Sunday, September 25, 2005

23. Wedding

I went to a wedding yesterday.  I love weddings, and this one was beautiful.  The bride and groom are very much in love – they were both practically luminescent.  And of course, there was dancing.  I love dancing.  We (me and a group of friends) danced until well after midnight.  So much fun.  I so rarely get the opportunity to dance that I drink it in when it comes… well, except for that one wedding I went to where all the music was country.  I left that one early.  Anyway, the point is that the wedding was wonderful.  My friend is very happy and I wish them both the best.

I say all of that to say I had a wonderful time, and the vast majority of my thoughts and feelings while I was there were positive, but the purpose of this blog is to provide and outlet for my thoughts about being Christian, Gay and Confused, and of course, being at a wedding will bring some of those thoughts to the foreground.

I am enough of a girly-girl that I have been thinking about and planning my own wedding since I was fairly young.  I remember drawing pictures of the type of wedding dress I wanted in junior high (my tastes have changed a little since then, thank goodness).  I know what song I would want for my first dance, what my colours would be, where I would get my pictures taken, etc…  And every wedding I’ve been to, I’ve catalogued the things I really liked so that I can use them when my own day comes.  The frustrating thing is that I can’t curtail this tendency despite the fact that I know that marriage is probably not an option for me.  I sat there last night, thinking things like “Oooh, that’s a neat idea”, or “Wow, I’ve never heard of that tradition”, and trying to think how I would incorporate them into my own ideal wedding celebration; and every time I would have to give myself a sort of mental slap in the face and remind myself that I probably won’t have a wedding, so I should stop building the idea up in my head.  

And just so you don’t get worried (or excited), I still haven’t come to a conclusion regarding the whole celibacy vs. gay-relationship thing.  It’s just that even if I do eventually marry a woman, I won’t be able to have the traditional wedding that I have envisioned.  I may find a church and a minister that would be willing to hold the ceremony, but I can’t think of a single member of my family that would come… and none of my Christian friends would come either.  So there would be no one giving speeches about what I was like as a child, or telling fun stories about silly things we did in university, etc…  When I think about a wedding without all of these people that I love, it feels kind of hollow… even just thinking about it, my chest has gotten all tight and I’m swallowing back tears.  Wow… I’m never going to have that day when all the people that I love, and who love me, gather to celebrate me and my happiness.  That is a harsh thought.  I’d better move on before I start to cry.  

The other thing that happened was that I saw a guy I haven’t seen in years – he was the staff advisor for the Christian fellowship I was a part of in university.  The friend I have mentioned twice before pointed out his new wife to me – I hadn’t realized he’d gotten divorced.  She went on to tell me how hard his first marriage had been, listing various problems (none of which were adultery), and how happy she was that he was happy now.  And he was happy, I could see it on his face (and in the fact that he and his wife didn’t leave the dance floor for hours!  It was pretty impressive cause… well, they’re kind of old!).   I should tell you that I am happy for him too; I am really in no position to begrudge anyone any joy that they have.  But it frustrated me, how much my friend was celebrating in his happiness, despite the fact that he is in a relationship that the Bible clearly says is wrong.  I couldn’t help but wonder if she would celebrate my happiness if I was in a relationship with a woman that made me happy.  Or would she be worried about the state of my soul?  I know I have mentioned this many times before, but it frustrates me to no end.  How come it’s okay when heterosexuals break or bend the rules when it comes to sex and relationships, but when gay people question the rules (or that there even is a rule) we are in obvious, willful rebellion (or whatever catchphrase is in vogue among Christians these days)?  Again, I think that this is because marriages between divorced people look the same as first time marriages… so people can just pretend that they don’t notice or something.  I mean, really, there can be no other explanation.  

Anyway, the wedding was really wonderful; I had a great time and got to see some people I hadn’t seen in ages.  Weddings are always good for that.  I have another one to go to in three weeks, and then I probably won’t have any for ages.  I think all of my friends from that particular group are married now (or will be in three weeks, anyway).  Oy.  I’m old.

15 Comments:

Anonymous said...

JJ,

Please know you are not alone in your fight. I'm a 22 yr old gay male, and love Jesus with all my heart, and all my soul. My prayers are going to be with you, always. God Bless You. Please do not give up fighting or searching for the truth. God Bless you a million times over. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as well. They have provided me insight into my own life as well. *hugs*

funny thing said...

Homosexual monogamous relationships are not mentioned int the bible. Any reference to homosexuality is referring to promiscuity, as in Prostitution, cruising etc.
Think about it. When the bible talks about prostitution it's talking about women only. When it talks about homosexuality it's talking about male promiscuity.
Check this out in the original greek, you will find that to be true.

The ONLY place that female gay activity is mentioned, it is an ambiguous reference. It's talking about sinners being GIVEN over to other sins. There is no mention of people who live in loving relationships. Again, the bible is referring to the sin of promiscuity.

I would be happy to debate this through with you. This is where I'm at now, after 2 1/2 years of trying to live a celebate Christian lifestyle, and giving up.
I managed for that long but was then excommunicated by my church once my 'struggles' became real rather than theoretical in their eyes.

There is a good website called 'Bridges Across the Divide' which offers useful debate between the two camps - gay and straight, from an ACCEPTING christian standpoint.
After all - homosexuality is mentioned twice, maybe three times in the whole of the bible... whereas things like judging others, jealousy, lying etc., are mentioned hundreds of times.
This site helps homophobic christians keep things in proportion as well as offering useful dialogue between the two viewpoints.

I hope this has been helpful, if rather lengthy.

Brady said...

Good post, JJ. I've brought up the same point several times in my blog, and I spoke about it to my dad when I came out to him. He's remarried and biblically he shouldn't be. Even his very conservative southern Baptist church accepts him, but they gave him advice on how to handle my "sinful lifestyle." I also don't see any ground swells to make divorce or remarriage illegal. Even though, if we are being honest, divorce and even remarriage destroy far more families than gay marriage ever will.

Leo said...

I enjoyed reading your post, and actually your whole blog. I'm a lesbian, raised Catholic, by ardent church goers. I've struggled with all the same issues you've mentioned. It's rough trying to figure out how you fit into the Christian world around you when you're gay. You mentioned the recent Vatican witch hunt for gays--this is especially hurtful to me, being Catholic. My basic tenet in life these days is to heck with what all the good "christian" homophobes think I'll let God judge me, thankyou. If God were to reject me for who I love, then He isn't the God I was taught to believe in. I'll take my chances. Sorry I digress. Anyway keep in touch if ya want. I'll be sure and comeback and visit your site.

Anonymous said...

I doubt you'll ever have a single epiphany moment to answer this conclusively for yourself, and you may have thought over this before, but...

can you honestly think of a single reason to deny your homosexuality that isn't at bottom about seeking someone else's approval?

Now I'm definitely not saying you shouldn't seek God's approval, but still, you seem to have a good understanding of the problems in the "gotcha" Bible verses anti-LGBT folk use, and most of your anguish seems honestly to be about what other people will think of you. But if people reject you, isn't that their sin? Why should their sin rule your life?

Boo

JJ said...

Boo,

Yeah, a lot of my anxiety comes from the thinking about what other people will think, or how they will react... but these people are my friends, people I love -- and aside from the possible spiritual consequences, the biggest thing I would have to face if I end up coming out on the side of gay relationships is losing a certain amount of friends and relationships I have now. I can't deny that. And as much as I don't want it to factor into my equation, I think it would probably be unrealistic to pretend that it doesn't matter.

But it is not the most important thing. Obviously my relationship with God is way more important, so I'm trying to keep that a priority.

One of the things you asked was if I could think of a reason to 'deny my homosexuality'... I don't think I'm doing that. I've accepted that I'm gay, I don't deny that. I'm just waiting to figure out what to do with that. And I just couldn't, in good conscience, be with a woman while I wasn't sure about what God's will was in this situation. But, you're right, I don't think that I will come to an epiphany on my own. I listened to a talk by Justin over on GayChristian.net, and he said that while he was trying to figure this out, he just prayed and read the Bible, and eventually God made the answer clear to him. I'm kind of hoping that happens with me.

funny thing,

Thanks for stopping by!

I realize the Bible does not mention loving, monogomous relationships between gay people... but there are a lot of things that the Bible doesn't mention, that doesn't mean that they're okay. I'm not saying I believe gay relationships are wrong, I'm just saying that I'm still trying to figure it out.

I have actually been to Bridges Across the Divide, as well as GayChristian.net... I'm just so very up in the air right now.

brady and Leo, the hypocracy that the church has displayed in regards to heterosexual sins vs. homosexuality is so very frustrating. It just makes me so mad, as you can probably tell by my mentioning it so many times. I just wish they would realize it.

anonymous,

Whoever you may be, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your support! It's always nice to know that there are other people out there thinking about the same things.

Liadan said...

Y'know, should you resolve your conflict in favor of non-celibacy, you still *can* use all of your wedding plans. Assuming, of course, your intended didn't also plan her wedding down to the last detail. :)

That said, I definitely feel your pain, being in something of the same situation myself.

Anonymous said...

Sorry JJ, "deny yourself the opportunity to have a loving, committed same sex relationship" would have been a better way to put it (but what a mouthful).

As far as God, if you're honestly not sure about His opinion on the subject, then yes, don't jump in yet. Just pray and read the Bible and edumacate yourself and eat healthy, well balanced meals.

As far as your friends, well, it's cliched to say it, but if you're so afraid they'll reject you, then what kind of friends are they really? Conditional love isn't love. To turn it around, what kind of friend would you be if you told them they had to be vegetarians or you wouldn't want them around anymore?

Boo

random blog preacher said...

Hello...happen to drop by here today and had some thoughts to offer.....

With the facts as you've stated, then your friend is without question in "willfull rebellion" as the bible "clearly" states (and as you have clearly stated). You have assessed it correctly.

The fact that so many in the "church" apparently accept this sort of thing so readily is just a well deserved indictment of the church. Many are they who "will" attempt to widen the narrow gate, and do so to accommodate them'self'. This does not make it 'ok'. The Word of the Lord endureth forever, even as men will evade the "crucified life".

As for the other subject....the Lord has never said to change anything about ourselves first before coming to Him, but to "lose" it all first, and then to come and "find" it. This is what is meant by "counting the cost". The cost is very high.


Matt 10:38-39 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

He will do all the changing as he sees fit.

The response to the call to follow Jesus Christ is not to be contingent on being married or celibate or any other stipulations we may impose. This seems to be completely missed in the thought process here. (that's not a criticism but an observation).

Laying it all (no conditions whatsoever, the homosexual proclivities included) down for the sake of Christ....and then trusting Him as my Lord to work in me the fruits of righteousness. This is the starting point. Thine will be done Lord and not mine own. This is what it means to be a christian. Come what may.

There is a scripture in John where the disciples speak of this as being a "hard saying....who can hear it?". A few said..."Where shall we go Lord....you have the words of eternal life." (John 6:60-69)

Rom. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son......

CK said...

JJ-
You aren't alone in the marriage fear (that no one will show, that it will be sad). This is, unfortunately, part of choosing to live against society's acceptance. Thankfully, society is changing.

This may not be the direction you want to go in, but perhaps, seeing that your divorced friend is clearly happy when the Bible is clearly against divorce may cause you to question, not your friend, but the Bible?

I'm sure that the random blog preacher would be all over that, but it's just a question.... what would it take for you to decide that the Bible is either a) fallible or b) at least in need of adjustment as history moves? And if the answer is nothing, perhaps that's worth considering.

(Just like people ask what it would take for me to decide that being gay is wrong, and that I should change my life 'style'--if the answer is 'nothing', then I'd better be darn sure that it's inconceivable for me to be wrong...)

Peace.

Kikko-san said...

JJ,

I am a lesbian and married to a wonderful woman.
When I came 'out' many years ago, I lost many friends, but those were not my true friends to begin with if they left so quickly.
Many of them have since divorced and remarried. If all sins are equal, well...we are all sinners.
My wedding (though not in a church b/c that was not my dream) was beautiful with dresses, flowers, walks down the aisle, dinner, dancing, cake, etc. A normal wedding. Except for the part with two brides.
We had over 100 people there and guess what? Most were straight.
They love us and accept us b/c we have never been anything but honest and unapologetic for our love and devotion to one another.

Granted, the majority of the attendess were friends and my partners liberal family member. But even three of my born-again, Southern Baptist family members (mother, brother and female cousin) made the 2,000 mile trip for this day. It took my mom awhile, but she has finally realized that a happy daughter is much better than her previous suicidal-could-be dead daughter.

Life is too short and you are causing yourself so much suffering by denying yourself a full life.

I wish you clarity and peace.

LBBP said...

JJ, I think your September 23rd post "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" would make an interesting addition to the first GOD or NOT carnival, which I will hosting this Monday. With your permission I would like to include it. The theme is "Sin". Please visit the site for more info and email me your thoughts.

LBBP

Meg said...

My name is Meg, and I am homosexual. I recently separated from my heterosexual husband after 23 years of trying to live the life that I thought God and my friends/family wanted me to live.

It was all a huge lie!

Which is the greater sin? To live in a loving, monogamous homosexual relationship, or to try to fool God, yourself and everyone that you are other than what He created you to be?

I can truly relate to your thoughts and feelings in these pages, but I wanted to present my side and my story (at least some of it) to give you something else to think about.

I don't believe the Bible addresses the kind of loving, committed homosexual relationships we see today.

Remember the catch cry of a few years ago? "What would Jesus do."

Read your Bible and see what Jesus had to say about homosexuality...you'll find nothing. I don't think it was a priority with Christ. Divorce was, and so was idolatry, hypocrisy, slander, and the tendency to make others live up to higher standards than we ourselves will live up to (scribes & pharisees).

People strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Even Christ Himself noted that.

In the end, your eternal soul is a matter between yourself and God and no one else.

As I read it, the Bible condemns homosexuality in acts of idolatrous dedication to gods other than the Most High. As long as you're not worshipping idols, I think a homosexual relationship is just as blessed as a heterosexual one...more so, because you are not forsaking your natural orientation (as I did) to try and prove a lie to be true.

Sorry this was so long.

Meg

Anonymous said...

Okay, before I start I just want to say that I am not trying to be somebody who comes on here and says that everything you are doing is wrong and I am right, so there. I simply ask that you read my post and take it into consideration because, even though I don't necessarily know all of you, I care about your salvation. I guess I would just like you to visit this website and read about homosexuality according to the Catholic Church. I know some of you have had bad experiences with the Church, but I would like to remind you that people aren’t perfect. They tend to fear things that are foreign to them and immediately find a way to distance themselves from it so they will not have to (for lack of a better term) “deal with it.” I also want to say that I know somebody who may be a homosexual, so please do not think that I am just an extremist who doesn’t even have a clue. So I guess anything I say will just be reiterated on this website, and I beg you to visit it and really open your minds to what it is saying. Thank you. The website is http://www.catholic.com/library/Homosexuality.asp . Please check it out. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Oops. I wrote the last entry but I forgot to mention that many of you bring up people that divorce and remarry and I agree with you that it is wrong. There is no such thing as divorce, according to God. But even though it is wrong and people don't pay nearly as much attention to that fact as they should, that does not justify homosexuals pursuing such a lifestyle. Two wrongs do not make a right. Maybe if you are able to live a celibate life, you would be able to be a more perfect example to teach others how wrong divorce is. I know it is SO much easier said than done, but I'm just asking you to consider it and try. Thanks again.