of being gay and Christian. Sequel to “Desolations” of ditto. By Brent Bailey, and again quite powerful:
1. It made my faith more complicated: From day one, following Jesus has almost always benefitted my life. I grew up in the Bible Belt, where a certain amount of religiosity lends credibility, and I received scholarships to attend Bible college and study ministry. For most of my growing up years, there was never a reason for me to consider not being a Christian, so my decision to be a Christian seemed inevitable. One reason I resisted acknowledging my orientation for so long was that I probably feared it would make my faith much more complicated and difficult or even unworkable. When I finally did accept I was gay and tell someone else, it made real the possibility that remaining a Christian might potentially cost me something I desired very much, and dwelling with those higher stakes invited me into a kind of faith where Jesus might call me to take up my cross in other huge, life-altering ways. I’m persuaded those negotiations always work out in our favor—we give him rags, he gives us new robes (even if only in the life that’s coming), that sort of thing—and I certainly don’t want to give the impression I’ve reached any virtuous measure of surrender. But I think I understand the dynamics of those negotiations better now.