Sunday was my favorite day. Mom and Dad came to pick me up for church in the morning. We went to the other Church of God in the Hampton Roads area. It's called Water's Edge Church. It was Easter Sunday, so I decided against wearing jeans. I wore a pink dress with flowers all over it, and a headband. Really? No, not really. I wore pants and a shirt. But my shirt was yellow...and cute! Anyway, we arrived early because we wanted to get a good seat. This allowed us time to chat with a few people. My dad spoke with an old friend, and it helped heal his heart. Soooo glad about that. The "worship" music was great too. The lead chick had a Taylor guitar, so much props for that. And they chose good songs. The preacher's also son sang a song that was extremely powerful. My mom and I enjoyed it immensely.The message from the interim was important and celebrated the awesomeness of Christ's resurrection.
And then came the cool part for me. Dad went out to the car, mom went to the bathroom and I stood in the foyer waiting for mom. Now...let me explain why this was cool. As most of you know, I have been church hopping since June, trying to find a church family. I chose not to go to my dad's church for various reasons (having nothing to do with him), but I never wanted to try the other chog because it would feel like a betrayal of my dad. So, I've been to several churches including United Methodist, Unity Resurrection and Forefront (on the more contemporary side of things). Nothing has seemed right. I liked Forefront, and may go back again. But, the experience at Water's Edge has demanded I at least go again this Sunday.
So, back to the cool part...I was standing around, waiting for mom when this chick came up to me and said, "Hey, I like your hair! It's all pixie like," with a big smile on her face…a welcoming smile. And she didn't just walk away, she asked my name. She introduced herself. She asked me where I was from and we had a conversation. She also introduced me to Sharon, who is like her second mother at the church. Other people gathered around and they started making plans to go out to eat after church. I had plans with the family for Easter, but I totally blew them off. Really? No, I'm kidding. But it made me happy to hear them planning to go out to eat, because I miss that. I miss Sunday after church. I miss having a church family. And I am sure the fact that it is a Church of God led to the home-y feeling as well.
But, it also leads to questions. How much do they know about me? Do they know I was an ordained minister? The Church of God world is pretty darn small. How much do I reveal about myself, and when? I'm not just going to burst through the doors and scream, "Hey ya'll...I'm gay." Being gay is not how I define myself. I define myself as a Christian woman. And I just happen to be gay. I'm not living the "gay lifestyle." I don't believe such a thing exists, except in the movies. And to have this stereotype applied to everyone who is gay, is insulting and ignorant. I'm not having sex. I'm not dating anyone. I'm not even planning on it. All I am doing is seeking God.
I'm trying to find where He wants me in this world; trying to understand this call to ministry; trying to understand His love and grace, and learn how to communicate this to everyone I meet. If I meet someone who I believe God wants me to date...then by golly...I'll go on a date. If he chooses a guy for me...so be it. If that is His will, then He will show me. I don't really see that happening, but I am allowing for the possibility. If He chooses a girl for me, so be it. I will still live my life as a morally responsible child of God.
Do I believe homosexual relationships are sinful? It depends on the relationship, and on the people involved in it. It's not my job to judge if someone is sinning or not. Do I believe heterosexual relationships are sinful? It depends on the relationship, and on the people involved in it. It's not my job to judge if someone is sinning or not. The subject of sin is both simple and complicated. And I don’t have the energy to write about it at this point.
But I cannot bring myself to believe that because someone is attracted to their own gender, that they are precluded from loving someone and being loved back. Being gay is not a conscious choice (for most). Being straight is not a conscious choice (for most). There is nothing I see in the Scripture which demands that we love someone of the opposite sex. There is nothing I see in the Scripture which demands that we do not love someone of the same sex. Yes, there are warnings against the use and purpose of sex. There are warnings about giving ourselves to something other than God and following our own lusts. There are warnings against overindulgence (in anything). And there are warnings against rebelling from cultural standards. But there are no warnings against love…as long as God comes first.
I realize that most of you do not know why I believe that the Bible does not say homosexuality is sin. I do want you to know, but not because I want you to believe as I do. That’s not my job. I want you to know because I want you to know me. I love you and care about you. And I want you to understand this decision that I have made. I don’t want to be marked off your list of who you think is going to heaven (not that you should be carrying a list). I don’t want to be thought of as a sinner who just gave up on God. But most of all, I don’t want to lose your friendship, and your respect. So…just give me some time and I’ll post my reasons. But, right now…I just want to go to sleep.