On Sunday, the 22nd, in my Sunday School Class, I opened a door to a place that has been shut to most of the world and the church for a very long time. I let in the holy light of agape love and the Holy Spirit brought healing and understanding and a peace that can only come from the Holy One of God. I told my class that I am a same sex attracted person. "Gay" as they say today. I became as transparent as a man can get without cutting a hole in his abdomen. It was kind of like stitching a wound without anesthetic, but afterward the pain was gone. There is release in confession. There is accountability. And there is comfort that can only come from the One that knows us so well.
On Sunday, the 29th during the church service at Rising Sun Church of Christ, I will do it all over again before the entire congregation. I have mixed feelings about how this will go, but I am letting go of that and I am counting on the Lord God to open and change hearts and minds of His people; to promote love rather than legalism, compassion rather than hate and anger and grace rather than accusation.
Someone asked why I am doing this at this point in my life. The answer is complex, but first and foremost, I would have to say that I am tired of carrying this burden alone. I am exhausted from avoiding conversations with people I love and want friendship with. It is very hard to have a relationship with people if you feel you cannot talk about where you have been and why certain things in your life are what they are. It is a life of pain and loneliness that cannot adequately be described with words. It does however, draw you closer to God. There are some advantages.
Beyond that, I do not want anyone to have to live a life like mine has been, always keeping your most personal cards close to your vest. I have, for some time, had this dream for the Church where we are all transparent to each other; where the church becomes a place of spiritual healing and light in our world of darkness. It should be a place where there are no secrets, where we can talk about our trials and temptations and even our sin and seek out the support and prayers of our brethren.
It is time for the doors to come off of all of our closets.
You also need to know, even though you may believe otherwise, that there are others like me that are close to you that love the Lord Christ just as I do. We are your children, we are your nieces and nephews, we are your cousins, your aunts and uncles, and in some cases, we are even your fathers and mothers. We are you brothers and sisters in the Lord and He loves us. He gave His life and blood for us and we are loved and cherished just as the rest of you are. His grace and His peace will be upon us too on judgement day because we are saved.
So I give you this challenge. It is 2000 years old. I pass it along from the Source. Jesus said,
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
We must all give up our alternate identities, love each other and cling to our Lord. We are called to this as His followers.
Brethren, if you are reading this, I beg you please, on Sunday please join me and come out of whatever closet you are in. It may not be one like mine. It might be something worse or not so awful, but we cannot help each other or love each other properly if we live our lives behind closed closet doors. Come out now. Come out as a Christian. Do the will of your Father in heaven.
Lord Jesus please overhaul our souls. Make us complete. Help us to love as you have loved us. In your name I pray this. Amen!