This testimony was the cause of my account being suspended at christianblog.com.
There is one regret I think, that will follow me into eternity, and that is allowing the Church to take from me my walk with God; years lost forever. Through willful arrogance and maybe something more, Bible translators, knowing full well the questionable use of homosexual wording outside of the context of exploitation and idolatry, went ahead full force with the most damnable meaning to do the most harm. Also hard to grasp are the leaders of now that neither want nor care to reconcile with the Bible, scripture that from the surface, seem ugly and bigoted.
I made a conscious decision to turn from God. I was reading a part of the Bible (Romans.1:18-32) in my room one night and I was seeing Jesus disappear before my very eyes. The creature that was described wasn’t me, but here’s the word of God telling me that this was my lot in life given to me over feelings I had no choice over. I hated God because I thought he hated me first; and bad Christian behavior in my church solidified it. I became an angry defensive man wanting nothing to do with God. Though my belief in him did not go away, He was something to ignore. I lived my life, and it worked for a while, but life didn’t make sense and the few things in it that did would later feel empty and pointless. I was self absorbed and blaming God, a ghost watching life from the outside in but not really living.
The Bible says even though we are faithless he remains faithful (2 Tim.2:13). I was about to see those words unfold.
When I was 23, the son of a co-worker started to work at the same place I was working at part time. He became a good friend. Over the weeks I found out he had a religious upbringing that was very similar to mine. Like me, he lost his faith over Leviticus and what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans. Weeks turned to months and I fell in love with him. As the years went by, we would talk about the Bible once in a while but only after a few drinks when we had nothing else to talk about; usually it would end in a drunken argument. Oddly, I found myself defending the Bible. A lot of what he was talking about came from pain, so I would bring up ANYTHING to downplay the condemning of us in scripture, like; "Haughty looks are an abomination" (Prov.6:17),” and “Israel was no better than Sodom” (Is.1:10). These scriptures and many others like it haunted me when I sobered up and it wasn’t lost on me that I was trying to find loopholes, but did I have to?
I never knew that God was using my own arguments to work into my heart, telling me what He always wanted me to hear, with me as the instrument. In trying to heal this man’s hurt, God was healing my own. God waited patiently, holding me, working according to his own timing to bring me to a place of understanding and I came back to my walk of faith one night after pleading my case before the Lord in a dark room on a long night.
During all this, my homosexuality was neither a benefit nor a detriment; it simply existed. It didn’t separate me from God. This unnecessary war with God over it was of my own making, with the church playing no small part. I could, similar to any heterosexual drive; either dedicate and honor my Lord with it, or abuse it and realize I will answer for that abuse. The Apostle Paul said we should be a follower of Jesus, not Paul (himself) (1 Cor.1:12, 13). But his words were the only words that hark back to Levitical law; a law that, he says, is dead to us. (Rom.7:4; Gal.3:10). If we had the Gospels alone we would know Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of God, and no offense would exist for gay men and women. Was Paul being a hindrance to faith after saying he wouldn’t be (2 Cor.6:3)? Or were his words being twisted again (2 Pet.3:16)?
I went to scripture, yet again. I hunted down what context these scriptures were put, in what settings these translations formed, and by what intent and how they evolved; including why and for whom Leviticus and Romans was written. What I found brought perfect harmony between Paul’s passages and the rest of his words inspired and spoken by love.
Some have come to a different conclusion. All I can say is this, Love found me and Love gave me my answer. Nothing is by chance. If I am wrong, I would rather err on the side of mercy and not of judgment. I would rather extend His love too far than not far enough. Others will say that I’m being deceived, “but a house divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark.3:22-30). Satan will not go against himself to bring inclusion if it would in any way point to salvation. Only roadblocks serve his purpose, not an inroad.
We all have to work out our own salvation, each and every one of us. The Apostle Paul said, “Follow no particular man of faith.” (1 Cor.3:21). Also he indicates that he himself is no different than any of us (Acts.14:15, 1 Cor.3:5-9). It’s a work only we can do through nothing short of “fear, tears, and trembling.” My sexuality didn’t change, I changed.
Let me emphasize, and I cannot do it enough: Obedience to the word of God is first and foremost, above any personal revelation or feelings. All the more the reason we need to understand exactly what it says, so we can make a “just judgment” (John.7:24). Jesus told the Sadducees they made a great error in their long held understanding of scripture on a topic (Mark.12:24-27). The book of Acts talks of the Berean Church that was more open minded than other churches, yet strictest with the Bible. Let the church now follow that example. Now is the time to look again at plain age-old prejudice manufactured by historians and move away from stubbornness God equates with idolatry (1 Sam.15:23). Excluding gays from fellowship has never sat well in our collective conscience, but people violated their conscience because they thought they were being true to the gospel. Paul said that’s comparable to a shipwreck (1 Tim.1:19).
Tradition, once we’ve made it as a part of inherent biblical belief, is the hardest thing to cast away; but until the body of Christ leaves its sacrifice’s at the alter, and goes asking for forgiveness for the pain it’s caused so many for so long, it’s gifts will never be acceptable to God (Matt.5:23, 24; 1 John.2:9, 10) and the winds of revival will not come.
The Holy Spirit started a work in me that continues every day, and like the disciple Peter walking on water, I have to always be seeing Jesus or I start to sink into the murky depths. Even then, weak and tired, His hand reaches down, lifts me up, and says that I am His.