Losing our connection with Church...??

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Joined in 2007
July 27, 2011, 08:18

Last night, I went to the GLWA workshop here in Brisbane called Faith and Sexuality. The guest speaker was Dr Paul Martin (the Guest Speaker, at the Brisbane Freedom2b[e] launch on the 12 August 2011)

It was quite an interesting nite, and there were plenty of questions put to Paul by those there.

Specifically, Paul spoke about the psychology of why we struggle within ourselves when we are LGBTI from a Christian background.

It was easy to identify with the conflict that we experience internally between what are our fundamental beliefs, and our sexuality, and the shame that we may be feeling.

But he also spoke about the very real fear and the impact of losing our connection with our Christian community – our friends (and sometimes even our family) and our connection / identification with a church through our involvement with a Church and attendance of meetings.

Coming out is really hard, if it means that we are afraid of the rejection of those closest to us – our families, friends, work collegues.

But for us from a Christian background, it is also about the fear of losing our connection with Churches that some us maybe attending at that time. I had questions before I came out. I.e. Will I be expected to leave? Do I choose to leave?

And then once, I had left the Church, I had a whole lot of other questions? Can I read the bible anymore without feeling condemned? If I pray, will God listen to me? Can I participate in Church life anymore? Can I identify as Christian anymore? These were questions that were very real for me.

For me, I chose to leave Church. For others here, who I know personally, they have chosen to stay within their Churches. Each is a valid option.

Since then, I have begun the process of evaluating the other questions.

Can I read the bible anymore? One of the big aspects of Freedom2b[e] online, are the resources that discuss the scriptures, specifically around homosexuality. Reading these has allowed me to begin to feel that the Bible is not going to condemn me.

If I pray, will God listen to me? This can be a very personal thing to work through – but lets just say, that I don’t feel God rejecting me at all.

Can I participate in Church life anymore? I personally have not got to a point that I feel comfortable about going to Church again. However, there are many Churches around, that are gay friendly. We have a few listed under our Resources section.

Maybe, you have felt the same way, or a currently feeling this way, or have some of these questions. Feel free to share your thoughts about these very real fears about losing our connection with Church…

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
July 27, 2011, 20:45

Hi Jason

This is a well thought out post. Thanks for thinking of it. 🙂

At first I felt lost without the “church covering” and “church family”. My husband and I were kicked out, not allowed to talk to anyone in the church or in nearby churches and yet advised that we’d go to hell without being in the church!! 🙁 Go figure that one out! Suffice to say, they made it a no win for us, that’s for sure. Anyway, I found myself feeling very alone and unsure, doubting myself even though I knew we’d done nothing wrong. We’d been spoon fed a lot and indoctrinated that we needed church leadership in order to be accepted by God. That made it feel like any prayers and bible reading while in exile wouldn’t be honored and yet we knew that was a nonsense. Still it was a scary and sad place to be in.

Thankfully, my then husband was wise, helping me realise that some of the great fathers of the faith wandered about in the desert alone with nothing much but their own faith, and without their pioneering examples, we wouldn’t have Christianity as we know it. He pointed out that there were times when they didn’t have pastors to check things with so had to rely fully on God. That gave me encouragement to know I was OK and not rejected by God just because the church had taken a rejecting stance.

These days I am totally comfortable with being bisexual while having a strong faith and not being part of a spiritual community. My beliefs are different to what they used to be, now much more inclusive of different people and ideas, and I see that as a blessing and a result of being cast out of the church. I know of gay friendly and accepting churches but don’t feel the need to attend because I don’t think I’d fit with their overall philosophies anymore. I guess you could say that losing connection with the church has made me a much kinder person and I’m grateful for that. It also enabled me to broaden my perspective and I very much value that and don’t wish to narrow my focus to a one religion church/group.

I think it’s different for everyone though and having supports is important in whatever form. I used to miss the sense of community and support that was a part of some of my church experiences but have since found other ways to create these things. I think that for those who wish to attend a church then this is an excellent thing to do as long as they receive the nurturing and acceptance that helps them develop. For those who don’t wish to attend, this is also perfectly fine. Of course this is just my opinion and I’m open to others’ views.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2009
July 28, 2011, 22:10

I can definitely relate to this. Church formed such a big part of my life for almost all my life. All my friends were in the church. But the church had not only been unwelcoming, they had become seriously abusive to me both physically and psychologically. A big mistake I made was to adopt the Baptist church’s view of homosexuality as my view of myself.

For my own health’s sake, the time to leave the Baptist church had come. Since leaving, my health has improved considerably. My wife and I have started attending the local Uniting church and while I am not sure they are welcoming, I am keeping them at a very long arm’s length and just attend the morning service. We find the liturgical format difficult to adjust to.

I came out to a great man in his 80’s who attends that Uniting Church and who I had also known when I was a boy growing up. He was most accepting and said that he was sure 95% of the people at that Uniting church would be too if they knew. I do not intend coming out there. That was most encouraging. He said he left the Baptist Church many years ago because he found them too judgemental. Interesting.

I recently came out to our daughter and son-in-law and it did not go well unfortunately. We are working on keeping our relationship on the same level as it was. I am hoping that time will help heal things.

I am certain the Lord still loves me and I enjoy time spent reading and studying the scriptures. Prayer is also really important for me.

But even today as I passed the old church where I grew up, fond memories came flooding back of my early years. There is a real sense of loss knowing that I will never go back. I returned in early March to celebrate 50 years since I accepted the Lord as my Saviour there. Wendy Francis is the pastor’s wife and she got up a gave a full on gay bash on behalf of the ACL. I will never go back.

The Lord is still the same and that is all that matters.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
July 29, 2011, 08:58

Hi David

I’m sorry to hear that things did not go well with your daughter and son-in-law. I can only hope, as you do, that time will heal things there.

It’s good that you know that God accepts and loves you as you are. I could never believe in a God that was hateful and rejecting like your former church was.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2011
August 1, 2011, 23:28

I think this is such a valid topic. I find myself distancing myself from my christian community, but I know that God still loves me and wants to be in relationship with me. I still read my Bible and pray, because it helps me to know God better, and helps me to understand his purpose for my life. I believe that following God is a heart decision and not a ritual of going to church. I guess what’s in our heart shows through our actions and words. I find F2B a great place to fellowship with people from christian backgrounds who can identify with me as a member of the LGBT community. I do however have plans to join a gay friendly church once I have moved to melbourne 🙂

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
August 2, 2011, 15:51

Good for you, Cal87! 🙂


Ann Maree

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