My gut reaction to the conversation I talked about before was anger. Not at the YWM in particular, but that in the world there existed such difficult questions that I had to find the answers to. So my mind immediately went to how to solve my problem.
Problem: Maybe I didn’t know so much about what the Bible says about homosexuality. I definitely didn’t know how to have a very intelligent conversation about it. My “all you need is love” answers weren’t enough anymore, it seemed.
Solution: Talk to my favorite pastor.
As a twenty-something Cru-graduate Christian Girl, that was the obvious answer. I laid out the Facebook conversation with the YWM to my friend, Joel, over sandwiches one afternoon. We talked mostly about the gay marriage/what the Bible says about homosexuality issue. I thought that if I could get answers to the questions that were on the surface, all my other fears and questions would go away. Plus, Joel is my kindred spirit. We think alike. If he could be like me in personality (albeit way smarter than me) and still have the assurance that God is good and unchanging, then I could too. I left our meeting with a list of books and materials to dive into and started to feel better.
I started reading a book that he recommended, and about 20 pages into it, I put it down. All I could think while reading it was, You know what, I don’t care. If you’re gay and you want to know if your attraction is a sin, you figure that out with God knowing that you are loved and created by Him. I still want you in my church and as my neighbor. I want you serving. I want you fed. I want you to preach and to tell your story. I want you to raise families and have holy marriages.
So, in the course of a week, what I thought had shaken my faith – the question about whether homosexual behavior is a sin – became totally unimportant to me. I knew how I felt about it, and I knew what I wanted God to say about it. I realized that my true questions weren’t about other people, they were about God. I started to fear that I only knew the God I wanted to know, and not the Real God. And if that was true, the Real God might not be someone I liked or trusted.
The arguments in the book I read 20 pages of started with the neutral assumption that God is fair by our standards. The basis for their argument was that God wouldn’t create someone for the sole purpose of condemning them. Being gay isn’t a choice, and being celibate – without the God-given gifting, they said – isn’t a true choice either if you want to have a good relationship with God. And I realized that, unlike the authors… I wouldn’t put it past God to be that unfair.
…Because if God allowed the Egyptian babies to be born only to be struck down by the Plague of Death, they why wouldn’t he make people gay just to tell them they’re sinners? If God, even today, is in charge of a world where IF you live too often depends on where you were BORN, then why wouldn’t he make and condemn gay people? You can’t choose if you’re gay, but you can’t choose where you’re born, or who your parents are, or what your health will be like at birth – and I’ve seen plenty of those things bring about much distance from God.
God allows many things.
It all boiled down to this: my big, deep, theological struggles with issues like homosexuality were just average struggles with God’s character.