Saturday, 9 April 2016

How my day in church led to this rant

I was in church earlier today and as the congregation was singing along, I felt the Holy Spirit gently impress in my heart and He whispered, "This is your family."

How strange. It was the third time within the span of a year.

As I dwelt upon what it meant, I wondered if the church was an abusive family.

I now know why people continue staying in abusive families, because they are after all, family.

Consider the time during a certain cell group meeting where we were paired off and tasked to discuss "popular" sins. I felt uneasy even as I discussed how pride might be an issue. Later on, as my cell leader picked a member to share his thoughts, I cringed internally as he confidently declared, "Homosexuality."

Right.

So I was a sin.

That was simply terrific.

What took the cake was how every single one of us, including me, sat in polite silence as we listened to him. Then we moved on with the sermon.

We moved on. With nary a word of dissent. (Yes, I am extremely passive-aggressive as you can clearly see.)

If even our leaders are complicit in (silently) endorsing such comments, I don't see why LGBT people are avoiding the church in hordes.

Consider the time when a highly regarded guest pastor made a transphobic joke that made the entire congregation laugh.

I was taking none of it and just walked out of service.

If 1% of people are trans, in my megachurch of 20 000, you can do the math of how many people suffer from some form of gender dysphoria. I don't know which was sadder, the fact that he made the joke, or the complete silence from the senior leadership after that particular sermon was preached.

Perhaps due discrimination of this nature, I am not openly out about my new Side B relationship with a certain someone. Especially with Christians. For the uninitiated, a Side B relationship is one that is celibate - read more about the Side B stance here.

Because what good would it do? Would they be happy and celebrate with me the way they do when heterosexual couple gets together?

I was once at a service where they served communion by hand and as the pastor gave the wafer dipped in grape juice to each couple, he prayed for them (he didn't pray for the singles) and I wondered if he'd pray for a Side B couple. Probably not. And I sighed internally.

Sometimes I wonder if I should just put myself out of this misery. This might be due to this issue among other things. And before you jump on me, I am seeing a psychiatrist, a psychologist and even a counsellor. And they are three separate people. They are doing an excellent work because look, I am still alive! Wow.

But at this point in time, I'd hold the thought as it would probably traumatise not only my partner but also my students and my close friends in church.

Ah well.

The life of a gay Christian.

Jesus did say that we each have our cross to bear.

Paul did say that we are to go through various trials. And that tribulations bring perseverance, and perseverance character, and character hope.

Alright then.

Well, I shall just enjoy the little things that God's created for us to enjoy.

Like a double, tall, iced cappuccino.

Like that sunflower stretching out toward heaven.

And also, like that lovely person speaking to gay people "in love".

Till then, good bye and take care.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Book review: Sexual Authenticity by Melinda Selmys


I've been following Melinda Selmys on her blog for a while now and was very excited to receive 3 of her books I ordered recently.

I started on this one almost immediately.

For those who are unfamiliar with her, she is a blogger who blogs over at Catholic Authenticity, and previously at Sexual Authenticity which is where I started following her writing. I've been wanting to get her books but only got around doing so last month when she tweeted about it and I ordered it from Book Depository.

The book reads like a blog, and it almost seems like the manuscript didn't encounter the eyes of an editor, or if it did, edited the text only very lightly. I loved the irreverent style of writing that allowed me to "hear" her speaking to me almost.

I enjoyed reading the book from the very beginning, especially the chapter titled "Statistics", where she elaborated that scientific studies are inherently skewed and gay activists would use data to support their case as would Christian fundamentalists.

She also made me want to read the late pope's "Theology of the Body" because of how pertinent it seems to the conversation on homosexuality.

However, I disagreed with her on a particular point. Although it is her personal experience, she seems (at least to me) to want to extrapolate her experience with her then lesbian partner to all female same-sex relationships. Just because her sexual relationship was one that involved a lot of fantasy doesn't mean that everyone's experience is similar. Of course she didn't state this explicitly, its just the feel I get reading it.

Later on, as I continued reading, I got rather upset and depressed while reading the chapter titled "Family" and started crying as I continued reading. Perhaps it's because the truth hit me like a sucker-punch. Because if she is right and men and women are made for each other, then perhaps I ought to abandon the celibate Side B relationship that I am currently in.

Sigh.

Because if her argument is right, then a woman should not be in relationship with another of her kind because they reflect one another and will not be perplexed by one another's eccentricities like one would be of someone of a different sex.

Perhaps it's not God's best for me.

But more and more I feel that my relationship is indeed pleasing to God. So I just have to wrestle with this tension I guess.

Ah well. I guess I will just have to read a few more different books to regain my equilibrium before attempting her second one.

Till then, goodbye and take care.

Finding healing in unexpected places

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