i have been blogging for nearly five years here now and i have chosen to avoid this subject for a couple of reasons. first being i am no expert. second being this subject cuts very close to home for me. third is probably just not wanting to weather a troll storm in my comments or just plain lack of courage, but i have come to realize too late that my silence needs to be broken.
as a recovering sexual addict i have spent far too much of my life with my nose pressed up against the rough edges of life. i haven't written about my sexual addiction in quite some time, mostly because i have had 7 1/2 blessed years of abstinence that i cherish deeply and probably don't want to "jinx" it. i don't believe that's really true when i write it, but sometimes we get superstitious and don't really even know it.
in the past few months i have crossed paths with some amazing new bloggers. most of them are recovery men who happen to be gay. i love gay men. i really do. penni and i have said many times that they are the best friends a wounded woman could have. they live out of a beautiful place in their souls - and usually they've been wounded along their path too, so they just plain "get it".
i am writing about this now because much of the woundedness i see happens at the hands of the church in the name of a very vengeful, atrocious god. it breaks my heart.
as a woman raised in a female hating denomination i had that god on my back for most of my life too. the worst part of spiritual abuse is that the very comforter who should be there when the rest of life turns on you is taken away and made into the one who orchestrated it all. instead of finding comfort from god those of us with vast boatloads of shame are told that the shame is there because we're so screwed up and that god created that shame to get our attention so that we will behave in the way that we're supposed to. it's a really f-ed up logic, but to a child raised in a strict, religious home we're too naive and wounded already that we just can't tease apart the error.
the best part of my recovery journey has been the line from the step 3 "god as i understand him." somehow that gave me permission to begin to peel back the edges of the rigid doctrine i had been raised with and start to question. what i saw was an ugly idol. as sick and twisted as the old testament idols we were warned about. maybe, just maybe this wasn't really god. maybe, just maybe my understanding, and the understanding of those who hurt me so was WRONG. maybe. it's what i'm devoting the next two years of my life to. it will hopefully be my thesis.
maybe that idol needs to be pulled off it's altar so that we can fully find a real god who truly sets us free and is worthy of our devotion.
why this theology stop in a post about homosexuality? it's who i am. a sexual addict who loves theology and i adore the god i've found in recovery. and i so long for others to find that god too.
you see i think the church uses homosexuality as a red herring. i'll shake the red flag over here to divert your eyes so that you don't see my sexual brokenness. i know that in my own life the times i was overly concerned with other people's bedrooms/sexual lives/behaviors was when mine was helter skelter all over the place (mostly in the gutter).
can we all just agree that god wants us all to be more sexually healthy than we are today? whatever that looks like. please, can we stop shaming other people because our own shame is so great and looming that we feel like we need to spread it around?
there isn't some great dividing line that says my sexual brokenness is okay with god and that person's over there isn't. we're all broken. we all need redemption. we all need a god who is big enough to help us heal. let's stop wagging fingers in peoples faces and start to sit with our own brokenness. we all struggle at some level with self acceptance, intimacy and wholeness. homosexual marriage doesn't threaten your family. your own sexual brokenness threatens your family. focus on your own damn family and stop using others as an issue to assuage your guilt.
we who call ourselves christ followers must, in the most honest places of our souls, acknowledge that we know that jesus sat with all who were sexually wounded and offered friendship, healing and hope. how dare we say that there are those who must heal themselves before they can experience the grace of god?
shame on us.
of all people we should be the most understanding - but we're so afraid to acknowledge our own sexual sin/fantasies/behavior that we can't even afford ourselves the grace god extends to us for our own sexual healing.
please understand that i am in no way saying that i expect that jesus will heal anyone of homosexuality. i make no claim/stand/opinion on this - i just know that each of us needs to be more healed and healthy than we we are now. if that healing is found in a committed homosexual relationship before god that is none of my business and i glory in the fact that it's not mine to judge. i want to live a life that accepts, embraces and invites others to the healing i have found and continue to grow in.
if you have been wounded by the god of the religious right i am so sorry. for whatever role i played in that crazy mixed up world i repent. and i invite you to begin to pray, to a kinder, gentler god and ask to have the lies removed, to clear away the error, to do away with the hate and begin to feel the love and peace promised. that prayer continues to be answered in my life and i truly believe it will be in yours too.
here's something my friend steve wrote that might help those of us raised with that right wing god and need to learn to open our hearts and have more mercy and grace:
ragamuffin ramblings: what i wish straight christians knew