Within the last two months as many of my closest friends have died, Joel Strack and Ben Lane. The former’s passing came with the gift of a month of hospice care which afforded his friends the opportunity to reminisce about days long gone, when we had more hair, less excess weight, and our futures seemed boundless. It also granted his family time to see firsthand their beloved’s impact on Central Florida. With the latter’s passing, we were not so fortunate.
This essay is written in response to a thread about the importance of LGBT Christians speaking out and being visible and active congregantsdespite having been wounded by organized religion. There’s a tendency to throw Jesus out with the holy water, but I’d like to offer another option. What follows is a recounting of my firsthand experience dealing with those who would deny my invitation and rightful seat at the table. Peace be with you.
As a forty-eight-inch tall, gay, black man, I encounter plenty of people who think and demonstrate through their actions, “You don’t belong because — ” With that said, my need for a self-concept that is not tethered to a human perspective is integral for my well-being.
I was brought up in a Christian home. All four of my grandparents — God rest their souls, my father (had) and my mother still has a palpable faith in God and a relationship with Christ. They had to. They were Black people living in the south. Their faith is my heritage. I accepted Christ as my savior when I was sixteen. Nothing made me happier knowing that one day I’d get to meet Jesus face to face.
Things are tough. All over. A lot of people are hurting physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. All any of us need do is turn on the TV, log into social media, or if you’re really daring, step outside your front door and there it is: the awfulness of humanity. With this pervasive level of devastation, a friend of mine asked, as I’m sure many more of you have —
“If God is real, then why do things like [insert tragedy] happen?”
How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
No, that’s not a plank in some Liberal “snowflake” platform, nor is it a principle from a Communist manifesto. That question comes from Scripture, 1 John 3:16–17 (NRSV), to be exact.
Each year the Episcopal Church celebrates the Feast Day of Saint Patrick, fifth-century bishop and missionary of Ireland, on March 17, the day of his death in 461.
Holy Women, Holy Men (Church Publishing, 2010) relates that Patrick was born on the northwest coast of Britain in about 390. His grandfather had been a Christian priest, and his father was a deacon in the early Christian church. When Patrick was a teenager, he was
It seems that some churches have had a difficult time figuring out how to respond to the Pulse massacre. The answer is simple, and to quote Jesus, “love one another.” There it is. Three words. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. I’m no Biblical scholar, but this one seems to be … well … a no-brainer.
On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus says “love one another” to his Disciples not once, but twice. If memory serves me correctly, Jesus and the Disciples are in the upper room
So “how do I talk to Christian people about LGBT issues?” Without sounding cavalier or insensitive, I like to think there no LGBT issues. There are only human issues.
But if we have to break the challenges that LGBT people face out into a separate category, I think talking about them with Christian people is pretty much like talking about any other hot topic with anyone else