1 Peter 1: 5-7
God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.
I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.
Everyday I set aside time to read and pray. This morning is no exception, although today is on the heels of learning of another young man being kicked out of his home for pronouncing to his parents that he is gay. Perhaps you know the story? He is a fabulous singer on American Idol [ Jonathan Allen].
Sadly, his story is too familiar. It is something as a PFLAG Mom (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbian and Gays) I know well. I have heard stories of people being kicked out. Even my own son was afraid to tell me he is gay despite us showing nothing but acceptance of his lesbian aunt.
Yes, this is something every gay person goes through – in their family or from communities – rejection.
Imagine, if you will, your own family rejecting you? Personally, I cannot wrap my head around this. I cannot imagine the pain this creates, the sense of loss, the degree of hurt. They’re hearts must deeply break. I am sure they get angry and many venture down paths that are life-threatening because of it. Their whole self-worth surely falls apart. Of things to experience in life, this must be among the worst, right?
To me, as I consider it, there really is no other hurt that can cut as deeply except perhaps, the one that suggests God sees them as an abomination. And to this, surely some say, “well then reject the religion that would say this,” and I do. I reject that religion and I know many do…. but we do not reject God.
God?…Believe it or not, 94% of the world believe in God … God is beyond any religion (including Christianity) and God created all of this before any religion was established to try and explain it. God created the stars, earth, molecules, cosmic dust — everything and long before any of us brainy-acts walked its surface.
Therefore, for any religion claiming gays an abomination to the God who made them, is to step into a sphere outside their pay-grade and beyond their comprehension. Yet many do it and speaking as a person who deeply loves God, worships God and seeks to live my life for God – this cuts deep; and I am not even gay. I can only imagine how it must hurt and the potential damage it can cause.
To me, this is right up there with rejection from parents. As I see it, if those good Christians truly understood the devotion towards God we are to have they would think twice for how their claim nears people or sends them away. Yes, the God who loves us so deeply and completely would not want us to act in ways that separate or deny any from that love.
As I think more about it, any who say God sees gay people as an abomination when this is the same God who created them gay in the first place; if it were true, is a God worth rejecting. Yet, all around me this is not what I see. Everywhere I go I see gay people holding onto their faith, not relinquishing it to the claims of others.
You see, they know differently. They know they are wonderfully made – and in God’s image – just as they are. I think God makes a point of telling them in ways you and I can never understand and I thank God for that.
As a Christian, time and again, I see gay Christians holding onto their faith – worshiping right alongside those who shame them. Imagine that? Worshiping alongside those who deny you the same grace they are given – alongside those who would deny you the same rights they enjoy? Imagine breaking bread on Sunday with those who would fire you on Monday. Imagine singing songs with those deny you marriage while seeking blessings for theirs. Imagine praying with those who would deny you the right to adopt a homeless child while crying out for God to save the children.
It is to all of this, I say, Lord have mercy.
Yes. Despite all the homophobic, mean, harmful and demeaning things their fellow Christians say – they continue. Despite many denominations denying them ordination, leadership, membership and sometimes even communion – they continue. Why I have even heard of some denominations protecting their leaders and clergy who abuse people on one hand while condemning and rejecting a gay person on the other. This sounds crazy, I know, but it happens.
And among some God-fearing Christians, those who would peg themselves as progressives or contemporary – they extend a love often riddled with reparative treatment requirements, rules of celibacy and a closet to live in (aka: DADT) in order to be included. It is to all of this I say, my how God must be at work in mysterious ways.
As the good God-fearing Christians inside church argue and vote for who’s in and who’s out, the world outside church is becoming more and more revolted by it. The world does not wait for church to get it. You see..for every one of us inside the church rejecting a fellow Christian for being gay, the outside world rejects the gay for being Christian… And yet, it is to all of this, I see gay Christians holding tight to their faith. So, surely, theirs is a genuine faith put through this suffering that comes out proved genuine (7b).
To my LGBT+ brothers and sisters in faith. I stand with you. I pray with you. I am with you. Your faith is genuine – a faith that teaches me so much. Thank you. Amen.
If you agree, thank a gay Christian today for putting up with the rest of us Christians.