My Thoughts on Being Gay and Being a Christian

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I first came to the realization I was gay when I was about 22.

In retrospect the signs had been there for a long time but I was way too naive and ignorant to recognize them.

It was my home group leader who confronted me about it. God told her I was gay in a dream and He was spot on!

Suddenly the penny dropped – I realized the emotional entanglements I had got myself into with some of my girl friends were confused and misplaced and the huge expectations I had of our friendships were totally unrealistic.

It was the early eighties; homosexuality was only ever talked about in a derogatory way, and my sheltered Christian background led me to be very ill equipped for the bomb shell that had been delivered. I walked away feeling dirty and disgusted with myself. I felt ashamed with who and what I was. I hated myself. These feelings were all consuming and ever present.

I went back to my home group leaders and asked for help – I think they were about as ill equipped as me. They laid hands on me and prayed over me and tried to cast out the spirit of homosexuality. This was, without a doubt, spectacularly unsuccessful.

Over the next seven or so years I tried to deny and bury my sexuality. I struggled with depression and low self-esteem. There was a deep black abyss within me and sometimes I would spiral deep down into it. I carried this huge secret inside of me that I tried not to look at and shared with no one.

I subsequently went through a similar period of time actively pursuing God to ‘heal’ me, to make me ‘whole’, to change me into a heterosexual. I put all my hope in God that He could and would do this – after all He didn’t create me as gay. His desire for me was to be whole and healed and heterosexual. If I was ‘broken’, as I was led to believe, then I could be ‘fixed’.

I went to counselling, I attended a Living Waters course (a 30 week course for those struggling with same sex attraction and other sexual issues) and I took every opportunity to receive prayer. But nothing really changed. The same old feelings persisted. Feelings I continually had to suppress and felt I could never pursue or voice with anyone.

I was desperate to understand why I was gay. Out of all the people in the world why did I have to be one of them?

Through the teaching I received and the literature I read I was led to believe it was my mother’s fault. She was to blame as she didn’t know how to express her love to me either physically or emotionally (I couldn’t remember her ever hugging me or telling me she loved me). As a result I never ‘attached’ to her and consequently have been looking for someone of the same sex to fill that missing void in my life.

So all I needed was for God to fill that love deficit created by my mother’s inabilities and I’d be healed and made whole. (Even though I knew deep down that my mother had loved me – she simply didn’t know how to express it!) Somehow this never quite worked.

Then about ten years ago, through meeting another gay Christian woman, I learnt to accept ‘this is me’, this is what I am. I am gay – maybe God will change me, maybe He won’t. Whatever happens, in the here and now, I need to learn to live in the day to day tension of being gay and being a Christian. Sometimes this was and still is all consuming.

There remained in me a desperate unfulfilled need to love and be loved, that I didn’t know how to fill in a ‘legitimate’ way.  There were feelings and desires within me that I could never openly express, depths of relationship that I could never hope to pursue, words I could never be free to speak out, and expectations that could never be realised.

How then should I live? Sometimes I wandered close to the cliff edge – I needed to move to safer ground!

To continue to pursue God to change me scared me. I felt on shaky ground; that my faith could unravel, that I could unravel. I’d been disappointed too many times. It was safer not to go there again.

So there remained a struggle. Sometimes the struggle was harder than other times. But always there remained a struggle. I was afraid, afraid of growing old, afraid that things would only get worse, afraid that because sometimes I barely coped now – how was I going to cope in the future?

It was the day of the Destiny Church and ‘Enough is Enough’ marches; gays were often singled out by the church as immoral and an abomination. Where did they fit into the church? Where did I fit in? I certainly didn’t want to be judged like that. I might not have been a practising gay but I thought like one, I felt like one, I reacted inside like one – the desire and potential was ever there. There was such a thin line separating us. A line at times I desperately wanted to cross.

Then a couple of years ago I read this statement: “If you had the chance to change something in your life would you, or would you continue just the way you are?” After reading it, it struck me: I am now at the point in my life where I no longer yearn to change who I am. My sexuality, or in my case, my homosexuality, is so much a part of me – it’s who I am, it’s what I identify as and to change would be like changing my identity. I realised I couldn’t imagine being any different.

Since then I have been on a search to discover the truth. What does the bible really say about homosexuality?  Are there certain things that I have accepted without question but which have no truth in my life? I needed to take the responsibility to find out the truth for me and then to live that truth: that is integrity.

This path of searching has finally led me to the conclusion that at the end of the day I don’t believe there is anything intrinsically wrong with two people of the same sex being together in a loving, committed, monogamous relationship. What possible harm is it doing to anyone? Sometimes I think we get so consumed with the unimportant and trivial things in life. What is God really concerned about? What is on His heart? I suspect it is more about how we treat other people than the gender of who we are with.

So what are the choices before me? 1) I could live a life of celibacy – alone, lonely, unfulfilled, repressed, devoid of intimacy 2) I could reject God and Christianity and embrace a gay lifestyle or 3) I could actually believe that being gay and being a Christian are compatible and just maybe God is OK with that and with me.

LW

12 Responses to My Thoughts on Being Gay and Being a Christian

  1. danny says:

    man i know how you feel im 31 ive excepted jesus as my saviour since i was a teenager, yet i still struggle with gay sin, ive been to beats/gay saunas you name it becuse i feel lonely & want companionship with other blokes,even if its just a hug-gay guys are the only guys that understand i know its wrong i dont want to but it hurts when i cant be who i dont know who i am i cant share with other christians i cant feel/speak/connect with people i cant smile or enjoy the christian life god gave me that i was meant to live it sux its so confusing..do i stay without sex & get depreessed of being alone or do i find a girl ??? get married & bring this stuff into the marriage ive always dreamed of being a dad i want a best buddy to hang with but i know its not what god wants for me..i cry myself to sleep for the past 17 years, now my prayers are jesus take me home so we can hangout so i wont feel alone…how sad is that…i luv my god i should be the happiest person on earth but im not…in a way im gratefull i have these issues becuase now i understand the pain gay guys go through.. i pray for them daily there the coolest blokes on the planet i hate when other christians put them down- i know god luvs us unconditionally but it hurts like hell i will fight this till he takes me home to heaven

    • hrr says:

      That is so much stress and sadness for such a long time! My heart really goes out to you. You are not alone in the dilemmas you face. There might be as much as 10% of Christians that have the same struggles and have to find their way through this mine field. Have a look at some of the web-sites linked to this one and find some comfort in the fact that there are others who have walked the same path as you have. This life can be a better one for you, I’m sure.

      • danny says:

        thank you i apreciate your caring heart plz pray for other gay guys out there to we need to lay down our lives for others thats most important -

  2. Hey team!

    Hrr, thanks for sharing that. Who is LW? Her story reminded me of myself. I love her closing questions – and am sure God does too :)

    Danny, sending hugs your way, bro. I love your honesty, as does your Father in Heaven. Stay in tocu with other Christian gays. We all need the support and encouragement from one another as we share Christ’s love to a broken and judgemental world ;)

    • chris says:

      i really do understand and feel your struggles.. im chris from hawaii who been struggling gay life since i can remember at a young age.accepted christ in my life in my teen age years..pray and pray that he would set me free from my gay lifestyle so many times.. cried to my sleep beg god to transform me and no change…end up in the hospital for having an anxiety just thinking about my gay life..and now im 36 and feel like my jesus christ can never change me.. but i always hang on to his words and claim him that maybe along the road he will .. but its hurt alot that im getting so old that im still gay and longing for that love that my dad didnt give me..im so lost right now..when im so lonely and alone.. i just end up going online looking for guys who would want to hang out and hook up.. alcohol is always my way out to feel that pain and hurt inside me.. im ctying while im typing alll of this true words from deep in my heart..how sad is it..please keep in your prayer.. i just want jesus to take this away and transform to am i in his eyes.. i love you jesus..

      • Jonathan says:

        Hang in there Chris, I hope it gets better. Like someone said above, maybe read some of the articles and links on this site. There are some good ones.

        *hugs*

  3. Jonathan says:

    Thankyou so much for this website. I’m straight, but am a supporter of gay, lesbian, bi and trans christians in New Zealand. Some of the stories on this page broke my heart. You are not alone, there are probably more in NZ who will support you than you might think – i hope!

  4. kim says:

    Hi LW

    I am a straight (new) christian and stumbled across this site doing a bit of a google on this topic after watching the movie Milk. Which I thought was a good movie. That movie raised the issue in my mind again, as along with my thoughts (of how can two people who do love each other, and who improve each other as human beings – often teaching each other to show more love and concern as people, be wrong) I was thinking how could a man like Harvey Milk, not be in many ways leading the way in teaching us all to show gods love and mercy for all people, and demonstrating that love/mercy himself…

    Anyway, though I am straight myself, I have gay friends and since becoming a Christian I have always wondered how I would manage to find a meeting place for my own feelings about god and Christianity, and those about my friends who are gay. By that I do not mean my affection for and friendship with my gay friends – that would not change. I mean that when I see a gay couple who are in a good striong loving relationship where both partners are making each other better people, they are monogamouse, committed (ie civil union etc) – I dont understand why this is wrong. But at the same time I do feel that the bible is being specific when it says it is a sin, and is not ambigious or parable like in any way. So obviously these two things I feel are both correct – are at odds with each other.

    I do not live in the same city as the people I know who are gay at the moment so have not had to address the issue face to face, so to speak. But who knows when I may be confronted with this issue and what if a gay person asks me straight up where I stand?

    For the moment I have come to the following conclusions which anyone here is welcome to comment on:

    ********************
    Firstly that gods love and salvation is open to all, gay, straight, bi, transgender, axe murderer, black, white, pink green, violet, puce, whatever.
    Secondly that as a Christian I am called on by god to show christs love to all people. I am also not to judge others (least I myself be judged) and as I still sin a lot its very much in my best interest to follow that one LOL. I also believe (though this is probably being judgemental itself) that it would be a worse sin for a person to show hate towards gay people and use god or the bible as the excuse or justification for that hate, than it would for people who just show hatred (and admit that they themselves hate gay people)

    I also believe that this is a matter that should be between the person and god, same as my sins are between me and god, and that it is up to god to sort the issue with the person -but that the gay person should be actively praying about this with god – even if they dont ever change anything about their lifestyle or relationships.

    If asked whether they could become a Christian by a gay friend I would say 100% yes, and suggest that after making the statement a christian makes, they just talk honestly and openly to god about this, including being upfront if they dont get why its wrong, and also if they do not feel they could leave a partner (even if they could if it were me Id be asking god anyway cos obviously all this is going to impact thei partner in a big way) . And from there that they ask god to show them why its wrong and what they should be doing, and to help them, or maybe that they just tell god they dont understand it and cannot of their own strength just ‘stop being gay’so they are handing the whole thing over to him to deal with

    If a christian asked me out right if their relationship with their (in some cases cvivil union) partner was a sin, I dont know what Id say, as Ive never felt in my own heart that it was, and still have trouble feeling that way. Id probably be honest and say I didnt understand it either, and that Id have to ask god to show me, and suggest they do the same

    **********************************************

    Anyway, I was wondering whether you or other gay christians have done the above and/or spent much time asking god to show them the answer to this, and if so what response you felt you got? And also whether you feel that you have an open and 2 way relationship with god as a christian (ie if you have asked god and not felt that he is outright saying ‘no you must stop this, is this in light of hearing gods word clearly on a number of other issues (whatever they may be). The reason I ask this is as I personally am curious as to how god does deal with this issue with people, and to me if god is definately speaking to you on other things and pulling you up on other stuff, then his messages (or lack thereof) ont eh gay issue, are a message in themselves of sorts. However if you have never fealt god has spoken to you about anything at all Lol, then ….. its not.

    I know there are sins I commit which I thought were going to be issues with god, and I have since found that he is more concerned about how I treat others than the things I thought he would be – but then I wonder if my unwillingless to address those specific sins is why I do not hear gods messages about that (ie i am not wanting to hear it) rather than god not pulling me up on it

    I would be interested in hearing any thoughts from any of you on how I could address this if it came up with gay friends, and whether my current conclusions – if you were my gay friend, would upset you?

    To make it clear though hopefully I have already done so, I would absolutely NOT EVER EVER IN A MILLION YEARS CONSIDER IT OK TO REJECT ANY PERSON AS A FRIEND BECAUSE THEY WERE GAY AND I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT AS A CHRISTIAN I AM COMMANDED BY GOD TO SHOW HIS LOVE, GRACE AND ACCEPTANCE TO GAY PEOPLE IN THE SAME WAY I AM TO ANY OTHER PERSON.
    In short, its between them and god, not my business. My business is to love and show gods love to all people i come into contact with as much as I possible can, and what sins they may or may not committ, or have committed are not relevant in any way to that love.

    Hope the above makes some sort of sense and does not offend anyone, Im just hoping to get some feedback and hear how god has seemed to feel on this issue, from your perspective(s)

    cheers

  5. Jane says:

    This is such a beautifully written story of a very long and challenging journey. I do not for one minute think that God judges you for who you truly are. Surely the Bible says more about being true to yourself and honest in your relationships? You are who you are, and there is no need to change that (and no need to blame your mother :) ). Instead, fulfil your potential to love and be loved, and be comforted by knowing that there are many other gay Christians who have come to the same realisation as you.

  6. hrr says:

    Hi Kim,
    I don’t have time to do justice to your post right now, but just wanted to say I think it’s great that you are thinking about the issues and not taking the status quo as the definite “right” way of thinking. What that means is that when you do interact with your gay friends and are called to give an opinion, it might be a more thought out one. Instead of what a lot of straight Christians do, which is speak now and think later! A lot of gay people get hurt by initial reactions, and then their loved ones are forced to think outside of their box about it and (may) come to a better conclusion later. This way saves a lot of hurt and one or two apologies. Anyway, I hope to answer some of your questions from my point of view – and I will nudge my more learned friends to add their two cents worth too :-)

  7. hrr says:

    Well here’s my thoughts in answer to your questions…..

    First of all, I think the movie Milk is a great one too! What an amazing guy.

    I agree with you – a gay relationship just does not stack up against the other “sins” as being intuitively wrong – ie. clearly damaging to others.

    I think it’s ironic that since becoming a Christian you have a dilemma with what to do with gay people – whereas before, guided by common decency and kindness you probably wouldn’t have made a big deal about it or let it impact your behaviour towards your gay friends. I think (inaccurate) Christian teaching almost makes us work against the flow of kindness and acceptance we may have had in our hearts already; put there when we were made in the likeness of God maybe.

    In my opinion, I think the point that you haven’t quite got right in your current understanding is that the bible is NOT “specific when it says it is a sin” and IS ambigious. Change that perception and you do not have the two things at odds with each other as you describe. I think you’ll find a lot of well-written material on the topic on this site. And there are a lot of Christian teachers and groups all over the world that no long hold the view you’ve inherited from somewhere….the view we tend to think it is the only held view and all Christians are in agreeance – until we’re told they’re not, or we meet some that think differently, or we attend a church with a completely different view (which I am now glad to be attending!)

    We naturally assume the word “homosexual” has exactly the same meaning now as way back then, in a different time and culture. It just doesn’t. I’m trying to think of a parallel. Maybe since we’ve just had elections I’ll use that. If you just saw the electioneering that goes on, you might think democracy is wrong. But if you realize the wider meaning of it and the bigger picture, you might see some as wrong (hurtful to people), and some of it is right (beneficial to people). When “homosexuality” is being black-listed in the bible it is the homosexuality that was known – often frivolous, not loving, often abusive, often dis-honouring to wives and victimizing boys. I would agree – that version of homosexuality is something to be discouraged. But back then, it was not even a thought that someone could be born with attraction only to the same sex, and that they could find someone else with the same make-up and live happily with them in relationship – a different concept, a different thing altogether.

    So I agree with a lot of the conclusions you come to, except when you get to the bit where you have to ignore the sin of a gay person as it’s between them and God. I don’t think God has a problem with it. No I don’t think they need to actively pray about it. They should pray, if anything, that they would be a better partner, that they would remain faithful and honest, that they would see where they are wrong in the way they treat people, that they would not be judgemental or unkind to bi-sexual or trans-gendered people if they hold any prejudices…..etc.

    There are many stories out there of gay people who put a lot of energy into talking to God and being upfront about their gayness – working on an assumption (like you are), that it’s wrong and needs to be changed. I think God would say, get on with it. Really, if he didn’t say that then I would question his love, as statistics show that gay people can’t change. They can get very unhappy trying to and they can waste a lot of precious time and money in the process. Some change, people might say – but I haven’t seen it or heard of it. Cases where they do are sometimes proved to be wrong (and they are living a lie), or they were bi-sexual (lucky them maybe), and fell out of love with the same sex and (luckily?), fell in love with the opposite sex. Hardly changed.
    If you want to read up about an example of someone (who would know) realising gay people do not change their sexual/partner gender preference, look for the “Courage” link on our site and read the story of England-based Jeremy Marks – he had a whole ministry to help gay people change, and eventually, after years, had to admit they were not changing, and perhaps he would be more effectual to offer support to them in their continuing to be gay – because it’s often not fun being gay in this world, and especially not fun in some Christian worlds.

    I have left a partner in the name of doing the right thing. It devastated her and me and lead to a lot of tears and torment and misery. Thankfully we eventually got back together and it was not the end of the road.

    I don’t think “handing it over to God” is something God wants and I don’t think he’s going to magic it away like the Christian-speak says it can be. Life does not work that way.

    It sounds to me like you know in your heart that it’s not wrong – and you should stop trying to let Christain people (or your perception of Christian people), try to convince you otherwise.

    Yes, we have spent a lot of time. I can’t speak for everyone, but I would say a lot of gay Christians, faced with losing respect, losing friends or family, gaining disdain, gaining disgust and distrust usually spend hours asking the questions, crying out to God for freedom from this trial. Most of the time is spent between them and God, because they are too embarrassed or ashamed to approach friends or leaders. But eventually they do, which often results in fervent prayers and tears as others join “the fight” – the futile fight. I had a leading and popular NZ christian counsellor tell me the low success rate to “turn” gay people is due to counsellors not addressing the right things and using his magic formula. The more I thought about that the more it annoyed me. Did God give this special man the unique insight to give him the key to change gay people but only if they happen to find him, the needle in the the counselling haystack to get the help.

    What did I feel from God through all this? Nothing. I gave him opportunity, I was willing to change, I fought as hard as I was able. Nothing. Maybe he doesn’t mind? Maybe he doesn’t care? I don’t know. And now, I know it would help my whole story if I could say, I am in a gay relationship, and I have a mighty strong relationship with God. I walk with him, and talk with him, and we spend many joyous hours together. Sorry, I can’t. My relationship with God has never felt like that – even when I was the heterosexual Sunday School teacher and youth group leader….even when I was the church leader. That stuff is all so subjective, and I think relates a lot to your personality type. Mine is a skeptic, so unless it’s palpable, I’m not buying it! What I can say is I think I have learnt more since having to deal with this about grace and judgementalisim in my own life. That I realize things are not black and white, that certain Christian groups do not have the monopoly on truth and righteousness. I’m learning more and understanding more about a picture of God and a way to take the bible that fits in with the deep truths of my heart. My “gut feeling” that sometimes would get in the way of the things I was meant to believe. When I read these new ideas now, it resonates with me in a way I really like.

    I reckon for yourself, my personal opinion, I would stop trying to second guess God – what is he trying to pull you up on and what you’re not listening to, is it you or is it that he’s OK with you etc. etc. Just focus on loving others. Being kind and considerate and pursue justice for anyone that you see in your path that needs a defender. That’s when I think you’re close to God. That’s the heart of the matter. That’s bringing God’s kingdom to earth.

    And to answer your question, would your current conclusions upset me if I was your friend? Quite possibly, as you’re assuming it’s a sin. The core of me, the way I tick and think and the way I am destined to be, in your view is “sinful”. Yes, that could be upsetting. Even though you’re being lovely – I love you, I’ll be nice to, I won’t treat you any differently, I have sin myself etc., underlying the message you’re bringing is, now change (which I believe is impossible). Maybe if your friends are full of understanding, they might see that you are just he product of the church and the books and the teaching and the Christian culture, and they might have the attitude I love you, I’ll be nice to, I won’t treat you any differently, I have sin myself etc. If you’re lucky!

    You’re half way there. Well done. And thank you for stopping and thinking and asking, where a lot of people don’t. You have not offended me. I think it’s great that you’ve posted here and I appreciate it. I hope I have not offended you in my reply, and through this kind of dialogue, we might understand each other, and God and his ways and his world better.

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