If you’re from my generation, you remember that one-liner from Reading Rainbow with Levar Burton. On every episode, just before the book reviews, he would say something along these lines: “There are plenty of great books out there about the seashore. But… you don’t have to take my word for it!” And that, my friends, is what I’d like to tell you today. On this blog, I record my thoughts as my journey unfolds. It’s a way for me to process my odyssey of discovery in regards to my spirituality and my sexuality. And if it helps someone else along the way, then I consider that a true blessing and an added bonus! My intent is not to tell others what they ought to believe, but to share my experiences with others, and vice versa. These experiences can range from anything from historical-critical research of the Bible, translation studies, and personal understanding of Scripture. This blog is a safe place for all discussion, no matter where you are in that experience. Sure, people have different points of view… and those views will be debated from time to time. And as long as they are discussed respectfully, there is much to learn from these conversations. I have approved every comment that has ever been submitted on this blog, and intend to continue doing so.
I continue to be blessed, humbled, and amazed by those of you who read this blog and offer encouragement to me and to each other. And isn’t that what we all need? We all know this journey isn’t an easy one to take. There are consequences. There are usually relationships lost. But, oh, there is freedom in the pursuit of Truth! My journey continues on, and I’m absolutely astonished by God’s faithfulness through it all. He has seen me through one of the most difficult transitions of my life. I have been cut off by many with whom I used to fellowship. There are some who overcompensate for their loathing for me by turning on the charm when I’m in their presence, yet talk about me once I’m gone. There are some who pass around the URL to this blog to get a good chuckle or to make themselves feel better about their own lives. And there are some who use prayer requests as an excuse to gossip and shake their heads at my spiritual downfall. But what these people don’t know, is that I pray the following prayer every day:
“God, if I’m going in the wrong direction in my studies, please show me. Make the sign so unbelievably clear that I can’t mistake it. You know my heart, and you know where my research is leading me. I beg you, show me now if this is the wrong road for me.”
I’m making it pretty cut and dry. “If my conclusion that gay = ok is incorrect, then show me in a way that I cannot ignore.” I’ve prayed for specific signs before, and I’ve seen them come to pass. Yet here I am, a child of God, pleading with my Father to give me a sign… and time and time again, there is nothing. Instead, He gives me more and more confirmation about His overwhelming love and acceptance through new insights, new revelations, or new friendships. Even prayers about my dad are being answered as he is making his own discoveries about Scripture and the damage that can be unintentionally done by the Church. (This is particularly amazing because we do not discuss the topic of sexuality unless he expresses an interest in doing so.) I am committed to praying the above prayer every single day, and I’m open to the possibilities of changing views. I think it’s important for all of us to be open to that potential.
I’ve done more personal research of the Bible in the last few years than I’ve done in my entire life. It’s actually quite humbling, because I’ve realized the more I study, the less I really know. When I look at the Bible with new eyes, I walk through a door to an entirely new world of mystery. Some of the things I grew up hearing in church are very different from the things I glean from my own study. It’s frightening, yet exciting. When you forget all of the rhetoric you’ve been told and read the Bible like you’ve (literally) never read it before, you may come up with some very different conclusions than the ones you expected.
But you don’t have to take my word for it.