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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Questions for LGBTQ Christians. - April 25th 2016, 09:25 AM

I know there have already been threads discussing the issues of homosexuality and/or transgenderism in Christianity but I have some questions directed at queer people who consider themselves Christian. It's partly out of curiosity and partly because I'm questioning faith again.

1) Is your church LGBTQ-affirming? If so was it difficult to find such a church? I find it hard to find LGBTQ-affirming denominations in my city, beyond the Quakers and maybe the Pentecostal church. There was a non-denominational church I was hopeful about but it turns out its leaders are in fact very homophobic and transphobic. Interestingly my local Roman Catholic church's parish priest gave a sermon in favour of marriage equality last year, which, with all due respect to Catholics (my dad's Catholic and I was baptized, for what it's worth), I wouldn't have expected. Nonetheless I would probably never go back to Catholicism because of all the negative experiences I had with that denomination.

2) How do other Christians react when you tell them you're queer? I've personally been shunned by as many atheists as I have religious people so I've accepted that religiosity has more of a correlation with intolerance rather than being a causation. I'm curious how members of Christian communities react to LGBTQ people in the same community as them.

3) Do you ever find it difficult to reconcile your faith in Christianity as a queer person with (let's face it) the atrocities that some Christians have directed at our community? If I am honest, it was always one of the things that made me shy away from Christianity. I found I was constantly self-conscious as a queer person in Christian spaces since I was almost suspicious of other Christians, worried they could turn on me at any second. I know it sounds like an irrational fear, but does anyone else struggle with it?

Any other comments are appreciated too! ^^
   
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Re: Questions for LGBTQ Christians. - April 25th 2016, 09:07 PM

My church is open and accepting to all people. I haven't seen anyone shunned or made to feel bad at all, everyone's accepted which I think is pretty cool. I haven't told anyone about my sexuality, except my brother. So I'm not sure how they would react, I'd assume they'd be fine with it. I don't feel bad or as if I'm doing something unchristian at all because of who I think I am. Homosexual stuff has been happening a long time, and I think religion place some negative perceptions on it a long time ago, and should be changed. And it is slowly I think. I'm not comfortable telling anyone about it, I'm just not there yet, well except for my brother that is. And he's very open and accepting to it
   
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Re: Questions for LGBTQ Christians. - April 25th 2016, 09:14 PM

I hope you don't mind that I answer these questions,, as I am still questioning my sexuality and religion, and while I am pretty sure I am gay, but I'm not really a Christian, though I was born and raised that way.

I identify as a agonistic thesist, which is probably in that I believe in God but not the Bible if that makes sense. I don't believe in the bible, because frankly there is nothing that doesn't disprove it was written by a bunch of random people just wanting to explain how the world works when science couldn't. I also don't believe in the bible because of some contradictions, and because I don't agree with some of the sins.

I also want to mention that I don't believe the bible considers homosexuality or transgender people a sin. I mean, all the passages can be labeled as mistranslations and misunderstandings and, think, if you are born gay, bi or transgender and such (which science can prove, especially as research progresses), then God made you gay, bi, or transgender, etc. Besides, Jesus never preached that homosexuality was a sin and the passages where the English bible directly states homosexuality as a sin only applied o ancient Isarelites and Jews (they don't apply any more, as said somewhere in Galatians).

1) Here's the thing. I was Methodist when I was a Christian, and that branch is very homphobic-they certainly aren't the worst, but they still discriminate against them-Merhodist pastors can't marry gay couples, for example. But I had a very nice pastor, who, while he didn't openly support LGBT rights, did allow them to come to church and treated them as normal people, and not so Suberin hinted that he doesn't agree with the church's view on gay rights and such. There were even two gay couples at the church, and they were treated like completely normal and both were very active in the community, which actually inspired me. I quit going to church because the pastor was moved, and I started disagreeing with the Bible and started not believing it to be this infallible "holy" book that everyone in the Methodist church regards it as. I quit going to church once I started questioning, and while there are branches of LGBT Christians, I feel like I would still be looked down upon. Plus I got kind of bored of church :P

2) I'm not out, but I have told a few of my friends, who happen to be Christian, that I'm questioning as well as asking their opinion on LGBT rights. I would never tell any pastor of my sexuality unless I had to, and frankly I do see a reason to ever come out, as it would just invite more hate into my life. There are two "main" groups of Christians imp, "conservative" and "liberal". A lot of coder stove icons don't consider LGBT Christians Christians at all or just that LGBT people are mentally insane. Liberal Christians are relatively rare, but some domination a, like Presbrytarian tend to be a lot more open, and you have people like Obama who despite being Christian support LGBT rights. But, back to my friends, all but one was surprisingly supportive and progressive, and now they just ask me occasionally how I'm doing and support me either way-nothing judge about it. One of my friends quit talking to me altogether,despite showing him research that people are born gay and such, but I don't really miss him.

3)Once of the reason I don't identify as Christians is how many Christian hate groups they are. Whether they are targeting Muslims, Jews, gay/bisexual/pans/ace people, transgender people, or people of color, they are use the Bible as their reasoning. And that just makes me sick, how a religion focused on love and tolerance can be so hateful when someone is remotely differnet. Not all Christians are like that obviously, most aren't, but I did have, and still do with my friends, that they are going to turn on me altogether, as you said. I think it's a pretty common fear for LGBT Christians especially.

So, yeah...I wish you luck with your questioning
   
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Re: Questions for LGBTQ Christians. - April 26th 2016, 12:50 AM

i'm straight, but some girls are exceptions, and i can't deny that i've had feelings for girls before. one of my friends says that's called "heteroflexible" but i just prefer to be called straight with some exceptions, you know? no shame in that..

anyway, i'm not religious, though i was raised christian so i hope i'm still qualified to answer these.
my one friend who described me as "heteroflexible" is a christian, but she's also bi and questioning her beliefs as well. as for my other straight christian friend (who i've actually accidentally flirted with because i used to have a thing for her ) she usually gets a bit weirded out whenever i joke around in a gay way with her or if one of my other friends mentions that i act bi. sometimes she'll play along though, so it's not like i'm shunned.
however, i have some christian friends who i don't even address the topic with, because they've made it so obvious they're completely against homosexuality in the past.. their friendship means little to me as it is, so i don't feel like it'd be worth it.
and as for the church i'm forced to go to... yeah.. they claim to be open and accepting of everyone, which i guess they are (i mean, they've never asked me to leave, despite my rude gestures, cussing, and obnoxious attitude).
however, the pastor once described homosexuality as "proof that the devil rules over our minds" and that "he can cause us to make the CHOICE to become gay."

i've never respected a word that pastor said after that.


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Re: Questions for LGBTQ Christians. - April 26th 2016, 03:36 AM

I guess I am going to comment then. I consider myself a Christian even though there a few things I don't necessarily understand or know. My church would probably be classified as homophobic so no it is not accepting, I have asked people how they feel about gay people and from their responses I decided to definitely not come out to them. I came out to a few people at school, but probably not coming out to my church. I don't actually know of any accepting churches around me, so yes they would be hard to find here.

I don't think any Christians know I am queer, although there a few people that have said if I was they would still think of me the same as before. Helpful, but still doesn't make me want to come out to them because occasionally they will say something quite offensive about gay people, but it may just be the church I go to.

It is occasionally hard to believe in something that can at times be quite cruel to others, but I think a lot of the time that is just the way people are and not an accurate representation of what a true Christian is meant to be like. There are accepting Christians and there are extremely homophobic Christians. I just have to continually remind myself that I don't have all the answers, and I only believe what I believe because some of the things I have seen make it impossible to deny. But that might just be me.

So that's my really short input.


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Re: Questions for LGBTQ Christians. - April 26th 2016, 01:53 PM

I don't know what I believe in at the moment, it's something I struggle with. However, I was raised a christian.

My church is a Baptist church and they are homophobic (no idea where they stand on trans issues though). However, there are some supportive people within the church, for example my mentor is lgbtq+ friendly. I've never found a completely supportive church.

I have been told I'm going to hell, I've been given bible verses and had people promise to pray for me because I'm bi, I've had people tell me it's ok so long as I don't act on it and I've had people say that they could never be friends with a gay person. I've also had people tell me that they love me for who I am, that god loves me for who I am, and that they'll stand with me. It's been a mixed bag.

One of the reasons I've been questioning my faith so much is because I don't feel welcome and I don't feel like god could love me, because of being lgbt.


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Re: Questions for LGBTQ Christians. - April 26th 2016, 02:24 PM

Thank you for the responses, friends! I appreciate all your replies, it's given me a bit more to think about.

In the meantime I've been researching local churches a bit more. I found one in particular, the reverend (who's also the dean of my local diocese) has spoken at the national gathering for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and the cathedral has services to mark it. The denomination as a whole (Church of Ireland) isn't entirely there when it comes to LGBTQ affirmation, though they are ahead of other denominations in Ireland such as the Catholic and Methodist churches. I also know one of my friends who is queer attends services there, so I might ask her about it. :3
   
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