Just As We Are

by: Hayden K. Smith


Do we really need to become a new creation in Christ? Is there a need to change who we are?

Some writers suggest that to become a new creation in Christ we need to change. Note there is always an emphasis that 'we' need to change. Never mind the splinter in my eye when the person who points the finger has a plank in theirs.

Unfortunately, sex has been seen only for procreation. It is a masculine emphasis, which reflects a stoic perception of a 'natural law'. The Bible is seen by many to reflect this on-going sexual imperative for production. Texts quoted against gays have themselves an urgency for procreation. It can be seen that these texts were written at a time when numbers were diminishing in an ever-oppressive society.

The need to 'go out and do', to be productive, is very much reflected in our western society. We are forever looking to the outward signs to prove our worth. Earlier work ethics suggested that if you didn't have a job, were not wealthy, couldn't have children and were not productive, then you were not loved by God and therefore separated (sin) from Him and deserved your lot in hell.

Man as producer is also reflected in the way our society emphasis the second Creation story of Eve being made out of the rib of Adam. But in the first Creation story in chapter one God created both male and female. Although still written form the patriarchal point of view with the man as domineer, nevertheless they were created in 'our image'.

'Our Image' implies from the beginning there were more than one. In the New Testament John shows that in the beginning was the Word and that this Word became flesh in Jesus Christ. After His Crucifixion and Resurrection He promised to send the Advocator, the Holy Spirit. In the Eastern Church, and since Vatican II we are now coming round to this perception, the Holy Spirit was always seen as the feminine side of God. It is that part of the Trinity, which is seen as receiving, and sending the love of God. A help in prayer it is our 'transmitter' of the love of God that is in Jesus Christ.

As gay people we have a uniqueness that allows us to perceive both the feminine and the masculine. We can acknowledge both the strength and the delicate world that surrounds us. Far from being separated from God, we are very much in touch with His creation. We are all called into a relationship of Love. With God and with each other. So much of the Bible is devoted to expressing this relationship. A Love that is beyond our understanding. It is one that is not judgmental for Jesus said Love one another just as I have Loved you. Our contribution to the world is our own uniqueness in which we can help others. Not condemn, as they have tried and failed to condemn us, but show the Love of God that is within us all. St. Seraphim of Sarov said "Be at peace and thousand around you will be saved". Our own uniqueness as ambassadors of Christ and ambassadors of who we are can bring about this peace. It is one that enlightens and contributes to one of the many, many parts that is this world. Then all other things, externally or otherwise, will be so much more enriched to the productivity of heralding His Kingdom.

Do we need to become new creations in Christ? No. We are already Created out of Love in His image. Do we need to change? Only from the point of view that we all need to realise that we are Loved 'just as we are'.


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Books:

We Were Baptized Too : Claiming God's Grace for Lesbians and Gays

Marilyn Bennett Alexander
James Preston

Uncommon Calling : A Gay Christian's Struggle to Serve the Church

Chris Glaser


Other Writings By Hayden Smith:

I Am With You Always



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