So you have questions. There are reasons why you haven’t fully accepted what’s been passed down to you from the pulpit. You know how to think for yourself, and what has been said insults your very soul. Not only that, it simply doesn’t ring true. You have been taught to believe it, but something inside nags at you that maybe they are making you suffer unnecessarily. Their version of truth doesn’t seem to jive with what you feel in your gut (call it your spirit) to be true. The people saying these things do not understand that you have not made some choice. Somehow they get to have a life while relegating you to a choice between God and a lifestyle.
You don’t have to accept this. Neither do you have to abdicate your faith. To do it their way feels false. It is false. The truth sets you free; it doesn’t hide things or force you to live a lie. What you feel doesn’t feel like a temptation because it isn’t one. It’s an orientation. It’s the way you are wired, and while it may not be the norm, it is not evil. It causes no harm. It’s just strange, and unfamiliar, seemingly unnatural to them. It’s weird and it makes them uncomfortable. They pull up a small handful of verses from the Bible while they ignore a hundred others. Some of them they ignore for good reason. I mean who needs to be told that it’s alright to eat shellfish now? But you, no, you are weird. You don’t get to have an exception clause, no matter how rational you think our reasons are. They don’t understand you, so you are wrong.
Some say you have a disease, but science doesn’t agree. They have already destroyed the institution of marriage. They don’t need our help. You know better. Stop listening to them and look into this for yourself. You’ll live more honestly and that will ultimately bring you peace. God will understand, and some of them might learn a thing or two. But many of them won’t. Don’t let that fact keep you shackled to them. You go ahead and be good, be honest and be free.
The next stage of your journey will take some guts. You’ll need to find a way to reconcile what you believe about God with what you know to be real. John Wesley spoke of interpreting the Bible in light of not only scriptural and cultural context but in context with the witness of your own spirit and common sense. A lot of believers find it easier to let the “experts” do the thinking for them. People are killed in cults because they abdicate their intellectual responsibility to someone else. But when they pass this cup of koolaide around, I encourage you to dump it in the grass. Don’t drink it, and don’t let your friend touch his lips to it either.
You will find a way to not live in two worlds anymore; you will find a way that it all works together, and you can have faith in something greater than yourself without losing the goodness of what was created in you. Be prepared to bend your brain a bit, or just tilt your head and see truth from a different angle. There are reasons why you have doubts about what they say; it’s because you think. Maybe you are being tested, but the test isn’t what they think it is. Maybe it’s about authenticity, and maybe you should listen to what your spirit says and study this for yourself. You don’t have to defend yourself to them. You just have to be.
“…argue not concerning God. Have patience and indulgence toward the people. Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men… re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book. Dismiss whatever insults our own soul.” – Walt Whitman