There comes a moment in time when all of us have to take a stand about our convictions. I will also say…that's not always easy. Such is the case for me.
I was raised, trained, and educated in Evangelical churches and graduate schools. I worked in Christian schools and found myself under the authority of those who solidly held to conservative Evangelical beliefs around the LGBT+ issue. But for me, the teaching didn't align with my spirit or me as a person. How could, or would, a mighty God create people as queer and then make them deny who they truly are? I couldn't get my head and heart around that.
So…being the theologian that I am, I started to study. I studied the original languages. I studied contextual teachings regarding culture. I read books from other scholars. I opened my mind up to the possibility that these Evangelical teachers might be wrong. And for me…I found that to be my truth. I found alternative exegetical renderings of interpretation that better explained the texts and the heart of God.
Thus…I had a great weight lifted from my heart. I knew it was perfectly fine to be queer. I realized it was also absolutely possible to be Christian as a queer person. This encouraged me. This held promise and hope for me.
But…I wasn't completely free…
You see, I was still vocationally held hostage by authorities over me that held to the deeply rooted opinion that being queer was sinful.
I was a man with a family. I had a wife. I had a child. I had financial responsibilities as a husband and father. I told myself that I could minister to the queer community while still doing good work for God…but I would have to do it sorta "secretly." Now before you judge me too harshly, and believe me, I have done it to me already, please realize that affirming churches were not at all part of the landscape of that day. All talk of LGBT+ was "under the carpet." So, even though it wasn't accepted in my circle, I still reached out and made myself available to those who suffered with this most often "hidden" identity.
Fast forward to today. I am purposefully out and supportive of my queer family and community. I take my stand. I receive my attacks. It's all good. For I believe my work is for greater good. My work is motivated by love.