This is part of a series on different views Christians hold on same sex attraction; the view shared here does not represent the view of all Rogue authors. You can see the introductory article for this series here: Intro. Other views in this series can be seen here: Homosexuality and Sin, here: LGBT Affirmation, and here: Honoring Gay Celibates.
This post was written by a fellow Millennial named Tiffany. This is her second time writing for us.
“I’m gay.” It was a simple declaration, but it was one I held inside until I was 22 years old. I grew up in a conservative Christian household and went to a private Christian university. So even though I had known for quite some time, I never told anyone. I would eventually find theological evidence that God doesn’t hate the gays. But long before that, I understood on a deep, personal level that God loved me exactly the way I was and that I loved Him and knew He was close no matter what. The Bible is the Word of God, but I didn’t need it to explicitly say that God loved gays or straights because it said that God so loved the world… I don’t really understand the argument that rages on about whether or not God’s love is exclusive to one sexual preference. I never have.
One day, in my senior year of undergrad, I was chatting with some friends between classes and they commented on how “different” I had seemed lately. As we chatted, I got quieter and quieter and one of them finally shouted “I know what it is – you’re in LOVE!” I froze… she was so right, but what was I going to do? Was I ready to come out yet? Before I could make the decision, it just fell out of my mouth “Yes, I am in love. I’ve met someone, and she completes me. I’m gay. I like women.” There we all stood, in the middle of the lobby, in awkward silence until someone said “She must be incredible because I’ve just never seen you this happy before. We’d love to meet her.” This was the first time I came out of the closet to someone who wasn’t “family” (also gay) and in that moment I was met by God’s radical love.
In the end, I didn’t get outed because someone caught me holding hands or kissing Ashley. I was outed because she made me so happy that it was obvious. Ashley and I met 11 years ago at a friend’s house and in 2019, we will celebrate 10 years of marriage. In those 10 years, we’ve been through so many challenges and triumphs, just like any couple would. Among the challenges would be things like being excluded by our families and being discriminated against at work, school, or in public. We have fought with depression, profound sickness, and failed many times over.
But even in the midst of those challenges, we have enjoyed so many wonderful triumphs. We saw gay marriage legalized. We became role models for young LGBT people who wanted to believe that it was possible to have a stable, loving relationship. We found God all over again. We became ministers and we fell in love with all of God’s people. God has truly blessed us and given us grace to withstand all of the obstacles life has brought us – which is why it’s so frustrating to see His church mired in an endless, pointless battle.
Jesus taught us that all of the law and the prophets hang on two simple commandments – love God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. I would consider this to be the solid food of God’s Word that the writer of Hebrews referred to. When we receive salvation, we need the milk of God’s Word to nurture us. Much like when we are infants, there comes a time in development that milk becomes a daily supplement to keep us strong instead of the only thing we can consume safely.
When it comes to the issue of the LGBT community and the church, it seems that the church is acting like a baby who has just been offered Cheerios for the first time and isn’t happy about it. There’s lots of screaming, lots of tears, and lots of frustration. There may be food available, but it isn’t in the form the church is used to. So here we all are, mid-temper-tantrum, begging the church to just try the cheerios because (who knows) maybe they’ll like it.
I think we are at a point in this discussion where we are going to have to make a decision – continue arguing about the finer points of our recreational theologies, or move forward to reconciliation. The temper tantrum has gotten old and it’s about time we all start growing up. We’re worried about who’s right and who’s wrong and that is not the most important thing in this story. What we should be considering is how we can see each other through God’s lens of love.
The reality is this – people are dying because of this battle of self-centered ignorance. A staggering 40% of homeless youth are LGBT children – children – that have been kicked out of their homes by parents who are so stuck on who is right and wrong that they cannot even maintain their God-given privilege of being parents. These children, who are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide before the age of 25, may still know a loving God but they no longer know a loving church. The devastating truth is that many will reject a loving God because of His unloving church. That’s what we should be concerning ourselves with. Not simple-minded arguments over who is a bigger sinner. We were called to more than that.
So how can we move forward? Here are some ideas:
1. Stop arguing about Biblical interpretations. The Bible is a prophetic book, which means that you could read the same Scripture and it would reveal a deeper truth in each season of your life. The prophetic nature of God’s Word mimics the prophetic nature of His name (I Am) which reminds us of His ever-presence in our lives, revealing Himself anew in every season. If Scripture never reveals a deeper truth to you, ask God for deeper revelation.
2. We need to start making it about God, who is frankly not moved by our cultural norms and laws. We all need to live in radical love, forgiveness, and inclusion. Doing this does not, in any way, mean that you are compromising or allowing sin. Do not ever let someone tell you that the God inside you is diminished by the world around you – that’s not true. LGBT people are not demons and you will not burn in hell for treating an LGBT person like they’re a loved and accepted child of God.
3. We need to love ourselves. The Bible says that we should love each other as we love ourselves. So if we do not love each other that is a pretty good indication that we do not love ourselves either. We are all treasured children of God. When I lose sight of this, I always ask God to remind me of the way He sees me, which inevitably reminds me that it’s also how He sees everyone else.
I believe wholeheartedly that we can move past this and shine some light on this dark part in our history. We have fully hashed out why each side thinks homosexuality is right or wrong, and what its place in the church is. The decision to move forward to solid food is ours, and I would invite you to at least try the Cheerios.