Some musings from a gay friend. Life and Love are better than secrets :)

One of our commentors has submitted some musings on the LCA, life and love. Enjoy…I think i like the balance this posts gives to our new years. Its far more positive than my recent negative musings. Thanks for sharing, man :)

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My humble ponderings over the CURRENT LCA marketing strategy. Found on their website and emblazoned next to the church name on the top of the website.

 

Where Love Comes to Life

 

When people fall in love, it’s as if they come remarkably to life. Their eyes sparkle with special

lights, their breath comes more urgently and they seem somehow to be straining forward to meet

life. Love breathes life into the everyday ordinariness of our existence.

Actually, love changes people. The experience of being loved, at any stage of life, brings with it a

kind of newness that brings out the best in us. We become more open to the gifts of life and the

needs of others, and we live in a new way, a renewed way. Love brings life.

 

What a beautiful way of starting this piece. How poetically written. What beautiful ways of thinking about LOVE. ‘come remarkably to life.’ ‘eyes sparkle’ ‘straining forward to meet life’ ‘love breathes life into the everyday ordinariness’ ‘love changes people’ ‘a kind of newness that brings out the best’ ‘LOVE BRINGS LIFE’.

Now from how I read these opening two paragraphs we are not YET talking about Christ, Christ’s love or Christian redeeming love. These two paragraphs speak about earthly inter-human love. Whether it be romantic or friendly love it is the love that humans share with each other.

Perhaps the writer (God bless him, because I love this piece of writing) should clarify whether or not he is including the romantic love that same sex attracted people share with each other? The text does not exclude them directly nor does it include them. Is the writer simply using assumed church community stereotypes and assuming that people would only interpret this as heterosexual romantic love? I don’t know. I don’t know the writer. But I certainly live in HOPE that I am included in those two paragraphs. I have not yet felt that romantic love. I live in the quiet secret of my sexuality and have not pursued a genuine, caring, long term and LOVING relationship. I long for the day when I too can feel

–          Myself coming remarkably to life

–          My eyes sparkling

–          The joy straining forward to meet life

–          Life being breathed into my everyday ordinariness

–          A change

–          A newness that brings out the best in me

–          LIFE!

One day… maybe!

 

 

Of course, we can hardly think about love or life without thinking of God. God is love (1 John 4).

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14). In the very beginning God brought life to the

world, reshaping the primeval chaos into a habitable planet (Genesis 1). God breathed his own life

into our human bodies and brought us to life (Genesis 2).

 

Okay, so now we bring God’s love to the picture. Again beautiful! Again life giving! ‘God breathed his own life into our human bodies and brought us to life.’ This I feel daily. As a child of Christ, baptised, confirmed, communicant and daily worshipper I feel God’s presence in my life. I feel God’s life in my life. HIS life breathed into ME!

 

God even entered human life at a depth which no-one could have anticipated, becoming a human

being and filling our humanity with his own life. This flesh-taking (incarnation) was not an

interesting experiment but God’s own project to rescue us from death and futility, and to renovate

the whole world. In spite of our worst efforts, even when we killed him, God succeeded in bringing

love back to life (John 1).

This is where LOVE comes to LIFE, not to DEATH!!!!!!! Christ brought LOVE to LIFE. He came to save us!! ‘to rescue us from death and futility!’ Words that bring such hope and promise.

 

 

To continue his work on earth, God created the church, whose task it now is to celebrate love and

life, and to be the vehicle for God’s continued work of bringing love to life in the world. The church

lives on the gifts of God – God’s forgiveness, God’s love, God’s own life.

Are we hearing this people????? Our task is to CELEBRATE LOVE AND LIFE! BRING LOVE TO LIFE IN THE WORLD!

 

 

 In its worship the church experiences the love of God in words and actions of forgiveness and of empowerment. Infused with the real presence of Jesus Christ, love comes decisively to life every time the people of God gather. Life in the church is really a preparation and empowerment for a life of love in the world. As we hear the good news of Jesus Christ, as we receive his body and blood, we become new people, with new potential for good, with new energy for a life of love wherever God gives us the opportunity. Our families and our communities, our workplaces and our cultural settings might well experience through us something of God’s love as it comes to life again in us. That’s the plan.

The life of a Christian is a life of faith active in love (Galatians 5), empowered by the love of Christ himself (1 Corinthians 13). Indeed, we have no other obligation, except to participate in this world transforming gift of God’s love (Romans 13).

 

This sounds like a utopian church. A life of love in the world. But again let’s clarify… I suppose what the church’s position would be (I cannot speak for the writer, I don’t know his position)… a life of Christian love. And only heterosexual and friendly love in addition. NO OTHER TYPES OF LOVE ALLOWED! The church does not recognise that I could love another man the same way that a heterosexual man and women love each other. It must clearly be something wrong with my wiring in my brain. My passionate yearnings for someone are a CORRUPTION of SIN!

This same body that GOD breathed life into. This one that was ACCEPTED into the family of Christ in baptism. This one that is fed, watered and renewed in communion. This one that is daily forgiven and restored for ALL of my sins, wilful or not. THIS SAME BODY IS NOT THE SAME.

Indeed, we have no other obligation, except to participate in this world transforming gift of God’s love! We are not obligated to go around CONDEMNING people to HELL. We are not obligated to go around excluding people, ostracising them, sending them into secrecy, abusing their rights for equality and denying their primal CREATED urges simply because they are same sex attracted.

Oh, I suppose some will read that as ‘transforming gift of God’s love.’ We are supposed to use God’s love to FIX the gays. HEAL the gays. TRANSFORM them to straight people.   I DO NOT NEED TO BE HEALED, FIXED, or changed of my sexuality. GOD gave me my sexuality. I was created with it. God’s transforming love changes me from a life without him to a life with him! In relationship with him.

 

 

Where does love come to life in your congregation? Can a visitor feel it, taste it? Is there a deep and

genuine experience of God’s tangible love in the life of your congregation? Something to make God

smile? Could our congregations be places where love comes to life?

EXCELLENT CHALLENGE! LOVE coming to LIFE in our congregations! I know it is happening. I experience it. But I also know that sometimes it is not there. What does it mean to bring things to life for the younger generation??? Some discredit those congregations who are doing their best to BRING LOVE TO LIFE in a way that reaches out to the contemporary context. Perhaps congregations should be dictated to about how their worship should be conducted. (oh, that’s right one of them has been… and perhaps others I guess.)

Robin Mann, GOD BLESS HIM!!!!!!, A WONDERFUL MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, LYRICIST, but I do not come to LIFE with his music. Especially when the ENTIRE SERVICE is just Robin Mann songs. THIS DOES NOT BRING ME TO LIFE. That brings me to sleep. Others love his music. I think it is great, just not for me. I think hymns are great. I LOVE HYMNS. But many do not bring me to life. They bring me to boredom. The words are beautiful. The tunes to some are simply NOT for me!

Sung liturgy. I love it. WHEN IT IS DONE WELL! Other times it is painful. A music teacher sitting there hearing it done poorly is dreadful. It does not bring me to life!

REACH OUT TO YOUR CONGREGATIONS! BRING THE MESSAGE OF LOVE TO LIFE FOR THEM! INSPIRE THEM! ENGAGE THEM! DRAW THEM IN! MAKE GOD’S MESSAGE REAL AND LIFE GIVING FOR THEM! NOT LIFE DRAINING!

Are we in our congregations to bring love to life for EVERYONE? Or just the straight people?

I return to the first two paragraphs. ROMANTIC LOVE and GOD’S LOVE. The romantic love spoken about in the first two paragraphs is so beautiful. Yet the church does not acknowledge it for all. The church ‘permits’ it only for heterosexual couples. God’s love is for all… but romantic love is just for some. I guess I lucked out on one of the two. God created me knowing that I wouldn’t be allowed to experience LIFE!

God created me knowing that I wouldn’t be able to feel…

–          Myself coming remarkably to life

–          My eyes sparkling

–          The joy straining forward to meet life

–          Life being breathed into my everyday ordinariness

–          A change

–          A newness that brings out the best in me

–          LIFE!

Why did God do that? Why would GOD knowingly put me through that. HOLDING ME BACK FROM SUCH BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCES. (read SUCH ABOMINATIONS for some).

I guess I will simply live in hope. Hope that God does love me and accepts for who HE MADE ME TO BE, despite what my church tells me. Hope that one day my church will accept me for who GOD MADE ME TO BE. Hope that one day I will be able to be open, honest and truthful to my community, congregation, FAMILY, workplace. Hope that one day I will be able to pursue a romantic relationship with another man openly and without prejudice and discrimination, without condemnation and without hate heaped upon me.

 

by Rev Graham Harms, Director for Ministry and Mission, LCA Queensland District

Graham, I applaud you. I LOVE what you have written in this document. It brings me to life. I honestly hope that love IS brought to life in our church. We desperately need it!

 

Note: The Bible chapters sprinkled throughout this article in brackets are not optional extras, but are provided to point you to some passages that you might want to explore for yourself.

These passages fill me with LIFE! NOT HATE!