We are the people who hide. The ones who slouch our way through Bible studies and small groups. The ones who cling to Christian respectability and mask our stories beneath a facade of normalcy.
We are the people who, rejected by the church, hide again in the queer community, deflecting questions about our personal lives, evading talk about our faith, lest we be rejected here too. Alone once again.
We are the stories that challenge the status quo in every battle of the culture wars. The POWS of every camp. We are the ones with nowhere to stay and nowhere to go. So we hide. We make peace with our prisons to survive.
But it’s in that place that the voice of the Father calls to us, “saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out.’” (Isa. 49:9). Come out, he cries. Step into my light.
There's so many ways that this post could be misinterpreted that I almost wish I could put a disclaimer after each section. C'est la vie!In short, I'm suggesting that the church's synonymous association of gay with "bad" is more harmful than anything else. Queer sexuality, in particular, needs understanding and not denial. I'm definitely not trying to suggest some sort of post-modern, pop philosophy of embracing yourself, regardless of sin. Instead, I'm trying to say that the church's insistence on associating queer sexuality with sin is blinding us to God's purpose in it. That was certainly my own experience, which I share in the story below and hope to unpack in the coming weeks.
My brother sounded sarcastic. I was barely old enough to be in pre-school and had never heard the word “gay” in my life.
“What’s ‘gay’?” I asked, but a grown-up in the room quickly hushed us, mumbling something about it being “bad.” My curiosity was piqued, but I didn’t press any further. “Gay” meant “bad.” I catalogued the definition in my brain, and for years, that’s all the word ever meant.