Freedom 2 b[e] yourself.
Jason Lake talks to Alistair Sutton about a new network for Brisbane-based LGBTI people from pentecostal, charismatic, and evangelical backgrounds.
Freedom2b[e] provides a supportive network for these people on their journey to reconcile their faith and their sexuality.
Most pentecostal, charismatic, and evangelical groups are ill-informed about sexual orientation and maintain outdated beliefs about homosexuality.
This causes unnecessary suffering to LGBTI people, their family, and their friends. Anti-gay positions have not reflected the example of Jesus Christ, or how the Christian church should respond. Instead of receiving love and acceptance from churches, LGBTI people have mostly experienced condemnation, judgment, and rejection.
Jason Lake, founding member of the Brisbane branch of Freedom2b[e] says, “The term ‘gay Christian’ is relatively new. There are now thousands of individuals, church leaders, and entire congregations who have come to a more enlightened understanding of sexuality. Scientific research and a deeper look at the scriptures have helped people realise same-sex orientation is not a sickness to be healed or a sin to be forgiven. Many have resolved the issue of their sexual orientation and maintained their Christian faith.”
Lake grew up in one of Brisbane’s biggest pentecostal/charismatic churches, and went on to attend Christian Outreach College Brisbane.
“I was attending church every Sunday, going to Sunday school, and Youth Group as a kid. I prayed to God from childhood and studied the bible, believing it was the inspired ‘Word of God’. And I was still gay. I grew older, and on the infrequent occasions when I did hook up with another guy, while wonderful in the moment, it was followed by intense guilt and shame. I felt like I was betraying God and letting him down. For much of my 20s and early 30s, I agonised over my homosexuality, hoping and praying that God would release me from this torment.”
“We actually know that some people have found the website, http://www.freedom2b.org, on the very night they were thinking about suicide or self harm. In that sense, the group is fulfilling a core reason for its creation?to save lives, prevent harm, and empower LGBTI people from Christian backgrounds through reconciliation of their sexuality and/or gender identity, and their faith.”
Freedom 2 b[e] welcomes all, whether you have left the church or not. We meet at Healthy Communities premises at 30 Helen Street, Newstead on the second Friday of the month between 7.00 and 8.30 pm. For more information email [email protected]