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Homosexuality and Church… Why can’t I find one? (A church, not a homosexual)

It seems quite obvious finding somewhere to worship is going to be difficult. Being a homosexual, I struggle to find a place that provides the right mix. Everywhere I look is either much too conservative (basically letting me know I’ve “chosen” a fast track to hell and condemnation) or it’s either too liberal (I’m not a free love advocate, nor do I think leather pants or sequins are church appropriate attire).
Isn’t there a place somewhere in between? I cannot attend a church where fellow worshippers would decline to have dinner with me and my partner based on our being homosexuals. I can agree to disagree. I doubt I would find their lives sinless if I chose to judge them. I do my best not to judge others, it isn’t my place. I wouldn’t decline fellowship based on my personal beliefs.
I think church is more about the broad idea, and agreeing on basic principles. I don’t need to find others who believe ever detail the same as I do. What is special and rare is to find fellow worshippers who can “let go, let God”. When you find someone that challenges you, intensifies your faith, and supports your journey, that is rare.
I miss it.
I miss the times I’ve had that connection and wish I had someone to pray with, to read the bible, talk about it, learn about it. But I will not lie about myself, or my life. I honestly believe I can learn, teach, and share and my life not become the subject of focus. Why does it have to?
I miss the friends along the years I felt I did have a connection in this sense.
And I’m glad many of them are popping back into my life via Facebook. (Hello, Heather and Shannon.)
I just pray over next few weeks I find an answer.

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3 comments on “Homosexuality and Church… Why can’t I find one? (A church, not a homosexual)

  1. I am Jewish, married to a Christian. We, too, have had difficulty finding a church to accept us. Oddly enough, we’ve never had trouble with acceptance in a synagogue. My spouse is accepted as “a common law Jew,” for most activities of the synagogue. There are some few (I can count them on one hand) things that a non-Jew may not do, and my spouse is barred from those.
    In churches, people are concerned with either teaching me why Judaism is for those who “just don’t get who Jesus is,” so that I’ll convert, or they make a big show of accepting me “because Jesus was a Jew, too.” But, largely they allow me to participate with an attitude of tolerance, generally not replying to any opinion I offer. So, I’ve stopped offering.
    I’d like to feel as at home in churches as my spouse does in synagogues. So far, no go.

    The denominations I’ve found that are most accepting – not just tolerant – of homosexuals are:
    United Methodists – liberal theology, social justice focus
    Episcopalian – centrist theology, social justice and inclusion
    Unitarian/Universalist – way liberal theology
    Depending upon the congregation, you might also try:
    Lutheran – conservative theology, good works
    Presbyterian – conservative theology, missions

    I send you and your partner blessings as you seek the acceptance you deserve in a church home you can settle in.

    blessingcasters
    http://blessingcasters.wordpress.com
    http://www.blessingcasters.org

  2. Jess says:

    Brother, I hear you. I’d love to talk to you more about this, as it’s a topic that keeps me up at night.

  3. Ed Cates says:

    Jason,

    My wife and I really like the Episcopalian church here in Lafayette. She likes it because she was raised Catholic, so the service is familiar to her. It gives her the “social justice” aspect of Catholicism that she loves, but does away with the intolerant and oppressive bits (homosexuality and reproductive choice) that cause her a lot of internal turmoil with the Catholics.

    I like it because it actually preaches and teaches . . . being nice. Helping people. No hellfire and damnation, trying to scare folks to salvation. Just talking about how we all need to look after each other, etc.

    I am a very not-religious person, and have a very low tolerance for hypocrisy in institutions that claim to follow the teachings of Christ. So for me to endorse or accept a church is no small thing. 😉

    Not all congregations are the same, of course. The Church is in upheaval over the more liberal branch ordaining Gene Robinson as a bishop (speaking of intolerance of homosexuals…), and some splitting is occurring. St. Louis is a large enough –and cosmopolitan enough– area that you can probably find an inclusive place. Just remember that most churches have websites, and you can get a feel for a place from those sometimes.

    An Episcopalian service might not be your cup of tea, coming from a Protestant background like I did. But if you find a place that welcomes you with open arms, letting you worship as you choose without having to hide who you are, that might trump any other issues.

    I hope this meandering writing has been of some help, and I wish you the best of luck in your search.

    –Ed

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