View Full Version : About me
01-02-2006, 04:15 PM
Hi, My name is Ivan, I live in ski town in Western Colorado. I'm hoping to find people along my way I may share my fears, hopes and frustrations withand turn to inspiring and positive. I'm in a 14 yr relationship with Michael. It's a loving relationship but Michael though a great humanist is very anti-religion and thinks people of faith are hypocritical, especially when I was asked to stop singing in my church choir. I miss my Parish but felt consumed with anger at the new conervative priest in our parish. I can't go back to St. Mary's which had been my parish community for 13 years. I then started attending another church 1st Baptist church and introduced myself as a gay 40year old in a long term relationship. Everything was fine for 6 months until the community minister who is single , my age and with whom I've been sharing with on a recent one on one expressed to me that he didn't think it was God's will for me to be in a homosexual relationship .
It pissed me off that and I said I 'd think about his opinion. It's frustrating
I always seem to hit a brick wall when I think things are going to get better.
My reaction was I'll just walk away, knock on another door or just try to be a spiritual person without a faith community. Reading about SoulForce's mission about non-violence made me realize I am allowing myself to hate and hurt.
I'm grateful for this site.
01-02-2006, 04:43 PM
It sounds like you've hit some rough patches lately. Praying for you, man.
It's really easy to see your partner's point of view, especially since what's been happening lately with your church involvement. First, be encouraged and know that you are in no way alone in your struggle for a faith of authenticity and love. Your greatest challenge will be to be in the face of an attack and to know that there is no truth in the enemy's lies and to know the attack has nothing to do with you. I think your goal should be to be peaceful and compassionate while simoultaneously insisting that you be treated with the same dignity and respect your attacker expects.
To increase your level of compassion, I recommend you read, "Living Buddha, Living Christ."
To increase your ability to insist on dignity & equality, I recommend reading anything by John Shelby Spong. I just read "Here I Stand," it's his autobiography. "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism" is also great.
The essence of the behavior you've experienced is in no way evident of a love for Jesus or a committment to be like him. That behavior's source is simple fear and prejudice laced with opportunistic and selfish grabs at power. Call it what it is. Be calm and compassionate. Point to Christ.
-- I write a lot in my blog, you might like it... http://blog.myspace.com/nathanatx
01-02-2006, 08:44 PM
Welcome. Please be encouraged, and know that there are many out here supporting you.
Keep pursuing the "good and perfect" gift of faith. Remember where your faith lies and that men are just that...men. Hate, fear and dispair are spiritual wickedness and can be overcome with love. Remember that our Lord tells us to overcome evil with good.
Many blessings and happiness to you this new year. Look forward to seeing more of your posts!
01-03-2006, 08:41 AM
Glad to meet you hope you enjoy and get a lot of support from Soulforce. Looking forward to hearing more from you. Blessings Kat
01-03-2006, 10:00 AM
Wow - You HAVE had some nasty bites lately. Rest assured there are plenty of people out there, gay and non-gay, who do NOT share those negative beliefs. It is hard to find them all in one place however, or at least it has been my experience that it's hard to find them all in one church. But I haven't tried too hard yet. :rolleyes: I am a spiritual loner.
What you are doing makes sense - being as respectful and compassionate as you can be even with those who don't treat you the same - and you are 'shopping around' for a faith community that will be appropriate for you. I hope you are able to find one near your home - I know they exist. Best wishes finding a spiritual "home," and you can always come here and share with us whenever you want.
01-04-2006, 01:21 AM
Perhaps this will help you:
Having been brought up in a homophobic & fundamentalist denomination since childhood, I went through a rough "wilderness experience." Recently, I have found peace within attending a local church of the United Church of Christ.
Of course, there are other pro-lgbt denominations too:
MCC (Metropolitan Community Churches)
Disciples of Christ
Worldwide Church of God (despite being conservative theologically, they do believe sexual orientation is not a choice & support our community - at least on their website anyway).
Peace & Blessings to You!
You will get through this - I believe in you.
Welcome to Soulforce, I'm new here too.
Finding the right church is a tricky thing sometimes. I can relate to a lot of what you are going through. First of all my partner's name is Michael also and he is also anti religion/church. I grew up in the Catholic Church (back when the mass was still in Latin). Since adulthood I've left Catholicism, and tried many other denominations. To be brief, hypocrisy seems to rule in most churches. I've been asked to leave different churches, (come back when you get your life "straight"), another reaction from a Pastor when trying to get his help about my dealing with being gay was: "Well what do you want me to do about it"?, The one that had the biggest impact on my church membership was when my Pastor was caught having M2M sex in a rest area. This isn't to say that I'm the perfect christian, (far, far from it) but in all these churches I was trying to look up to those who were what I thought to be long time, loyal, honest followers of Christ. Upon finding out otherwise, and seeing that I couldn't learn from these people, I had no problem just walking away from those churches. On the other hand I still felt the need to belong to a church, as I have a deep spiritual side to me.
A few years ago I found a Baptist Church and when I decided to give it another chance, the first thing I did was to sit down with the 2 pastors and tell them my story. If I was going to be rejected for being gay (and having AIDS), then I wanted to know up front. I was accepted and although my pastor admits his ignorance about gays, he has not let that get in the way of being there for me and accepting me as a member of the flock. I also came out so to speak to some of the men at our monthly breakfast and everything seems to be okay there also. They know that I still live with my partner, and when we moved to the country, all the guys from the church got together to help us move. I have not stood before the whole congregation and announced it to everyone, I know that not everyone in the church would be as accepting of me, but right now that's okay. Even though I know it's not the policy of my church to be pro-gay, I can see for the most part that they seem to concentrate more on the individual than the category. Okay, I know I might have gotten carried away with my own story here, but perhaps it has given you some hope that there just might be a church out there for you too. Of course there is always MCC and other gay friendly churches, which are just as legitimate as any other church. Good Luck, God Bless and I'll pray that you can find a good true christian church, if christian is the route you want to go.
01-04-2006, 09:10 PM
It was sad, yet inspiring. I am glad a Baptist pastor had the guts to let you be a member of the congregation. Kudos to him. I will pray for you and your AIDS issue. I have no idea how that feels to live with that. I will pray for your partner, too. Bless you.:)
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.