I really hope my post titles aren’t gimmicks. I’m not trying to say ridiculous things to manipulate your readership. And I also really don’t want people to freak out on me for this one, solely because its somewhat about homosexuality.
My very first class of my very first day of college on my very first semester of college was a great one. Despite the 7:00am class time. I walked in, it was Intro To Literature, sat down and as the professor closed the door I noticed a peculiar thing about the room – I was it’s only male. This was very first impression of college – being in a class with all girls. Anxiety about college vanished.
One of the friends I made from that class is Kim (this all relates to the post I promise, however Kim is heterosexual). No romance, not ever, just friends throughout college. A little before the final year she came to a point where she prayed a “God I’m pretty sure you’re not out there but just in case here’s an opportunity to show yourself.” I’m not sure where that came from because she was raised in, if anything, an anti-religious environment. Long story short that night she had a powerful experience with God that left her so stunned she didn’t tell a soul for months.
Eventually she confided in some Christians friends she had. Through them she began investigating the faith, though grew weary when some of them perked up and tried to move in for the kill/conversion (moral of that story – care about the person, not the notch on the evangelical belt). Eventually, though I will not say finally, Kim decided to do the deed: become a Christian.
What I found most intriguing about that story is that God is still able to work with and through all of the piles of destruction his followers have made. If Kim hadn’t needed to sift through all of the baggage that scary and weird religious people had created, her “surrender” would have came a lot sooner. I’m insinuating she had a lifelong bitterness toward religion. It would have been a lot easier and filled with a whole lot less “really? Me? A Christian?” questioning.
I found I was most amazed that God is still at work, alive and well, and breaking through.
One of the best religious books I’ve read in the last few years is called “Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion” by Sara Miles. The cheap summary is that it’s an Anne Lamott-esque story of how Sara became a devoted, though reluctant, Christian and how she began an amazing food pantry program that just gives away tons and tons of groceries every week to anyone in San Francisco (it’s hardly a program with enrollment and qualifications, its just giving away food). Sara is married happily to a woman, meaning yes, she is a lesbian.
Whenever I hear of a homosexual person claiming faith in Jesus my heart does not cringe. No, in fact, I’m stunned. I’m amazed that they’d be so brave in spite of the barrage of terrible treatment they have and will receive personally, as well as a collective group of people. If there is one cause modern Christianity is against, it’s homosexuality. Therefore I find it amazing that God is able to work so deeply in someone’s heart that they are willing to join their enemies by following Jesus.
When Jesus came on the scene he included in his fold, meaning God’s fold as well, the poor, the widow, the oppressed, the forgotten, the sinner. This was unpleasing to the religious leaders of the day, to put it mildly. I think lifelong religious people can develop a sense of entitlement to the faith, that it’s theirs, and they get to decide who’s in. Obviously Jesus swung the doors open wide, and some people have been trying to narrow it ever since (citing a verse about it being narrow).
Because that door has been closing in, I’m amazed that people see God’s true heart in spite of the far more narrow heart of the people who claim to be closest to him. This is to be celebrated. And this is why I think homosexuals have the potential to be the future of our faith – showing us true grace (forgiving us for how they’ve been treated) and showing us the power of God is unchanged.
What do you think? Are you comfortable with homosexuals being Christians too? What could we learn from them? How can they potentially help pull the faith forward?