a gay man goes to church

i have been reading Love Is An Orientation by andrew marin and it's been really stretching of my view of and ministry to the GLBT community. he tells the following story in it of a gay man that went to church one day:

Ron attends a well-known evangelical church, and he began to tell me about a recent service. A video was played that had been recorded by a man a few months before he died. The man said that the five best days of his life were the day he met his wife, the day they got married and the day each of his three children were born. After the service Ron went up to the pastor with tears in his eyes and said, "If I continue to live the way that you're suggesting that I live [celibate], then I'll never experience any of the five best days that man experienced before his death." The pastor paused as he looked Ron in the eyes and said, "I don't know what to tell you."

and who, among us - heterosexual, married men, with kids - who among us would know what to say??? i think it's important for us, especially those of us in the church, to have this understanding of a gay person's reality when they step inside our worlds... not so that we can build an answer, but so that we can respond with empathy and compassion.


Jonathan Sigmon said...

Thanks for posting on this. It's always hard to touch on this as it is SUCH a hot topic issue. People's emotions seem to cloud the reality that there is such brokenness between Christians and the LGBT community.

Thanks for shedding some compassionate light on this. May we all work towards restoration.

naturgesetz said...

I've read that book too, and it certainly is challenging. There is a fine line between being loving and welcoming, and seeming to condone immoral behavior.

I think most gay people who go to church know what the Bible says about homosexual conduct, so it isn't as if preachers need to keep telling them.

I think the pastor's response to Ron was a good one. In a way, the situation gay men find themselves in is one of those "Why does God permit this?" situations. It doesn't have the suddenness of a tragic death, and it may not have the depth of anguish of a terminal illness, but it can be a lifetime of struggle and unsatisfied longing.