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Day One Hundred: What does God say, How do I hear him? Gay in Church

01 Jul

 

 

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [sic] of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26-27


I’ve had an uneasy week.

 

Today I went to meditation in the morning…learned about Discernment and Humility.

Discernment is how we choice between this, and that, between understanding humility as pride, penalty or power.

It is the ability to understand the situation and to choose between what is available, what is right, or good or helpful.

I was late getting to church.

 

As I was driving in, I noticed the security guard at the gate.

I crept into the large tent that serves as shelter and took a chair right at the back.

I had been thinking about giving and money, and having and not having, and had my offering out of my wallet and stuffed into my back pocket.

The American pastor, handsome in a rugged way, but in his sixties – white hair…punctuated movement – was saying something about preaching to the Gentiles, about Pauls message to those ‘outside’ Christ.

 

I got up, went back outside and chatted with the Guard a while, and then asked him if he’d accept my money.

When I got back in, the American pastor was telling us that the American Ambassador to Kenya had resigned.

The reason was a clash with Obama’s ‘administration.’

It turns out that Pride was celebrated in Kenya last week, as it was elsewhere in the world.

I didn’t know that.

 

It was celebrated and the American Embassy paid for a whole series of events.

 

The Ambassador, the Pastor is saying, is a ‘born again’ Christian, and that sometimes God calls us to stand by what we know is right – so he resigned. On Friday.

 

After the sermon, he took his place outside the tent, by what serves as the entrance. He had to pass right by me on the aisle to get there.

I stood up as church was dismissed, met him at that ‘doorway’, and shook his hand.

He has big hands, strong palms. They are warm.

I shook his big, warm hand firmly enough to get him to really look at me and said,

“This is my Church and I just wanted to tell you that I’m homosexual and I’m here.’

People were backing up behind me, wanting their turn to shake his hand – there had been loud grunts of approval and vigorous nodding of heads during his sermon.

 

Then I walked away.

 

You know – for me, the questions remain.

I have been homosexual (out) since I was twenty.

I was ‘born again’ when I was twelve.

I understand the discord.

 

My father was a good Christian and it wrecked our relationship. What else could he have done? How terrible it must have been.

When I learned who I was, I tried to kill myself.

 

Good Christians everywhere are asked to choose between what the bible has to say and what their hearts are telling them.

It’s an impossible position.

 

I get into my car, wave at the smiling security guard letting me out and drive way.

On the road God says to me…discern the Truth.

 

I buy two meat pies from the supermarket on the way home, certain that Simon will be hungry.

 

Thank you all for having walked with me One Hundred Days

This is the last post in the series.

 

May God be with you all.

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2 Comments

Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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2 responses to “Day One Hundred: What does God say, How do I hear him? Gay in Church

  1. Paula Tohline Calhoun

    July 2, 2012 at 01:06

    Oh, dear! What a crushing blow. The only thing I can say about that Pastor’s words and motives, is he was preaching what he believes, perhaps, but also spouting the “party line.” Churches all over this country and indeed around the world are splitting over the issue of homosexuality. To me the whole business is sad, sad, sad.

    The attitude toward homosexuality by many is based on a certain amount of uncertainty about themselves, a fear of being ostracized. or marginalized, and a complete misunderstanding of what homosexuality is. For a long time, it was believed by many to be “catching,” as though it is a disease or something, and not a state of being. There was and still is a fear by parents that their children can be “converted,” and somehow transformed against their will into someone they are not. While I will agree that there are many young people who are confused about their sexuality and their sexual proclivities, if these young people are left alone, (except in the broadest way – in other words, assuring them they are acceptable whatever they decide or discover about themselves), I believe that a large majority of them would find their way in due time and with far less angst than is present today. Many people believe that your sexual preferences are a choice. I do not. I believe that you are born into who you are. There is in my mind, some sort of sliding scale that defines sexuality. One one end is absolute heterosexuality, and on the other is absolute homosexuality. People fit within that scale in various places – including the middle, which to me represents bisexuality.

    Even among complete homosexuals and complete heterosexuals, there is often a certain amount of “experimentation,” especially among adolescents, but that usually runs its course as long as they are loved, guided, but given their freedom as well.

    From a biblical standpoint, Jesus is curiously mute about the subject. It certainly was an issue that occupied many at the time, i.e. the writers of the epistles. I believe that Paul and the others are speaking their mind within the historical context of the time in which they lived. My research and understanding of it tells me that in that time, “homosexuality was an abomination before the Lord” – primarily because it almost always was a form of child abuse. It was men taking advantage of boys, and using them as sexual objects – a disgusting thing indeed. I’m against that too, as I believe most all people are. There also came with that practice a great deal of promiscuity, random, frequent, and purely self-gratifying sexual acts which have absolutely nothing to do with the communion of one person with another, a sharing of one with another and a mutual commitment to remain in a state of fidelity to one another.

    God knows that heterosexuals have no claim on the “high road” in that regard! Marriage, as so many of those conservatives insist must be between one man and one woman, has been made a mockery of since time immemorial. Jesus did not speak about homosexuality, but he preached over and over and over again about LOVE, and following the SPIRIT of the law, and not the LETTER of the law. Love is supreme in any relationship, and that love is defined as self-sacrificing, unconditional, agape love. It does require commitment to one another out of reverence for God, and is not to be entered into lightly, as I have known many homosexuals to do – but by the same token at least as many heterosexuals have done the same thing.

    People ask: “Would you want some gay man teaching your son, or a gay woman teaching your daughter? I say, why not? And how do you know they have not been taught by them already? What I do not want is a sexual pervert and child molester teaching my children, and people of that ilk are criminals and come in all shapes, sizes and forms.

    It is my absolute and firm belief that the church of Jesus Christ – all of them – are to be in the business of compassion and love. If someone needs “correcting,” or needs to repent of their sin – as every single member of Christ’s church does – then it is up to their brothers and sisters in Christ to provide that love and teaching, and to give a listening ear. Kicking them out, branding them as “unsavable” sinners and blasphemers or whatever is not their business. If the door to Christ’s church is not open to everyone who enters, then it is not Christ’s church. It is just some organization of like-minded bigots, or close-minded idiots, who fail to stop, consider, pray and ask God’s guidance, and be willing to accept that guidance, even when it seems against their own desires. So many people want to quote and use the Bible as a very “literal” work of God’s hand, rather than a very human document that was indeed inspired by God, but was not dictated by God. So many people pick and choose exactly which verses they will ascribe to, instead of considering the book as a whole, as an unfolding of God’s revelation of God’s self to God’s people, ultimately leading to God revealing Godself in the form of Jesus Christ and the law of love.

    As a Christian, I make every effort to make God’s desires my own, rather than the other way around – even though at times I do consider myself an “adviser to the Almighty,” (as I have said before), I am almost brought up short by my Heavenly Parent, God, Who assures me that while my way might sound nice to me, it most certainly does not fit in with the plans that s/he has devised for me and those that I love.

    I am a sinner, Kenny. I have been redeemed, and as hard as it is for me to understand and accept at times, I know that God loves me and forgives me each and every time I turn my back on God, as long as I turn my face back toward him/her and ask for that forgiveness. It’s not that I am not loved if I don’t, it’s just that by turning my back on God, I am separating myself by my own will from God, and not being separated from God by God, the One who will never abandon me, nor leave me entirely to my own devices, but will continually seek out my lost soul, like the one sheep of the 99 who has gone astray.

    I have gone on far too long on this subject. I do recommend to you once again, to seek out a congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church, which warmly loves and accepts people of all races, and sexual orientations, and welcomes them into a fellowship of love for Christ. If there is not one of those congregations nearby you, then go “church shopping!” I am certain you will find a church that will see you and Simon both as worthy children of God who have much to offer the fellowship of Christ, and be a welcoming place for you to find what you need and where you can give what is needed.

    Or you can move here! We’ve got a great church that would LOVE to have you. ūüėÜ

    BTW, our Kenya mission group will be leaving for Nairobi this Friday morning, July 6, and will be there for a couple of weeks. Please plan on going to visit them, as I told you, they will be bearing a gift for you from me. Also, if you are able to or could take some film of them in their work, that would be a tremendous thing – I know how talented you are! They have been told to be on the lookout for Kenneth Olembo. They are the team from Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church, of Lake Junaluska, North Carolina (part of Waynesville, NC) USA. They will be working on constructing a school, I believe for an orphanage there. I can’t remember the name of it, but I believe I told you about it before, so you can look it up, or I will find it and write to you later in the week. I’ll give you the name of some contact people there as well. I have told them that you are gay – there is no problem with them, so you can be as open or as silent on that issue as you wish. I doubt it will even come up!

    I love you Kenny – give my love to Simon and all your family. Remind yourself each day that you are loved exactly as you are by a God whose love is greater than any hatred or rejection the world can give. Take care, love wholeheartedly, live in peace with your neighbors, revel in the abundance of enough that has been given to you, blessed to be a blessing!

    God be with you!
    Paula

     
    • kolembo

      July 2, 2012 at 01:40

      Paula!
      Good stuff!
      Fabulous, I might take it out and post as a reply…infact, I think I will!

      I’ve been with this for a while now – so I was unmoved.
      But I remember…and perhaps if this can sooth and be of help to just one other person…you know?

      It is a direct and forceful answer, and appropriately personal. I hear you and I am grateful for it.

      Looking forward to meeting your people!

       

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