Here are points 3-5 in answering yesterday’s question, “Who put YOU in charge?”
3. There is no other national voice doing or saying what I am. This is not to say that there are not other people around the country talking about this topic! I am not being cocky with this statement. There are plenty of ex-gay ministries (and conservative churches, universities, organizations and blogs out there trying to talk about these topics), but the broader GLBT community won’t ever listen to them solely because they are basing themselves from an ex-gay perspective. There are also plenty of GLBT ministries (and churches, organizations, blogs and “liberal” straight Christians), but the broader conservative world won’t ever listen to them solely because they are basing themselves from an all inclusive perspective. Ultimately by default, or, by me putting myself out there over and over again, sticking to my bridge concept while living in the neighborhood and vocally partnering with GLBTs and conservative evangelicals around the country, here I am (and rising others I have previously partnered with like Eric, Jeff [see Jeff’s comment from Part 1 of “who put YOU in charge] and Jimmy – I know there are others, this is just an off-the-top-of-my-head representative of all groups: gay, ex-gay and celibate).
4. I am not going anywhere. Every word I say or write is scrutinized, hated, loved, etc. I am here. I am not going anywhere. This is what the Lord put me here to do, so here I will be. I love my neighborhood, I love the GLBT community, I love conservative Christians. It’s not always pretty (who am I kidding, many times it’s not pretty), but it’s my life. This blog is another extension of that. I have been honored to have this blog with you all to work through many hot button things with all of us. We do it together. Since March 2009 there has been an average of almost 8,000 of us per month. That’s a lot of people, a lot of voices, a lot of experiences, a lot of difference and a lot of people not commenting but just taking it all in seeing how we’ll all handle ourselves. Scary. And it’s all part of the process.
5. I’m not trying to hoard the topic. I just happen to be one small, lone voice in the public now. But believe me, I know that will not last forever (me being a lone voice, and, me being in the public). I’m just trying to be a good steward of the platform the Lord has given me at this moment in time. I find it funny that when people ask me “who put YOU in charge” in a sarcastic or angry tone, I say:
“No one. Do you want to do it? If so, then pick up your life, don’t look back and go and do it. It’s that easy.”
I left a very cushy job to do what I’m doing now. At the time, 99% of the people I knew thought I totally lost my mind (Christian and gay alike, family and friends). Recently, most of those who have said yes to my response have already come and gone. It’s a hard place to be. Ultimately it’s an easy thing to critique, but it’s extremely hard to persist in living it out. And you have to give up waaaay more than you might ever think. Especially support! Many will quickly turn their back on you. Many won’t support (financially, emotionally, spiritually) you. I still haven’t “made” it. I went from making a great salary to qualifying for food stamps for the first two years of The Marin Foundation’s existence because I had nothing. I gave it all.
This isn’t some hero complex of mine of why I’m saying this.
It’s a reality of what it means to keep going in the face of very few thinking a bridge is possible. And here I am pressing forward. Not with much that the world deems a success, but with an underground movement spreading like wildfire doing significant things for the Kingdom, and the culture war.
So all in all, who put ME in charge? Doesn’t matter because I know Who is in charge. I continually thank the Lord for picking me up by the seat of my pants and flinging me through many thick brick walls along the way. Even though I lay dazed on the other side of the crumbled wall with little yellow birdies flying around my head, a door has been made where by all human standards, a door could never have existed.
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