Search

[生命故事] 橋 (亭屹) Bridge

中文版 English


◎ 亭屹

我想以同志的角度分享我的見證。信主至今,我發現基督信仰有橋的感覺。


當猶太人還困在律法稱義時候,耶穌成就了通往神國的橋,人和天堂的距離不再這麼遙遠。當猶太人堅稱外邦人不受割禮不能得救的時候,保羅親自拆了外邦人和救恩的牆,搭建猶太人與外邦人之間恩典的橋。海外宣教的福音隊長途跋涉到國外傳講福音,建立未能信主之人與已信主之人的橋,讓世界各地因基督的愛而有了連結。光鹽的服務隊因著上帝的使用,許多姐妹弟兄把福音的橋一路打造到偏鄉,讓台灣不同地區的生命透過這座橋而聯繫在一起。


信仰,不是只是勸人為善而已嗎?信主之前的我,完全想不到基督就像橋一樣,這是基督信仰讓我最感動的奇蹟之一。然而,並非每個人都需要成為橋,因為橋其實是種恩賜。有的人站立在分離的群體兩端,他有這個資源,有這個視野,能夠為兩邊架上一座橋;有的人的恩賜卻不是成為橋,而是鞏固某一方群體的向心力,帶領群體成長、茁壯、更接近上帝的心意。橋很偉大,但橋也強求不來。


上學期有次聚會討論「基督徒如何關心公共議題」,因為大家都知道,社會責任並不像因信稱義這般顯而易見。講員認真表達自己如何處理信仰責任和社會責任的關係,就好像在建造信仰與社會間的橋樑。而且在我看來,講員同時也是另一座,在積極投入社會的基督徒與不認為該投入社會的基督徒,兩者之間的橋。


又例如同志的議題,沸沸揚揚出自太多立場,和太多的隔閡。眾多反對同性戀聲音的基督徒群體,與長期壓抑而終於等待到今日出口的同志群體,兩者之間形成一道隔離的牆。即使各自有無數不同聲音,卻因為種種因素難以連結。數條沒有交集的線,成就了現在的同志議題。同志議題,很需要一座連結的橋。

而我也感覺到,我或許有成為橋的恩賜。因為我是基督徒同志。


剛信主時,我到家附近的行道會聚會,完全沒有考慮去同志的教會。何必去同志的教會?胖子不用去胖子的教會,異性戀者不用去異性戀教會,幹麻要因為是同性戀者就去同性戀教會?可是,我漸漸發現,其實我是個很特別的基督徒同志。


有的同志在成長過程發現自己是同志而厭惡自己,但我卻一路自然發展也很接受自己;許多同志活在壓抑中不敢出櫃,但我卻有這愚勇和家人朋友坦承自己;許多同志因為出櫃而惹來許多災禍,但我卻很幸運地沒因出櫃而遇上什麼大事;許多同志在基督教家庭長大並曾想自殺,但我卻來自無信仰的家庭而沒有因此想不開;許多同志因為壓抑得解放而投入同志的小圈圈裡,但我卻仍舊在非同志為主的世界中過得很有自信;許多同志深深厭惡基督教,但我卻在光鹽社成為了基督徒而過了很不一樣的生命;許多同志基督徒,即使認同了自己也獻身於基督教,卻再也不想與一般的教會有所瓜葛而受傷,但我卻深深瞭解基督徒們和同志們之間需要一座橋,強烈感受到我的負擔。


我想到《你很特別》這個故事:我真的很特別,我和其它人、其它同志、其它基督徒真的好不一樣。我因著信仰而有了來自上帝的信靠,因著性向而有著不同的視野。當我發現我原來有成為橋的恩賜時,這彷彿是呼召般,是不是我該做些什麼?除了安安穩穩過自己的生活以外,我還有可以做的;若我不做,說不定就沒有人做了。別人即使想做,也沒有像我這樣的特質能做,我有別人都沒有的機會。


我站在兩個群體的中間,看到中間深深的裂痕。我清楚同志是如何排斥基督徒,同時理解基督徒所謂愛同志但恨惡罪。我想到耶穌在福音書中對外邦人行出的愛,多令我震撼。我不敢明確地說同性戀是不是罪,但我知道教會和同志如此分離不會是上帝喜悅的。我不確定上帝在這個議題的心意為何,但我確定上帝不會樂見現在的分裂。上帝,你是不是要使用我,要我成為橋呢?你讓我踏進了這個信仰,指派了我這個工作嗎?我,有可能成為祝福嗎?


我也不是沒受過傷。幾年前的大靈班,因為身處在同志的存在被排斥、或被不經意無視的環境,我首次掉到了信仰的谷底。當時想找一個人,只要一個人就好,告訴我:雖然我是同志,但我可以成為上帝喜悅的同志。然而,那時找人求救得到的答案是:他可以接受我,但是上帝還是不喜悅我。當時我的信仰碎了,原來我從沒領受過上帝的恩典,因為上帝討厭我這個同志。我以為我身為同志的基督信仰至此終於要離開,要回到再次沒有上帝的生活了。此時,上帝為我關了一扇門,又開了一扇窗。我才發現:我不用因為自己是同性戀者而去同性戀的教會,但我也不需要因為自己是同性戀者而排斥去同性戀的教會啊。終於,我輾轉換到了同志的教會。


對我來說,同志教會是我第一個,也會是最後一個主動尋求的同志團體。上帝透過這樣的因緣讓我決志進到同志教會、決定受洗、明白奉獻的意義,真的是奇妙的恩典。讓我想到常聽見的:「一步又一步,這是恩典之路,你愛,你手,將我緊緊抓住。」


我還是像小寶寶般繼續摸索聖經,探索上帝的心意。後來在大靈班讀到最有感觸的經文,是使徒行傳15章,保羅深知外邦人需要福音,親自搭起外邦人和福音的橋。這讓我想到同志教會的存在是需要的,因為許多同志陷入自我厭惡、或是找浮木卻陷入淵藪。我明知同志圈是多需要福音,好需要、好需要,即使現實福音正被阻礙進入同志群中。我可以說,現在大部分同志都是外邦人,有的不願意信,避之唯恐不及;有的想信,卻被拒於門外。當同志們被遠遠隔離在福音的大門之外,同志教會讓同志們知道,原來上帝並沒有放棄他們。


我不敢說公開自己的性向應不應該,說不害怕是騙人的。但我相信,這是有助合一的一步:帶領基督徒朋友們走近同志,帶領同志朋友們進到基督信仰。我出櫃,不是為了要別人支持我的性向,也不是為了要表明我的立場,只是單單希望分裂的群體能往合一邁進。我認為在合一的群體中,每個人立場不一定要相同,支持和反對也不一定對立,重點是一起追求上帝的心意,同心祈願上主的心意成全。因為我知道,打破對立的方式並非更深的攻擊或畫清界線,而是真正的愛和真實的連結。因為我知道,對立的產生常常不是因為沒有愛,而是因為不知如何去愛。需要橋,讓兩個群體更近一點。沒有橋,同志議題永遠是基督教的禁忌話題,基督教和同志議題永遠都會分裂,難以合一。


榮神益人,也是我在大靈班讀到最深的體悟之一。就像林前10:31-33所說:「所以,你們或吃或喝,無論做什麼,都要為榮耀上帝而行。不拘是猶太人,是希利尼人,是上帝的教會,你們都不要使他跌倒﹔就好像我凡事都叫眾人喜歡,不求自己的益處,只求眾人的益處,叫他們得救。」但願成為一座橋能夠榮神,因著上帝給我的恩賜做我當行的事。但願成為一座橋能夠益人,不是為了滿足自己,而是真實地為分離的群體得以擺上連結。我知道,同在上帝的手中,上帝會喜歡我如此行。


有人說:「同志議題不只是個議題,而是個生命。」通常這個生命指的是同志。但對我而言,生命也指基督徒,無論挺同的基督徒、反同的基督徒、感到搖擺沒有定論的基督徒,都是在信仰中努力尋求答案的生命。所以才需要橋,讓我們單純堅信地在上帝的手中翻滾、去探索祂的旨意,持續避免自己在信仰上走得傲慢,同時又不是消極廂愿地對事情沒有立場。我又想到,其實耶穌早已為我們建造了通往答案的、通往天國那最偉大的橋。


我想到這首歌,「讓我不一樣、讓我不一樣,在這黑暗時代,為祢發光;讓我不一樣、讓我不一樣,在這冷漠時代,將祢愛宣揚。」感謝上帝,讓我不一樣;感謝上帝,讓我很特別;感謝上帝,給我這樣的恩賜,讓我能用不同的視野,追尋祢的心意。或許每個人都很特別,都很不一樣,都要在不同的領域上做不同的橋。求上帝帶領每個人,將祢的道發揚;求上帝幫助每個人,將祢的愛宣揚。


寫這篇見證,又讓我想到《沙漠中的讚美》:「凡事信靠主,不失去盼望。因為我的主,仍然在掌權……」我盼望合一的那天,願上主的心意成全。


I would like to share my testimony in the perspective of a homosexual. Since believing in the Lord, I have discovered that faith in Christ has a feeling of being a bridge.


When the Jews were still being bound by the justification by law, Jesus became the bridge to the kingdom of God and the distance between man and heaven was no longer so great. When the Jews claimed that the Gentiles cannot be saved without circumcision, Paul personally tore down the wall between the Gentiles and salvation, and became the bridge of grace between Jews and Gentiles. Overseas missionaries travel long distances to share the gospel, becoming the bridge between believers and pre-believers, allowing areas all over the world to be connected because of the love of Christ. Those in the salt and light service team became the bridge of the gospel when they are used by God to reach the rural areas, allowing the lives in different regions of Taiwan to be connected through this bridge.


If faith just for encouraging people to be good? Before I believed in the Lord, I totally cannot imagine Christ to be a bridge, which is one of the most touching miracles. Even so, not everyone needs to become a bridge, because becoming a bridge is a gifting. Some stand at the ends of two different groups, having the resources and the vision to become a bridge between two sides. The gifting of some however, is not to become a bridge, but rather become the focal point of one of the groups and lead them to grow, strengthen and grow closer to God. It’s great to be a bridge, but it cannot be forced.


In the previous semester, there is a gathering that discussed the topic of “How should a Christian care about public controversies”, because everyone knows that social responsibility is not as straightforward as justification by faith. The speaker expressed how he handled the relationship between faith and social responsibility and seemed to be building the bridge between them. To be, the speaker is also another bridge between Christians who are heavily involved in the society and those who are not.


Again, in the example about issues with homosexuality, there are too many opinions and too many gaps. This causes a wall that divides the group of Christians that oppose homosexuality and the homosexuals who have been oppressed for a long period of time and finally waited for today to speak out. Even though there are many different voices from both sides, it is difficult to connect because of different reasons. There are many lines that do not cross and results in the homosexual issues today. These issues need a bridge that connects. I find that I may have the gifting to be such a bridge, because I am a homosexual Christian.


When I first believed in the Lord, I attended a covenant church near my home, and did not consider going to a church that has homosexuals. Why should I? An obese person does not go to a church for the obese and heterosexuals do not go to a church for heterosexuals, why should a homosexual go to a church for homosexuals? However, I gradually found out that I am a very special Christian homosexual.


Some homosexuals discovered their sexuality while growing up and hated themselves, but I found a path of natural development and accepted myself. Many homosexuals live an oppressed lifestyle and do not dare to come out to others, but I have this foolish courage to be honest with my family and friends. Many homosexuals get into trouble because of coming out, but I was lucky that nothing great happened when I came out. Many homosexuals growing up in Christian families thought of suicide before, but I did not have those thoughts because I came from a family that has no faith. Many homosexuals were released from oppression and entered into a small homosexual circle, but I am still living confidently mainly in an environment that is mainly heterosexual. Many homosexuals hate Christians deeply, but I am in a salt and light community and lived a very different lifestyle for Christians. Many homosexual Christians even after recognizing that they are Christians, do not want to be in a regular church so that they would not be hurt by conflicts, but I deeply feel a strong calling to be a bridge between Christians and homosexuals.


I thought of the story “You are Very Special” which reminds me that I am truly very special. I am different from others, other homosexuals and other Christians. Because of my faith, I had a dependence on God and because of my sexual identity, I had a different vision. When I found out I had the gifting to be a bridge, that is almost a calling, I was thinking whether I should be doing anything. Besides living my life in a stable manner, there is something else I can do. If I don’t do it, maybe no one else would. Even if someone else wanted to do it, perhaps not in the same way because of my special qualities. I have a chance that others don’t.


I stand in the middle of two groups of people and see the deep divide between them. I understand clearly how homosexuals are against Christians and I can understand that Christians’ claim of loving the homosexual but hating the sin. When I thought about how Jesus loved the Gentiles in the gospels, I was astounded. I can’t with absolute certainty say that homosexuality is not a sin, but I know that the divide between the church and homosexuals does not please God. I can’t be certain what God feels about this issue but I can be sure that God is not pleased about the divide. God, are you using me to become a bridge? Did you allow me to step into this faith and gave me this task? Can I be a blessing?


It is not that I have never been hurt. A few years ago, in a spirituality class, I was ostracized because I am a homosexual, or was ignored, and I fell into a faith chasm for the first time. Then, I was trying to find someone, just one person to tell me that although I am a homosexual, I can be one whom God is pleased with. The answer I got when I sought help was that God can accept me, but He is not pleased with me. At that moment, my faith was shattered, so I had never received God’s blessings because God hates me as a homosexual. I thought that I should stop being a homosexual Christian and never return to a life with God again. At that moment, God closed one door for me, and opened another. It was only then that I discovered that I don’t have to go to a church for homosexuals because I am a homosexual, but I also don’t have to reject going to a church for homosexuals just because I am one either. Finally I decided to attend the church for homosexuals.


To me, a church for homosexuals is my first and also my final place that I would seek the company of the gay community. God led me through these events to help me with my decision to join the church, be baptized and understand the meaning of tithing, which is a wonderous blessing. This reminds me of the song I hear often “One step and another, this is the road of blessings. Your love and your hand hold tightly onto me.”


I was like a baby continuously trying to understand the Bible in order to determine God’s will. Later on in the spirituality class, I read the passage that touched me the most, which was in Acts 15 where Apostle Paul found out that the Gentiles needed the gospel and personally became the bridge between them. This let me consider that the church for homosexuals is needed, because many of them hate themselves or are trying to find a flotsam but sink into the depths. I knew that the gay community needs the gospel so much even though there is so much obstruction between them. I can say that majority of homosexuals are Gentiles, some are not willing to believe and avoid it at all cost while some believe but are rejected and doors are closed to them. When homosexuals are placed far away from the doors of the gospel, the church for homosexuals can let them know that God did not abandon them.


I do not dare to say whether coming out to the public is necessary, and I would be lying if I were to say that I was unafraid, but I believe that this is a step to unity, which is to lead Christian friends to walk closely with homosexuals and bring homosexuals into the Christian faith. I choose to come out not because I want people to support my sexuality, and not to express my position on the matter, but simply hope that the divided groups can gradually become one. I feel that in a united body, each person’s position on matters does not have to be the same, supporting or rejecting also does not necessary mean they are in opposition. The most important thing is to seek after God’s will together and to pray that God’s will be done. This is because I know that to break the opposition does not require stronger attack or drawing a clear line, but to have true love and real connection. This is because I know that the cause of opposition is not because there is no love, but rather not knowing how to love. There needs to be a bridge to allow both groups to be closer to each other. Without a bridge the issue of homosexuality would forever be a taboo in Christianity and there will forever be a division between Christianity and the issue of homosexuality, and it would be difficult to bring about unity.


To give glory to God and to benefit others is one of my greatest takeaways in the spirituality class. Just like what it says in 1Corinthians 10:31-33, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” May being a bridge glorify God and may the gifting from God enable me to do what I should. May the act of being a bridge help others, not to find fulfillment for myself, but truly be the connection between different groups. I know that being in God’s hand, He will be pleased with my path.


Someone said, “the issue of homosexuality is not an issue but a life.” Usually, this life is about a homosexual. However, to me, life is also about being a Christian and now matter whether it’s a Christian who supports, is against or uncertain about their stand on homosexuality, are lives working hard to find answers based on their faith. Hence, a bridge is needed, helping us to simply believe that as we roll around and seek God’s will in His hand, continually preventing ourselves from becoming proud in our faith, and at the same time not becoming disinterested by not taking a stand on issues. I also think that Jesus has already become the great bridge for us to find answers and walk towards God’s kingdom.


I thought of this song, “Let me be different, let me be different, in this dark era, shining for You; Let me be different, let me be different, in this cold era, spreading your love.” Thanks be to God, for allowing me to be different; thanks be to God for making me special; thanks be to God, for giving me this gifting, allowing me to use a different perspective to follow Your will. Maybe each person is special and unique, and is a bridge in different areas. May God lead each person and spread Your word; may God help each person to share of Your love.


While I was writing this testimony, I thought of “Praise in the Desert”, which says “In all things rely on the Lord, not losing hope. Because my lord is still in control.” I hope that God’s will is fulfilled on the day when there is unity.


中文版 English