Am I an Oxymoron? Living the Faith Part 1 (11-15)

PictureHere’s me. Apparently a rare species. A paradox. An oxymoron. There are some people that don’t think I can be both. There are others that don’t think I should be both. There are even others that don’t know me as both.

Obviously most of my friends and family now know that I am in love with and have chosen a life with another woman. Most of my friends and family also have known me as a Christian. What is probably unclear is whether I still am or if I have gone down a different path. I am gay. I am a Christian. I am both. I can be both without sacrificing the other. This is a hard concept for most if not all people. The 2 sides seem to be, on the surface, mutually exclusive according to both sides. They are either: I am a Christian and therefore living in sin and therefore cannot be a Christian, or I am gay, and cannot be a Christian because they don’t accept me and therefore all of Christianity’s beliefs must rejected.

This is a big, huge, lets-agree-to-disagree or let’s-spend-our-lives-fighting-about-it or I-can’t-speak-to-you-ever-again kind of topic. I am sure there will be many posts and parts, so I will try to break all the points out one at a time.

Can a person really be both? I have been accused of “turning away from the Faith”. At most, in the church, am accepted “in spite of” my sins. After all, living in a monogamous, committed same-sex relationship is a given sin, even in the most of accepting and affirming people of faith. Or is it? What if we don’t agree on that first basic point? Frankly, I really have a hard time feeling guilty for loving one person, wholeheartedly committed, raising children with her, loving her with a love that is not only romantic but sacrificial as well, not unlike any other couple that is committed to one another.

I don’t have all the answers. I may eventually dabble in the theological argument (as I love to do on many topics). But this is about me. A person. A person that God loves. A person who’s chosen to believe that once God has me in His hands, He will never let go. I believe in grace. I believe in love. I believe in the Creator and God’s love and God being bigger than anything we can fathom. I believe that the Bible is a living document, created to be purposefully written for interpretation on grey areas, to expand with time, growth, and knowledge. I do know that God must love me an awful lot. I know that He has expanded my world, my family’s world to include exponentially more love, blown out of the water my idea of grace a hundredfold, and decimated my limited imagination of how He is capable of working. We limit God when we take it upon ourselves to decide what He deems acceptable.

I do believe that the point of the Gospel is quite clear: Christians are called to love their enemies, take care of the poor, and overcome evil with good. (It doesn’t read, “Love those who you disagree with but hate and argue with what they are doing”) The second greatest commandment, besides loving God, is to love others. The Gospel is almost completely focused on showing love to the poor and the oppressed. I feel bad when I read and write this because this is really where my shortcomings fall. I am not doing a great job at that. I am just as detracted as those who are arguing the political issues of gay rights and marriage and whether it’s a sin, and who’s right and how we should address things. I am detracted by just thinking about this and spending time and energy concerned with how to defend my faith. How much time I’ve spent making sure I’m good with the conclusions, that I’m at peace with who I am. I’ve spent more time dwelling on vocabulary and wording of civil unions or marriage than I have learning how to love the oppressed and fight for justice in a world that desperately needs that right now. This is where I’m failing my faith. No, my faith (or lack of practice sometimes) is nowhere near perfect, but it isn’t because of or depend on who I love.

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