Dear Christianity Today: I read My Dirty Little Former Secret by Dennis Belkofer. And I want to challenge Christianity Today to publish my story or someone’s like mine in addition to this story. My story goes something like this: Both sets of my grandparents were married for over 60 years, my parents just celebrated 50 years of marriage, I grew up in a small Methodist church of approximately 200 people, I wasn’t abuse or unloved as a child and I became a Christian at 13. I also happen to be gay and reconciled with my Christian faith. Dennis’ story dramatically presents the current and horrible “between a rock and a hard place” position the conservative Christian church presents for gays and lesbians today. Gays and lesbians are required to set aside their sexuality, their God-given desire for family and relationship (even when they are not blessed with celibacy). If they choose to be honest about who they really are, then they are accused of denying Christ. Choosing Christ means they must deny love and relationship. Could you do that? Give up husband or wife, family, children, and grandchildren and defy God’s statement that “it’s not good for man to be alone”? Or could you give up your relationship with Christ!?
The conservative Christian church seems to embrace a viewpoint that depicts gays as sub-human and therefore necessary sacrifices in the pursuit of a particular version of “Christian” morality and legalism. Don’t believe me? When you read the story about Dennis’s sudden break up with his partner, did it occur to you at all that there was a divorce (something Jesus actually talked about), a shattered life and a broken heart in that statement? Or did you simply cheer for Dennis’s courage?
Many Christians sit in their church pews and hear the pastor say that homosexuality is wrong. They look up the post-1958 translation scriptures that supposedly address this issue and then they loudly condemn every gay or lesbian within rock throwing distance. They never once think about how this conflicts with God’s total message for us as believers. Or how the New Covenant (relationship with Christ) was offered to all people by Christ and Paul and later all the apostles (read Acts 10 to see how God loves and opens relationship to ALL – even the ones deemed unclean outcasts by the society of that day). And then they top it all off by refusing to listen to the growing evidence that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Many Christians today have become a huge road block to gays and lesbians who search for Christ. Do you think that Christ would want even one of his children scarified for the pursuit of moral purity? If so, re-read Matthew 12.
Because of Christian, gays and lesbians learn a deep self hatred spurred on by the unbiblical “hate the sin but love the sinner” mantra. They learn to hate something beautiful that God specifically designed (Ps 139), their sexuality. Most then begin asking “How could God hate who I am?” “How is it honest to marry someone of the opposite sex that I don’t truly love? How can I truly be transparent in relationship if I do that?” As a result most gays and lesbians end up rejecting the Christian message because they determine it to be “invalid” for them and “inapplicable” to their lives.
The conservative Christian church is keeping the complete, unabated, total love of Christ for gay Christians just as they are from being known. AND THAT is truly a “Dirty Little Secret.”