Salvation is arguably the greatest gift God can bestow on a person. It is the testimony of many Christians that nothing in the world can ever compare to accepting and proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. Many of us have come to know the true value of Jesus’ grace, mercy, and love; the things of the Holy Spirit which enable us to live with divine joy in our hearts and a God-given peace in our minds. In addition to freedom from sin, we as Christians come to realize that Christianity doesn’t mean one will not make mistakes in one’s walk through life after salvation.
As Paul wrote in Romans 7:19-21:
“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find a law that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.”
When one repents for one’s mistakes or sins, one can praise God for the final phase of self-forgiveness and divine forgiveness-deliverance! One can praise God for deliverance from sin, evil or dangerous situations, destructive thoughts, and destructive people.
I would like to share with you the knowledge has revealed to me about the delivered gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community He is building. There are three major areas God is using to build this community: fear, loneliness, and internal conflict.
The non-heterosexual community has a burden of fear on its shoulders. Although there has been some progress in the acceptance of non-heterosexuality by the rest of society, many gays and lesbians still fear the loss of job/career, family relationships, friendships, acceptance by society, or even their very lives because of their non-heterosexuality. Some homosexuals have a fear of not having stable romantic companionship as they get older; others have a fear of rejection. Some persons fear that success in life or love will be too much to deal with. God wishes for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people to be delivered from fear.
2 Timothy 1:7-8 states:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, not of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.”
Being fearless shouldn’t be equated with rebelliousness and being against all societal standards; being fearless leads to renewal of strength, humility, and courage. As GBLT persons, let us remember the strength God has already given us. It is this strength through which God can deliver us from fear. What is this strength being spoken of? Well, consider this: in spite of rejection of non-heterosexuality in many of society’s institutions (e.g. the military, the families of some GLBT people, some churches attended by other GLBT people), many same gender loving people still praise God for the love, peace, joy, and blessings they receive from God.
God will supply you with all you need (Philippians 4:19), and this includes internally and externally received love. By remembering that one is never alone, one can be delivered from loneliness. How many gay men go to cruising spots, sex parties, and bathhouses because of loneliness? How many GLBT persons will destroy themselves through words, thoughts, and deeds because they aren’t in a romantic relationship even though they might have a nice body, a nice car, their own home/apartment, etc.? How many gays and lesbians continue to keep destructive friendships or romantic relationships because they do not wish to be alone? God wants us as non-heterosexuals to be in sweet communion with Him, and in this communion we can find self-completion, thereby being delivered from loneliness. Deliverance from loneliness leads to deliverance from desperation and to deliverance from fear of rejection.
In order to continue make a real ‘community’ of GBLT people, Jesus wants to deliver gays and lesbians from the struggles within the community. Internal conflicts such as sexual proclivities, masculine men versus effeminate men, interracial dating, separation of men and women, rejection of female impersonators, societal acceptance, self-acceptance, violence, etc. have distracted the GLBT community from giving the term ‘community’ validity. If non-heterosexuals wish to end internal conflict in the community, then perhaps we should remember to strive for true brotherly love (Hebrews 13:1). Even if we do not agree on everything, we as gays and lesbians can still become one under the Spirit of the Lord (Ephesians 4:1-6). God wishes for us to be delivered from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16), and many of our internal conflicts can be traced back to a combination of these three concepts. To become one, we must unite with all of God’s community, regardless of philosophy of life or sexuality. Then, as His people, the GLBT community can be a beacon of light to the rest of the society, and all of God’s community can be a light for the rest of the world to see.
To conclude, we must never forget that all happens to us is due to God’s will, purpose, and design on our lives. God tests us so that we may become stronger, and in deliverance from bad situations and issues we receive strength. Individually and as a community, let us pray to the Lord and ask Him to deliver us and strengthen us as GLBT people. Let us look to the Lord, and not man, for guidance. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Florida native Shurron Mitchell Farmer is a mathematics professor in Washington, D.C. He earned his bachelors in mathematics from Florida A&M University and M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Howard University.