The SDA Minister's wife said ,"all homosexuals should be lined up and shot". I was all of Thirteen. A dear Christian relative whom I was very close too about that same time told me that "Gays can't be saved" offering Romans 1:27 (she Twisted it) as proof. Those are just two instances out of hundreds that deeply imprinted my soul
I heard as a teen. At 15 I left church with a profound isolation and shame and no hope whatsoever. A few months later at 15 I tried to kill myself jumping off the roof of my parents two story house ,head first(it didn't work). My parents were in denial ( forever). If I lived by an overpass I am afraid I would have used that. God spared me.
I became a master builder of an impenetrable Closet to live in (closets are for your gowns, Darling, not people). Most Christians I know don't like the Gays coming out.It was clearly signaled not to talk about anything regarding the real me. I was meant for the Fires- to be consumed any moment by a GOD disgusted with me. Every sermon/media/literature I ever heard regarding me and my people said I was an Abomination even though I never had sex of any kind.
I tried to be Straight having a Girlfriend at 20 (... sooo not fair to her!) I got her pregnant( hooray I just proved to everyone I'm Straight - I built a fine Fort Knox closet) and had a boy (I ,as a straight man, got a church hall pass for fornication ). He is 30 now and I love him very much and proud of him too.
My heart was converted, cause a Mysterious Stranger showed up knocking on my door ( out of no where) with a free book 'THE GREAT CONTROVERSY by Ellen G. White'. I was 22. I knew God was calling me. I opened to the last chapter telling the Story of JESUS and showing all who ever walked the Earth The Crucifixion and it was too late for me! My heart could not stand the thought of watching JESUS die for me and yet I was outside HIS KINGDOM forever. It slew me! He got me! I became a Literature Evangelist not long after. I became Sabbath School Teacher and a Deacon also and was looked up to by the congregation and treasured also partly cause of my Wondrous Testimony( ooo..GOD sent a Messenger with a 'God' book to my home) and bringing people to church with baptisms. The thing now in the mist of all this Tasting and seeing the Goodness of The LORD- I couldnt bring up my homosexuality in prayer (except for the bleeding knees begging GOD to make me straight). I felt like when I came to GOD in my devotions He Closed His eyes ignoring the worst part of me. Like it was an unspoken rule not to talk about it- reflecting the Church I grew up in. God saved me- now it was my turn to try to stay saved and be Straight! I was constantly measuring my .. err..hetero ness (well ..lack of).
I secretly secured 'How Not to be a Raging Homo' ( a title something like that) cassette tapes (8 tapes?) by Colin Cook. The First Cassette on Side One said I must get a support system of Church People for Transparency and Accountability to be healed. I panicked! I cant let anyone know! They thought I was a good straight young Christian man. They didn't know I hung on every word when they agreed 'GOD HATES FAGS' in a many casual conversations around church potluck... and shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates for many generations. for many generations.
I was reading everything I could from EXODUS international of gays turning straight. Why not me?
Since I started church at 12 till my my mid 30's I prayed and prayed for God to make me a straight little boy like a Pinocchio prayed to be a real human boy to the Blue Fairy. At 22 my prayers went into overdrive. And every morning i woke up expecting to be Straight.ASKING ,BELIEVING. CLAIMING. Nope-nothing ,nada. It became a heavy toll. God wasnt making me straight. I was still an abomination. I cant convey the pain I am feeling right now just writing this. Revisiting the torture of my soul.
I left the Church at 24. I got me some dynamite and blew open the closet door! free at last free at last! TADA! I will use my hands and arms in sweeping gestures now! If God was gonna snuff me out it was going to happen while grabbing the gusto! And being young and pretty and thin and macho ( laughter in the background) and outgoing and a sex addict I grabbed a lot of Gusto. It is a miracle I didn't get AIDS. And word got around at church and people avoided/judged me and my minister literally could not look into my face anymore. Every time I came around (still struggling back and forth) he avoided me. I became a reprobate before their eyes. They stopped using metal tableware and switched to disposable plastic at fellowship dinners cause I might give them AIDS(they had a dishwasher that sterilizes). Don't get me started on how the church by and large discounted the teaming numbers of Gays who were dying of the mysterious disease- They were finally "getting what they deserved" I heard countless times. ( though I must add there were many christian individuals that were there for them )
One night in my mid thirties living with my gay lover in the SF area and God was forever bringing my mind to Proverbs 3:5-7 'Trust in the LORD with all thy heart and lean not to my own ( or anyone else's ) understanding..' A church couple I barely knew sent me a postcard with those words too unexpectedly. Those Words of Life were dancing in my head trying to get into my heart.
"Oh GOD im still not straight and still broken and you want me to trust you any ways???"
I WILL RISE AND GO TO JESUS HE WILL EMBRACE ME IN HIS ARMS IF I TARRY TILL I'M BETTER ... I WILL NEVER GO AT ALL
In my own thinking- I thought the condition for me to be a Christian was to turn straight. Ok I will trust HIM even though I didn't look like what I thought I had to and definatly didn't look like what others think I should! I stopped asking God to turn me straight. I surrendered my expectations and stopped Holding GOD and me hostage. A huge weight lifted and God started repairing me one tiny piece at a time.
After coming back and leaving and leaving and coming to church back so many times God opened a away to leave the San Francisco area to my old stomping grounds in the small town I grew up in. There a young brilliant SDA Pastor ministered to my soul. I wasnt hiding anymore and told him of my life.
He told me something that forever changed my image of GOD.
" Think of the most wonderful Gift you have ever given to someone." Ok, I thought of it.
" now ask GOD to forgive you of that too!" ...Wha????...
" All our righteousness are dirty rags -the best thing you can do or give needs GOD's Forgiveness too!" (i know that sounds offensive to many- stay with me) ..ummm...
" Don't you see? GOD loves the all of us! Our good parts and our bad parts. It is all the same!"
A light bulb slowly turned on! He loves the whole of me? ..huh? MEEEEEE? No matter what? I thought I was only loved and accepted when I did my best-gave my best Gifts . Showed HIM the good side of me and hopefully ignore or wink at my worst part. At church and in my devotions I was fake- I was pretending in order to get approval from the Church and GOD . I tried to be a good little boy with all my might. It was all works. God loves my Gay Self too!? I am still beaming with Hope over this 13 years later! " I have Loved you with an Everlasting LOVE, therefore I JESUS have Drawn YOU with such dear Loving Kindness" Jer 31:3
I still struggle with all kinds of stuff and have good moments and bad moments and both are covered by GOD cause of What JESUS did on The CROSS 2,000 years ago for me. Wow!
When I say I am gay it has nothing to do with me having gay sex . Any more when you say you are straight has to do with going to Spring Break for wild sex with Co-Eds or shacking up or visiting strip bars/pickup bars or visiting Hookers or even soldiers fathering babies in war torn areas or country boys sowing their wild oats.
And when I Tell Christians I am a Gay Christian and Celibate I get usually one of four responses and the first one is the tiniest itsy bitsy percentage (almost nil)
1."Praise God, He is Good! You are loved as you are!" (basking in God's love together knowing they are sinners too and we don't ALL deserve it but lavished anyways) AMEN!
2 " Oh you can be gay but please.. don't be too gay" (I'm slightly uncomfortable and please don't make it worse) Bright flashy colours? limp wrist? a lisp? Swishy? Giggling like a charmed school girl? Holding up a sign that says " GOD LOVES FAGS"?
3. "Oh wonderful, at least your not like those other gays" ( I don't like them but since you are celibate I guess your ok) is that supposed be a compliment? I am not like the others? uhh .. excuse me I am like those gays- the only difference is I finally realize how much loved and forgiven I am by GOD and All Gays too BTW with a curt 'a no thanks to you' :) .. those 'other' gays are of unsurpassable worth regardless how you feel about them even when they are having sex in the streets shaking their fist at GOD ABOVE.
4 " You can't be gay and a Christian" ( I guess that means the very second you accept JESUS in your heart you are instantly transformed into a straight dude! ..like SANCTIFICATION is Heterosexuality? WHATEVER ) this is the most common Ignorant Response I get.
This is my celibate prayer God gave a long long time ago " Who may ascend to the Hill of the Lord and Who may stand in His Holy Place? He that hath Clean Hands and a Pure Heart." Psalms 24:3,4 - my soul longs for this!
Why is it that When I tell Most Christians GOD (My Daddy) has given me and my Gay Christian Buddy(ex Lover) of 25 years the Profound Rare Gift of CELIBACY ( GOD has been trying to Give that Gift graciously and ever so patiently to us for years .. and we finally received it long long ago.. we can't possibly manufacture BTW - we have TESTOSTERONE) they don't get excited? The only testimony they will receive (it seems) is if I show up at Church with a Trophy Wife ,who is obedient and wearing a burlap sack, and three loin sired children (one of each ) saying I am glad I am not like "Those Sinners" anymore?
Well,How else are we supposed to walk and talk lockstep with Everyone?
When I was young, I learned very early not to trust the Church . And now that I have a clearer Picture of GOD and What His People look like .. I must pay closer attention when I give my trust even more so.
And yet with all these good people with well intentions, God calls me to Love and Love on them and Bring Powerful Forgiveness regardless. It is God's Kindness that led me to Repentance- GOD has been so kind to me. God bless you all