides until all bigotry is gone.

Get Sex Back Where it Belongs - in Church

Another struggle and probably the key one for many, though they won’t admit it, is that LGBT Christians means having to discuss sex in the church instead of keeping it in the gutter where it belongs.

The church has told us repeatedly “sex is dirty so save it for someone you love and marry.” But sexuality is a gift from God and needs to be discussed in the church. America’s puritanical upbringing has made the world a dangerous place by sticking our heads in the sand when it comes to giving our children honest answers about sex.


One of the things that hit me most were the stories of churches unable to embrace LGBT members. They would speak of being unwilling to marginalize that conservative old base (usually with ample money) by becoming affirming to LGBT people. This really offended me. We are willing to continue marginalizing gay people to keep from causing discomfort to the conservative minority.

There’s one key difference. If you reject the conservative stick-in-the-muds, they’ll change or find a new church home. They won’t reject their Christianity. But by continuing to marginalize gay people, they continue to tell us we are not worthy, that there is no hope and we should stay quiet or far away. They deprive gays of love and hope and the Good News. They cast gays out into the streets with nowhere to go.

So which is the greater ill – driving someone from a church who will go to another church or driving someone from God?

Act Up

Our parting speaker was a energetic gospel style speaker who continuously charged us to not sit passively by but to engage our faith and agitate those who would bind us to traditions and limit our service and acceptance.

I have seen it all too often. We argue from a secular approach. We allow the conservatives to hold the definitions of faith and love and acceptance. We need to stand up in the glory of our creation and with full knowledge and faith challenge those dogmas that have nothing to do with love and God and everything to do with control and power.

Don’t buy in to our perceived weakness. We have the power of God behind us – agitate!


Blogger BentonQuest said...

Great post! What I love is the whole, "You must change so I feel better" mentality we find in our churches. It seems congregations do not care what is true, as long as they are comfortable.

9:01 AM  

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