Lent has been an interesting one for me this year. I usually like to give something up that’s a real challenge and this year I decided to go veggie for lent. So no meat, fish, chicken, or anything with traces of meat in, which unfortunately for me rules out lots of lovely chewy sweets! It’s definitely one of the hardest years I’ve done, and it’s not necessarily the taste I’ve missed, it’s more the texture, which sounds bizarre!
Anyway I digress! We’re also still in our first year of LGBT Christian Fellowship being up and running, although the idea was there for quite a while before I actually did anything! We’re in the last few weeks before our first event on Saturday 26th April, which is open to all. I’ve said so many times before; it’s like fighting two corners. Trying to let the LGBT community know that God does love them and not all Christians are anti-gay, and trying to show the Christian community that being gay/trans/whatever is perfectly ok!
Being a Christian, lent is the time when you’re supposed to be all reflective, it doesn’t always happen for me, but this year it has a little. Stereotypically I’ve been thinking about sacrifice, the most obvious sacrifice for me during lent was giving up meat, but I’ve also been thinking about it in terms of being gay and Christian as well (shock horror!)
I seem, over the past few months to be having a similar conversation with quite a few different people, which is hard to describe in a sentence, but I guess ultimately What if God doesn’t agree with me being gay?
Now I realise that opens up a huge can of worms, with lots of consequential questions, but it is something I personally have been thinking about a lot. Not in the same way as when I was coming to terms with being gay, and coming out, but more from the perspective of where my priorities lie. Is God number one in my life? Or is my sexuality?
I guess this can happen to anyone, whatever cause they are fighting for, and I don’t know if anyone else has experienced similar (and I’d love to hear about it if you have) but it sometimes feels like the cause can take over more that the reason you’re fighting. I’m not sure if that makes sense so let me try and explain a little. I am so used to talking about being gay, and how that intertwines with my faith, that sometimes it feels like I am gay, before I am Christian, and I guess therefore putting my sexuality before God.
Now don’t worry (or don’t get too excited depending on which angle you’re reading this) I’m not about to say being gay is wrong, but it has made me think more about my personal relationship with God. As I’ve said in other blogs, and in person, I truly believe that God did not make any mistakes regarding my sexuality, and, that being a part of LGBT Christian affirming groups is my calling at the moment but I have been thinking what if? What if in the same way God has affirmed my sexuality he told me he didn’t want me to act on it? That he wanted me to marry a guy? That he wanted me to stand up and fight the opposite cause? What would I do?
I would do it. And although that is hard to say, and believe me I haven’t taken this lightly, I would. God is number one in my life. I trust in him completely, I wouldn’t understand it, and I would probably fight against it for quite a while, but I think I would eventually trust he knew what he was doing, and follow him.
I don’t currently have any of the above feelings or convictions, so for now I’m going to continue being a ‘raving homosexual’ but it has been important for me to think about this, and I believe I haven’t just had the same conversation with different people by coincidence, this is something God wanted me to think about as well. I guess maybe to reinforce that he is still number one.
I think I probably need to make clear that I don’t believe God will ask that of me, celibacy is a different question; however I believe God creates your sexuality perfectly in the same way he does the colour of your eyes, skin, hair, and your personality and that isn’t something that is changeable. You can supress it yes, but you cannot change it, and he does not want you to change it.
I spend a lot of time up and down the M62, and that’s where I spend most of my time thinking, praying and worshiping as well! I’ll leave you with a song lyric that has really stood out to me over the past few months, it’s from a song called ‘Be Exalted’ by a guy called Ben Cantelon (listen below)
“Be exalted, be exalted, in my life above all else, be lifted up
be exalted, be exalted, you are Lord and no one else, be lifted up”