My thoughts as a "Whosoever"


by: Maureen Hope


As a Christian, the realization around four years ago that I was a lesbian, brought with it a deluge of fear and confusion. At that time, I was deeply committed to and actively involved in my church. I suddenly felt like I had "fallen" to some place where I was out of the reach of God's grace.

I had believed in the doctrines of my church and Christianity in general, about homosexuality. I had never really questioned the supposed rejection of homosexuals by God until this "bombshell," when I had to look at it as pertaining to me. All of a sudden I was confronted with the possibility that I was now someone who God rejected. Now I had to find out where I really stood with God as a Lesbian.

What sustained me was my firm belief, all along, that God had brought my partner and I together. We were both born again Christians and He had been the foundation of our relationship from the very beginning. We continued to make sure that He stayed the central focus in our life together, and we just trusted in His love for us. We knew God as a loving creator who would reveal to us His heart if we were open to Him.

Over the ensuing years, we came to understand grace in a way we never had before. God is so full of love for all His people, that He did everything necessary to make sure we were able to be one with Him through Jesus. We learned how far His grace goes. His grace is abundant and endless. It is for us all. It was bought by Jesus, without cost to us, and has nothing to do with anything we can do ourselves. We learned that as humanity's "sin condition" came through one man, Adam, so did grace come through one man, Jesus. Just as we didn't do anything to become united in Adam's "fall," we didn't have to do anything to become united in Jesus' redemption. Gradually we realised that in Jesus, God had reconciled all of us to Himself - and that absolutely includes gays and lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people - and that we had no reason to feel separated from Him. The fears, doubts and questions melted away.

During this time we also discovered the Internet and the World Wide Web and we were surprised and delighted to find out that there were many people like us all over the world. We found a community of people who were confirming what we already knew to be true. Knowing that we were part of the "Whosoever" of John 3:16, gave us great comfort. So then, grace has been the basis for our being able to live every day without fear and condemnation.

There came a time when I decided that it would be pertinent to spend some time studying and learning the "clobber passages" and arming myself against the expected "attacks" of well-meaning Christians. After poring over these scriptures and their true translations, meanings and history for quite a while, I decided that it was really not essential for me, personally, to know every intricate verse of the clobber passages and their explanations and historical data.

I came to the conclusion that it was apparent that no one could possibly use those scriptures to say God condemns homosexuals if they were to examine them in more detail. I wondered how it was that the entire Christian world throughout history had allowed the error contained in these scriptures to remain in the Bible at all. When you consider the time and cultural background of the writings, the reference to Jewish Levitical Law and Holiness Codes, the blatant mistranslation by obviously prejudiced writers, not to mention the fact that we are under a New Covenant in Jesus, there really isn't anything for us to be concerned about. They are outdated, unreliable and inapplicable to us today.

What I learned through the experience of reading and trying to memorize those passages, was that rather than concerning myself with arguments over words and meanings, translations and definitions, it is my relationship with God on a personal level that is far more important. Words will pass away one day, but what is written on my heart by God, what I have experienced for myself in daily life and the things He shows me as I draw near to Him, these things are truly mine and no one can deny or challenge them.

The love, grace, guidance and communication I have with God every day is stronger now than at any other time in my life. I believe that coming to understand exactly who I am and how precious I am to God has opened the way for a greater depth of relationship with Him. Everything is deeper - revelation, understanding and compassion.

God has never once led me to believe that in any way I have to change to be acceptable to Him. I know that it is His gentle hand that has led me to challenge any fear and doubt and to realize fully that I am okay and that this is the way He meant for me to be.

Condemnation has only ever come from self-righteous, judgmental Christians and their doctrine. I can understand these people too however, as I have been there myself. It is quite funny sometimes how just when you think you have 'got it all together' God just pulls the rug out from under you and you find yourself somewhere you could never have imagined. Now it is my hope that I can somehow help them to understand and accept gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people and that we can all be reconciled to each other and stand together under the banner of "Whosoever."

Coming to terms with my sexuality has not been easy for me. It has been quite scary at times, wondering for awhile there about my relationship with God as well as being fearful of coming out to my family and friends. But I know now there is strength in living the truth of being myself and accepting fully who God has created me to be. I pray that I would come to know that strength - His strength - to a greater degree as I come to understand and accept myself even more.

Finding out that I am a lesbian, and acknowledging who I am, has allowed me the opportunity to feel the love and acceptance of God in a huge way in my life and that has translated for me into a greater love, understanding and acceptance of other people. I have a greater desire to share what I have experienced from God with others.

My relationship with God is better and stronger now than ever before in my life, and I am a lesbian. No one could ever convince me, with Bible passages or rhetoric, that I am unacceptable to God because of my sexuality. I know what I have experienced and no one can ever take that away from me.

Copyright © 2001 by the author
All Rights Reserved


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Also In This Issue:

The Spirit of Gay Pride
(a parable for the 21st century)

Righteous among the Nations






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