Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mullings

I'm still mulling over this whole gay/christian thing. You get to mull along with me.

On FB I said that the hardest thing is that it's practically impossible to find a church to attend. Yes, there are congregations of various sorts that are gay friendly. I'm not so hot on their theology. And churches whose theology I share, have a view of gays that isn't helpful. (Keep reading - this isn't about westboro types!)

I'm pretty sure the average Christian sees gays as people in the "lost needing to be saved" category. They think if gays are introduced to Christ and start attending church then becoming straight is a part of that process. So, if someone like me, a lifelong Christian who is also gay shows up at their church, not looking to not be gay, but to be closer to God, well, that poses a dilemma.

And maybe they're right. I started attending church when I was five. I "came out" when I was 17. And in all the time since I was 17, I've tried to find the answer to being both gay and a Christian. I spent many years going to church thinking being straight would work out for me eventually. Who knows, maybe it would have. But I fell absolutely in love with a young woman and that started me on my current path. So, then I tried for many years to give up being a Christian. That hasn't worked either.

The church I used to go to in Austin taught a lot about "being in the wilderness." I feel like I've been on a deserted island.

Is my current life the perfect plan God had for me? Maybe not. I'm not sure anyone I knew all those years ago achieved that perfect plan. Maybe they have. I know some who are still missionaries and many who have lovely marriages and families.

But that's not even the right question anymore. Because this is my life. This is my family. And I'm not giving it up or leaving it. Does that put space between God and I? Maybe. But does it mean I can't have a relationship with him at all? I can't imagine that to be true.

But it's hard out here alone.

The flip side of this is how my gay friends feel about the church. I'd say hostile and hurt.

I don't know the answers. But I know God's love and grace abound.

4 comments:

Joy said...

There are MANY, MANY Christians who are gay and do not find that fact to be at all incompatible with the Gospel. There are also MANY GLBT clergy (and Christians as a whole) who are smart, educated and passionate about living a life of faith and having their life of faith echoed in the devotion they have to their families (spouse/partner and children). I don't know what area you live in but if you can find an MCC congregation (evangelical but GLBT friendly/founded) OR a GLBT friendly Episcopal church (mainline Protestant, a very different style of worship than the MCC), you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. It may take a bit of digging but GLBT friendly congregations/clergy and Christians do exist! Blessings and best of luck to you.

Beth said...

Joy - Thanks. I'm familiar with MCC churches and gay friendly Episcopal as well. Neither are in our area and neither are exactly what I'm looking for. I do have faith something will work out eventually.

Ann said...

Do you have UCC (United Church of Christ) - often called Congregational, in that area? They're all over the place here in New England. You might want to try visiting them. I'm a UU (Unitarian Universalist) and couldn't be happier with it. I suspect it's not "Christian" enough for you though, and I'm sure it's not conservative enough, we're generally a very liberal bunch, whether we're straight or LGBT.

Beth said...

Ann - Hi! There's a Unitarian church the next city over, but yeah, if my athiest friend was comfortable there, it's not "christian" enough :-) I'm sure it sounds odd that even though we're in metro DC - we're just far enough out that anything within driving distance (that I've found so far) is pretty traditional. There's not even a Quaker congregation around here, which I would find interesting.