Setting the Record Straight about Gay Christians

Setting the Record Straight about Gay Christians March 17, 2016

I went to ministry school with a girl who had been “delivered” from homosexuality. She went on to marry a guy from our program who became a youth pastor and she was determined to act just like any other heterosexual spouse of a youth pastor would, but she was secretly miserable as hell. It’s been several years since her first marriage was dissolved, but our friendship has remained.

My friend has slept on our couch and eaten at our table more than once. We are her regular stopping point any time she travels from the Midwest to the Florida coast. In her new relationship with her beautiful partner, my friend is cherished and respected. They are friends and equals, neither one forced to hide behind the unrealistic expectations of any person or institution. I love seeing the way she supports this woman and their children, loving her partner as Christ loves the Church. I have never seen my friend more happy and whole than she is now.

For years, I have said my struggle is not knowing what I believe about homosexuality and Christianity. But that’s a lie. My struggle has been more about my own fear of being kicked out of fellowship in the Bible Belt for being willing to defend gay people.

I have been afraid to come out and say I believe all people were created by a God who loves us all the same. My struggle has been admitting that what you do behind closed doors in the privacy of your own bedroom with someone you love deeply and are committed to is none of my business.

I have been a coward. I was more concerned with my own acceptance and belonging in the local church than with saying yes I do love and accept and even affirm the gay community. I secretly rejoiced when SCOTUS ruled in favor of homosexual marriages last year in the same way that many whites in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, secretly celebrated school desegregation in the 1960’s. They were called liberals then, too.

Read the rest of this post on Venn Magazine.

Also published on The Huffington Post.

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  • jjlandis

    Gah! This is so perfect.

    JJ Landis Author of Some Things You Keep Blogger at Living for Real Keep in touch Facebook and Twitter

  • jjlandis

    Gah! This is so perfect.

    JJ Landis Author of Some Things You Keep Blogger at Living for Real Keep in touch Facebook and Twitter

  • Steve, would you do something for me: make it clear at the bottom of this piece that another 50% is on the Venn Magazine link? I thought I had come to the end of the article here and almost didn’t click the link. Why?

    As I was reading the full article – you know how He does weird stuff – He popped some verse fragments into my head. Now I am the most useless candidate for using scripture o prove anything other than Love. But when he pops verses – then I listen. Your words and His have done something important internally today. And I know they will do the same for others.

    And the verses? In trying to track down those “popped verses” I stumbled into 1 Corinthians 7 by mistake – now there is convoluted messages! And then 1 Corinthians 10 (ditto). And I think that was His point to me as I read your words: most of the “verse-offs” are just that – trading punches.

    Because I haven’t tracked down the verses He “popped”, but in NOT doing so – I think that was the point He is making: one verse will always be countered by another and vice versa. And He gets lost in the process.

    • Hey Paul,

      I bolded that portion at the bottom and moved it above the image. I hope that helps.

      And yes–He does weird things. Ha! I love the lesson that He gets lost in the process of bantering over specific verses. You are SO right.

  • Steve, would you do something for me: make it clear at the bottom of this piece that another 50% is on the Venn Magazine link? I thought I had come to the end of the article here and almost didn’t click the link. Why?

    As I was reading the full article – you know how He does weird stuff – He popped some verse fragments into my head. Now I am the most useless candidate for using scripture o prove anything other than Love. But when he pops verses – then I listen. Your words and His have done something important internally today. And I know they will do the same for others.

    And the verses? In trying to track down those “popped verses” I stumbled into 1 Corinthians 7 by mistake – now there is convoluted messages! And then 1 Corinthians 10 (ditto). And I think that was His point to me as I read your words: most of the “verse-offs” are just that – trading punches.

    Because I haven’t tracked down the verses He “popped”, but in NOT doing so – I think that was the point He is making: one verse will always be countered by another and vice versa. And He gets lost in the process.

    • Hey Paul,

      I bolded that portion at the bottom and moved it above the image. I hope that helps.

      And yes–He does weird things. Ha! I love the lesson that He gets lost in the process of bantering over specific verses. You are SO right.

  • Reblogged this on Just me being curious and commented:
    I have just spent a lot longer on Steve’s post than I expected. And in a really enlightening, gentle and loving way. Even our Father joined in the conversation and had me do a little bible research along the way (my “findings” are in the comments under Steve’s post).

    If you want a different way of experiencing this hot potato – one where any “black and white thought” will seem even more “black or white” than usual – then I hope you spend a little time reading Steve’s post.

    Thank you.

  • Reblogged this on Just me being curious and commented:
    I have just spent a lot longer on Steve’s post than I expected. And in a really enlightening, gentle and loving way. Even our Father joined in the conversation and had me do a little bible research along the way (my “findings” are in the comments under Steve’s post).

    If you want a different way of experiencing this hot potato – one where any “black and white thought” will seem even more “black or white” than usual – then I hope you spend a little time reading Steve’s post.

    Thank you.

  • Gosh!!! First, a huge shot out to Paul!!! I came across his blog last week and have been super inspired ever since. As a matter of fact, on my blog, I just put up a piece talking about Sodom and Gomorrah in relation to homosexuality. I love talking about Christ and where He stands on the subject. Paul is such a blessing, also the Holy Spirit works special through him because Corinthians is a beautiful beautiful book where LGBTQ can find rest. I sure which I knew the scripture but this is what “pops” into my mind … and such were some of you, but you have been washed, cleansed and JUSTIFIED. That word “justified” just gives me goosebumps, Yo!!!

    Steve, Thank you for sharing. You are with Paul, now, inspiring me to be part of this conversation, the discourse about this “wrestle with ‘messy grace'”. Yes, you are genius for “messy grace” because that is what it is. I feel that with my entire spirit.

    • Thanks so much for reading and for the over-the-top encouragement! 🙂

  • Gosh!!! First, a huge shot out to Paul!!! I came across his blog last week and have been super inspired ever since. As a matter of fact, on my blog, I just put up a piece talking about Sodom and Gomorrah in relation to homosexuality. I love talking about Christ and where He stands on the subject. Paul is such a blessing, also the Holy Spirit works special through him because Corinthians is a beautiful beautiful book where LGBTQ can find rest. I sure which I knew the scripture but this is what “pops” into my mind … and such were some of you, but you have been washed, cleansed and JUSTIFIED. That word “justified” just gives me goosebumps, Yo!!!

    Steve, Thank you for sharing. You are with Paul, now, inspiring me to be part of this conversation, the discourse about this “wrestle with ‘messy grace'”. Yes, you are genius for “messy grace” because that is what it is. I feel that with my entire spirit.

    • Thanks so much for reading and for the over-the-top encouragement! 🙂

  • Hi there,
    I’m an atheist (was brought up catholic) but I can respect that others have their own beliefs and religions and their faith in their own gods and such, and I just wanted to say that I found your post very interesting, and I’m happy for you that you’re beginning to pull maybe the more opposing(?) aspects of your life together. This, in my opinion, means that you’re growing as an individual who knows their own mind and someone who is not afraid to express his opinion – I applaud you for that.

    Roo 😀

    • Thanks, Roo! I hope you’ll stay in touch! I always look forward to thoughtful comments.

      –Steve

  • Hi there,
    I’m an atheist (was brought up catholic) but I can respect that others have their own beliefs and religions and their faith in their own gods and such, and I just wanted to say that I found your post very interesting, and I’m happy for you that you’re beginning to pull maybe the more opposing(?) aspects of your life together. This, in my opinion, means that you’re growing as an individual who knows their own mind and someone who is not afraid to express his opinion – I applaud you for that.

    Roo 😀

    • Thanks, Roo! I hope you’ll stay in touch! I always look forward to thoughtful comments.

      –Steve