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Questioning sexuality and being a Christian

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by scorpiontx91, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. scorpiontx91

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    I am not sure where to put this post and if this in the wrong area, then I'm sorry.

    I identify myself as a progressive Christian, somewhere on the Christian Left(see this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_left). I do see myself as evangelical because I didn't attend much church services since the early 2000s, though I did go to a small chapel here and there for some prayer whenever my mom took me. I was somewhat raised Catholic and baptized in the Catholic church and did attend some private schools when I was in pre-k a bit but I stuck to the public school systems. I dealt with a bunch of shit through most of my college years(2010-2016) and I was at a crossroads in the Fall 2016. I got involved in a college ministry called Chi Alpha and met some descent friends I bonded and attempted to form friendships and started to read the bible a bit more and try to have a walk with God. I recently graduated college let me explain.

    I understand that the ministry with with the Assemblies of God(a Pentacostal denomination part of the Christian Right, and not really LGBT friendly based on research I've done) but I never heard any LGBT hatred from the campus pastor or from any of my friends. Most of my new Christian friends are white evangelicals and Republican Party leaning. I and two guys in my bible small group are liberal, and the other two guys were Liberterian and far right Conservative.

    I didn't make any attempt to "Come out" during this time because I was just conflicted. I don't see myself as gay or straight, but somewere in the middle somewhere. I have had brief sexual encounters with guys and I am also interested in dating women but I feel embrassed if I say to one, that I had feelings for guys in the past or hooked up with guys in the past. I mean the evangelical element of the ministry I was as apart conflicts with my interests of expressing/exploring my sexuality further. I mean I want to be a Christian but I'm still confused with my sexuality. I just want to be sinning. Anyone could help me with this
     
  2. quebec

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    scorpiontx91.....I'm hoping that I can help you out a little bit with this. First some background....I am a gay Christian, a member of the Assemblies of God for 45 years. I've held every office in my local church except pastor. One of my friends is a member of the outreach team for Chi Alpha at the national headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. I am very familiar with the program. Yes, the A/G are not pro LGBTQ. The younger pastors and youth leaders, etc. tend to be a lot less condemning of us even though they don't approve. It's their general belief that the Bible condemns being gay, that it is wrong and is a choice. They consider "sexual sin" to be a very difficult problem to resolve. The older generation tend to be a lot more antagonistic towards the LGBTQ Family. Oh yeah...I am not out to anyone in my church. If every Christian LGBTQ person who goes to church were to leave, who would show to the people of that church that we are really no different than they are. Who would show them the Love of Jesus even when they claim that we are an abomination, an evil person who has chosen this perverted life style? So I stay. When I finally accepted that I was and always had been gay, my biggest remaining conflict was my faith. It took some time and a lot of study for me to realize that the Bible DOES.NOT.CONDEMN.SAME-SEX.RELATIONSHIPS. as we know them today. This is because this kind of relationship simply did not exist when the Bible was written. The passages used to condemn us have been twisted and mis-interpreted to mean something that they were never intended to mean in the first place. I can give you a lot of information to back this up as well as some really great, inspiring books on the subject. If you are interested, let me know and I'll give you the info. It seems like everyday there are new scientific studies pointing to the FACT that being LGBTQ is primarily caused by genetic expression as well as other factors that occur while you are still in the womb. Right now the best estimate is that about 70% of what causes a person to be gay occurs before we are born. I'm not saying that there's a "Gay Gene"...there isn't, but there are a number of genes that interact to result in the child having a higher chance of being gay when they are activated. It's becoming more and more difficult for religious leaders to hang on to the "It's A Choice" concept. However, if the past is any indicator, they will not give up on that idea easily or quickly. So to conclude....you can be gay and be a Christian. God made us this way and as I recall He doesn't makes mistakes! "old_smile: If you'd like more info on the passages in the Bible and the books....let me know. Hey...keep us updated...you are part of our family and we do care!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  3. scorpiontx91

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    Chi Alpha in my area does have some LGBTQ members, well closeted. I recall I may had a hook up with a guy thats in XA before I joined formally. It looked awkward when we passed each other months later before servce. I was anxnious that he was telling people we hooked up, but my therapist said if that guy did out me, then he outed himself
     
  4. anonmember

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    I am a new age spiritualist who was previously Christian, and I personally believe the bible passages on homosexuality are mistranslations.
    I have studied the bible, I have watched Lee Strobel's A Case For Christ, and I've even used BibleHub.com and I'm not convinced that the bible is 100% accurate.

    You see, "Luke" may actually be "Luke Skywalker" if you think about it. In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader says to Luke "I am your father", and then Luke falls into a black hole.

    I also do NOT believe in the Mandela affect or parallel universes. I believe that propaganda brainwashed us into thinking the movie said "Luke, I am your father", when it actually always said "No! I am your father."

    I believe Luke was sent to protect us. So A Case For Christ says that "Luke" is a reliable piece of the bible. The "Luke" bits could have been mistranslations of ancient texts written on stone tablets, and if the translations are correct, he could have been lying about some stuff.

    And several bible pieces could've been written by people just to gain power and money and have no truth to them.

    I personally don't believe in hell. I used to believe in hell, but I don't anymore.

    I think it was a lie made up by the more modern world that was translated from ancient texts on stone tablets to scare people. I believe that people can experience "Hell on earth" by going through really tough experiences.

    I instead believe in reincarnation and past lives. I believe people can get murdered, attacked, or commit suicide in another life then die and not even remember and just get recycled into a new life where they still believe they're the same person that they were before when they're actually a completely different person.

    I believe people who claim to have visions of hell and purgatory are either massively hallucinating, they have a dream about it, or they're just lying to make money.

    Our mind is so powerful, if we believe hell or purgatory exist, then our subconscious mind can turn that into a story and cause us to have a "false experience".

    People interpret Revelations 20:14 to mean "hell" or "the second death". It says "Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death".

    But what "Lake of fire" are they talking about? A black hole? A burning bush? A magma pit? It could've talked about an experience of Hades being tortured on earth.
    If you look at Hades in Greek mythology, you could maybe get a better understanding of it.

    While Greek mythology is obviously fictional in some parts, I believe there is also some truth to it.

    Regarding the "second coming", people have said there was going to be a second coming for generations. And people right now think this is it, but I personally believe Trump plays a big part in that theory.

    In the end, no one really knows for sure what happens after death, but I think the chances of hell existing are super slim. And I personally think constantly spending your life worrying about what happens in the afterlife is a waste of time.
    If a meteor comes down and hits us and sends us all to hell tomorrow, we don't really have any control over that. So why worry about that?

    The only moment we ever live is today, if you waste it worrying about the afterlife, I believe that's just a waste of time.

    I can't tell you what to believe. It's really up to you. If believing in a punishing god that sends people to hell makes you feel good, then good for you. It just doesn't work for me. If believing in ghosts, aliens, and parallel universes makes you happier, then you can believe that too. Believe not what other people want you to believe, but what works for you.
     
    #4 anonmember, Jun 29, 2018
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  5. youknow201

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    You and I seem to be very similar, I have dealt with and in some cases still dealing with the things you just talked about. I consider myself bisexual but leaning more towards guys, but there was this girl in my Chemistry class that I saw and did a double take and was like damm I really want to talk to her shes gorgeous and really smart. But in the back of my mind I was saying whats the point, if I can't be honest with her about who I am then the relationship won't go anywhere. I'm talking to her anyway but my point is I know how you feel. I also went to a Christian high school, love the lord, and don't want to be sinning, don't want to lie to anyone and don't want to hurt anyone. I've read the bible and I know what it says, but I'm conflicted on how I should move forward in life. Some of my closets friends are very strong christians, and I don't see the point in coming out to them either because I already know what that outcome would be. Although I'm in my early 30s and I suspect that they are suspecting that already. I wish I had more info for you, ways to offer help. All I can say is read the bible, there are resources on this site that you should check out to. Do some soul searching keep reaching out and talking to people and hopefully you'll find an answer there. Good luck
     
  6. anonmember

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    I have actually done some more bible studying and have found that the Bible contradicts itself several times. In the passages like Sodom and Gomorrah, while the historical location of Sodom and Gomorrah has been historically proven by non-biblical historians, how do we really know that it was portrayed how it was in the bible?

    They also say the bible is reliable because of ancient Jewish manuscripts that line up with the story of Jesus biblically. I totally believe Jesus was a real person and he did get crucified, as there is non-biblical historical evidence to physically prove that, but how do we know who wrote those ancient manuscripts?

    They could've been written by crooks and liars. For every Christian argument, there is always an atheist or new age argument to back it up. As I've mentioned several times before, please try not to get offended by my arguments, as I am a very non-judgemental person and I respect ALL beliefs and opinions,

    including conservative Christians, as I have some conservative Roman Catholic and Baptist aunts and uncles and I still love them even though they believe that homosexuality is sinful because they are really nice people.

    To me, the person is all that matters, religion is only a small part of who people are. I just don't know how to share my beliefs in any different way, and I'm sharing my beliefs to try to help others, not to hurt them. If anyone disagrees with me, I have full tolerance and respect for you. I probably don't have to keep mentioning how non-judgemental I am, but I am really worried about offending people so I want to make my points clear.
     
    #6 anonmember, Jul 9, 2018
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  7. Loves books

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    I was raised Catholic and attended only Catholic schools.( no choice there were only Catholic schools) . My parents forced church attendence until I was 17 and they backed off. I had misgivings about my religion since I was little and have faith wasn't a good enough answer to my questions. I've become agnostic. I find it impossible to believe in what I cant see to feel. I believe all religions are a construct used to further oppress women.( my religion and global diversity professor really hated my views and the Muslim in the class thought I was islamaphobic. She didn't get I dislike every religion equally). I half believe in a higher power but all the versions of God I've heard don't work for me. But if a God does exsist her made me this way and I won't let some old guy tell me I'm wrong. The bible is open to interpretation and was also written 1000s of years ago and is no longer relevant so for all we know Facebook could be an abomination and whoever uses it should be put to death. Some religions have loosened up and accepted that gay people exist and aren't pure evil. I live in Ireland and the only nearby church's are all Catholic. A couple of years ago we learned that children were physically and sexually abused in the industrial schools in the past. The Magdelene laundries ( the mother and baby homes) run by the nuns turned out to be terrible places where the nuns abused the women there and sold their babies. I read the book by a nurse who worked in one and wrote about the conditions. I struggle to support a religion that terrorised innocent people for decades. I don't believe in hell. I believe in an afterlife. Because of the Bible the Catholic Church considers gays immoral. The Bible also says eating creatures that walk in the ocean floor and planting different crops on the same field are on the same level as homosexuality. It also doesn't think much of jewellery, revealing clothes or even bacon, masturbation is a mortal sin, along with sex before marriage. It's kind of behind on the times. I hope you manage to sort out your feelings on the issue.
     
    #7 Loves books, Jul 10, 2018
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  8. quebec

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    Loves books.....As I mentioned in my post above, I am a gay Christian. You would be surprised at how much I agree with you! But, of course, not completely! :old_smile: However, I also firmly believe that I have absolutely no right to judge you for what you do or do not believe. The biggest problem with all religions is people. Most Evangelical Christians (I'm one) believe that humanity is inherently evil...that they need to be rescued (saved) from themselves. At the same time there are many people who believe in the inherent goodness of mankind. I am a little right of center on this. I would like to believe that we are good, but there is a lot of evidence to the contrary! That evidence is exactly what you have brought up in your post. The number of horrible, terrible, evil things done in the name of religion and by the supposed religious leaders is beyond numeration. However, we sometimes let that cloud the fact that the good that has been done is also beyond count. Personally I don't like the term "Religion". I am not religious...I have faith. That may seem a minor difference, but to me it is all-important. I feel that I have a relationship with what I believe...if you will in "Christian" terminology...a relationship with Jesus. I tend to accept most of what we have been told about his life and ministry (another Christian term :old_rolleyes: ). Yes, the books of the Bible were written long ago, and by human beings with all our faults and shortcomings! My answer as to do I believe the Bible was reached by a lot...seriously a lot of study. In depth study in the original languages of Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew. No, I don't speak these languages, but there are many dictionaries, lexicons and historical texts that allow a serious person to look past what uneducated or poorly educated people claim the Bible says because someone else said so! This has allowed me to honestly accept my Christianity and my sexuality. As you said in your post: "But if a God does exsist her made me this way and I won't let some old guy tell me I'm wrong.". I so agree with you! :old_big_grin: My God doesn't make mistakes so I am not a mistake! If someone thinks that their god condemns the LGBTQ Family, then quite obviously their god does make mistakes and I want no part of him/her/it! :old_stick_out_tongue: You've mentioned some things from the Old Testament, and yes, to us they make no sense. Fortunately they where meant for the Hebrews not us, and around 4,000 years ago. Plus Jesus was the fulfillment of that law which ended it. So, except for a "moral" guide in some passages (believe me not all of them :old_confused: ) the OT is not for us. There are a number of New Testament passages that have been terribly misused to condemn the LGBTQ Family...again by people who have never, ever wondered for a moment if what they have been told is what the original author meant in his society 2,000 years ago. Believe me, society has changed...a lot!

    So sorry for writing a book on this topic...but after all you are @Loves books! :old_smile: I hope I haven't bored anybody. Have a great week all!
    .....David
     
    #8 quebec, Jul 10, 2018
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  9. scorpiontx91

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    @quebec. You mentioned about being in the AG Church since the 1970s. I graduate college and I did attend XA(Chi Alpha) and attending the summer XA services with my Evangelical straight White friend still. I mean it's a smaller service due to the fact that 85% of the people are in mission trips or away from the college at the moment.

    I mean I do like the sermons in terms of the message that's talked about and when scripture is cited. I mean the sermons aren't the fire and brimstone messages you might hear from Pat Robertson and the 700 club or Jerry Falwell Sr or Jr or Franklin Graham or any extreme ver of the Christian Right.

    I've been upfront to people I've known in Chi Alpha with regards to my substance abuse(well I didn't talk about that for over a year until last December) but not about the 800 lb elephant in the room(labeling or figuring out my sexuality). I feel that the second I even mention the struggle with my sexuality or my past brief sexual encounters before I entered Chi Alpha, the friends I've made in Chi Alpha would walk away or would treat me different. I mean I know that Christians are supposed to follow how Jesus lived and love everyone, but since most people in this chapter of Chi Alpha are conservative, I'm hesistant to bring up this part of my life. I rather bring it up with counselors or some online community such as you guys.
     
  10. quebec

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    scorpiontx91.....I agree, you will usually find that XA services are different than regular church services. The organization is directed at college students and is run mostly by younger people. Their attitude towards the LGBTQ Family is a little different..not quite so "hard-core". If you did come out to them, they would probably offer to pray for you and set you up with someone to help you with "counseling". All very well intended. So yes, they would treat you differently. I don't think they would walk away unless you refused the prayer/counseling. One of the big problems with counseling in any religious organization is the lack of qualified therapists. Almost all the counseling in these groups is done by ministers. While ministers often deal with the personal issues of their congregation..trying to help them...that does not mean they are qualified to be therapists. A good therapist (I have an incredible one) does not start with a preconceived idea or agenda when talking to a client (they don't like the term patient! :old_smile: ). However, it's almost impossible for a minister not to have that preconceived point of view. Their intent as they speak to anyone who is LGBTQ is to show them that their "life-style" will only cause them to be farther and farther from God, that God condemns anything but heterosexual relationships in a mixed orientation marriage, that being LGBTQ is actually a choice that can be changed. That of course is what you would probably hear from a XA leader. In the actual church it would be less tolerant. The AG church is made up of good, well meaning people, but their beliefs are centered around a concept called "Holiness". Sometimes they can slip into legalism were there is an unspoken list of "Don'ts" that dictate how a person should live. They believe that the Bible is always correct and interpret it very literately. That's where the difficulty comes in. Very few AG members or ministers take the time to do in-depth studies of those six primary "clobber passages" that are used to condemn the LGBTQ Family. If they did they would find that their doctrines do not match what those passages actually say.

    OK...sorry for writing a novel! It's hard to explain all of this in one or two sentences! I have chosen to stay with the AG church more because of my wife than for any other reason. I do however, believe that one of the ways to eventually encourage change in this or any church is for me, and perhaps others who are LGBTQ to stay in this organization. While I'm not out to the church now, I can see a day in the future when I will be. Because of my long affiliation - over 40 years, and the many friends who have known me for so long, when that day comes they will have a hard time reconciling their slanted view of what a gay man is like with the person they have known and watched for so many years. So I go to church, am involved, enjoy the sermons (we have a great pastor) and worship in my own way. I don't think my path is for everyone, but it works for me.
    I don't know if any of this is a help or encouragement to you, we all have to find what works for us..but I hope it has helped at least a little! Have a great week!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  11. scorpiontx91

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    David.

    I've graduated from my college already and just attending XA during the summer with my evangelical friend who lives in the same city as me. I've touched on the subject of LGBTQ with that friend and he does cite scripture its wrong though he doesn't condemn like a Pat Robertson or Westboro Baptist Church or any far-right preacher would say on a fire and brimstone sermon. He's a White evangelical Repulican but he and I agree and disagree on issues related to race and society at large.

    I flirted with the idea of coming out during my first semester at XA(Fall 2016) but felt like I was going to alienate the one and only decent friends I actually made in college that didn't involve alcohol or drugs. If you read any of my other posts David, you know that I'm a recovering alcoholic/drug addict(almost have 19 months). I've revealed slowly to my friends in XA that I'm recovery. I felt comfortable mentioning that, than saying that I've dry humped guys a few months prior to attending my first XA service in September 2016.

    I do read the bible whenever I can. I've read some commentaries from the late Bible scholar William Barclay(Idk if you heard of that guy). And I've watched one or two sermons from the late Billy Graham on Youtube.

    I was raised Catholic in my youth and baptized but wasn't confirmed. My mom felt cautious in the late 90s/early 2000s when the whole pedophile/sex abuse bs from the Catholic Church unwrapped and distanced herself from that but she did attend mass somewhat during that time.

    My evangelical friend Zach(the friend I named previously) suggests I should attend a Protestant church that has "good fellowship" and follows scripture. I mean I've been looking at the UMC(United Methodist Church) because I feel interested in their liberal leaning and causes of social justice.
     
  12. PatrickUK

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    Only you can decide which church (if any) to attend and you may find this resource helpful in arriving at a decision https://www.gaychurch.org/find_a_church/

    Have you considered attending the Episcopal Church? On the Gay Church website you will find a long list of Episcopal Churches in the United States. The style and pattern of worship in the Episcopal Church would be quite familiar to you, if you was raised Catholic, but the message is more liberal and tolerant and less inclined to judgement. Within the Episcopal Church, members of the laity and clergy are openly gay and accepted. I am an Episcopalian (Anglican) myself. It's your choice and I'm not trying to lead you, but it might be worth considering.
     
  13. quebec

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    scorpiontx91.....Hello again! @PatrickUK is right about the Episcopalian Church. They are a solid organization without the anti-LGBTQ bias.
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  14. scorpiontx91

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    David. Have you read any of the Daily Bible Series texts from the late Bible scholar Dr. William Barclay. I have read his take on the Gospel of Luke. I am reading Cornthians. And ordered Romans, Acts, Galtians and Ephesians.

    Since you are older than me and been more in the faith than me, I just wanted to ask you.
     
  15. quebec

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    scorpiontx91.....Sorry, I haven't read anything by Dr. Barclay. I've read a lot over the years and studied a lot, but I guess I missed him!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  16. Hanyauku

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    I'm originally from Springfield, Mo, so I know a lot of people affiliated with the Assemblies of God. There is definitely an anti-lgbt bias within the organization, and they were actually the main group lobbying against an anti-discrimination bill that was trying to be passed by the city, and the bill ultimately failed. That being said, I've met people from the organization, particularly younger church goers, who are very supportive of the LGBT community. I think, more than anything, it depends on the person. For full disclosure I am no longer religious, nor do I believe in god, but I was raised in a Catholic family. We went to church every Sunday, I went to a Catholic school for basically all of my pre-college education, and my father was the parish president of our church. He even considered becoming a deacon, and I had a lot of people who suggested I become a priest. Based on that, you'd think my family would freak out when I came out to them as gay, but they didn't. They were all very supportive. I think the Catholic Church is getting a little better when it comes to LGBT issues, but they're still not great. But even though the official stance of the church isn't the best when it comes to non-heterosexuality, my family, who are still very much Catholic, had no trouble fully accepting my sexual orientation. I don't think being gay and being Christian are mutually exclusive, and my sexual orientation and gender identify are not why I left the church. You know your friends better than anyone, but I wouldn't just look at their denomination and assume they won't be okay with you being not straight. It's much more personal than that.
     
  17. scorpiontx91

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    I've read his commentary on Luke and I'm currently reading his on Corrithians. I order from Amazon his commentaries on Romans, Galtians,Phillipians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Ephesians, and Acts.

    I don't know if you heard of an Australian evangelist guy named Winkie Pratney. He's well known in XA. His book Youth Aflame. Or what about an AG missionary named Dick Brogden. His son attends XA at my college.
     
  18. scorpiontx91

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    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    Let me clear anything up. I am not a full member of AG. I am starting to attend UMC(United Methodist Church) services, and I'm near the end of attending XA(Chi Alpha) services.
     
  19. PatrickUK

    Advisor Full Member

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    I have to say that on a personal level, I'm not a fan of the Alpha or Chi Alpha way. It's my theological bias speaking and I'm fully prepared to acknowledge that, but I just find it rather naïve. To me, it feels like Sunday School for adults. I'd rather invite young people and new Christians to engage with things in a more radical and challenging way, that's less reliant on old certainties. Stretch their minds about God and Christianity and take them out of a theological comfort zone.
     
  20. scorpiontx91

    Regular Member

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    Chi Alpha is a college ministry run by the AG church