I recently came across this post from The Good Book Blog: Is it safe to tell you that I am bi?
The post reminds me of the questions I wanted answered when I would walk into a church or hang out with Christian friends. Would you accept me, or cast me aside, because I have same-sex attractions? Can I still hang out with the guys without them freaking out? Would all I be to you is a disgusting pervert? Can I share my struggles with you? Would you compassionately listen and help me? Does this awesome grace and love of God, the one you’re always talking about, extend even to me? Will you be a vessel of this type of grace and love?
Ultimately, the questions I was wondering, and the ones the blogger presents below, comes down to one: is it safe for me at church?
This question is asked by many today, especially by those who have same-sex attractions. I have written many times before about the type of conversation the church needs to be having with themselves (here, here, here, here, and here to name a few). It’s one that needs to happen despite the discomfort. My hope is that the Church at large would begin to listen up and respond differently. What follows is a perspective from a Christian bi-sexual.
I am a Christian. An evangelical. And committed to pursuing a biblical lifestyle.
I am sexually attracted to both men and women – what some might call bi-sexual. And have been for as long as I can remember.
You don’t need to outline the debates on homosexuality and the church – I’ve been following them all with avid interest for years. You don’t need to show me the Bible verses again, I know them better than almost any other in the Scriptures. You don’t need to convince me of the need for purity in the face of my battles… But it would be good if you could care for me. Gently support me. Dare I even say love me as I step out of my comfort zone and confide in you. The trouble is, as I’ve listened to you debate and teach and casually chat about the issues at hand, I’ve started to wonder if it’s safe to talk to you at all. I’m wondering this:
- Are you willing to listen without judging me?
- Are you willing to pastor me without assuming I’ll fall for you?
- Are you willing to avoid the jokes and jibes?
- Are you willing to take other sin as seriously as my sin?
- Are you willing to welcome my gay friends in church?
- Are you willing to be my friend?
Without dealing with these questions, first, can a church really claim that they are a safe place for people like this blogger, myself, and others?