06 September 2009

Queer? Christian? Both??

After spending so much time online this weekend, I first thought that I was only more confused than I already was. I’ve read multiple blogs, sampled many YouTube videos and felt I could not come up with a solution that I could live with in my heart. But, it actually took putting this all down in words to more firmly cement the decisions that I’ve made with apologies to no one.

I read and listened to the gay community’s input that one can be Christian and queer, inclusive of maintaining their relationships with their partners. Many churches are gay affirming that embrace the whole person.

I spent equal time researching the Christians’ input. Their position holds that the bible is the inherent word of God, and as such, accepts the passages that decry homosexuality as a sin. (Let me clarify right now that I did not give any credence to Focus on the Family’s James Dobson’s diatribe on his vitriolic exhortation that we as Americans must protect “our family values” as his lead-in to a treatise on gay bashing).

All Christians, gay or straight will also say that we are all sinners, that none of us lives a perfected life free from sin.

I am a lesbian. I am also wholly committed to seeking after God with all my heart and soul. To that end, I am still human, still a sinner. I have that glorious opportunity to seek after God for the redemption of my sins. But, this brings up the wrinkle for me. I hunger to live my life as holy as I can which speaks to my ability to place obedience to God above all else. This is where the concept of repentance comes in. God expects us to ask for forgiveness of our sins but also to repent (“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32). Repentance can be defined as consisting of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (3) a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of His commandments. Having this knowledge tells me that it is not acceptable to continue to repeat sins continually and then always asking for forgiveness every single night knowing that we are going to be committing that same sin tomorrow.

I personally do believe that the bible is the one true word of God—all of it, not just the passages that I can swallow. For me, it’s an all-or-nothing precept. Yes, the Evangelical fundamentalists take the same stand and that is why I cringe when they use particular passages to damn us all to hell. God loves me, provides for me, protects me and makes a way for me. And yet, at the same time, this very same God is a just God. The time will come to pass when we will each be held accountable for our actions. God does not expect us to be perfect, but he does require obedience. Being obedient is to follow His word. I always keep coming back to two verses that became life changing for me. “1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2).  These verses became my measuring stick by how I live my life now. I hunger to hear God tell me, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

To that end, I made a very difficult decision in order to honor the concept of repentance and live my life according to Romans 12:1-2. Yes, I am a lesbian. There was no choice to be made that defined me as one just as there is no choice to be made to be straight. I accept that sexual sin defined in the bible speaks of all sexual sin, gay and straight. As a result, I am presenting my body as a living sacrifice to God by choosing to be celibate. I’ve also sacrificed my entire social network. I was a very radical, out-in-your-face dyke. To willingly walk away from all that which identified who I was before I came to know the Lord meant losing my community, my friends, and my relationships.

I have been scorned by many in the gay community. I have been accused of casting judgment upon them just because of a personal decision I made for myself. Did I undergo reparative therapy? Absolutely not. I still identify myself as a lesbian, but more like an ambassador without papers. I will never be straight for all that this label means. It will mean that I will live the rest of my life without being in a loving, committed relationship with another person. That’s my sacrifice back to God. My one true desire is to live my life according to God’s will for me, wherever that takes me. This year, the one big lesson I learned was what it means to truly lay everything at His feet and to trust in Him alone. My family values are just fine. After all, I am a child of God.©2009

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