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?