Originally Posted by antonyh
Well you can be authentic and get defrocked or you can be inauthentic and keep your ministry. Either way you pay a price. Ain't Methodism fun.
The struggle in life is to live as authentically as possible. It is a universal struggle, and one that most only manage to some degree.
To what is each of called to be authentic? For a GLBT person it may be that they are called to be authentic to the way in which God made them. For a minister it may be to be authentic to the call of God on their lives. It's an easy decision, really - at least, until we consider that people are not one dimensional caricatures. Nor are we two dimensional - in this case, the dichotomous choice between being authentically gay or authentically a pastor. All of us have competing aspects and priorities to which we must be authentic - and there are a hell of a lot of them.
This exchange seems to be about two different choices being made.
One way of looking at it is:
Someone made the choice to forgo ministry to be authentically gay.
Another made the choice to pursue inauthentic ministry at the expense of being authentically gay.
The other way is:
Someone made a choice to forgo authentic ministry to live as an out gay man.
Another made the choice to engage in authentic ministry at the expense of being closeted.
Neither one is a great option but, either way you look at it, the person involved made the decision to that suited who they are, where they are and what they feel called to. Both decisions come with positive aspects, and both come with negative in abundance.
The danger is that we could try to gloss over the negative price of our own decision by being self-righteous and claiming that ours is the right choice that everyone should have made. This, of course, would be self-indulgent as well as self-righteous.
The overarching problem is not that different people have made different choices, but that people have to make choices in the first place. The problem is a system in which being fully authentic is not possible. Another problem is that people who make choices might denigrate those who make different choices. When this happens, the system wins.
Personally, I find this talk about what is authentic and what isn't to be troubling. It sounds very self-righteous, self-indulgent and divisive. It also does nothing to help the person who came here looking for community and help during a difficult time in their lives.