Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Seven Passages: The Stories of Gay Christians

Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending a play here in town. A play that I have been following for a little while, very eager to see how it all fell together on the stage. Curtis attended it with me, along with another married couple that we are friends with.

Now, from the subject line, I am sure you are wondering what two married couples could possibly want to know about gay Christians. Why would we attend this play? My answer, is that for some time now, I have struggled with understanding how gays play a role in the Christian faith. For a long time, I myself even shunned them away. I didn't think they belonged in the church. After all, God says so in the Bible, right?

From my research, and from my grasping hard at trying to understand all of this, I have learned to have a lot of compassion towards the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, transgendered) group in regards to the Christian faith. These are people, struggling with something not that they chose to be a part of. This is a part of them, a part of the person that was so fearfully and wonderfully made. They are God's children, just like you and me. So, why has the Christian church so forcefully pushed them away??

A professor from Calvin College, is the one with the vision for this play. They formed a committee, and chose seven passages from the Bible, that all condemn gays in some way shape or form. They then set out on a mission to interview as many LGBT Christians as they could. The result was amazing. A very moving, captivating performance with each actor taking on the identity of a few of the interviewed. The play is comprised of their words. Their words about the scripture and it's translation, their words about their struggle, their words about their faith. I cried, I laughed, but most importantly I learned a lot. Those that know me, know that I have compassion so deeply implanted into my soul. It is this compassion that I know we need to see more of in the church. It is this compassion that God would want us to have.

I will not go into all of my personal opinions about this subject, because I have many. But, I will say that we need to leave the judging to our Savior. And in the meantime, we need to find room for these people at our table. They are God's creation. They are God's children, just like you and me. And they deserve all the things that the Christian faith can provide to them. Hearing the stories about reparative shock therapy, about having their faith "only in their hearts because the church is unwelcoming", about the relationships that have been torn because of this 'thing'. It all breaks my heart.

After the play, we headed out for a bite to eat, and all of the actors happened to walk in behind us. We had a chance to talk with them personally, to hear that some of their stories were interwoven into the play, to hear about the struggle that has been making this play; making viewpoints on all of the sides heard. The most moving thing we discussed with them was in regards to a roundtable discussion that they did with local church pastors. (I just recently found out that my church pastor has a gay son, someone I went to highschool with) The 4 of us feared that the roundtable that followed the play, would be a bashing session. Those of you that know conservative Grand Rapids, know what I mean. I just couldn't sit there and here all of 'that.' But, 'that' didn't happen. And it didn't happen at all with the pastor's either. The forum is open. The dialogue is wide open, and I feel that is the most important thing. As one of the actor's said, "Let's keep the discussion going."

To read more:

Seven Passages Blogspot

GR Press review

1 comment:

ElleTeeJay said...

Rock on, Em! I have a number of gay friends, who are devoted Christians, who have left religion because they are sick and tired of trying to reconcile God's message and the reality they face each time they walk into a place of worship.

"Leave the judging to God"...spot on, girl!