yeah Link… its good to see you taking the step towards supporting your need for making connection with God with other people in the church. I really don’t think your orientation should be an issue.
Hi Craig — thanks for all your good words 🙂
Unfortunately, it could easily be a big issue in many of the “conservative” churches around here, I think in large part because of the flame-fanning and gasoline-throwing so many of those with theological political agendas here have been doing for so long (and continuing to benefit from, financially/etc)
People who have had only a little hate have been given an excuse to have a lot of hate. People who had a little fear have been given a reason to fear us worse than the devil himself. There are a number of horror stories I’ve heard from friends and such about being treated very badly and made to leave, etc.
The church I’m thinking about trying to worship in is a very poor, Spirit-led church that does a lot of outreach to the real world and that’s used to “oddball” people visiting at times. I’m guessing (and being told by the closeted lesbian who attends there) that I *might* make it, just for worship. If I do so, it will only be because they are seeing me as an “oddball” that God is perhaps testing them with, or going to be “cleaning up” later.
But no way would I ever try this in one of the larger or more “mainstream” pentecostal, charismatic, etc churches here, and I don’t know anyone else here who’s “obvious” who would, either. Not unless we wanted to risk an argument, or being publicly emotionally confronted, or indirectly attacked (e.g., the sermon suddenly changes to a a screaming hour-long rant on homosexuality), etc. In these cases, one is seen not as the unwanted sinner that wandered in, but as an agent of the devil, there to destroy the congregation and disturb their children.
In which case, one’s visit suddenly has nothing to do with worshiping God!
What’s REALLY sad in all this, is that even if I am able to worship there, there is no way to connect with the church community. I have other friends here who do “pass” and go to straight churches, and they’ve talked about how it’s not just lonely sitting outside the church, not allowed in (which is what me and my “obvious” friends complain about). My “passing” friends say it’s also lonely to be allowed in as long as you stay hidden. And they’ve actually told me not to even bother trying to worship in this little church next weekend — that it will just be the same pain, in a different place in one’s heart.
We’ll see what happens 🙂
😳 Opps what I really meant to say was that you should not allow your sexuality be an issue because it is not an issue. I’m sure the others have worst sin that will shock the living socks of people and it’s justifed in God’s name 😯 When one finger is pointed at you… the others are pointing back at themselves… Jesus talks about hypocrites… looking for a small spec in someones eye while theirs is a log. ie their sins are bigger than yours.
You are a person who God accepted as one of his own 🙂 . The craving for worshiping and just being in the spirit with others… it’s ought to be the birthrights for everyone who is a Christian 😕 . But obvisously we have some unsavory ones who makes things a lttle harder 😳 . Oh man, you got it bad! Will be thinking of you and praying for you – if that’s ok with you? Just say the word – when two or more pray in Jesus name. God ain’t ignoring that huh!
Something else I gotta confess…. the devil works from within inside the church, not outside. My general observation that there are alot more people doing good works outside of the church than there are inside the church. It looks like it us that goes in and fix it. Giggles.
We all do need a break sometimes… and we are also rightful heirs to God’s kingdom. I’m thinking about what happened to Matthew Shepherd… the situation you have in USA is difficult when compared to Australia. Sigh… things are mad over there… from what I see and hear and read… gosh… I just admire your courage and determination to give it a go.
Thinking of you on Sunday 13th. Is there a joke about the 13th number… I got this wooo hooo music in my head…. see I’m Deaf (profoundly deaf) and for some reason I’ve observed that people don’t like the 13th number? What is that and why is that? Hmmmmm. Anyway have fun with that number and have a great day at church.