Come out of her

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues…(Revelation 18:4)

“Come out, be yourself. How long will you deny you? Come on, this is who you are!! Be real for once!”

If you experience same sex orientation, then there are high chances that the above statements have been hurled at you many times. There are some levels of truth in all these. That is for sure but then, I am convinced that what most of these people tend to encourage is, one for people to come out (which is great) and two, to pursue a life that is contrary in many ways to the wisdom of God in his word( which is not okay). That kind of brings us to crossroads i know but not to worry because the word always provides a way out. God constantly says:-

Come out of the world
As Jesus prepared to physically depart from his disciples he prays,They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Jn 17:16. The Bible depicts the world as a unit run by a particular system. And God forbids us against falling in love with the patterns of this world.
In the period that I have wrestled with same sex orientation, following are some key areas that I would like to strongly highlight:-

A)Making sexuality our identity. While it’s true that orientation colours many things in our lives like the kind of conversations we are likely to have, who we are drawn to spend our time with, the Bible verses that we often think about etc, the truth is that, it is never our truest authentic self. The sexualized world where we live in, popularizes that you are first your sexuality then all other things follow and that no law should prohibit you from responding to what you naturally feel or hinder you from pursuing that which will give you maximum joy. It also promotes the notion that the road to a happy life is cast only on one site- sexual satisfaction. This is not true for those who have set their eyes on the Calvary spot. They have relinquished the temporary satisfaction brought about by embracing self and its longings and said yes to something greater. As CS Lewis states, ‘forsaken a mud pie at the slum and taken up residence on a holiday at the beach. They are first Christians before anything else, and that is their truest self. And that sexuality is not what should dictate their being and doing.

B) Indulgence being the only lifestyle. The world denotes that same sex desires are too strong and thus every bank must break when they set in. And so many cannot help but get trapped in gay porn sites, gay bars and promiscuous sex. Being a minority and having to operate more in the shadows, such a lifestyle seems inevitable. And it seems like the only script set on stone for all. But is that the only script? Well, an author by the name CS Lewis said that, “it’s not that the porn addict desires are too strong but that his other desires are too weak.” This means that, we are not left to the fate of our sexual craving, not doomed to the joy of our orgasm. But rather, that we can cultivate other sweeter things. The beauty of intimacy and communion, the very one that David talked about, …Your (Jonathan) love to me was extra- ordinary, surpassing the love of women. We can enjoy the sweetness that comes once a sin moment has been delayed. And oh the glory of being free, never giving the flesh power to rule you by succumbing to every appetite it has. Yes the desires are likely to storm in with great pressure, but, since when did we become slaves to our desires? And is God not able to rule our emotions so that we can please him in all ways? CS Lewis goes ahead to say, “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

c) Painting God as cruel and hateful. Some go ahead even to disregard his existence. Growing up as the black sheep in Christian families, living in shame and having had to endure painful practises in the aim of changing your sexuality has a way of shaping who a gay person thinks God is, which leads to some even denying his existence. It’s true that God has been misrepresented many times by those who profess to be his followers. Having said this, I have no doubt that it’s God who created us all. That the fall of man in Genesis 3 hurt him deeply since he loved us and knew the consequences of this fall. It is true that he has been in the process of reconciling all people to himself. That he would no longer be an enemy to his children. Jacob wrestled with him the whole night (Genesis 32:22-32) without knowing who He really was and at day break, God made himself known to him. I would wish to invite those who experience same sex/gay orientation to not just be satisfied with the negative image painted of God by those who have gone ahead of them. Just as Jacob wrestled, we can engage God in what we feel and what that means, we can let him know what the prohibitions in his word mean to us and how we feel pissed off when we cannot fulfil them and are considered by the rest as the worst of sinners. Going ahead we can express our unwavering Faith unto his omniscient attribute. And by that, we can choose to let him be a companion in the journey, even with our doubts and failings (which I believe he is not scared of), for he is willing and able to guide in all truth for Life. Thus being an atheist or anti-Christian is never the only option for those who experience same sex/gay orientation.

Conclusion

No human is beyond God’s saving power and no sinner scares God. In reverence to him, we can all come out of that which defiles body and Spirit. Whether facing an opposite or same sex orientation, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light. To be his chosen people, his royal priesthood and his holy nation (1st Peter 2:9-10).
And note, it is the devil’s lie that the only escape from tension is through yielding.

Come out- Be free

Thorn or flower?

….v7 a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being conceited. v8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this that it should leave me. V9 But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made is made in weakness.’(2nd Corinthians 12:1-10)

Ask around or listen to stories of many believers on how they came to a personal relationship with Christ and how they became fervent in their prayer life. If they are great lovers of his word and possess unequalled compassion, dig deeper to hear more. It will be no surprise that their life experiences, especially those that seemed impossible became an avenue of encounter with God.

When I allowed Christ to be Lord and saviour of my life in form 3, I wanted him help me excel in my studies and to give me more platforms that I could continue to joyfully serve him on. Two years later I was zealously serving him and excelling in my studies but there was another elephant in the room. Some feelings that seemed foreign, though not really foreign had started taking a toll on me. I had managed to repress them with little effort before but now they demanded attention, they demanded to be acknowledged and they sought to be satisfied. When this was happening, my young soul, one that had tasted the beauty of being in God’s presence and the joy of being used by him could not comprehend why on earth I was finding my fellow guys more attractive than ladies and why my already saved body was getting sexually aroused by them.

And just like that, my peaceful, God- loving and serving journey was disrupted, by something that I could not explain except by a painful phrase, ‘thorn in my flesh’. And then, I was happy that Paul didn’t specifically specify what his thorn was so at least in some way, devoid of any other like testimony, I could hold unto his.
And for many years it has seemed like a messenger of Satan sent to torment me. As I have explained in my articles before; it became the area in my life where guilt and shame lay. Despite my increased zeal for service and the expanded areas of responsibility, it still seemed to be the very thing that threatened my qualification . And no matter how close I felt to God, this was the very area of my life where it felt that I disappointed him the most. Surely, whether God and Satan were battling for me, at least I knew he was on my side. And even though I could not see this then, and sometimes fail to even now, the truth is that, at the tip or can we say at the margin of the thorny branch, there lies some blossoming flowers, some already out of the petals and others still struggling to bud.

The question now would be… how did flowers find their way in a thorn? Let me try to explain.

I. My same sex orientation has been a doorway of learning, receiving and offering grace. This has intensified my love for God and the love for the lost. Ten years ago I knew I was growing and standing strong as a Christian due to my own merits; that others were not doing good enough and that was why there were in error. That God was privileged to have me in his team (such an intelligent, handsome and righteous young man) and that all he needed was to repay me for the credits that I brought to him. But now, Ephesians 2:1-10, v8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…….v10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. And so having received his grace in many areas of my life and the outstanding one being in my area of sexuality, he is able to help me go deep into the good works I believe of living like he did and letting everyone behold and receive his amazing grace.

II. Being different has enabled me to love and appreciate the God of diversity. Additionally, it has increased my sensitivity towards those that find themselves lying at the margins. Examples include the extremely poor and the stinking rich, the academic dwarfs and geniuses, the Kanye west and the John MacArthur kind of people, etc.

III. I have deep male friendships that are a great blessing. Wesley Hill in his book Spiritual friendship writes, “I don’t imagine I would have invested half as much effort in loving my male friends, and making sacrifices of time, energy, and even money on their behalf, if I weren’t gay.” And that has been true for me as well. (NB: Wesley Hill identifies himself as a Celibate gay Christian where he submits under the Biblical sexual ethic)

IV. Being real with my same sex feelings has moved me to let my faith in God be the realest since am confined to exploring it only as he has dictated in his word. And so I can no longer see the Bible as another book, I can’t just go for Sunday services for just the sake of it, and I can’t pretend before God and his faithful servants since it’s only in him that I am able to channel my same sex feelings in ways that are honourable and life giving.

And so, is it a thorn or a flower?It’s a flowery thorn, one that I long to see transformed and healed. And on the same hand, it’s in my same sex orientation experiences that God’s grace has been perfected and his power made perfect in me.

And so, I will weep but still rejoice, will flee from sexual temptations but still be committed in deep spiritual friendships. And I will live life here on earth as a sojourner and the same time enjoy the abundance of the Life that is found in Christ.

What can you see? It’s the little God has done and he is still at work. Halleluyah

In The Light

At some point, I had to get out of the shadows.

I had to realise that living life like all was okay within me was not helping me. Dealing with the feelings of same sex attraction was hard enough and having to constantly face taunts from the enemy and my own broken state that I wasn’t, and never would be, good enough or ‘clean’ enough to live a life worthy of the gospel, made it even more unbearable.

Then arose other concerns. Questions kicked in. How was i going to get clean about this and make my struggle known to someone in a position to help? And boom! Just like that. My fear doubled. In all honesty, I became paralysed with this fear. So many worst-case scenarios filled my head and heart with worries. Would I be ‘excommunicated’ from the Christian Union for having a struggle so ‘sinful’. What would my fellow Christian friends see me as, a sexual deviant? What about those who I was given charge over; would they use my experience as a free pass to carry out their own desires, because, after all, he faces ‘worse’ sins.
So, for a while, the fear crippled me from seeking help, and the vicious cycle started all over again. Indulge my lusts and desires; feel guilty about it; become afraid to tell anyone that I was struggling with same sex attraction; indulge in the desires again to make myself feel less guilty; repeat. A loop that I felt I was too powerless to escape from, helpless to stop and broken beyond repair to be healed from.
At some point, I had to get out of the shadows.

For a wound to heal, it must be cleaned out first, before it can be dressed and bound up. The cleaning out usually is the most painful part as dead tissue must be cut off, usually accompanied by bleeding. I had to delete contacts of people who I would text or call to have nasty chats with. It was difficult having to let go of relationships built around trying to live a secret life, but at the back of my mind, I realised it would be better to call out sin for what it is and escape the coming judgement, than to comfortably tolerate it and pay a heavy price for it eventually.

I went onto my knees and confessed of my sin. From the lowest parts of my spirit, I cried out and asked for pardon based on the sacrifice of Jesus. I knew that no sin was too big or too dark for Him to forgive, so I poured out my heart, said every little thing I had done and asked for forgiveness. I felt much lighter afterwards, peace and rest washing over me like a calm wave.

Next came the part I dreaded most; having to tell someone I could trust what I had been going through. Who could I trust with such a burden, someone who I knew couldn’t use it against me in any situation? After much prayer and deliberation, I approached my pastor, ready for any response from the ends of the spectrum; understanding and a genuine desire to help, or a tirade on how unfit I was to even tell him of such a terrible struggle.
Needless to say, I was very surprised when he told me, “I understand, and I am thankful that God has strengthened you to realise that you need to call it out for what it is; sin. I am here to pray with you, and to help you seek to please God even in this phase.”
It was as if any arsenal the enemy had against me and used to stoke my fear of sharing my struggle was blasted into nothingness. It was a blissful release from the chains that had held me fast for so long. I wondered why I hadn’t done so a long time ago, I wouldn’t have had as much pain and agony to endure.

Even after such a break and relief, the feelings were still there. Being open about them, I later came to realise, wasn’t an instant cure. I still had the same attractions towards men; maybe less intense, but still there regardless. A question popped into my mind, would God still love me and forgive me even as He sees the depths of my heart? Doubt took root; was I truly forgiven?
Was the prayer I made really enough, I would often ask myself. Did God really forgive me, or should I prove my worth being forgiven? Questions that shook my core and foundation, and made me wonder if I had, in a way, sanitised myself with my confession; clean, but could still touch the unclean for a while before I become too stained, then just ask again for forgiveness (sanitiser). “Is this how you would want to live in this new freedom given to you?” I asked myself over and over again.

The more I stepped into the light, and the more I let it shine over the dark places, the more I realised I could never be as perfect or as whole as I would desire to be. I would never attain perfection, freedom from my inherent sinfulness on my own effort. Yes, the homosexual desires were very much present, and I could not deny that. It was a sin, yes, but what sin is not forgivable? What could be so great that God could not forgive?
What if, the more broken we are, the more of God’s light shines through the cracks?

Walking in the light of newness is not as easy as I had thought it would be, but the freedom that comes with it is… wow! Knowing that God still loves me regardless, and that I am forgiven no matter what I had done in the shadows is empowering enough to make me seek Him even more, to try and make Him more glorified and even praised through the struggles I face.

#BrokenButBeautiful

In the shadows

Hey there, God’s people, I hope you have been fine since the last time we interacted in this blog! If not, our God foretold that here on earth we will have sorrows and trials but then added that we could have peace in him, for he overcame the world. So, know, its okay not to be okay as far as we are resting in him. Now, after broadcasting the previous article to different social media sites, someone followed me up and after some interactions he wished to make his story known. Being in line with the vision of The question of Sexuality initiative which is to, see a society upholding the Biblical teachings on sexuality while relating in love and truth to those who experience a homosexual orientation as we all grow to full maturity in Christ, I gladly accepted.
Thus, today’s post was written by my friend, allow me call him Sir A. He is an awesome writer; please do not dare compare our way of writing; I sincerely envy him. He loves God dearly and sooner or later he hopes to speak openly about this topic. As for now, ladies and gentle men, boys and girls, Children of God, I bow out (gracefully) and allow you to enjoy the part one story of Sir A, entitled, In the shadows

……………

Have you ever had a secret so devastating that the very thought of it being let out,rips through the fabric of your existence, your life and tear it into shreds?
Have you ever been awake at night, unable to sleep, because a nagging thought at the back of your mind tells you in its evil whisper, ‘It’s out; everyone knows.”
At times, you’re with friends, having a good time, laughs all around, but you just can’t shake off the feeling that they know something about you, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s out, laid bare for everyone to see and pick on, like vultures on a carcass.

That’s how my experience with same-sex-attraction is like. What’s worse (or better, depending on how you see it) is that I am a Christian. It’s odd, seeing those two words in a sentence right? You might be wondering, isn’t that just a long word that, at its core, means gay?
Following that thought, how can you be gay, and a Christian?
I’ll try to explain how that can be, using my own story as an example…

Growing up, for some reason, I just knew I was attracted to boys. Yes, and girls too, but the attraction to boys always felt stronger, more pronounced. I remember looking forward to new Mexican soap operas just to find out who the leading male star was. I would be drawn to boys, who my peers mostly referred to as the “hot ones”. I would watch movies and feel flutters whenever I saw the male actors either shirtless or in vests.
Enter puberty. That confused state, when hormones fly around like bats out of control. It was quite difficult for me because everyone was exploring this new-found emotion towards members of the opposite sex, and I was not, or rather could not, because my attraction, if expressed, would have led to severe punishment from the school administration. What was I to do? I tried jumping into the boat, and was humiliatingly tossed out with a, ‘Why would I date you?’ from several girls. Frustrated, and hormonal, I’d toss my luck into the shadows with fellow guys, and many times, it was a lucky toss. I shall not go into specifics, but you get what I mean.
All along, yes, I knew what I was doing was wrong. I had been brought up as a Christian, knowing the Bible and reciting verses and attending Sunday school. I knew it wasn’t right, but a part of me kept telling me, how else will you deal with all the emotions? How else will you get the satisfaction you need? So I went on, down and further down the rabbit hole, deeper into the life of a closeted homosexual teenager until something happened….

Salvation
I was in my third year of high school when I encountered Jesus in a whole new light. After wallowing in a dark, mud-filled pit, the hope He offered shone down in my despair. The love and grace I experienced was deeper than any I’d ever known. Despite what I had done, He had accepted me regardless. Regardless of how far gone I thought I was, He was always there, His Holy Spirit pricking at my conscience until I couldn’t bear it anymore. It was freeing, leaving behind that life and entering into the promise of a new hope and a new life filled with ever growing wonder.
And indeed, it has been. Growing in the knowledge of Him, His finished work on the cross, and the promise to all who believe – eternal life – has been of great encouragement to my soul.

The after

However, there was always that desire to be freed of the attractions I deemed ‘sinful’, the desire to have the right attractions; get a girlfriend, marry and settle down, get two kids and die at ninety. Yet they lingered. Despite living a new life, and avoiding the temptation to go back to the former one, I couldn’t help but notice when a cute guy entered the room. I couldn’t stop admiring my male classmates during games time, or swimming lessons.
I often despaired. God, why don’t You take away these feelings? I don’t want them. This would be a long prayer, one stretching close to seven years, into my pre-university and university years. It would make me feel like less of a Christian, and a fraud at worst. Being given leadership roles in the Christian Union made me feel like a stinking beggar wrapped in fine clothes; I didn’t deserve it. How can a man who is attracted to other men serve as a guide to the young in faith?

Same sex attracted and Christian (Episodes)

A while ago, I set out to write an article on what same sex attraction/homosexual orientation looks like in real life. I knew that by the end of that weekend, I would be done writing it, have it edited and hopefully post it in the week that followed. Well, many days have passed and my original thought pattern faded. However, the topic has remained something I would want to still explore and thus the birth of this article.

Experiences of a Christian experiencing a homosexual orientation
This title is a mouthful, I hope to do justice to it. Now, let’s get started… Sorry, one more thing, am not writing this from a journal recording , I wish I was but very few times especially when I am experiencing negative experiences do I wish to record in my journal. But, trust my brain because it has a tendency of holding on to things especially those I wish it would release. Lastly, I do not wish to generalize my experience as one that is experienced by all but I believe many can relate to it.
So,here we go….

Acceptance; then what..
In the previous articles, I wrote of the important lessons I had learnt on coming into terms with my sexuality and being open about it. This I called acceptance, meanwhile a question lingered in the background. After acceptance, then what? Well in some way I knew the answer to it; I knew it meant God still loved me and that he was in the process of working in me the holiness that he desires and I knew I was more than willing to submit to him in seeing this happen. It was also clearer that this was not a licence to being sexually active with people of the same sex but rather, more than ever, take my purity bar even higher. At least for now the pressure to date a pretty lady in order to please the ever demanding community around me had diminished. The ground rules were already set and with much hopes, I launched into the future.

A few days/weeks/months later:-

Getting attracted

We stood next to each other as we waited for the Fight. Our very own Zarika would be defending her WBC title that evening and we were sure of her win but decided to watch anyway. From the sides, I caught a glimpse of my neighbour, he smiled; the smile seemed to draw a nice curve on his dark face, I noted quickly that his set of white teeth settled perfectly on his face. That had an effect on my hormones and in that moment of confusion I stole a second glance at him again and this time round our eyes met; his gaze had an image of innocence, some form of radiance seemed to emanate from his eyes, a force stronger than gravity seemed to draw me nearer to him. In the next few minutes I longed to engage in a conversation with him, I wished to know what he thought of the fight and yes I wanted to know whether I would be seeing him for the last time or if there was going to be a possible common hangout again. In a glimpse this was my thought flow, I knew if not controlled the flow would continue to paths that were more dangerous, I needed to do something. I could not deny the attraction since it was so real. Most probably I would still have a repeat of the same in the days that followed and for that there was a need to be prepared. But was there a way to be prepared for this? “May be”, I thought, “May be this could be channelled for good , may be”…..

To be sincere I am still figuring out, but so far I have had a good share of successes, all thanks to the Holy Spirit guidance on every occasion.

Longing for intimacy

I never saw this coming and being a Christian I had the comfort of having Jesus Christ as my all time friend. Additionally, being highly melancholic and thus in some good way introverted I knew that I would not struggle being my own friend. It was thus unexpected when I started developing a yearning to be wanted. Let me explain, I recount of evenings I sat in my house feeling emotionally distant from my room mate; though a good guy and very caring I felt a distance. Being a friend to many, I was still having the normal WhatsApp chats; getting actively involved in various discussions online. Having one or two calls, someone either following up on an assignment earlier given or someone generally wanting to know my current state. Despite all this, I still felt a longing to be sold out to someone, a friend I could talk to, call at any time, have hangouts together. One with whom I could share my joys and pains again and again without having to worry about becoming burdensome. Yes, I longed for intimacy with someone, someone that I liked and was emotionally attracted to. I knew I had lady friends that I could choose to let this happen with but it demanded so much strength. Emotionally I felt closer to my male friends, our random chats with my friends left me longing for me. I wished that I was David and was enjoying the intimacy of Jonathan, I yearned to be Frodo and Sam in the Trilogy Lord of the Rings and enjoy the companionship of a dear friend in a land that threatened of death with him being the flicker of hope. A friend I would want and be wanted in return.
I know there is a thin line between what I am craving for and same sex partnership/gay marriage. But my stand doesn’t change on the latter, I already said No to it and am not ready to give in to it.This i believe I’ll conquer by the grace of God.
But is there a way that my longing can be purely satisfied?
Well, I’m on a journey of finding that wholly and so far my reading has comforted me in so many ways one being, that mine is a reality that many in my path have lived and it did/has not stopped them from living whole, fulfilling and godly lives. God has also created a family for me and people like me. A family of friends who I can be devoted to. This is what one my distant friend call ‘spiritual friendships’, and I am on a mission of exploring them.

The Battle of lust

This is the last thing I would wish to speak about. In this article. . Like many of you, I really do wish to have a black and white story of before and after. Well, I think I kind of do but my after has been and still is a journey. Painted with moments of victory, struggles and sometimes falling. My after has at times, made me wear faces. It’s something that creeps without warning, very spontaneous. It could start with let’s say some little fantasy of a past experience. A weak moment exhibited by a continued nursing of these fantasies leads to having these experiences re-played in my mind. In no time, guilt starts creeping in and instead of leading me to repentance, more than once I have found myself visiting the sites plus the areas which I had committed not to. I cannot explain the pain and despair brought by all these. The feeling of loss of fellowship with God, the distancing I seek to create with friends after such an episode and the despair that hits me. That which play games with my mind, telling me that I can never live to be true to what I believe in and hold dearly. In all these struggles though, I can’t help but give much thanks to God who has fetched me from that pit more than a million times. The times I have been carried by flesh, the moments of deep guilt and regret, God has ALWAYS fetched me. Sometimes using the community of friends who have continually assured me that it is well.
More than ever I still join the preacher Jonathan Edwards in making this resolution that “I will never give up, nor in the least slacken my fight with the corruptions of my body no matter how unsuccessful I may be.

CONCLUSION

That happens to be my experience thus far, on this eastern side of Eden. I have tried to summarize it in the three areas though there remains a lot that I have not said. It’s already clear as I may have noted in the other previous articles that I have not always considered my orientation as purely ‘evil’ in itself, for it is the thorn that has enhanced my devotion to God, the very one that has made me understand His grace and the foundation on which I have been able to extend compassion to many others as I have received from God.
It however remains a temptation that can lead to a grave sin. A sin that can destroy credibility especially in the body of Christ. The very one whose guilt would have adverse effects on my relationship with my creator. The very one that I should fight with all Christ’s energy that works in me.
Meanwhile that is my pre-resurrection reality, one that I live not in despair, pity or shame but in Faith on to the one who died and rose again. To the one who said ‘it is finished’ a reality fulfilled now and that which will manifest fully at the end of time. Though I groan I do so in eager expectation of the redemption of this mortal body.
And he who promised is faithful .

Now, may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1st Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Coming out, to who and how?

My last blog focused on the idea of Coming out or being known. As I noted the term has a secular connotation of embracing sexuality as identity and choosing to pursue romantic and sexual relationships with those of the same sex, both of which don’t fit with a Christian understanding of sexuality. I then went ahead to highlight the dangers of Choosing to remain silence and some of the benefits that associated with letting yourself to be known.

In this particular article, I borrow the thoughts of Andrew Bunt who blogs on thinktheology and Living out website on the advice to Christians who wish to come out (be known) and to those who will be their audience. You can read the whole article on https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/coming_out_some_advice_for_christians

For those coming out/Choosing to be known

  • Remember your identity is in Christ. There is nothing more important than this. You are not defined by anything internal (who you are attracted to) or anything external (how people respond to you), you are defined by being a child of God, eternally loved and eternally secure. No matter what happens, that cannot change.
  • If you’ve never told anyone about your sexuality, start by telling someone with whom you feel comfortable. Don’t feel you have to tell everyone straight away.
  • Try to choose a situation where you will have good time to share and to talk through what you share. You don’t want to open up and then suddenly have to move on to something else.
  • If you want to come out to someone, but are not sure how to do it, pray that God would give you a good opportunity. In my experience, (Andrew Bunt) the awkward gear change moment is usually still there, but I have been amazed at how God has answered some of my prayers and provided moments where the gear change was slightly less awkward.
  • If you are particularly worried about coming out to a specific individual or group, ask someone whom you have already told to be alongside you as you speak to them.
  • If you know what you think about how your faith and your sexuality interrelate, share this as you feel comfortable to do so. If you’re still wrestling with it, it’s ok to share that too.

For those to whom others come out

  • Thank them for sharing with you. However lovely you are, it was probably still a big, scary thing for them to do.
  • Stress that you love them and that God loves them and that their sexuality doesn’t change this. If this is as far as you get in your first conversation, it’s enough.
  • Let them talk. They may have carried this for many years without telling anyone or having only told a few people. Let them share what they want to share and listen carefully. If they seem comfortable, ask questions, but don’t interrogate them. You don’t need all your questions answered straight away.
  • Acknowledge pains, difficulties and frustrations they have felt are legitimate. Express God’s heart of love and compassion.
  • Help them know that they are not alone. They are not alone because they have you, and many others, who will walk alongside them, and they are not alone because there are many people who are same-sex attracted and who are seeking to follow Jesus. As time goes on, it may be good to point them towards stories of other Christians who have been in the experience; websites like Living out, Spiritual Friendship or True Freedom Trust could be of much help.
  • Don’t say you had always wondered. It is more likely to make them stress about why you wondered and whether everyone else is also wondering, and it offers little comfort.
  • Ask how you can best love and support them.
  • Always be listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying.

Conclusion

I completely agree with the above thoughts from Andrew Bunt and I offer them to us all we battle with this question of sexuality.

Share- We care

Coming out- Being known

Coming out is a term mostly used by the LGBTQI community to mean people’s self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity. When this happens, most of the time, the individual has to come out of the closet and embrace the ideology that this who they are which often involves marrying the lifestyle therein.

Sometime in my first year in Campus I met this young man who was happily pursuing his studies, he had no fears of being found out nor the agony of having to struggle through his feelings that were different from many of his peers simply because he had come out. He had embraced the fact that he was gay, and that was him. Though a Christian, he was not actively involved in the University christian Union unlike when he was in High school where he was actively part of the CU. I suppose that this was because of the fact that he was still “in the closet” in High school and with him coming out and now actively pursuing his gay lifestyle in campus, it kind of detered him from being part of the CU.

At the same time I had read about the story of Ray Boltz, a Christian song-writer and singer who is behind the song I pledge allegiance. At 55 years of age he finally decided to come out. During an interview he was quoted saying “I’d denied it ever since I was a kid. “I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore — when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’ ” And ooops! He came out.

What is it with coming out? How come those who choose not are seen as closeted and labelled cowards? Should a Christian Come out? And when it happens does one need to embrace a different theology than one which he has been taught overtime?

The dangers of being closeted

Heeeeeelp!!

From the stories I have read or listened to, anyone who has come out as gay finally seems to be coming out of an air-tight box. A box in which we can say that the individual was suffocating in, and they would have died if they stayed in there any longer without taking a step to come out. . Is that it? May be.

Imagine living a life of secrecy and not being able to be open about someone’s key are of their life such as sexuality? This leads, as you would expect, to internal emotional turmoil because the individual is constantly having to wear a mask and be in public, someone they are not in private. You cannot share your struggles with anyone and only have God to talk to. When you go to Church, they will definitely talk about sexual struggles, but no one mentions your struggle. You hope to hear a testimony of someone who ever experienced what you are experiencing but none seems forthcoming. Once or twice your Pastor mentions something that is almost similar but totally different from what you are experiencing; the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah, he adds that those are perverts and their end is destruction. Though you do not want to rape someone or are actively pursuing your feelings, this is the most he has come near to touching on what you are feeling and loudly, with much sharpness you can hear the echo of the verdict in your ears- eternal fire! Eternal fire! You choose for the 10th time now to do a 7 day prayer and fasting, climaxing it with a deliverance service. That evening you head home happy, full of faith, it’s gone, am now free. Two days later you see this charming young man, your mind cannot help but think of him, you try to fight this thought with all that you have, unknowingly you start fantasizing about him. You cannot stomach this, was it not dealt with? Was I not freed? Or God has finally, ‘given up one me…..’

What’s the danger in this silence:-

Shame– I am to blame for this and it would be such a mistake for my friends to know.

Hopelessness– Failure to achieve the desired result. This may lead to a breakdown in other segments of one’s life e.g.. Studies.

Self-loathing– This may lead to suicidal attempts or other addictions.

Benefits of Choosing to be known

I choose the term ‘being known’ simply because of the baggage that the term ‘coming out’ carries with it.

You do not have to struggle alone any longer– It is said that the battles that the devil seems to win in our lives are those that we fight in isolation. No wonder he will try to ensure that you see your problem as your very own and that no one can help you. The very moment I told someone what I was struggling in, I felt much relieved, I was sure that now I was not an hypocrite and had someone to help me fight this. You will start thinking, after opening up, about how others are struggling through other things different or similar to yours and how together you can strengthen each other in the walk of chastity.

You do not have to live in denial any longer. By this I mean, you are able to face what you are experiencing and ask yourself hard questions like:- what does it mean to be a Christian and experience this? What is the discipleship journey that I should be prepared to face in this path? And finally, what more about what I feel do I need to know and am I really defined by it? I have seen this helpful in my life especially when some friends come attacking me as one who is in denial. I quickly point them to the fact that I am not denying anything only that I have faced what I may feel inclined to but chosen a path that is in line with what I believe.

You allow yourself to be loved and love others. This has been one of the most astonishing thing that happened, many would think that once they open up about this part of their lives to their friends, then they will be deserted and labelled all manner of labels. My experience has been different, I have experienced love, sincere love from friends. They have continued to interact with me freely, no negative judgement has been passed on to me and some are more open to sharing their deep seated struggles with me. I do not to claim this as the universal experience of everyone but I believe that God has a community in our lives through which, he is ready to show his love to us.

CONCLUSION

It is a personal decision to choose to be know. No one should be pressured to do this even if your friend is doing it. And while at it, have these in mind………

Do not think you know how people will react—certainly.

Do not think that you know why they are reacting as they are.

Do not think that everyone will respond in the same way.

Do not think that an individual’s first response will necessarily be their ongoing response.

And so yes, Christians can open up about their same sex experience, they can face these struggles without any sense of denial and they can stand true to the Sound Doctrine as God continues to work in them in their specific community.

What if I choose to be known, to whom and what’s the environment for this? Check out the next article…