That’s a really good question.
And it requires a ton of background information, but I’m just going to keep it as short as possible.
I struggled with Christianity (Mostly the Fundamentalist type) before I even knew I was gay. My view of God was very distorted. But then I started… experiencing God for lack of a better term. I experienced God for the first time as a loving God. As a God who was different from what I was taught in church at the time. I reconciled being gay with Christianity in the form of being celibate at the time. My faith at the time was very much a “warm feely” type of faith.
Then that all changed as I started having a faith crisis. My faith was shaken as God’s presence left me. I started delving into Christian books. I started with books like Chan, Eldridge, and other pop-Christian authors. Very conservative Evangelical people. I stayed in that portion of my life for a while.
Then one night I was on a phone call with my sister telling her about how much pain and ache celibacy was causing me. How much I yearned for a relationship. Then she made a comment that stopped me in my tracks and changed my life.
"Well Andrew, maybe homosexuality isn’t a sin."
I had never even considered this before.
It was the wacky “liberals” who believed this. And they didn’t believe in the Bible anyways, so it wasn’t an option for me!
After a few days I dug up the courage to look online for the “other viewpoint”. I stumbled onto the Gay Christian Network. I read the essays there. Now I was still hardly convinced after reading the article by Justin Lee, but I inwardly was hoping he might be right.
I started exploring a bunch of other affirming arguments. I ran into a lot of bad, shoddy, and sketch theology along the way. But I kept on searching more and more and kept on finding little gems of truth along the way.
I barely kept on holding on to my faith the whole time.
I became fully affirming about a year ago I suppose. I was simultaneously confident and insecure about my newly acquired view. Today, if I’m to be honest, I think I’m still a bit insecure about being affirming.
My suspicions that I might still be insecure about being affirming:
- If someone is not affirming, it hurts me to my core.
- I feel a sense of anger and bitterness towards them sometimes.
- I’m scared of arguing about affirming theology because I’m afraid I’ll make the affirming movement look ignorant.
- I don’t have time for putting up with non-affirming people.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve continued to grow in my faith. This faith though has been mainly a head-knowledge/academic type of faith. This was because my Salvation depended on my theology about homosexuality being correct. (Now, I realize this to be incredibly false) I had to deconstruct everything I was taught, and I had to salvage through the remains. And cling to that which was good and true and loving. This was how I became involved
obsessedwith certain theologies.
But something was missing. My heart.
I missed feeling God. I missed being sensitive in my faith. I missed having a non-cynical type of faith. I missed trusting God. I missed believing in God without a shadow of a doubt. I missed a lot of things.
Father Shannon writes this so well.
"In my deconstruction period my faith became almost entirely intellectual. I had to figure out exactly what I believed and why. I needed to parse it all out. But I had neglected my heart and my spirit. In this moment it all came together again. I saw that I could use both my head and my heart in following Jesus.”
So that’s where I am right now. Trying to connect my head and heart again. Trying to trust God completely again. Trying to let Grace like rain wash over me again. Praying for my bitter edges to be softened out. Praying that my Faith will one day outweigh my Doubt. Praying that I’ll truly believe with my whole heart, mind, and spirit again one day. Praying for complete healing from the harmful toxic theology of my youth. Praying that one day I won’t be a debate. Praying that I’ll be accepted in the greater church, just like a heterosexual.
So how am I still a Christian?
I don’t have a damn clue.
Maybe God had something to do with it.
Beautifully put Andrew. I <3 you brother!#Gay Christian
Because bad theology is bad theology. And it actually harms the affirming movement if we have shoddy theology.
Think David and Jonathan were just friends? Check out this link and get back to me.
I’ve read it a number of times. As a scholar, I’m unconvinced textually, and as a queer Christian, I’m unconvinced theologically.
Is it possible that David and Jonathan had a sexual relationship? Certainly. If they did, was it an ethical one? Almost certainly not.
Either way, David’s relationships are generally horrifying enough that “Well, David did it” is not anything at all that I want to hang my theological hat upon.
Eeeexactly. Now I’m not at all claiming to be some expert or scholar on homosexuality in the Bible, but for me, that is a very illogical argument. If you’ve followed me for any bit of time, you know I don’t put up with un-affirming theology. But bad affirming theology is almost as bad.
Good chat fellas. I’m with you on this one Andrew
It is so simple, but the pious forget this lesson constantly. God may indeed be evident in a priest, but God is just as likely to be at work through a Samaritan or a prostitute. In fact the Scripture is brimful of God using folks like a lying prostitute named Rahab, an adulterous king named David… at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey. Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to use us, then we should be grateful but not think too highly of ourselves. And if upon meeting someone we think God could never use, we should think again.
After all, Jesus says to the religious elite who looked down on everybody else: “The tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you.” And we wonder what got him killed?"