Our very own Christy Wade recently started a very personal blog about her journey exploring the tensions between her faith and her sexuality. It may embarrass her a bit for me to write this, but Heidi and I (Justin) think she is incredibly courageous and wise, and her humility, kindness, and honesty amaze us.
The post below is a recent entry she wrote about giving the ‘right’ answer when folks ask:
“So, do you think homosexuality is a sin?”
After hearing my story, this is the first thing that most people ask me. Not “thank you for sharing” or other things you would normally want to hear after speaking. Instead, he/she wants to immediately know my stance on homosexuality. Forget that I just bore my soul about the personal hell of reconciling my faith and sexual orientation. It’s like one cannot validate my experiences unless our Scriptural interpretations agree with each other.
I often wonder about the motivation behind such a question.
If I say “yes, I believe homosexuality is a sin,” would you be among those who would stop reading my blog posts. Likewise, if I say “no, I believe homosexuality is not sin,” would you automatically dismiss everything else I will say or write?
Each time I’m asked this, I know that more than likely I will offend people if I answer honestly. And I don’t like it when I know someone is mad at me. I tend to be somewhat of a people pleaser. I don’t like this about me, but I’m working on it!
So, it is with trembling hands that I will answer this question as honestly as I can. Trembling because I can be denied job opportunities and lose relationships as a result of this post. Also, I risk being bombarded with people (from both sides) sending me Scripture verses and trying to “help” me find the truth. Although I appreciate the sentiment, please know it isn’t necessary. I know these particular verses forwards, backwards, in context, and in their original languages (Hebrew and Greek). I know all the different arguments from both viewpoints. Trust me…I have spent much time thinking about this!
So, here goes:
Do I believe homosexuality is sin?
At this stage in my Christian faith journey, I can only answer, “I don’t know.”
Once, I thought I knew without a doubt that it isn’t God‘s will to be gay. Eager for answers as a young Christian, I devoured all the “ex-gay” books I could find. Everything I read in them coincided with the things I had been taught in my evangelical upbringing. So, I found it easy to adopt “homosexuality as sin” without even considering other views. In all honesty, I feared questioning these beliefs. I already thought that God was disgusted with me because I wasn’t ‘normal.’ Maybe God would let me enter heaven if he saw that I proclaimed it as sin. (Yes, I really had this thought!)
Today, I’m not in this same place of belief. Because my faith in Jesus Christ is solid, I’m no longer afraid to question long-held convictions. And no, I am not throwing out the Bible. I love Scripture, and I do my best to meditate on it every day. As I have studied the history of Christianity, I noticed that the Bible has been used repeatedly to justify slavery and the subjugation of women. You may say that these two issues are different from homosexuality; however, I’m not so sure about that! You may say that it is so plain in the Bible what God thinks about homosexuality, but this same argument was used with the slavery and women issues. Godly people from both sides have come up with different interpretations. This is why it isn’t so black and white for me!
So, I am on a journey to answer this question for myself. I wake up every day with the prayer that God will not let me be deceived and that I am open to whichever answer. And you know what? This is ok! I am no longer afraid that God is disappointed in me, and I know He is with me as I walk this journey. I live with more joy than I have ever lived, resting in God’s everlasting love.
If you are someone who is currently on this same journey, please know that you are not alone. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I am more than happy to talk with you and encourage you.