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The Exit Door Is This Way…

[callout]The following is full of emotion, but it is not written in spite or contempt. It’s my honest opinion born out of experience. It is direct and to the point so it would be easy to read it as harsh, but please don’t. It is written from a broken heart, not a vengeful one.  With that in mind…[/callout]

I want to write about two ideologies born out of religious legalism that is of immense harm to LGBTQ people.

First, I believe the bastardized version of the religion the man who shot the beautiful souls at Pulse Nightclub taught him an evil ideology. This evil system of thought taught him that it was a divinely blessed mandate to murder 49 and wound 53 Latin LGBTQ people in a mass shooting.

Second, the bastardized version of the religion I am associated with, Christianity, teaches LGBTQ people an evil ideology that says to be divinely blessed and ok with God’s will and people, we must kill our core relational sense being, identity, and expressions of love.

Both of these twisted versions of spiritual teachings are abusive and deadly.

Systemic bigotry and bias have been passed down for generations. Many LGBTQ Christians feel our only option is to become something we are not. We are forced to conform to church teachings based on cultural conditioning, not the life-giving and affirming teachings of Christ. Shame and condemnation are repackaged as smiling promises of liberation from “brokenness” and “freedom from homosexuality.” If we do not conform to what is presented as our only option (a false projection of self), we are disenfranchised, abandoned, oftentimes punished and routinely stigmatized.

We become the scapegoat. Somehow we are made out to be a villain when all we are trying to do is be ourselves.

As a result, unfortunately, too many LGBTQ people die slowly through self-loathing, destructive addictions and unhealthy relational patterns. Even worse, some choose the horror of suicide.

The over-arching point I am trying to make is this: I believe that every single day the Pulse tragedy is repeated when LGBTQ persons around the world are thrown out of their homes, violently attacked, persecuted, murdered, or take their lives because of culturally driven and public/church policy accommodated religious stigmatization of LGBTQ people.

Stop the abuse. Stop demonizing us for who we are and how we love. Stop the killings.

People can choose to live however they want, but after 21 years in a conversion ministry movement, I know it doesn’t work. I no longer believe that building bridges to non-affirming and non-accepting churches is the right metaphor or action to take. I believe in finding the exit door to those churches and inviting others to come along. Sometimes the most gracious, brave, and life-giving thing to do is to walk away and live an honest life.

As I continue to abide in Christ, with His guidance, I have found a true spiritual home among others in everyday authentic relationship.

You are welcome here.

randy_sig

Published inCommon + Unity = CommunityLGBT+ Christ Follower

9 Comments

  1. Thank you for those blunt, raw, but truthful words that are not shared enough. I re-posted some of them in my blog because you say in short words better than what I would say in a 500 page novel. Thank you for all you do, and I do pray this starts the long push for change.

    • Thank you for the encouragement and honored that you would quote the article. It’s time or change, we are the change, it must happen.

  2. Carl Willis Carl Willis

    Wow! Well said, Randy. There’s a lot of truth in what you just said and it’ll take me some time to ponder in it all but, having lived a similar life experience as you, I have to agree with everything you said. I have spent years and years of my life trying my hardest to be what Christ wants me to be and trying to make sense of my true and natural same sex attraction and I still wrestle with what the church teaches and how God made me and I seem to come up short every time. I have to keep telling myself that God made me in his image and He doesn’t make mistakes.

  3. Roger Roger

    Randy, you have Beautifully expressed a lot. In Western Countries, the past 60 years has brought more civil rights to LGBT community, mostly through the courts and change of heart of people living in our times. In many states during the 1970s, one could be arrested & harassed for just being gay. So much change for our LGBT generation has and is happening. Plenty of evil has historically been done. While most of us in the west are able to live peaceful, productive and happy lives, there are among us who are abused, shunned, hated and yes, even killed, for just being different.
    Christ spoke of “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6.31 NIV). So simple, so easy, yet for some among us, their moral compass goes in adverse directions and result in horror stories for victims.

    • Thank you so much Roger! I appreciate the encouragement and totally agree. We have come a long way but it is far from over. Thank you for your comment.

  4. Chet Chet

    Thank you Randy for this “Exit” option. I tried the remain in the church where I was once a pastor and leader. An attempt to build a bridge and change it from the inside. I quickly realized that this would never happen. Not on the watch of the current leadership. So I looked for the nearest exit and walked out. I have never been happier and more fulfilled.

  5. In this Blog you wrote:

    “Systemic bigotry and bias have been passed down for generations…”

    This sounds a lot like Syncretism. When I had the opportunity to study Comparative Religious Studies and begin studying Scripture in the two Seminaries I attended to become a Priest. I learned about the various practices and beliefs that were absorbed by Judaism and later Christianity as time went on. There is a serious degree of pagan appeasement in both Judaism and christianity, even still today. “Many LGBTQ Christians feel our only option is to become something we are not. We are forced to conform to church teachings based on cultural conditioning, not the life-giving and affirming teachings of Christ. Shame and condemnation are repackaged as smiling promises of liberation from “brokenness” and “freedom from homosexuality.” If we do not conform to what is presented as our only option (a false projection of self), we are disenfranchised, abandoned, oftentimes punished and routinely stigmatized.”

    When I experienced my own Conversion experience, I learned that Jesus accepted me 100%, just as I am. He, with the Father and the Holy Spirit share Unconditional Love with each other in the totality of their Godhead. I have come to believe that this was the reason he created us for. To pour out and share Unconditional Love with all of us … No requirements, no hoops to jump through. Only a total and complete willingness to accept Unconditionally, what he already poured out on us Unconditionally.

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