Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gay Clay, Yay or Nay?

Many were shocked this week when Clay Aiken told the world he was gay. Okay, maybe a few people were shocked. Okay, none. Are you happy now?
Anyway, I found out this morning that CCM singer Ray Boltz outed himself a while back but is continuing to sing CCM music...mostly at gay churches. He says God made him that way while conservative Christians scream, "Not!" Same old story.
I don't come down solidly on either side of this argument. I'm not riding the fence, I just don't have any easy answers. I do know that gay people are still people and should be treated as such. Do unto others and all that stuff, you know? It may have been easy for me to condemn homosexuality in the past but that was before I found myself surrounded by gay and lesbian friends. We've talked. I've been honest with them and they have been honest with me. The lines of communication are open and that's a good thing.
I guess the hardest part of all this is God's part in it all. Christians say homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuals who have come to terms with it say that God must have made them that way. Like I said, no easy answers. What I do know is that I had one friend who is deceased now that told me he would have done anything in the world to not be gay. He begged God to fix him. He dated girls trying to put those feelings away. Eventually he felt he had to reconcile himself to it all. Unfortunately that meant he felt like he had to distance himself from all of his friends at the time. Us. We didn't know why he disappeared from our lives, we just knew he disappeared. I didn't find the answers until years later when our friendship was rekindled. He pulled away from us because he feared our reaction if we ever found out who he really was. I felt ashamed when he told me that because in my heart of hearts I was afraid he was right. So, in the last couple of years before his death we were friends again. We talked about the gay stuff sometimes, other times we just talked of fun times in the past or music or whatever. He was my friend and that's what friends do.
The one thing he talked about that disturbed me the most (and still does) was that he begged God to take away his feelings of homosexuality. He told me he wanted to get married, have kids, a house with a white picket fence, etc...but he got to a point where he couldn't deny who he was any longer. So, I ask you...why didn't God help my friend? Why didn't God help Ray Boltz when he asked God to help him with his homosexuality? Again I say, no easy answers. Many will respond to this by saying, "There is no God." I don't even want to think about what conservatives might say. All I'm saying is that I'm perplexed by the whole thing. I'm just going to continue loving my friends. That's all I know to do.


adam said...

this exact thing has happened to me in the past year as well...except for the death part. one of my friends that you'd know if i said his name is now out and it has completely changed my views on this issue. i struggle in exactly the same ways as you do and it's difficult...i don't know what to say or do about this. i don't know why it seems God didn't help. all i know is that loving your neighbor as yourself means telling them how you feel, listening to them without condemnation, and remain friends. he's told me he's good with God and although i know this can't be completely true, i don't know how to respond to it so i just keep being friends. i know what my parents would do and say. i know what many of my still very conservative friends would do and say but putting a face on this issue has completely changed my thinking.

Cassie said...

I understand what you guys are saying and I don't have any answers either. I know that scripture says homosexuality is wrong, but that doesn't mean we ostracize the people struggling (or not struggling) with it. Prostitution is wrong too, but Jesus showed compassion not condemnation.

But then, there's Sodom & Gomorrah...

I sometimes wonder what causes the tendency to be homosexual - poor relationships? environment? social pressure? We eat & inhale so many chemicals these days, who knows what effect that has on individuals. But then, it was an occurrence in the old testament, too, before pollution & plastic.

I dunno.

There have also been people I've read about who do, successfully, win the battle against homosexuality and have families now.

I do think we all ought to learn more about this topic and what we can do to help (not enable, but help) people who want to be helped.

becca said...

Same situation- I've got quite a few Christian friends who've struggle with this... In fact, I've got a dear friend from college who left his wife of 11 years after he fought and fought with it... He finally gave up. Left God, left his wife, left all his Christian friends and moved to San Francisco. He's living with a couple guys & quite actively, publicly gay now.
I've talked to God about this over & over. How could he choose to make someone like this?
Recently, I read some stuff by Henri Nouwen (fantastic Christian author, who gave His life to serving) & he's got some interesting thoughts on the subject. Nouwen struggled with homosexuality all of his life.

Where I am now:
Every person you know has something they deal with every day, even if they don't talk about it, even if they hide it.
Mine are different than yours probably- depression, weight control, financial problems.
My husband has some self image problems, and a problem with pornography.
My grampa was an alcoholic, and alcohol called to him every day.

I honestly believe that God has allowed (NOT CHOSEN, we chose sin, it was not God's original plan, but He gave us freedom, and yup, we chose sin.) those sins/hurts/issues to be in our life so that we would come to Him and depend on Him.
I honestly believe that each of these holes and hurts can be healed by God, but that they probably never go away.
Most days I wish He'd take 'em away. But He's the one in charge, and He must know better... I have to trust Him that He knows what's best. I don't always have that trust... And I wish I did.