This is the first post in which I want to chart my thought-journey on this rather difficult social issue.
I’ll never forget the day the firmament above me opened up allowing a tsunami to crash down upon the assumptions I had about gay people and Christianity. In the end my ark opened and I found myself facing a whole new world, unfamiliar and begging to be explored.
It all started in 2003. I was fresh out of Bible school and my pastor was quick to put me to work. I was leading a home Bible study on a subject I know not which. We were gathered around a large wooden table, there was about seven of us. I think I was the youngest.
I don’t remember where it came from or what the context was, but what I do remember was making this comment rather confidently:
“… and we know a person can’t be gay, and a Christian.”
Moving on as quickly as I arrived I found myself rather taken aback when Gary – the homeowner, our host – cut me off with this: “yes, a person can.”
My jaw dropped. You see, Gary is a solid Christian. He and his wife are two of the most sincere Christians I’ve ever known. And Christians are just not supposed to believe those kinds of things. Right?
I didn’t know what to say. My heart-rate rose immediately. I quipped in response, “no, they can’t.”
Gary smiled, calmly. “Yes, they can.”
I’m sure by this point my face began to visibly turn red. “No. They. Can’t.” With shaking hands I crunched the papers of my Bible hastily trying to find undeniable proof. Ah, here it is. “Look, Gary.” I was a little embarrassed and needed to reestablish myself as the authority teacher in the room. “Right here in Romans one.”
Gary, still calm but with a sharp look of determination in his eyes, said, “Oh I know what it says. But yes they can.” Helen, Gary’s wife, put her hand on his arm, “Gary, let it go” she urged. He continued, “I have friends who are gay, and Christian.”
Frustration does not quite capture how I felt. “Gary! How could you, a Bible believing evangelical conservative Christian, say that?”
He smiled and raised his eyebrows, “they have chosen to live celibate lives.”
Smash. I sat back in silence.
That was the tsunami. It was at that point that I discovered there were different ways to look at the subject of homosexuality and Christianity.
In the next week or so I’ll be exploring what my assumptions were. How I eventually overcame them. And what I believe today.
I hope you will follow this short series and join in on the discussion.
[See part 2: My Assumptions]