Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Letter from A Pastor

Earlier today, I was talking to my friend via whatsapp. He suddenly asked me if I was gay because he saw a picture of mine on instagram that indicated I was one. Once I admitted, he was so supportive. Long story short, he said that he emailed his pastor (which used to be mine too) about this. He then forwarded his reply to me.

I like to share this letter for it has been a blessing to me. I wish it could be yours too.

Dear E, 
Thank you for your email. LGBT indeed is a very complex matter. I happen to do more research on this subject in my doctoral studies (on pastoral liturgy for marginalized groups, which necessarily involves LGBT).

Our church does not have same view about this matter, because many pastors do not get enough information. I learned a lot after several studies in these recent years. Previously, as other pastor would say, when I was asked about LGBT, I would give a "standard answer" which roughly says: LGBT should be celibate because Christianity only permits sexual relations in marriage.

But upon closer examination to see the standpoint of psychology, sociology, and also a more progressive theology, we will see that we can not judge LGBT based on our standards. The cause of being LGBT is debatable (some say because of the nature, partly due to nurture, others say it's combination of both). But clearly, for a gay/lesbian, same-sex attraction is not lifestyle nor life choices. If they could, they certainly would not choose to live as gays, because it was miserable. They can not change who they are. Even if there are few who claim to be able to change, occurs that he/she is a bisexual. Until a few years ago (before 2011), Evangelicals churches in America tried to "cure" gay with so-called "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy." Those LGBT people were put into camp/special retreat to be changed. It had gone for decades, and the largest was held by "Exodus Ministry", and finally three years ago they shut the program down and apologized, because it did not work. It couldn't change people's sex orientation.

So, about your friend, you should not judge that he sinned, and need to repent, or anything like that. It would be better to be a friend who is willing to listen and to understand. If he wants, he can come to LGBT seminar in our church, next October. I once brought a seminar on LGBT for our church assemblies, but I am not sure if the papers is suitable for him. For it is better to be explained rather than just to be read and then lead to misunderstanding. It is also possible to give him my contact, he can talk directly to me. Although I may not be able to answer emails every day, because of  a lot of work :-)

My personal view, after studying more than 2 years, it is okay to be gay. The important thing, whether gay or straight, is we both need to do the best we can to glorify God and to be a blessing. I think God never requires us to change what we can not change. God never asks a black man to become a white man. Or demands barren to have children. Unless in our lives, God makes miracles. But from the beginning until now, most people do not get miracle. So what is asked from us is to live as well as possible with what is, with what we can. 
Okay, that's it for now.

Greetings to all of you there,


I accept myself for who I am, I embrace my sexuality and I live as "normal" people. But there is always one thing that comes to my mind now and then, "Does God bless me for being gay?". Well, I am not saying that I wasn't blessed. But I kinda need something spiritually that somehow says 'it's okay to be gay'. Clearly I can't find it in the bible.

I was raised Christian, so most of the times, I would try to convince myself that love is the first and foremost law of Christianity. 

Reading his email was such a relief. It amazed me in every way possible. It is what I need, reassuring facts, in the paradigm of Christianity (by someone like him).