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By Elaine 

Author "Calling the Rainbow Nation Home"

 

The Witness of our Lives

Here we are, a group of Christians who just happen to be gay. We’ve built churches, fed the hungry, taught Bible study, led worship, preached the sermons, led some to Christ and others back to Christ! We’ve encouraged one another. Comforted one another. Many have experienced spiritual gifts in operation (Acts 10:1-11:18). We’ve witnessed miracles. We’ve participated in miracles. Some of us are here by a miracle!

Yet in spite of all these things, I’ve had some accuse me of being an emissary of satan himself. Perhaps you’ve experienced the same. I used to just shake my head at such nonsense, not knowing how to respond. In time however doubts began to creep in. Was my love and desire to be with Pam clouding my ability to see the truth? Could my life be mired in sin and I was simply unaware of it? 

These questions tormented me for months until one day the Holy Spirit asked me a simple question; “can sin be hidden from God?” “No” I answered, sin can never be hidden from God because God knows everything! As soon as I realized this, the answer was clear. God knows everything about me, right down to the exact number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30)! Therefore there was nothing I could do, no matter how hidden it was from myself or others that God does not see (Hebrews 4:12-13). He knows all my motives, intentions, and secret desires. Therefore if I was sinning, God would know it, regardless if I was aware of my sin or not!

Why was this important? Because it is impossible for God, who is the epitome of total goodness and light (1 John 1:5) to have fellowship with sin (1 John 2:9-11). God and sin simply cannot coexist together - it is impossible (2 Corinthians 6:14)! 

Therefore, my personal conclusions about what sin was, and was not, really didn’t matter.  If being with Pam was a sin, it would cause a separation between God and I. The side effects of such a breach would become obvious over time. Simply put, sin always separates us from God and separation from God always causes side effects. Therefore, the behavioral characteristics, or "fruit” of my life as Jesus described it, would tell me if I was living in sin or not. 

Matthew 7:18-20 (NKJV)

“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

We have to be careful here on two fronts. First, off I'm not talking about an inadvertent sin here and there for all of us have “sinned and fall(en) short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). There is little doubt that our lives are lived in a constant battle between our "natural" selves and God’s nature that resides within us (Romans 7:21-25). We fall, and we get up again and again. If we say otherwise, we are only deceiving ourselves (1 John 1:8). Thankfully, if we do sin the Lord has provided us the means to extricate ourselves from our mistakes (1 John 1:9). No, we are not talking about this kind of sin, but about a consistent, willful pattern of sin. Ones sexual orientation would certainly qualify as a “consistent pattern” of living, but is it a sin?

The second issue we must be cognizant of is the fact that many in the homosexual community have run away from God because they feel God and the church have rejected them. Many attempt to bury their pain of rejection in just about every form of substance abuse and self abuse imaginable. We are not talking about folks like this either. Much of the sin these people have entangled themselves in is caused by self-hate. If they could accept themselves and learn that God loves them just as they are many would have never gone down this path. No - these people have not run away from God because of sin in their lives. These people were pushed away by self-condemnation and societal prejudices that have made them feel like outcasts.

What I am talking about are folks such as myself who hadn't run from God or from myself but were seeking God's will intently in this matter. By this time. I had for the most part, accepted myself as a gay Christian and had found a wonderful person to share my life with. Now that we were together, I needed to find out if our relationship would cause my life to spiral downward. For if our relationship was a sin, then I could expect such an outcome over time.

So that first year together and for many years thereafter, I carefully monitored my life. Was I growing closer to God or further away? Had coming to terms with my sexuality and reconciling it with my faith brought peace to my life (Matthew 11:28-30; John 8:32) or turmoil? Was I a more whole person now that I had met Pam? Finally, what kind of “fruit” was my life bringing forth? 

It didn’t long for me to realize that I was much, much happier now with Pam in my life! I felt like a whole person. I wasn’t hiding from others or from myself anymore, pretending to be someone I wasn’t. Guilt and self-condemnation lost their grip and I learned to love myself and others in a fuller, much healthier way. Accepting myself made it easier to fulfill the second great commandment of love, that being that we are to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). How could I love someone else if I couldn’t even love myself?

As for my relationship with God, I found that strengthened many times over! The bitterness of having to live alone was gone, replaced by an indescribable sense of joy and gratitude that this wonderful woman had come into my life! I found that one and one do make three! We compliment each other, where I am weak she is strong. Her strength and courage enables and encourages me to do things I would not have tried on my own. The happiness and joy I’ve found through our family is beyond anything I thought possible! As barren and desolate as my life was before I met Pam, it is as blessed and full of vitality now! My happiness and joy extends into all aspects of my life - including my relationship with God!

Furthermore, our relationship and the rigors of raising a family together have helped mature me as a Christian. I don't just live for myself anymore. ‘Us’ requires a level of maturity that ‘me’ never did. It’s easy being ‘nice’ when you live alone! It’s a whole different ‘ball game’ trying to be a good Christian day in and day out when you have a family! It’s hard work and a tremendous amount of self-sacrifice. Through our eighteen years and raising two children together, I've learned things I never would have living on my own. My relationship with God has only strengthened and matured with time. The "fruit" of my life bear out my faith (Galatians 5:22-23) and give witness to God's blessing upon our Union.

So what was the verdict? Was there 'hidden' sin in my life due to my relationship with Pam? No. How did I know this? The "fruit" of my life are my witness and testify daily that I am serving the one and only true God. If being gay was some horrific sin, this would not have been so.

For a more in depth look at this subject read "Calling the Rainbow Nation Home"

by Rev. Sundby

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