Reconcile Being Gay and Christian
Matthew 11:2-6 (King James Version) Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
After a service, a person asked, "How do you reconcile being gay and Christian with the sinful life style?”
We do not understand God's call. The call of the Lord has never really been placed on those the world would have chosen. God chose the children of Isreal. And the children of Israel were described as the smallest nation. God could have chosen a mighty nation. For some reason, God did not do that. A real mystery.
John the Baptist was in prison. And this was in the days when nobody called prisons the Hilton. He did not have long to live. Perhaps, John sensed that. He sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the One?” Basically, they were asking, “Are you Messiah?”
Jesus could have given a detailed theological response. He did not do that. So I will not give you a theological answer either. Instead of giving a theological answer, He says, “Tell John what you’ve heard and seen. The blind see. The lame walk. The lepers are cleansed. The deaf hear. The dead are raised. The poor hear the good news.”
We see the Spirit moving on God's queer people. In the documentary film “Fish Can’t Fly” a young gay Christian musician tells how the love and acceptance he found in a gay bar touched his life. As a result of the experience in a gay bar, he wrote a song about how he met Jesus in a gay bar. I was coming back from a long walk one evening. I heard a the voice of a man singing - probably karaoke night. The lyrics and tune Amazing Grace could be heard on the street as I walked past the bar. I stopped dead for a moment and listened, never expecting to hear Amazing Grace being sung in a gay bar. In about the last 40 years, we’ve seen the establishment of a number of queer denominations, and queer affirming denominations. There are an increasing number of existing denominations that are either affirming or have groups lobbying for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified people in the life of their denominations.
Broken gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified people have found deep and lasting shalom in their hearts. Those who were blinded by the intense darkness and fear of the long night of their lives see. Those who are so wounded by what society has done to them - gay bashing, bullying, rejection by families, abuse - that they cannot walk now walk. Queer people who felt like lepers crying “unclean” they so rejected and tainted are cleansed. Those who hate themselves so much they can hear nothing good now hear. Those who feel dead inside and suicidal live and find hope. Through the wounds society heaped on the queer community, flows the love and life of Christ. The emotional, spiritual, and physical wounds become the stigmata of the cross of Christ, and the poor, powerless, and underprivileged hear good news.
The religious establishment does not understand God’s relentless grace. And never has. They did not understand Christ’s choice of disciples. Matthew was a tax collector, an incredible sinner, probably the equivalent of being gay to Jesus' contemporaries. Government officials probably did not get Christ’s choice of disciples either. He chose a zealot. Zealots were like Jewish terrorists. Made no real sense. The Spirit moved on that rag-tag group and now the number of people who follow Christ number in the hundreds of millions.
I do not understand God’s relentless grace. I cannot comprehend the grace of God, or the mystery of the Spirit, moving on gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans-identified people. Fortunately, I do not have to understand. Nobody will ever understand it. All I have to do is appreciate the mysterious working of God. The call is to embrace the Spirit and all to whom the Spirit gives life.