“Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?” As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?” Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. -Psalm 42:9-11
There are those Christians who will tell you, it’s impossible to be gay and a ‘true’ Christian. As gay Christians we know this to be false, but if God is with us why can’t other Christians recognize this?
Perhaps it’s because the God they believe in is really not with us. In fact, the God they believe in doesn’t reside anywhere. Their God like the old Greek gods reflects more of their own passions, prejudices and contradictions than the true love embodied in Jesus. The God whom we have found does not resemble theirs, so they simply reason that we are godless.
This is not the first time God was not recognized as God. The gospel of Mark records a story of teachers of the law (the godly of the time) claiming that Jesus was demon possessed. Often God acts in ways we don’t expect – loving more than we are willing, accepting more people than we think s/he should. The Samaritan woman by the well (John 4:4-27), the tax collector (Mark 2:13-17), the adulteress (John 8:1-11), the prostitute (Luke 7:44-50).
As queer persons in society we are often times considered outside the realm of God’s love, viewed by many in the Church as sinners whose only means of salvation is to be shunned until we convert to heterosexism. However, as gay Christians we have experienced that God doesn’t draw lines between the lovable and unlovable based on sexuality. We have been called to reconcile our sexuality and faith with the love of God. Jesus responded in Mark to those who called him demon possessed saying “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Likewise, a God who says the greatest of all things is love cannot be against love, that would mean s/he was divided against herself. How do we know if God is with us? If our relationships with each other involve loving one another as oneself, than we can rest assured we are about God’s business.
When will others acknowledge that God is with queer Christians as well as straight ones? Only when their concept of who God is changes will they be able to recognize God. Some straight Christians’ fervor in their attempt to keep us out of churches and roll back our civil rights can be frightening, reminiscent of the Apostle Paul’s early persecution of the Christian church. However, when Paul came in contact with Jesus, he was changed and finally able to recognize whose side God was on. We can only hope and pray that as we represent Jesus’ love to others that they too will be changed and be able to see God is with us.