If you’ve read my other blogs, you may get the impression that I’m often in a melancholy state. That can be a bit misleading — I am usually most motivated to write a blog when I’m a bit more melancholy. If I had to describe myself, sure, I am melancholy.
But I am mostly driven by hope.
The most attractive thing about my Christian faith is the immense hope that it provides. The entire narrative of Scripture is moving toward a time in which we dwell fully in God’s presence, and all things will be restored.
One of the struggles I have as a gay/SSA (same-sex attracted) celibate person in the church is that I do not always feel included in this narrative. Usually, straight traditional Christians do not know what to do with people like us and would prefer not to deal with us. Or we can be in the church as long as we don’t raise a fuss.
Don’t get a boyfriend or talk about your situation a whole lot, and everything will be fine.
Then I look at the LGBTQ+ community, and I feel a draw to the community. Why? At first glance, their narrative is more compelling. I do not always feel like I fit into a church community that revolves around a traditional family unit.
The gay community is formed out of a desire to see all of society changed, for oppression to cease.
From Stonewall to the Gay Liberation Front to the AIDS crisis to reparative therapy to being a major influence on society. The LGBTQ+ community has this overarching theme of restructuring society so that it includes all people.
Sometimes I think to myself that the LGBTQ+ narrative is more compelling — something that actually includes me.
In some ways, I am already part of the LGBTQ+ community. But in other ways, because of my faith and my commitment to celibacy, I cannot fit fully into the LGBTQ+ community.
I feel my Christian community lacking and also the LGBTQ+ community lacking. What is one supposed to do?
I think we Christians who are LGBTQ+/SSA can and must push a more compelling narrative — one rooted in the Bible.
We do not have to go along with the narrative that we who are attracted the same sex are trouble to the church; that narrative isn’t even biblical. The church is for all who are repentant, not just the straight ones who are repentant.
Within the story of Scripture, we see God’s redeeming of humanity through Christ. There is a movement throughout the Old Testament pointing to Christ, and you see the New Testament and our modern time pointing to Christ’s second coming.
At this moment, God’s Kingdom is initiated, and our relationships play a big role in illustrating what God’s Kingdom is like. Married relationships are supposed to illustrate the Gospel in our daily lives.
Just as Christ is committed to the church, so is the husband to his wife. And just as the church is committed to Christ, so is the wife to her husband. SSA Christians who are in a mixed-orientation marriages can be a wonderful example of the unconditional love of Christ to the church and the church’s love to Christ.
Mixed-orientation marriages are not easy, but they can be an example of the lengths God will go to display his love to us and our love to God.
For fellow single people, we are an example of what life will be like when Christ returns. There is no marriage except for one at the return of Christ, and that is the wedding between Christ and the church.
Our lives today are meant to be an illustration to our fellow Christians of our future lives. We are to help our fellow Christians keep hope in the second coming of Christ.
One of the things I like most about the LGBTQ+ community is its commitment to end oppression. Then I look at the Christian narrative, and the oppression Christ ends is much grander and more complete.
We are to point toward a life in which all creation is restored, when Christ wipes away our tears, and we dwell fully in God’s presence.
I think that is a much more compelling narrative.
Do you feel more at home with the church or LGBTQ+ community, along with its accompanying narrative? What specific things can you say or do to point others toward our hope’s full completion in Christ?
I get the draw to the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve felt that for years. However, due to being non-affirming, I don’t want to intrude on the community without being welcomed in. Yet the church makes me feel the same — I can’t just enter without being welcomed in. It’s a difficult place to be.
Yet hope can be prevalent in this place. Being in between communities almost leaves me with the reminder that this earth isn’t my final destination. And that’s a great reminder at times. Thank you for sharing your perspective, brother.
It is funny how we are sandwiched in the middle of two narratives, but I love that. We are sort of our own little rebellious subculture. When you look at both the church and the LGBTQ+ narratives they both have the pros and cons. The church does have the Biblical truth on sexuality but has abused it and gone about it the wrong way big time. While we believe the LGBTQ narrative does not have the Biblical truth in regards to sexuality, it does have honorable intentions of human rights and dignity. Why not we take the best of both sides?
It is very interesting to hear a different perspective here, although one which I don’t connect. While I appreciate the strides the gay rights movement made back say in the 70s or 80s, there is almost nothing I share in common with the LGBTQ movement today. The modern day LGBT community is radically Anti-Christian, Marxist, anti-family and challenges the very concept of gender itself and so I owe know allegiance or attachment whatsoever.
While I of course don’t support Church oppression or silencing of SSA individuals, I understand the perspective that fundamentalist or conservative Christians have, especially when side-B individuals are a minority voice drowned out by the more extreme LGBT crowd.
One of the things that comforts me is to remember that for every out individual, historically there have been many more closeted. Christians for nearly 2,000 years have struggled with sexuality – it is not a modern phenomena. If just 2% of the population is SSA, that means within the 120 followers who stuck to Jesus till the end, at least one was likely a fellow struggler.
Thanks so much for the article Will! It really got me thinking about where in the spectrum I fit, and why I don’t consider my self part of the LGBT community.
I do resonate with the idea we are a bit stuck in the middle somehow. Whether that be the LGBTQ community and the Church, or Side A and Side Y, conservative or liberal, it seems we are never quite enough for anyone except each other. It can feel a bit like we don’t have a home here. And all in all, I think that can be a blessing of sorts. It reminds us that we were built for Christ, not for this world. And so we find a home in Him. What is unfortunate, though, is that it can be difficult to find a home in the Church, something I believe Christ really wants for us. That is what I continue to work toward- a home in the Church that may or may not be realized in my lifetime. It is worth fighting for regardless, as it benefits those who will follow, even if it doesn’t benefit us.
I read this last week “…we are never quite enough…” and it still echoes deeply. Faith tells me I’m justified & complete in Christ, and I am, but reading that still feels like a bandage being ripped off, like you’re never quite enough as a guy. And that’s not on other people or the church, just something from the shadows. One day, no shadows.
“The church is for all who are repentant, not just the straight ones who are repentant.” – WOW. That is on point and blew my mind. THANK YOU. I needed that today so much.
I definitely feel more at home with the church than the LGBTQ+ community. I have always been welcomed by other Christians, both straight and not-so-straight. There have been a few exceptions, but only a very small number. Most people who are non-Christian and LGBTQ ignore me, probably because I am “too old”.
I believe that when others see me gladly choosing to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus in celibacy, they will see that it is because Jesus actually is better than all the pleasure I have given up. The goal is worth all the pain to get there!
I think the sentiment that people are worried about not being welcomed into a church because of the things they have done or do is something all people can resonate with. I think we can also resonate with the truth of denying ourselves because following Jesus is more important than pursuing our wants or desires. What I have a hard time reconciling is the idea that the LGBTQ+ community, who is not living for Jesus, somehow earmarks a trait of Jesus. This is a false dichonomy. Amos 3:3 asks an important question: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” which of course the answer is no. Let us ask the Lord to show us what true community is like while admitting the lure but not comparing the false and ungodly definition of community to Jesus and what He did for us.