Sunday, January 16, 2011
In it they share how they faced rejection and even verbal and physical violence. Others speak of struggling with self-loathing. One person shares how she nearly committed suicide. It's pretty heavy stuff, looking into their eyes as they tell these stories one after another. Really what just hits home is that behind all of this are real people--people who were really hurting, people who almost didn't make it. I hope that stops you in your tracks like it did me.
The whole video is made as a message to people who are struggling with their homosexuality to let them know they are not alone, that people care about them, and that it really does get better. I kept thinking as I watched it that this is what the church really needs to be speaking out and saying. When we "take a stand on morality" that is the kind of stand we should be taking. A stand that sees the people who are hurting and cast out and communicates God's unconditional love to them. A stand that rebukes people who are preaching condemnation. That's the kind of thing that Jesus stood up for all the time. We need to be communicating grace to people, communicating to them that they are loved. So I thought I'd just start by saying it here.
There are people who say that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, and there are people who say the Bible does not say that. There really is not any clear answer, and a really big part of this has to do with the fact that sexuality is a profoundly complex thing that just cannot be reduced to simple categories of yes/no or good/bad. What is healthy and loving for any of us--gay or strait-- is just way too complex to be handled by a blanket one-size-fits-all statement, and it is simply a mistake to read the Bible like that as a source of general moral "rules" we can apply. What we need instead is to be open to the Spirit in our lives, to let the Spirit lovingly grow us into wholeness, working on areas we need to, mending the broken parts, loving us. In other words, we do not need a list of rules, we need a living and transformative relationship with God where the Spirit can show us personally what we need to grow and be whole in the same way a doctor prescribes the medicine a patient needs and does not give everyone the same pill. It's not about some list of do's and don'ts, it's about opening our hearts to that living relationship with God. That relationship begins with God's unconditional embrace of us. It begins with us having the courage to let God love all of who we are--scars and all.
If you are gay, you really should know that God loves you and there is nothing that you could possibly do to make God love you more, and nothing you can do to make God stop loving you. God does not want you to hide who you are because God loves who you are. Now there may be areas in your life that need healing (there certainly are in mine), but that's up to you and the Spirit to work out together in your relationship with God. It is up to the rest of us to be advocates for that amazing unconditional love of God.