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.