Monday, November 14, 2011

My Confession

I mentioned in the first post on this blog how scared I am of essentially "coming out" to my conservative religious friends and family. Right now the thought of it literally ties my stomach in knots. I want to be brave, I want to just say what I think, whether or not I know that I'm right 100%. I don't really want to fight or debate or try to change anyone's mind, I just want to feel like I can be honest with the people I call my friends. But, I don't feel that way. And I know I'm a coward. But there are so many variables...

It's beyond the word difficult for me to just let go of so much that I've believed for so many years. As I've become less arrogant (I hope) and gotten older, I question myself more than I ever have before. Lately, I've argued, debated and agonized over the question, "Is being gay a sin?" and this debate has shaken me to my core.

My heart says, no, it can't be. There's no way. My head even agrees with my heart. I'd even come to a place of confidence to the point that I sent letters to every congressman, senator, whomever I could telling them that, as a NY state citizen and a Christian I firmly believed that gay marriage should be legal. I even told people I thought it should be legal. And finally, I took the first step and told someone I didn't believe being gay was a sin. Our ensuing conversation was lengthy and nuanced but the part that haunted me and tore at my heart was when she said that I was holding my gay friend's hands on their way to hell by not telling them to repent. Ouch. It's been weeks since this conversation and I am haunted by those words and the tiny voice whispering- what if she's right? What if that is what I'm doing?

I wish the voices would just shut up.

I can't stand it anymore.

Is this what God wants? Agony and misery and shame and hiding and questioning and never feeling safe? If God is good... if he is loving... why would he condemn someone who is just looking for someone to love? For companionship and a home? For everything that I have been lucky enough to find in my husband. Why  shouldn't my friends deserve that?

Here's the thing. Even if you're TOTALLY and completely wrong, and it's an outright sin to be gay, what damage have you done? If being gay is a sin, or even acting upon feelings you have toward a member of the same sex is a sin, are those people that you have continued to love and accept going to go to hell, because you didn't show them the path to redemption by opening their eyes to their sinful relationship?

No. Because the only way to get to heaven is through faith in Christ. Not straight faith, just faith.

If our (Christianity as a whole) stand against gays, or against BEING gay, or ACTING gay, or even thinking gay, will that stand not drive others away from Christianity?...I don't want to be wishy washy about my faith, or what God requires of us. But I know he doesn't want us to hate. He wants us to love. I figure if we can bring people to Him through love, He will speak to their hearts for the rest.
Rebecca, who wrote that comment, I wish I knew you. I really do. I want to talk with you and ask you if these words are true and you are at peace or if your fear ever eats you alive like mine does. Do you have past teachings in your heart, like I do, that appear suddenly and cover your hands with the blood of the lost?

This is my true struggle- I don't want to fail my friends. I don't want to die and face God and have him show me all the people who I was meant to save but didn't because I was too scared or misled. That is my greatest fear, my ultimate fear.

I grew up being taught that I had the absolute truth in my hands. I spent a lot of my teen years learning from a ministry I was involved in that the souls of the lost are in my hands- that the blood of the lost is on my head if I don't do everything in my power to "save" them. I spent all four years of college as a "leader" in a Christan campus ministry, steeped in responsibility for the people around me, desperately trying to grow the church. These are not light beliefs that I've held and can slough off. They are burned inside of me and I want, I need to know that I am not failing the people around me by following my heart, changing my beliefs, challenging theirs. I don't want to be a deceiver or lead people astray. I don't want to hold anyone's hand on the way to hell.

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