Ok ladies now lets get affirmation.
My journey towards affirmation, (read here as a conviction that God blesses same gender relationships) developed in stages.
Prayer, Reflection Wresting…Reading….a lot of books..so many words I tell ya.
The most influential book for me has been James V Brownstons’ “Bible Gender Sexuality”
More influential though for me, than the reading of many books was talking with other affirming LGBTQ Christians.
Hearing their stories allowed me to develop an empathy, compassion and acceptance of them, and their romantic relationships.
That empathy, compassion, and acceptance in time expanded to an inclusion of myself.
That’s when the shift happened.
Prior to that shift all I had ever known was the idea of denying/dying to my sexual orientation because of it’s supposed sinfulness.
While I still respect those LGBTQ Christians who believe their orientation to be inherently sinful with no redeemable outlet to ever be “acted upon”; I no longer understand that view of life to be viable.
At least not for all LGBTQ Christians.
While there is a way of life that is rewarding in being single and celibate- it is not a gift and calling for all LGBTQ Christians.
It is a gift for some to be sure.
A gift and calling might I add that can never rightly be imposed on anyone- especially not by the Church.
In the Bible, in two different instances celibacy is listed as a a calling; a specific calling for some and not for all (Matthew 19:11-12 / 1 Corinthians 7:7)
But for those who insist that Celibacy is somehow a requirement and mandated by scripture for all LGBTQ people, I disagree.
There are people who have good intentions but those intentions don’t make their assertions any less harmful.
These people with good intentions say an LGBTQ persons emotional, relational and sexual capacity equates to sexual immorality.
So to avoid sexual immorality they must castrate the parts of their humanity that would find any meaningful or helpful outlet because to not do so would mean rebellion against God.
Rebellion against God and ultimately, in the words of a gay Catholic brother I know “if the LGBTQ person does not persevere in chastity and if they persist unrepentant of sexual expression then what remains for them is hellfire”
Who we are as LGBTQ Christians does not equate to Sexual Immorality.
It just doesn’t.
If you are a Christian and you believe this then you need to take a step back, breathe, reflect and be quiet before God on this and other issues you might need to self examine and address.
Also, to continue in the direction of thought in this post – I don’t believe any of the clobber passages apply to me.
Those passages have everything to do with Patriarchy, Rape, Pederasty, Idolatry and Sexual Immorality.
So to state again; emphatically – none of the six passages of scripture that deal with same sex sexual behavior have anything whatsoever to do with me.
However, I (and every affirming LGBTQ Christian I know) do believe firmly in conforming our life to these passages.
1 Timothy 1:5
It is possible that if I were ever to marry someone of my same gender (which I pray for and intend to do if that’s’ what is in the cards for me) for me and my husband to live out the scriptures listed above.
I know married gay couples who do live out the scriptures listed above.
None of the scriptures above are encumbered by my innate, God-given (Psalms 139:1-18) capacity for emotional, relational and sexual capacity for intimacy with another human being.
These qualities aren’t in any way sexually immoral – just as those same human capacities (emotional, relational, and sexual) aren’t sexually immoral for the heterosexual person.
Those capacities are not an aberation but a blessing.
I did not cease being gay when Christ stole my heart.
He did not cease being my all when I acknowledged my human capacity for emotional, relational and sexual connection.
My orientation along with all of my humanity has been taken hold of by the Son of God.
He loves me thoroughly.
I will follow His lead in doing the same
By God’s grace, I , like so many thousands of affirming LGBTQ Christians in the Church will show by my life – a bearing of good fruit (Matthew 7:17-20).
Fruit that points the world around me to a God who is love.
Fruit that shows the world around me tangibly what that love looks like.
Fruit that embodies that love in co-creation and healing of the brokenness and darkness that permeates the world.
Fruit that says there is a better way, and here is the way – a way found in the person and work of a man who is God- who died and rose again to display that love to us all.