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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why I Describe Myself as a Gay Christian

Dave left a comment asking why I characterized myself as a gay Christian. It's because for most of my life, nearly 40 years, I thought those two things, being gay and being a Christian were mutually exclusive. I know I'm hardly alone in that thought even with the strides society has made.

Growing up a preachers kid in the 70's, I was deeply ingrained with religion and society's stern disapproval of boys who like other boys. There were two drivers in my life - church and being gay. Both were all consuming, and there seemed no way to reconcile them.

I considered myself a Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde type person - the good Christian, married, elder, teacher and church leader in the light of day and a man who had 'improper' lusts for other men in the darkness of my soul. I thought that not only was God unhappy with what I then thought of as 'sinful' thoughts but even more unhappy that I had no desire to repent of them.

I know now I kinda had them reversed, but it took years of soul searching, prayer and faith crisis to reconcile those two halves of my personna and begin to accept myself as a wonderful gay person who managed to savage his Christian faith.

Once I came to terms with who I was, a gay man using deceit and lies to masquerade as someone else, I worked very hard and built up the tremendous courage to come out. I then saw a real need to reach out to other gay people who have suffered from what some call 'Bible abuse' like I had and rather than bothering to retain their faith, rejected it completely and turned away from anything having to do with God.

This blog is one way I try to do that, to show that it is possible, though not easy, to be both a gay man and have a close relationship with God. It is a witness I give to others struggling the way I did that I don't have to hide in the closet from God or the church. That I can be a proud gay man with healthy relationships and have the acceptance and blessings of a loving, nuturing God. And by identifying myself as a gay Chrisitian on this blog, it is a sign for others who are where I have been that I have weathered the storm.

By the way this is not my sole identity or single place to write. It is focused on one aspect of the whole, the part that I wish to share to those who find me here. Which is why you will find little of my personal or work life mentioned here. Not because they are un-important, or that they are inconsistent with what I say here, but simply because you are here for the very reason I have claimed to be a gay Christian. And maybe others can benefit from my sharing the same road.

It is also a call for understanding from those who would condemn, who equate the term gay with sin, debauchery and God's wrathful judgement, and call for horrid alternatives like celibacy, desperate attempts to change what canot be changed or the closet in the name of God.

There was a day in my 30's when God spoke clearly to me perhaps for the first time in my life. He asked, "Why are you ashamed of the wonderful man I have created you to be?" That statement made me come to realize that I was wasting so much energy hiding the real me, pretending to be someone I was not, that I had no energy left to do any of the real work he asked me to do.

So now the oppression of the closet is mostly gone, my self-esteem is growing and my relationship with God and others in my live is honest and happy. One other time I heard God's voice was when God sent his peace to me at 10am, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2001 and forever drew me from my self-imposed exile in desperation and hopelessness into light and happiness and a renewed spirit.

So just as people who have struggled with and beaten cancer refer to themselves as cancer survivors, I in similar fashion have survived four decades of anguish and trauma to accept myself as a child of God, created proudly by him just as I am so I proudly characterize myself as a gay Christian and hope to provide encouragement to others working through their own reconciliations.

64 Comments:

Anonymous Loren A Olson MD said...

Thank you for your post. I too am a gay Christian, came out at forty after struggling with it for several years. I was married and have kids, and now, living in Iowa am married to the man who has been a part of my life for 23 years.

We were married at Plymouth Church in Des Moines, with our families there and celebrating with us.

Many of our conservative, heterosexual friends came to celebrate with us. It was a joyous event.

I feel blessed to be in a family, church and a state that can support and encourage our relationship.


www.MagneticFire.com

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so pleased that I found your blog. Those words could have been written by me - well part way at least. I am still at the beginning of the journey of being able to reconcile the two. It is hard.
I will keep you posted.
Thank you again
Mark

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Scott:

Thank you very much for your words. It has been so hard for me to reconcile faith with my sexual orientation, sometimes I felt lost and despair. Now I believe it is possible, but I still have a long way to go before I am out of the closet. Thanks for your words of hope!

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Sorry, but homosexuality is against God's word. I will pray for all homosexuals who are Christians that they beat the condition and get right with the Lord.

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Anonymous Steven101 said...

Hi Scott,

I know that the chances of getting a reply are very unlikely. I would like to firstly thank you for posting this, I can not tell you how much it means to me to hear that there are others in this world who are able to be a christian and gay at the same time.
I have always had a really close relationship with God, accepting that I was gay was the hardest thing ever, or so I though. Then i fell in love and had to come out to my parents. While I have the most amazing partner I could possibly imagine, I had of late been feeling like I needed to split into two, as God and my partner felt like to positively charged magnets that repelled each other. Although my partner believes in God, he too struggles with the concept of being gay and serving a God who we have been told is going to damn us to hell for loving each other. I am only 19, but come from a very religious family. My family, before I met my partner, have been everything to me and having them... find it hard too, has been hurting me internally more then I know how to express.
I wish I could hear God telling me that it is OK (perhaps your blog is God speaking to me), but it seems everywhere I look, more people are telling me I have to choose. I don't think I can live a life alone and I do not think I could date a women, let alone marry one, not because I could not physically, but perhaps it is selfish of me to say, but I do not think I would be happy. I love God, and I love my boyfriend. Hearing you, who is obviously well read in the scriptures be able to say you think it is okay, helps me be able to see that perhaps I too can find peace and serve God and still be with my partner.

When I came out my parents asked me to step down from my leadership ministries, which was perhaps the thing I found the hardest to do, as I really believed I was making a difference, however; I can also see thinks from the 'flip side'. I was involved in children's ministry and youth group, do you think it is wrong for a gay person to be in these positions? While I don't really expect you to answer, I still want to ask just in case.

Again thank you, and sorry for the crazy long post, even if you don't answer, it helps me feel better knowing that I have shared my struggles with someone, if that makes any sense.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't pretend to have the answers. I don't understand a lot of the Bible or a lot of what God says. There is scriptures that deter me from saying homosexuality is not a sin but then there is this nagging feeling that is it really what the scripture had in mind in what it was saying? there are many different interpretations that the meaning isn't what we begin to think. I did enjoy reading what you think. Its interesting for me. I struggle with my sexuality. i have had crushes on women but have been attracted to other guys. I don't know though. Its hard and i am trying to find truth
well thanks for the blog. hope to see more

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't pretend to have the answers. I don't understand a lot of the Bible or a lot of what God says. There is scriptures that deter me from saying homosexuality is not a sin but then there is this nagging feeling that is it really what the scripture had in mind in what it was saying? there are many different interpretations that the meaning isn't what we begin to think. I did enjoy reading what you think. Its interesting for me. I struggle with my sexuality. i have had crushes on women but have been attracted to other guys. I don't know though. Its hard and i am trying to find truth
well thanks for the blog. hope to see more

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

God may have created you to be a wonderful man. God did not create you to be gay. You decided that for yourself.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could I ask a question - not to try to be offensive, I'm just interested. How do you interpret those verses that seem to say that practicing homosexuality is wrong? Do you have an interpretation for them, or do you "ignore" them?

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but with all due respect but you can't be a gay and Christian at the same time. It seems like running the complete opposite race that Jesus calls his disciples to live. To follow him. You chose to be gay, you chose that lifestyle but God can redeem you from being gay. It's hard to fathom you claim to be a "gay Christian"

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Anonymous Pheonix Burns said...

Dear Scott,

Thank you so much. I am a young college student who has been struggling for a long time for people to understand that I'm gay and Christian. I feel that God makes everyone unique and that this is just God's way of making me unique. People always want to say its not in God's plan, well are they God? And how could something as astronomical as God's plan be set in stone. God is consistent but unpredictable. So I don't try to predict God's plan anymore, just listen to my heart and pray that it leads me on the right path. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm right, I don't pretend to know, but I'm listening to what feels right to me and not what everyone else tells me. For me I became Christian the same minute I acknowledged I was gay, and I can't imagine one without the other. Continue to inspire people as you are inspiring me and others already. Hope to hear from you someday. God Bless.

Phoenix Burns.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Josh said...

Scott:

Thank you so much for letting us into your life as a gay Christian. I've known that I'm gay for a few years, probably since I was 13 or so, but only really accepted it in the last 2 or 3 years. Having been raised in the church and with a ultra conservative family in Texas, I've struggled with my faith because of being gay. Only in the last few months have I truly realized that I can be gay and a Christian at the same time. Reading your blog tonight, on yet another night when I question my ability to be a "Gay Christian", has helped to reassure me. I'm 21 and still live with my parents. I'm not out to them, although I am out at school and some of my close friends, including my sister. You don't know how much of a relief it is to know that there are others like me out there: Christians who happen to be attracted to the same sex. Your writings have given me peace and hope. I know, at least until doubts creep back in, that I can be one with my Lord and savior without denying who God made me: a musician, a jokester, a big teddy bear, a good listener, and, yes, a homosexual. Thank you for allowing God to shine through you onto a topic that has brought so much pain and suffering to my life and many more out there like me.

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Reading some of these comments really made me sad. I've been trying to integrate into a gay Christian community, and the love and support I've found there (even though I'm still just on the surface) has had me believing that Christians were really coming around on the gay thing. I guess not. Anyway, thank you for your perspective and your willingness to share with the world. I'm still mostly anonymous and closeted, so your courage and the place you are in your life is a crazy cool thing.

Take care my brother.

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11:33 PM  
Blogger K Lee said...

I am a gay christian woman, struggling so hard to reconcile my faith and sexuality. I'm at a junction in which I feel that God is pulling me towards Him but I'm unsure of what He wants me to do. In many ways, I feel condemned and in some ways I feel peace. I do hope you can guide me through this phase i'm going through. Please email me at leejessy32 at yahoo dot com. I do wish to talk to you.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Shane said...

Hello,

Hey man I am truly, truly heartbroken that so many people profess to be followers of Jesus and spew so much hate and venom towards you. And that is just what it is, hate. I look foward to seeing you in the kingdom, you my friend are one brave dude.

Peace.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am a gay Christian, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am amazed at the Pharisees posing as Christians who read read your bible. Hmmm, if they believe that being gay is a sin, you would think that they would so as Jesus did, reach out in love. Never once do I read where Jesus said, hey you filthy sinner or Mary magdelene you are a whore repent before you pour perfume on me, or go ahead and stone the woman found in adultery she is a sinner. Gee, Christianity is not condemning ,but church folk seem to be. Besides, how many Christians are divorced? Hmmm, that's talked about alot in scripture. Just some food for thought and said in love. God bless.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not gay but I am a Christian. I used to be right wing conservative and sadly, I was judgmental and even taught my older kids when they were small that it was wrong. But now I feel the closer I become to God, the more open minded and loving I am to *every*one. I am attending PFLAG meetings and getting to know so many beautiful people, some of which know and love my God, just as much as I do. It saddens me to see "followers of Christ" say such hateful things to you. Christ does not condemn, he loves & heals. Spewing hatred is repulsive to me, especially when they claim to be my brothers and sisters. Thank you for being a role model for other Gay Christians. I too think a lot of people think they have to choose and the results are a lot of broken gay people living not so healthy lifestyles. I wish everyone could be whole in Christ and not yearn for anything. I wish everyone knew that it wasn't a choice between God and Gay anymore than it is for me to choose Lust or God or Abortion or God. God is merciful, He is Graceful, He is Love. I wish more people could embrace that and FEEL the Peace that surpasses all understanding, I have. I'm glad you have too. :-) Thank you...
A redeemed sister in Christ.

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am GAY, and I am a CHRISTIAN.

Scott, the blog owner, and to readers like me, To be totally HONEST, I have been in your ("our) situation. Like you, I blinded myself to think that:

"Oh, it is ok to be gay, it is ok to continue my SINFUL lifestyle (same sex with guys) and at the SAME TIME honor God."

My friends, my dear friends, let's be real. That will not WORK. Never. The bible said you gotta choose. It is either you are FOR God, or AGAINST God. It is either you have FAITH as HOT as a fire, or NONE at all, as cold as ice-- NO IN BETWEEN.

So yes, we have to accept it. No matter how we reason with it ourselves, at the end of the day, the BIBLE, being God's word, will prevail.

I know it is hard. Almost impossible. I personally think that you cannot transform from a GAY to a STRAIGHT man -- no no no. Never. Biological, scientific aspects will contradict..

GIVEN that fact, we cannot force ourselves to change our sexually,what we can do is to actually CHANGE OUR LIFESTYLE. Gays mostly suffer from SEXUAL aspects of "SIN." So what to do?

Do not LUST over the same sex, or the opposite sex for that matter. Do not engage in SEXUAL acts. The bible said we can only have sex with our "wife." BUT I cannot have sex with a female because I am GAY, right? So what do I do?

One solution is left: Be CELIBATE. It's hard to swallow, but that is the only thing LEFT for us gays to be safe from SEXUAL SIN.

It's hard, but reality is hard. If we want to be SAVED, what the heck, there's no easy, instant way.

Truth is hard. Reality is harsh. Let us not blind ourselves. Just take what the bible says.

10:10 AM  
Blogger rottenqueerchristian said...

Anonymous...the one above me.

I believe you identify as a Christian, but if you're gay, I'm a straight Filipino woman. Give it up.

I've seen enough of these comment threads of self-identified 'Christians' who are always saying the same thing and quoting the same scriptures and I've come to the conclusion that they really don't want to know the other side of homosexuality and the Bible from a "pro" stance. There are tons of resources on the net from a Biblical perspective on why bad translations and bigoted tradition are the reason behind the Church's anti-gay stance, they just don't care to look at it.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a christian who believes some of what you said... I would never belittle anyone because GOD NEVER DID!!!!!! God shows mercy and grace love and peace. YOU don't see the light of your too busy shutting everyone in the dark. you sound very judgmental i pray that God takes a hold of you, as a christian we need to humble ourselves to Gods will putting this blog down the way you did disgusts me and God! No wonder gays don't run to God and the church for help because of people like you, you are letting satan work through you and putting everyone down. You sir need to evaluate your life and walk with Jesus Christ

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Scott. I am trying to reconcile my faith with my sexual orientation (which is gay). I was in denial concerning my sexual orientation for 50 years! I had been married for 33 years when my wife found out and divorced me in 6 months then announced her engagement to my best friend! The church has embraced her and her new husband and has totally rejected me (even to the point of excommunication!). I had a vibrant ministry for 35 years only to be instantly condemned by the "loving" Christian organization I worked for. As you said... this isn't easy! For those who have made comments about sexual orientation being a "choice," I must tell you how wrong you are! Why would I ever "choose" this? There is no way... and I tried everything possible to "choose" to be heterosexual and it only caused me many years of pain. Just as my ex wife did not make a "choice" to be heterosexual, I DID NOT CHOOSE to be gay. I have come to accept that God created me that way. Why? I don't know. I'm trying to figure that out. I feel like I am alone in my journey. The only gay affirming church in my city is so liberal, I am very uncomfortable there and question why they call themselves Christian! Where am I to go? What am I to do? I will now go back and read all your blogs to see if your journey can help me. I look forward to future blogs from you. I see it has been a while since you posted a new one. I hope you are still here! May God bless you and your ministry.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I journaled this today, and thought it was relevant to this blog. I'm a freshman in college. I go to a Christian university, and have been struggling with my faith and my sexuality. Since becoming a Christian I felt convicted to deny my gay feelings, but after two years of suffering I am starting to accept that this is who I am. I am confident about it, but struggle because I don't know that God affirms me. Thank you for your thoughts by the way. Very encouraging.



Balance Self-esteem and Self denial.
Seek the person God wants you to be.
Love the person God has made you.

I was writing my psychology paper Wednesday night, and came across a chapter about balancing self-esteem and self-denial. I think lately I have been so focused on self-denial that it has caused me to feel ashamed and guilty. I had forgotten that I serve a God who know's the very depths of my heart and still loves me despite it. Tuesday afternoon a friend questioned me as to why I felt wrong about what I am struggling with. It encouraged me to love who God has made me despite my differences. Although I know it will continue to be a struggle, I am confident because I KNOW that I am a good, honest, compassionate person.

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12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what the Bible says about homosexuality.
Romans 1:18-32
18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.[i] 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Text can be found here:
1 Corinthians 6:9-20
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Avoiding Sexual Sin

12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.

15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.”[d] 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another:
1Timothy 1:3-17
3 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations,[a] which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.[b]

5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. 7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.

8 We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders,[c] liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

Paul’s Gratitude for God’s Mercy

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, 13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. 14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott, thank you for this blog. I relate all too well to you. I only recently found your blog, but have not found your thoughts on celibacy for gay Christians. Do you have an opinion on the matter?

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Farren said...

I'm so glad that I found your blog because when I came out my parents first attacked my christian lifestyle. I believe that they were the ones who weren't being christian like. I'm so glad we can relate and I hope you will check out my girlfriend and I's blog :)

7:58 PM  

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