Monday, May 18, 2009

Is it too much to ask for?

This is a work in progress which I will be fleshing out more soon--maybe.

So I'm talking with my good friend who is a girl from back home, and she's in one of her sort of discontent, restless moods and she has to say, "I just want a relationship! Is that too much to ask for?"

Unfortunately, the conversation got changed very quickly, but if I could have responded, I would have said:

Well, honey, actually, according to some, for me, yes, it IS too much to ask for a relationship! There are plenty of arrogant bastards who would say to me that I am called to celibacy because of my homosexuality! My friends, this statement comes entirely out of our cultural captivity and it has NOTHING to do with the Bible or spirituality!

Where does scripture say that homosexuality equals celibacy? Yes, it says some are called to celibacy. No, it does not say that all who are homosexual are called to that! So, perhaps there are homosexuals called to celibacy just as there are heterosexuals called to celibacy.

I see no spiritual grounds to equate homosexuality with celibacy! If there are, I would gladly hear them.

Actually, as I have posted about more extensively before, the Apostle Paul calls everyone to celibacy. Obviously, every Christian did not heed that, so it must be assumed that the vast majority of believers who are in committed relationships are validated in their doing so. So, perhaps it is presumptuous for us to suggest that the few verses on homosexuality mean that we are to be single forever, when the "standard" Paul sets for straights seems to be glossed over and spiritualized.

When are Christians going to wake up and realize that their biases have everything to do with a culture that has told them to reject us and nothing to do with scripture or spiritual insight. When are Christians going to realize that what we are dealing with here is not the abusive, bizarre, negative sorts of relationships with which the few verses that seem to mention homosexuality are about.

I think it's time to say that what we think scripture says about homosexuality quite honestly is absolutely useless and to be ignored as far as determining what is right for individuals who love each other and who are forbidden their full expression in the context of the society or church. There are plenty of scriptures to consider when talking about how to treat loving relationships. Perhaps the scriptures about homosexuality would be more appropriate in preaching against abuse--even that of straight men towards their wives. Perhaps the kinds of things scripture mentions that we think are about homosexuality are really about the people who refuse to live honestly and hurt the women they marry because of the gay relationships they are a part of behind the wife's back. Perhaps it is an abomination to forbid another person from loving in a way that is natural and most beneficial for society--which really is the main thrust of Levitcal law, from what I understand!

Let's not ignore these clinchers verses. Let's get to the root of what they mean for us today and let's proclaim it! It's time for us to define ourselves and not those preaching against us, and it's time for us to be the prophetic voice towards those who hate and harm.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A New Chapter

Greetings to the few people who stumble across this blog!

A review...
I have not been posting very much lately. If this is your first time to this blog, or if you've been here before, and you want quick run-down of what's happened here so far without reading all of the past posts, here's a quick timeline. I would highly recommend the timeline over actually reading the posts! :-)

June 2008:
- I "came out to myself" and realize that I should not be content to live in the closet forever. Up to this point I had come to grips with the facts that I did not cause my homosexuality, that I cannot change it, and even that it is sinful. However, I still was choosing to not acknowledge publicly that part of my life, choosing instead to focus completely on my work and to live life as a single man. Well, I realized that this would do nothing to help all of those who struggle with similar things, nor would this be an honest way to live. I chose to begin living as the person God uniquely created, for better or for worse, but either way, honestly and at peace.

- First step was a visit to a gay bar while in a far-away city for a seminar. Had a great time exploring the "Gayborhood" and having a great discussion with a bar tender. (Slow night, sweet guy.)

- Next step was to visit a few bars in a city a little closer to where I live--about a two hour drive away. Just looking and observing. Met a guy and got to flirt a little. Lost contact eventually.

- Then I started this blog and began to contact others with similar blogs.

July 2008
- Met someone online and went out to dinner with them. Don't know if you would call it a date. Went hiking later on. A good experience to have, but haven't really remained in contact.

- Had a extremely stressful month and nearly got to my wits end in dealing with my sexuality while maintaining an intense level of activity at work.

August 2008
- Big news: came out to my best girl friend from back home. We are very close, so I knew I could trust her. Turns out, she thought we would get married some day. Had to break her heart. :-( BUT... she did accept me, though she remains entrenched in conservative church and does not as of yet affirm homosexuality as a valid option. We remain in close contact.

- Visited the parents while at home and became very frustrated with the deck of cards I had been dealt. Became very concerned about how the future may pan out.

September 2008
- Ray Boltz comes out of the closet.

- I discover Rachel Maddow! :-)

- I get deep into schoolwork at my seminary and because increasingly frustrated with "moderate" Christians and their lack of courage on the issue of homosexuality.

November 2008
- I attend a retreat for gays of my denomination in a nearby city. Met some wonderful people at a wonderful church. This experience helped me begin to finally form a support group, and I gained a very special friend and mentor who has helped, and continues to help, me to stay sane and to discover many exciting new life experiences. :-)

December 2008
- While at home during Christmas, I get set up on a date with a girl. I was disgusted by my forced phoniness and angry at the increasing pressure for me to get married.

January-May 2009
- Not much happened during this time, except I completed my degree programs and chose to take an offer to remain at work with the community for which I presently serve.

So, now I am in a new stage of life. Let me re-introduce myself.

- I am a twenty-something, "professional" minister. (As in, they pay me to do this.)
- I work in the south, in a rural community, at a church that is of an evangelical, moderate-to-conservative denomination with only a sprinkling of liberals.
- I am in the closet to most everyone in my day-to-day life.
- I have a few very close friends and I want to come out to them very soon.
- I have supportive friends in a nearby city to which I visit occasionally for outside-of-the-closet fun.
- I don't know if I will ever come out to my parents.
- I long for a dating relationship, but I realize that it would probably suck for the other person because of my situation.
- I would like to lovingly guide my pastor and church family to acceptance of gays.
- I'm not sure how I'm going to do the last thing I mentioned.

That's all I can think of at the moment. I will be posting more, now that I am out of school. I learn something every day about all of this, and I hope that all of us out here on the blogosophere can be of help to each other as we try to shatter down the closet door once and for all, and end the ignorance, misunderstanding, bigotry, and hatred that the church has concerning those in every congregation who are gay or lesbian.

Will you come along beside me? Will you lead me? Will you let me lift you up?

May God bless you with eyes for your heart that are enlightened to see a world at peace and every human soul made whole.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Just sayin'...

There is so much I do not know.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Song of the Open Road

Here is a beautiful poem by Walt Whitman, adapted by composer Norman Dello Joio.

Hello! Hello! Whoever you are, come travel with me,
Whoever you are.
We will sail pathless and wild seas,
We will go where waves dash and winds blow.
Oh! Hello! Hello! Whoever you are, come travel with me.
Come on! Come on! Wherever you are,
Look around! Look around!
You will find what never tires.
Come on! Come on, and join hands,
Know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers.
Take to the open road, healthy and free,
Take the long path leading wherever I choose,
I travel with the wide world before me,
The earth expanding, the music sounding.
Hello! Hello! Wherever you are,
Come on! Come on! Whoever you are,
Join hands and travel with me.
I ordain myself loosed from imaginary limits.
From this hour I shall live as my own master,
Searching, receiving and listening,
Breaking the bonds that would hold me.
Sing a song of the open road, for here is space and here a great deed has room.
Sing a song of the highway I travel,
For here is the test of a wisdom, a wisdom that is of the soul.
Take warning of those who would hold you.
The mocking and bat-eyed men.
Take your love on the road with you,
Gather the minds of men out of their brains,
Gather love out of men’s hearts,
The universe is a path that is endless
The universe itself is a road.
Come forth, my call is the call of battle.
Going with me you must go well armed.
Come forth, come forth and travel with me.
I give you my hand.
I give you my love
I give you myself.
Will you give me yourself?
Will you travel with me?
The road is before us, I give you my hand,
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
Whoever you are.
Wherever you are.
Come on and travel with me.