May 06, 2008

"Strike a Match"

That's the message that Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge shares in this essay for Whosoever, the online GLBT Christian magazine she edits. Rather than be bullied into silence, she encourages GLBT Christians to stand up and allow others to see the light of God shine through gay as well as straight people.

It's a message that arrives too many times in my email box.

"Hi, I'm gay (or lesbian, or bisexual or transgender) and I've been told I’m going to hell. Help me! I’m scared!"

My heart breaks every time I receive that message, because it reminds me of just how powerful the message is that GLBT people receive about God and how God surely feels about them. It’s a message many in our community hear relentlessly. A Bible verse or two is quoted as proof. The person under attack may not know how to defend themselves; they simply hear the words of condemnation and fear overtakes them. Many, unfortunately, succumb to the darkness. They accept the condemnation and either bury their sexuality, try to “change” it, or forsake their relationship with God all together. Some write to me or other GLBT Christian organizations seeking support.

As someone who has put this issue to rest within my own mind ("No, I'm not going to hell because I'm a lesbian. Thanks for your opinion, though."), it's difficult to back up and give that helping hand to those still behind me on the path toward reconciling sexuality and spirituality. However, that is what Christ demands from us when he tells us to let our light shine in the world. Instead of cursing the darkness that keeps GLBT people from realizing the light of God within them, we are to strike a match and be beacons of light along the path for anyone who has not made it as far down the road as we have. We are to be like bodhisattvas in the Buddhist tradition, refusing to enter Nirvana until all have found the way there.

Click here to read the rest of the essay at Whosoever.

1 comment:

  1. apfeljaxx@yahoo.comTue May 06, 10:17:00 AM EDT

    Thank you for posting this. I am also dismayed that many "Christians" seem to think that John 3:16 says (in part): "... gave his only son, so that all (except glbt) may have everlasting life...". Of course it does NOT say that. It states ALL can have life.
    Just my 2cents :)