Experience and Discussion

Quote

I had the opportunity of talking with a coworker about gay people and the Bible. He happened to be working in my area as his machine was getting maintenance done on it and we got into talking. He was about the same age as I am. He talked about girls and if I had a girlfriend and I ignored it at first. He is the second youngest of nine kids and also a Christian.

The whole discussion started with him asking if I read the Bible. In going into the discussion, I felt very heard. He told me that he did not want to offend me and I told him I would not take it that way. He could not wrap his mind around the fact that I was not attracted to women. Though I do not have attractions for women, I can understand and respect men who do. He came out and told me that he had had premarital sex with his girlfriend. I was a sinner for being gay and he had sinned by having sex with his girlfriend before marriage. I think he was trying to build a bridge and say we were the same and I would agree with that. Everyone has sinned and falls short. During the conversation, he asked me if I knew what the Bible said. I told him I did and he repeated the question. I repeated my response. He brought up 1 Corinthians as condemning homosexuality. He did not remember what it said but remembered that, in his opinion, it condemns homosexuality (as we know it today). The discussion definitely sparked him to look deeper into the topic and that is why I fought so hard within me to bring it up. I needed to be real about myself and to share my experiences with a fellow Christian. He told me he would look into what 1 Corinthians said about homosexuality.

The thing that hit me the hardest was the point that he told me not to tell anyone what he believed and that he could not get fired because he needed the job. I am saddened by this. In being in the middle of the gay community and the Christians, I do not promote harming people for their beliefs. It is wrong that the gay community is punishing people for having a different opinion. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and there should be no negative consequence no matter what they believe. It just proves the point that we need to continue dialogue with Christians and being honest and open about our lives with them. The Gay Debate is a issue in the 21st Century. To punish people for their beliefs is to respond with hate back. As a gay man, I extend love to all people. Though I do not agree with this man that I was talking to, I can respect him and his life experiences. I do not have to be angry and hostile. As Joyce Meyer said, “Hurting people hurt people.” There is so much truth to this quote. As the gay community, we are hurt by others who disagree with us and try to keep us down – hinder us from being equal. It should not be our goal though to fight back in anger but to overcome with love. Using power to keep people down will only last for so long until the people are liberated. Love does not keep anyone down and freely liberates.

I am glad I had the courage to come out to this man that I had never talked to before and to have a conversation about sexuality and God at work. He also told me that his brother was gay. I hope that maybe my discussion with him could bring liberation to that relationship and the family’s relationship with his brother. As always it is not my job to change people’s hearts and minds. My job is just to be open and honest about my life and the rest will fall into place.

-Josh

(Photo Courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)

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12 responses to “Experience and Discussion

  • Adrian

    Very encouraging post, Josh. I find it very inspiring that you hold steadfast to your faith and show love towards those who do not agree with your point of view. As a believer, it took me the longest time to reconcile the fact that you could be gay and a Christian. However, I know where my faith stands and that’s good enough for me. Keep up the faith.

  • thenotsoaveragejoe

    Great post, but I do see a difference between hurting someone else and standing up for yourself. When someone’s beliefs are hurting you and your way of life, then it needs to be corrected.

    • jmtromm

      I would agree.

      That is why I think it is important to end reparative therapy. We see that it has not worked so we need to get rid of it. It is just people trying to get money out of gay people and only hurting them more in the process.

  • Paul Johnson

    What a great of evangelizing! You shared the Gospel with him and made your faith personal and alive! I congratulate you on your courage and willingness to live out your faith.

    Peace,
    Paul

  • gayproject

    Hello Josh was very impressed by your post. I got to tell you on the forum my point of view on the subject, in practice for a gay (I live in Italy) to be Catholic (Christian would be a different thing), that is to follow what the Catholic Church says about homosexuality would be to accept a “call in chastity”, it would be better to tell a forced abstention from sex. Maybe you’re right, at least from a certain point of view, when you say that the gay community should not condemn anyone for expressing a point of view not favorable to gay people, but the Catholic Church considers homosexuality as “grave depravity”, “sad Consequence of rejecting God”, “lack of normal sexual development”, “pathological constitution”, “intrinsically evil behavior from the moral point of view”. St. Pius X, in his Catechism of 1910, ranks the “impure sin against nature” as second in seriousness only to voluntary murder, as one of the sins that “cry out for vengeance before God” (Catechism, no. 966). These expressions are not a sign of lack of knowledge about the problem, but are actually an incitement to hatred and persecution of gays. A few days ago in Rome a gay boy 15 y. o. hanged himself because his classmates mocked him, and these facts are also the result of homophobic hate speech.
    December 1, 2008, the Vatican expressed opposition to the proposal that France, on behalf of the 25 EU countries, was preparing to present to United Nations for the decriminalization of homosexuality in the world.
    The Catholic Church supports reparative therapy of homosexuality (Nicolosi) that becomes in fact a true heavy form of psychological violence against gay guys. http://gayproject2.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/reparative-therapy-to-cure- homosexuality /
    In the face of these things not only I believe that the reaction of the gay community is justified but I think it should be considered sacrosanct and much more from the point of view of a gay Christian, because certain attitudes of the Church not only corrupt but essentially trivialize the real message of Christianity.
    I just want to say that a reaction, certainly not violent, but loud and clear against these positions is absolutely necessary. Obviously it is quite another thing to react badly to a guy who cannot know all about gay problems, that guy should not be attacked in any way but you have to reason with him and you are absolutely right on this point.

    • jmtromm

      Thank you for your comment.

      I do not generalize any group of people. There are definitely people both Catholic and Christian who support gay rights though their religions are against it. I even have a gay friend who is Catholic himself. It is hard for an organization to turn from anti-gay to gay-affirming. These religions will always have anti-gay in their past. I cannot be against these religions and these ways of thought but I can and will be against actions that hurt the LGBT community.

      A big part of my life is just loving people for who they are and where they are at in life. When it comes to gay rights, it is not an us vs them. I can love the opposite side and respect their position but I will not let them hurt other people.

  • banphrionsacait

    I have a very close friend who is gay. I also had the pleasure of watching him be baptized at this past Pentecost celebration. When he started crying after the priest said he was accepted as Christ’s own, I wanted to cry, too. I also love scripture, but think too many people are reciting passages without first asking for God’s wisdom. I know the Lord loves my gay friend and I can see Him working in my friend’s life. I pray for a world where gays and straights can equally feel free to explore Christianity, if they so choose. Peace! 🙂

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