Today’s post comes from Josha, as she shares her heartfelt thoughts about marriage. With the divisiveness in our Church over this issue, will marriage ever be a true possibility for an LGBT Christian? Josha tells us how it is quite feasible to be a pure, loving, devout Christian… who happens to be homosexual.
I attended a beautiful wedding this past week. It was beautiful because of who the bride and groom are, because of the purity in their love story, and because of the message that came from the minister during the ceremony.
The minister spoke of the original love story, the one of Christ as the groom and the church as the bride and of Satan being the villain that tried so hard to keep Christ and his church separated. Christians partake in this love story on a daily basis and it is celebrated during communion (every Sunday in our faith tradition). Frequently, and scripturally this profound love story is compared to husbands and wives and the symbolism of their union and the desire within us all to be one with another. Throughout history humanity has been drawn to love stories. As the minister pointed out, we have on going movies and stories such as “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Shrek”, so on and so on.
Marriage and the love stories within have been a model for me my entire life, within my family and within my church and so as a gay Christian I felt hope upon attending this wedding in regards to what the minister spoke about. As he was speaking so beautifully about love stories and the analogy to Christ and the church and what God has set in our hearts, I thought,
“This is what it all comes down to, people who are gay are being asked to deny themselves a love story.”
God never said, “deny your self the blessings of a love story.” In fact God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” And in the wisdom literature of Ecclesiastes it states, “Two are better than one and a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” This tells me that it is not good for a person to be alone, it is better to be united with another, and it is best for the two to be united with God.
I believe there is a difference between denying your self sin (selfishness, greed and so on) than in denying yourself a glimpse of the mystery of God (love in a marriage relationship). How can a person who is gay be asked to partake in a life with Christ as the groom and the church as the bride, and then be denied the opportunity and beauty of marriage when they do not feel a calling to be single such as Paul?
There is a growing call for Christians to “Love the Homosexual.” This is wonderful, but my question is, “What does that look like?” Does that merely mean,
Invitations to dinner
Saying, “welcome to our church, we love you”
Not mocking someone who is gay
Looking at a person who is gay and not thinking “gross”
Removing the word “abomination” from the rhetoric?
These are good acts/attempts of showing love, but will loving people who are homosexual someday mean, supporting gay marriage and affirming the sexuality of an LGBT that is part of who they are?
I came across a quote from Judith Plascow (a Professor of Religious Studies and an author) that states,
“If sexuality is one dimension of our ability to live passionately in the world then in cutting off our sexual feelings we diminish our overall power to feel know and value deeply.”
When we take the few scriptures that talk about homosexuality and study them in their original time, original context, with the original intent, and when we take the love story of God, and when we take the teachings of Christ….. is it right to ask an individual to cut off their sexual feelings, OR is it right to support one in their love story?
How can I, a person who is homosexual, attend church and partake in communion, a celebration of the profound mystery of Christ’s relationship with his church, and have to deny myself the possibility of a love story that resonates so deep within all human kind? Love stories are a gift from God. I realize not everyone is blessed with such stories, but not everyone is asked to deny themselves such stories.
Nobody would tell Shrek that he is an ugly ogre who is not worthy of a love story or the Beast that he is undeserving of a love story. Because as we all know, the ugly and the beautiful when united in a love story become inspirational with eternal blessings. In the same way how can we deny a gay person his/her love story that will not only help two grow and mature as one, but will also inspire all who become part of that couple’s love story?
It has been noted to me that Paul calls people to be single. Paul says that it is better to be single so that your attention will not be divided between the Lord and your spouse, however I’d like to note that Paul also uses the analogy of marriage in efforts to shed light on the profound mystery of Christ and his church as it is deeply routed in us to desire a marriage relationship. I’d also like to note that the people who quote Paul’s call to be single, are people who are married…..hmmmm.
I have made it a habit during the weekly communion time on Sundays to pray for those in the LGBT community. As I take the meal that represents Christ’s body and blood, God’s love story, and the symbolism of what brings us all together, I pray for the following with Christ’s teachings in mind:
1) Gay couples who I know, in that God will bless their relationship to the fullest as
they seek to honor God with their union.
2) For individuals who are struggling in their relationship with God as they
feel that they cannot be in relationship with God because of their sexuality.
3) For our churches to learn how to love the LGBT community.
This has made communion for me, not just routine, but something I look forward to partaking in as it continues to enlighten for me, the power of Christ. Communion gives me hope as it symbolizes the unity and the reconciliation that we all have in the reality of Christ…..which continues to be a profound mystery.