Monday, June 06, 2011

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“The Queer Spirituality of Lady Gaga” by gay theologian Patrick Cheng will headline the Jesus in Love Newsletter in June.

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Robin McKinney said...

11 years ago, my deep, subconscious spirituality kicked me out of a/the/my manmade closet. A devout Christian of more than 2 decades, I struggled deeply with my deepest true self. "If left to my own devices," I told God in 1996, "I'd be with a woman." What I couldn't recognize then was God's telling me to turn on those devices and 'just be who I was.'
Fast forward to present day. Since my spiritual divorce (that's what I call it), I have experienced God in ways not possible constrained by any man-written book or man created religion. I accept myself without apology.
My hope for all people, but especially anyone 'not being who they are' is self acceptance. That depth of acceptance, I believe, will relieve the burden of trying to fit God's identity into manmade books, i.e., the Bible in this case. Paul wrote what he wrote about homosexuality. The Old Testament writers wrote what they wrote about homosexuality. These writings contribute to what is called the Bible. We can't change what was written.
And that's okay. If you truly accept yourself and what God is (and it aint a judge, among other things), then you don't need to reconcile what the Bible says with who and what God is.
I struggled deeply with this concept and possibility for several years before being able to acknowledge: there are some God driven truths in the Bible and there are manmade beliefs as well. Trying to reconcile the Bible with homosexuality was no longer even relevent when I accepted this possibility and (what I came to believe) eventual fact. And as a side benefit, that subconscious need to 'prove' to straight Christians that I (homosexuals) was just as loved and accepted by God as they, instantly dissolved. In that moment I recognized all the (wasted) energy I was putting into disproving God's hatred of all things homosexual.
No statement is more true than 'the truth will set you free.' I've been set free from the burden of being in a religion that espouses to 'know it all' about the Creator (and yet alienates part of God's creation). I've been set free from the opinions, interpretations, experiences, and beliefs of others (writers of the Bible and modern day religious leaders). It's my hope that the sexual minority on a spiritual quest will eliminate time spent on trying to prove or convince themselves (and others) of their right to be in the flock and just relax, embrace and know they're already there.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Thanks, Robin, for sharing your powerful spiritual journey -- and welcome to the Jesus in Love Newsletter. I also believe that LGBT people are “already there,” in the midst of God’s love. God is madly in love with everyone, even those who seem to be our “enemies.”

Coming from this place of spiritual strength, I do see some value in telling others the good news of our right to “be in the flock.” It is important to bear witness to God’s action in our lives, so that others might also be set free to experience God without being “constrained by any man-written book or man created religion.”