Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Helping those who were once were Christians...and now have lost hope

The Ray Boltz Music e-mailbox was overflowing today, and I notice a theme that haunts me: People who once were Christian, but because of being gay, one way or another they are no longer part of church. Some no longer believe in God, and others don't trust God. Some writers are asking for advice, and others for help. Several of the messages were from family members, although I often hear from the folks themselves who think God has abandoned them. Here are some quotes from my e-mails:

...from a mom...
My daughter and I were reading about you online and, of course, discovered very quickly that you are a Gay man. I have a son who is also gay and, I believe, still struggles with his anger at God over this. As a young man, he loved some of your music, and sang \'Thank You\' with an accompaniment tape. He denies any relationship with God, yet I see evidence that he still clings to the hope of being His child, especially in times of need, stress, and sometimes gratitude.

...and a sister...
My brother is gay, and seems to have given up on God. He makes comments like, "I\'m going to hell anyway." I study the Bible daily, and I know God\'s love, but ***** doesn\'t want to hear any of it at all, and I don\'t want to turn him off ... Please can you offer me some advice about how you might be approached if you were in his situation?

...and from a young man who is gay...
I AM GAY AND I GREW UP IN THE ASSEMBLY OF GOD TONIGHT MY BOY FRIEND OF 18 YEARS WHO IS A CHRISTIAN AND LEFT FOR THE NIGHT QUESTIONED OUR FAITH IN GOD AS CHRISTIANS. HE KEPT SAYING WHAT THE BIBLE SAID ABOUT BEING GAY . I LOVE THE LORD AND I KNOW THAT CHRIST IS MY SAVIOR AND I KNOW THAT I DID NOT MAKE A CHOICE TO BE GAY. I HAVE KNOWN IT FROM THE TIME THAT I WAS 10 YEARS OLD. I GUESS I NEED TO KNOW THAT AS A GAY MAN. I BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT I AM SAVED. TONIGHT I AM VERY LOW AND JUST REACHING OUT TO SOMEONE PLEASE FORGIVE. I DO NOT MEAN TO BOTHER ANYONE....I AM JUST VERY DISCOURAGED AND WAS JUST REACHING OUT. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

a worship leader...
I am a pastor of Worship and am struggling with myself.

another mom...
I am a christian mother struggling with the issue of a gay daughter. Her father is a southern baptist minister. A couple of years ago she was forced out of our church due to the fact that she and her friend were discovered in a relationship by her friends parents who revealed everything to our deacons and so called prayer chain. I have struggled with bitterness towards these people for years. We are still at the same church. The friend and her parents have since left and my daughter and her friend are no longer together. My daughter tells me that she was made the way she is. She knew at the age of 6. Her father believes that love is a choice and you decide to be gay. I am torn. I know my daughter. She was raised in a christian home...Now my daughter is out of church because she knows she is not accepted. When will people realize that you can\'t pick and choose who comes to church? Please pray for my daughter and me. I am not really sure what I believe anymore.

...and the married person...
i am 40. i have struggled with this same issue for so long. i am married and love my wife and wouldn\'t hurt her for anything, but i am gay. I could go into great detail about .... the pain of it all but i won\'t.

All of these people are earnestly seeking help, and we, as Christians, need to try to provide all we can to support them. In what ways can we do this? I believe in being affirming, but how does one show this to a family member who has lost hope?

What ways can readers suggest? What ways have worked for you? I believe in being the hands and feet of Jesus, but what works? I've love to have your comments, so please write. Thanks so much - we have to support each other!

8 comments:

Dawn said...

I read through these with tears running down my face... I want to hug them all and tell them they are loved by God, on this very day, even with their questions.

I wish there were a "hopeline" for Christians struggling to understand their orientation.

I am a gay christian woman and I have struggled as well. I just found that the best way to understand was to listen to God and only God - For myself, being shunned by my church was the best thing because I knew I still loved God and wanted a close relationship.
The seeking I did on my own, with my eyes on christ, helped me to find that security that God loves me the way he made me - A gay christian woman.

Anonymous said...

Your insight and love astound me. I've long believed like you -- gay isn't what you do, it's what you are. Of course when you suddenly find out your husband of over 3 decades is gay and that he's chosen a path of promiscuous behavior, life changes. I still believe my husband is gay because that's how God made him, but I'm having a really hard time dealing with the husband who picked up men from coast to coast, brought them into our home when I was visiting family and ended up with HIV. He was raised in a strict Christian home and his father was a minister. I'd love to have an intervention of some sort for him and help him see that he's still God's child and God still loves him even if his siblings don't. Our children have been supporting though they only know he's gay, not that he's been commiting adultery for 5 years or that he's HIV positive.

I checked Mel White's book out of the library today and hope some day I can get my husband to read it too. We're in divorce limbo right now and he's so angry he hardly communicates except to sling barbs and accuse me of things that never happened.

Keep up your good work. I love seeing a new blog post here because I know it will be filled with insight and the spirit of God's love.

May God bless you in all you do.

Sue said...

I am a Christian and my faith is the most important part of my life. I accepted Christ into my life in the third grade. I have been a long time member of one denomination but attended many churches throughout my childhood. My mother, a nurse and a Christian women, taught me that being gay was not a choice. She said "Sexuality is not clear cut and people are who they were created to be". We know that to be even more true today. I heard many sermons speaking against being gay. Each time I would call out to God and ask for him to let me know if I was wrong. Instead of being convicted of being wrong he usually put someone gay into my life that needed reassurred that God loved them. Those experiences strengthened my conviction that being gay does not separate anyone from God. I have an extreme amount of faith and a very interactive relationship with God. I believe he wants an intimate relationship with each one of us. I know without a doubt God loves everyone. I know how wrong the church has been and it makes me sad on a regular basis, but please don't give up. I stay in the church and work from within to bring about change and I'm not alone. It is going to change, I see it changing in friends of mine everyday but we must keep working and praying. I have had the blessing of sharing God's love with many gay friends throughout my life and I am sure this is part of God's design for me. The church did not embrace integration for years and now many of them apologize. It is simple, they were wrong then and they are wrong now. Don't let someones elses opinion keep you from going to church and worshipping. Claim in love what is your right and know there are people in churches that support you fully, you may just have to go to find them. You are loved by God, me and many others I know within the church. Although it may not heal your pain, know that I am sorry for every word that has made you feel any less than loved.

Carol said...

Dawn, Hugs and Hope, right? I'm so glad that you struggled through and remained in Christ. Hugs to you as well. Thanks for your post!

Anonymous, The pain you have endured and the grace you have managed to retain amaze ME. Keep making comments and sharing. I love hearing from you.

and Sue - Thanks for posting! I know that change is coming! It may be one at a time, but we are making small inroads - and one day blogs like this will not be necessary. People like yourselves are encouragers, and it takes that effort to reach out to those who are gay, plus reaching out to those who don't yet understand. Keep at it and don't give up!

Carol

Mary Kay said...

Carol:

I was on a very bad path in life. I was raised Assembly of God and I hated it. It was all rules and doctrine. I was bound and determine to rebel in hopes they would kick me out....lol

Well, I did it. I found the perfect rebellious friends and my boyfriend (now ex-husband) was a little on the rebellious side too. I then got pregnant at 16 and bam I knew I could not live that life any longer. No one but my ex-husband knew I was pregnant at that time.
The church youth group was going to Muncie to see Ray in concert. At that time I would rather see Guns and Roses than Ray Boltz! But, I knew I had to change my lifestyle. I went to Ray's concert and it was in 1986 and it totally changed my life forever. The way he ministered through his music...I was a new person! I got my old friends back and started living my life for Christ. I don't know where I would be at in my life today if I chose not to go to that concert. God had a reason for me to go : )

Scholly said...

There was a point in my life when I first admitted I am gay that was very very low. I was distraught and hurting by the rejection of my family. A close Christian friend of mine saved me in so many ways with her one sentence and then what followed. I was crying on the phone to her and questioning about God and how could Christians show so much hate for someone they'd professed to love all those years prior. She told me this, "Jen, Screw the Christians!" I was totally taken aback but she had my attention then so I took it all in. She told me basically to forget about them. It's about Jesus. He's the one that I have to answer to. And if I feel I am okay with Him then to not worry about others who judge. That conversation is what kept me with God by my side. Now almost 4 years later I am closer to God than I've probably ever been. I am at a church where people love you regardless of who you are thankfully. It was a long hard struggle but I feel so happy to be with the person I am with. She loves me for me and we are so good together!

Morakinyo Abraham David said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carol said...

Sorry, Abraham - When you liken gay people to murderers and impostors, I will not post your comments. I have received both of them (identical ones) and will not have them on the comment page.
Carol