8.23.2014

"Why you gotta be so rude?"

I’m obsessed with the song “RUDE” by Magic!

The song goes;
Why you gotta be so rude?
Don’t you know I’m human too?

It goes on to say “I’m gonna marry her anyway” And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to marry Krista anyway.

It’s been almost a month since the news went viral about Krista and I’s relationship. I wish I could sit here and tell you that every response that we received was heartfelt and positive. Sadly, it was not.  I don’t want to make this entire post about the negativity we received, but my heart is just too heavy to sweep it under the rug.

Every time my cell phone goes off with a text message I think it’s another person texting me to say that they are disappointed in me. Every time my phone starts ringing, I think it’s another person calling to tell me to say “I don’t agree with you, but I love you anyway”. PHEW! That’s a relief! I’m so glad to know that you don’t agree with how I’m "choosing" to live my life. Interesting thing about that particular statement is that I never asked you whether you agree or not. People say “I’m entitled to my own opinion” and you’re absolutely right, you are. However, you are NOT entitled to share your opinion when it is not merited.

Since Krista and I shared feelings for each other I began therapy with an incredible woman of God. I owe a lot to her. She’s kind, non-judgmental and she reminds me that I am the one who chooses how I want to be treated. For as long as I can remember I feel like I’ve never had a problem with conflict. A few weeks into therapy and I was smacked across the face with the news that I most definitely do NOT like conflict and confrontation. Her words “You’re so strong, it’s interesting to me that you don’t like confrontation”.

Who does? Why would you want to sit across the table from someone and tell them how they hurt you? Why not just cut that person out of your life? Why not just forget the nasty words they said to you? Because when I do that, the only person who suffers is ME.

This process has forced me to stand up for myself and for my future spouse. In my entire life I’ve never been so mistreated, felt more humiliated and talked down to. I’ve also never had so many one on one meetings so that I could let people close to me know that they’ve hurt me. This doesn’t mean that now I like confrontation, this just means that I am choosing to not sit on the sidelines while others discuss and dissect my life.

There are bigger more important things in this life than to talk about my life and how you think I’m ruining it. That’s not up to you to decide. I don’t talk about your ugly haircut that I think you should have never gotten. Because my opinion about your life doesn’t matter. It’s your life for a reason. YOU decide how you live it.

My nephew Luca says this funny phrase whenever someone in life just doesn't get it. “I think you need to go back to kindergarten”.

Like they say in kindergarten, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”.
Don't you know I'm human too.

8.02.2014

The Naked Truth

From the moment I started having feelings for Krista I felt ashamed, dirty, scared, unworthy, and any other adjective you can think of. I remember sitting at breakfast with a close friend when I let her in on the news that I liked someone. She instantly got so excited for me and then I said “It’s a girl”. I’m thankful that in that very moment she fully embraced and comforted me. She reminded me that I can’t help who I love. I began to cry and I said to her “Do you think I’m going to hell?”
As a Christian we know there is nothing we can do to lose the gift of salvation, and yet I still cried every day thinking that I was a monster for what I was feeling.  
Why do I share this with you? Because a lot of Christians today who struggle with their sexuality are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. Most of us feel like you have to choose between having a relationship with God or being gay. As I shared my news with my friend she said that she has a gay friend who is very involved in her church. What? A gay person who goes to church and is OPEN about it AND she can serve and be involved? I’m confused.
Enter: The Gay Christian Network
A lot of people have been messaging me asking questions on how I biblically came to the conclusion that so many Christians have it wrong when it comes to being gay. Like I said in my first post, I’m not here to sway you in one direction or another, but I will provide for you the top things that have helped me open my eyes to a completely new world.
The Gay Christian Network has helped TREMENDOUSLY. It has resources that include essays, books, videos and testimonies. One of the things that has really helped me through this is reading the book TORN by Justin Lee. Here’s a brief description:
“As a teenager and young man, Justin Lee felt deeply torn. Nicknamed "God Boy" by his peers, he knew that he was called to a life in the evangelical Christian ministry. But Lee harbored a secret: He also knew that he was gay. In this groundbreaking book, Lee recalls the events--his coming out to his parents, his experiences with the "ex-gay" movement, and his in-depth study of the Bible--that led him, eventually, to self-acceptance.

But more than just a memoir, TORN provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members--or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that "in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace," Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another.”

This book really has helped and challenged me to the core. Justin Lee breaks down every scripture that most Christians today misinterpret and regurgitate with no problem. Like I said, I was one of them so I know how it works.

I also watched the documentary “For The Bible Tells Me So”
“Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families -- including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson -- we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.”
This movie was one of the breaking points where I sobbed while I watched it. Not just because it made me feel better about my situation, but because it showed me how judgmental I was. I should probably go as far as to say that I wasn’t just judgmental on the topic of being gay, I was judgmental about everything and everyone. It may not have seemed like it on the surface but on the inside I was self-righteous.
I am currently reading God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he'd been taught, condemned gay relationships.

Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as:

* Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not?
* How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate?
* What does the story of Sodom and Gomorrah really say about human relationships?
* Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen?
* What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations?

Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian is likely to spark heated debate, sincere soul search­ing, and even widespread cultural change. Not only is it a compelling interpretation of key biblical texts about same-sex relations, it is also the story of a young man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful, gay Christian.”

I am about half way through on this one so I can’t give my full opinion, but so far I think it’s a good read.

All that to say, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. I used to tell my students that they should ask questions, research and seek God on their own. That we shouldn’t rely on being spoon fed but instead we should be on solid food feeding our spirit. I’m always open to conversation and debate, but I am never open to criticism and judgment if it comes from a negative place.