Last week I sat down with a friend of mine for coffee and conversation at a busy little cafe in our downtown district. This friend happens to be a gay Christian.
The very idea of said pairing challenges both the Christian and gay communities alike. And admittedly it challenges me. For many of us it just doesn't work and can definitely make people uncomfortable. Seemingly opposite ideals, lifestyles, convictions coexisting together. And yet there he was, sitting right in front of me eating some kind of sticky bun and drinking tea. A gay Christian.
Next month in Las Vegas The Idea Camp will take on all things sex. Conversations and speaker sessions will focus on pornography, trafficking, orientation, gender, marriage... Asking the question; In a culture formed and broken by tainted views of human sexuality, what should followers of Christ embody?
As part of the media team I'm helping get these conversations started early. So, with my friend's permission, I'm going to pass on some pieces of our conversation with the hopes you might have one of your own.
On faith background...
"I had a Catholic background and it never quite worked for me. I couldn't seem to connect with God or the church but I wasn't against it either, in fact I actually really loved spirituality and what the church could be."
And your faith now...
"Well, it took a long time before I could reconcile my faith in God and my sexuality. At certain points, especially in middle school, I felt this pressure to either fix myself or be kicked out of the Christian club and so I remember praying to God to be healed of my sexuality, to fix me. But I wasn't. So I learned to keep it hidden around the church and to a certain degree still do. I lived in a great deal of fear, afraid of people but more so of going to hell. And it wasn't until I realized there wasn't anything wrong with me that I could really walk with God. That I'm not going to hell based on not being "normal." I have a relationship with God, there's nothing to fear. It's the kind of painful process that I wouldn't wish upon anyone but also the kind that everyone needs to go through...in their own way."
"The church largely views homosexuality as a disability, something that needs to be fixed in people in order for them to become whole. This creates alienation. That we're not whole and everybody else is, so we become a project or shunned. The Christians say they're having honest conversations about sexuality but if you were to ever look around at those discussions or conferences you'd find a severe lack of diversity. If half the group aren't gay it's not a fair discussion."
"The church needs to talk. We can't even talk with each other about sex in our closest circles how can we expect to talk with those who are different. And love people, don't miss what God can do in and through the lives of others. I believe that God is at the core of all situations and the best thing we can do is go to Him."
What about you, any thoughts? Do you hold a position on the subject? Does your faith community talk about sexuality?
See you in Vegas,