I was supposed to attend a GSA meeting at Audrey’s house today, but I haven’t exactly gotten out of bed. I feel so guilty about this absence because I so very strongly believe that the LGBTQ community deserves equal rights and that as a Christian, it is my duty to campaign for them.
I started thinking about all of this while I was lying in bed feeling awful, so I dragged myself over to my bookshelf and pulled out the Bible. First, I read Psalm 139 because I love it the most. (I stuck it at the bottom of this post because it is so glorious. And to save space on the main page, I made it only visible after you hit the “More” button.) Then, I got down to business. I had been having a discussion with my cousin over Thanksgiving, who is a beautiful person and an Evangelical Christian, in which she was trying to tell me that homosexuality was a sin (and that non-Christians are living a lie and will go to Hell, but that’s a story for another day). Now, I love her dearly, but we don’t always see eye to eye. The conversation had shaken me up a little, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. So I decided that it was time to go to back to the Holy Scripture and look again at what God and Jesus tell me.
As I sat there with the big blue Bible open in my lap, I felt a rush of love and peace flood over me. I knew then that God and Jesus were there with me, more than the way that I feel their presence in daily life. And as I flipped through those pages, I found exactly what I knew to be true over and over and over again: God loves us all, and we all must love Him and one another.
Here are some passages and my thoughts:
It’s always fitting to begin your Spiritual search with John 3:16 (I’ve italicized what I believe to be the most important words):
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He (She) who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” –John 3:16-18
When I was on a pilgrimage to Boston (We were exploring the American roots of the Episcopal Church) right after I was confirmed, I said something that wasn’t very nice. Mother Audrey (not my friend, but the assistant rector of my church) recited the following to me. Now, I’ve known this passage since I was little, but before then, I had thought very little about applying it to my own life; it had just been another Bible passage to memorize and illustrate with crayons on butcher paper. I wish that those who hate members of the LGBTQ community or those who believe that they don’t deserve equal rights will read this passage and come to know that they truly must love them as much as they love themselves. We are all the children of God and must treat one another as such.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” –Matthew 22:37-40
I also found a bunch of passages about how one’s devotion to God is private for that individual and cannot be criticized or judged by anyone else. You CAN be Christian and LGBTQ.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” —Philippians 2:12
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” —Ephesians 2:8-9
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” —Galatians 2:21
To be perfectly honest, I found most of the passages from memory. It wasn’t like I read the whole Bible this afternoon. But I did find this one all on my own when I opened to a random page and started skimming. I think that it proves that LGBTQs are not hated or judged by God and that others cannot hate or judge them. We are all equal beings before Him.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” — Galatians 3:28
This passage I got from my great uncle, who is an Episcopal priest and a truly good person. It tells us that God made LGBTQ people the same way that he made straight people and that anyone can love Him and should love one another.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father (Heavenly Parent) in my name, God may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.” —John 15:16-17
Finally, NOTHING separates us from God’s love. NOTHING. God loves every one of us, LGBTQ or not, and sexuality does not influence the amount of His love at all.
“Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” —Romans 8: 38-39
Whenever someone uses Christianity as a weapon against the Gay Rights movement or the LGBTQ community, all I and anyone else must do is simply point to those passages and ask them that if they truly believe in God and the Bible, then why do they choose to ignore those passages.
I feel a little less guilty for missing my GSA meeting now. I’ve also included my favorite “It Gets Better” video after the “More” break. It’s done by an awesome Australian man from a Christian perspective. Also, here’s a link to an amazing sermon by the Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker.
1 LORD, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
2 You trace my journeys and my resting-places
and are acquainted with all my ways.
3 Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,
but you, O LORD, know it altogether.
4 You press upon me behind and before
and lay your hand upon me.
5 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
6 Where can I go then from your Spirit?
where can I flee from your presence?
7 If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
8 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
9 Even there your hand will lead me
and your right hand hold me fast.
10 If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me,
and the light around me turn to night,”
11 Darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day;
darkness and light to you are both alike.
12 For you yourself created my inmost parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
13 I will thank you because I am marvelously made;
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
14 My body was not hidden from you,
while I was being made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.
15 Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book;
they were fashioned day by day,
when as yet there was none of them.
16 How deep I find your thoughts, O God!
how great is the sum of them!
17 If I were to count them, they would be more in number
than the sand;
to count them all, my life span would need to
be like yours.
18 Oh, that you would slay the wicked, O God!
You that thirst for blood, depart from me.
19 They speak despitefully against you;
your enemies take your Name in vain.
20 Do I not hate those, O LORD, who hate you?
and do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
21 I hate them with a perfect hatred;
they have become my own enemies.
23 Search me out, O God, and know my heart;
try me and know my restless thoughts.
24 Look well whether there be any wickedness in me
and lead me in the way that is everlasting.