Monday, October 11, 2010

Coming Out

Today's Columbus day!

And it's also National Coming Out Day.

One of these, I'm more interested in. And it's not the one that has anything to do with banks & schools being closed.

Jason Boyett posted an article today that you should read: Bullied for Being Gay: A Friend's Story

It got me thinking. And I had this passage...or at least the idea behind it...rumbling in my brain because of his post:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you."
-Ephesians 5:11-14
I believe that the church has a large amount of darkness in it. That we have our sacred cows we don't want to tip, our dark corners that we don't want to shine light on.

Most of the time it's not even deliberate. It just happens. We fear repercussions. What people will think. What people will do in a response if we take a position that we feel may be unpopular.

It's easier to not take sides, to try and pretend that we don't actually have opinions, to shut down that voice inside of us that is screaming to speak up for hurting people.

And so a place that should be safe for people who are looking for support, an identity and a community of believers to walk alongside them; becomes instead another source of confusion, rejection and ultimately darkness.

I can't speak with the authority of someone who is immersed in the GLBT community. That's not who I am. I don't have many gay friends. I don't know many gay people. I mostly associate with people who look and act just like me.

Because it's comfortable.

"Everything exposed by the light becomes visible."

I think darkness being exposed by the light is beautiful. It reveals what was actually there...for real. Not the fears, hatreds, prejudices or expectations we believed were in the darkness; but what was really there instead.

It allows us to see that maybe what we were so afraid of, wasn't worth being so terrified of in the first place. Sometimes, the darkness itself is far worse than what is hidden by it.

I believe that Jesus is all about exposing darkness, and revealing the truth behind it.

As followers of him, we should be too.

What that looks like for everyone will probably be different for whatever passions God has put in you. But I believe that collectively, as a church, we shouldn't allow the darkness around our brothers & sisters in the GLBT community.

We should be running in with our lights, exposing the truth behind the phobias and prejudices; revealing what's behind the darkness. Showing people that they don't need to hide who they are. Showing them that God is desperately seeking after them.

We need to be a community that allows people to bring who they really are to God, and not force them to pretend they're someone else to go on their journey.

I believe we need to be people who don't tolerate hatred, fear, hostility or bullying towards GLBT (or anyone for that matter).

I think that as individuals, and collectively as a body, we need to come out of our own darkness in support.

What do you think?