By: Kgabo Chuene
This is going to be one of those sensitive ones. If you can help it, please don’t stop reading when it becomes uncomfortable, give it a chance.
So you guys might know that I was raised Christian (mzalwane) and I went on to take it for myself in my adulthood. It has however been a season of unpacking and breaking down things I have swallowed without questioning with the aim to build again. I left church about a year ago and I have to admit that it was the hardest decision I’ve had to make. Yes, I said I had to make it. There was discourse in what I claimed to believe and in what I actually did believe. I had questions which I felt were for God to answer. That sounds dramatic but I felt I didn’t want a hint of any person’s opinion regarding those particular questions I had.
I had been thinking about it a whole lot before then, but shortly before I made the decision to leave I had gone to Cape Town by myself. Incredibly cliché but I feel like I met with myself. It was as if I was someone else all together. Some of my dreams became clearer to me. I was confronted with myself, outside of anyone or entity, just Sabby and God and it felt great. I felt free. I think I had put myself in a space of feeling as though I needed to keep up with where everyone was in the church space and as much as it is said that we shouldn’t, I had been and it had been suffocating me. So now suddenly I’m discovering things about myself that I had made such an effort to suppress, and I’m actually allowing myself to form my own opinions about life and what I want my life to look like.
The above is just context which I felt the need to provide because since I left church I get the sense that people assume that I’ve left God, lol! That’s actually putting it mildly; people sort of treat me like I’ve got leprosy, maybe I should say “spiritual leprosy” as if anything that will come out of my mouth is dirty. Well I have not left God, I’m just very aware of where I am and I’m okay with the process. Recently I read something on an Instagram post of a friend, someone said that the reason the Pharisees didn’t get answers from God was because ‘Their questions were full of answers”. It changed my life. I know that for as long as I’m truly asking and seeking, God will meet me. That said, the matter I want to talk about is a question I’ve been asking the Lord. Firstly let me clarify by means of a quote by Brennan Manning, the kind of God I believe in.
“I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father, nor do I want a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behaviour of mine that he will not condone. I want a relationship with the Abba of Jesus who is infinitely compassionate with my brokenness and at the same time an awesome, incomprehensible and unwieldy Mystery “
So yes, I get that He is a Mysterious God but I have questions, particularly about Homosexuality. No price for guessing what the Bible says about this (The bible is also something I have questions about, but that’s for another day) but to find out the various ways the bible talks about the matter, uhm… just google it.
Now as we all know, no one chooses whom who they get attracted to. In fact sometimes we find ourselves shocked at the person we have fallen for. The issue is what comes after the attraction. Now the yoke of the Lord is easy and His burden is light, He says that we should choose Him for this. Now I can’t imagine it being an easy yoke and a light burden when a person has to spend the rest of their lives fighting with and praying against being attracted to the same sex. I say this because the few stories of people I know who’ve gotten ‘healing’ say that the attraction doesn’t disappear, they have to make a decision everyday to not succumb. I also understand that we have to carry our various crosses. As in that our fight in this world won’t be the same. However the yoke has got to be easy for all of us and the burden has to be light for all of us.
The intolerance and the “my sin is better than yours” mentality is what grates my tits the most. In 2014 a guy I met once said that if his son ever said that he was gay, he would take him to a cliff and push him off because it’s a sin. a
I asked some people the following questions:
What does it mean for you to be gay and Christian?
A: Sexuality has come to mean nothing more than a preference, but it took a long journey to get here. I started off feeling like a sinner, and then went on to being very confused and now I’m at a place where I’m at peace. I believe that all I have to do is work out my own salvation with fear and trembling and that’s what I’m doing.
A: It means I’m attracted to the same sex and I love Jesus. I’ve chosen to do me and God in a way that I discover it, the things I take on are things I really believe in, and nothing I’m fed. Scripture can be interpreted in many different ways to mean whatever people want depending on the agenda they’re pushing because at the end of the day, it’s text. I’m at a place in my life were I don’t think being gay is a sin against God.
A: That I’ve succeeded in prioritising God’s love before all else. I’m happy with the relationship I have with God
Do you wish you weren’t attracted to the same sex?
A: I used to for the longest time. I then realised that it’s not going anywhere. I didn’t know why what I desired wasn’t enough, when God says that He gives us the desires of our hearts. I felt as though He had created me like this. So I don’t wish I wasn’t attracted to the same sex anymore. I don’t think it puts me at any disadvantage with the Lord, perhaps with the Christians but not the Lord.
A: Not anymore. Struggle has taught me so much empathy. To be gay in South Africa has taught me a whole lot.
A: No, I wish being gay wasn’t taboo. I still struggle to get comfortable with my sexuality but being a minority teaches on invaluable lessons and stresses the importance of rights being for all.
What do you think God thinks of you?
A: I think God thinks of me as his son. I speak to the Lord about everything in my life. Beyond me being attracted to the same sex, I’m His son and that’s how I relate with Him.
A: God thinks I’m awesome!
A: I’m His son; He loves on me and showers me with blessings
I think it is such a pity that gay people in the church (by church I mean Christian people) are often demonised, they are thought of as sinners. Countries are killing gay people in the name of the Lord. I think when people pursue God and allow their minds to go to sleep, this sort of thing happens. God is an infinite God, a Mystery. It makes me so angry when people suggest that they know who is going to hell or heaven, bo “vice Jesus”. I think it’s rather arrogant to think for a second that we have God all figured out, especially when it comes to the relationship He has with all His children.