Coming Home

A gay Christian speaks to fundamentalists


| May-June 2010



Christian Coming Home

image by © Koren Shadmi 2010, Levy Creative Management, NYC

Last year I got a call from an administrator at a Midwestern seminary with a reputation for its take-no-prisoners conservative theology. He had permission to conduct a series of seminars on hot-button issues like abortion, stem-cell research, and gay marriage. His plan was to bring in a succession of speakers, one to take the pro side of an issue, followed by a second to present the opposing view.

I took a deep breath. I knew what was coming next. “We want you to take the pro side on homosexuality,” he said.

Yippee, I thought. I get to argue for Satan.

 

Several years earlier I had given a reading on the same campus. It was from my novel, The View from Delphi. I hadn’t come out as gay then, only as a Baptist. Years before, I made the decision that the only time I should feel obligated to reveal my sexual orientation was when there was something positive in it for me—like a quick way to get rid of a Jehovah’s Witness.

“Why me?” I asked the caller.

sue_6
9/18/2010 11:28:54 AM

That was an amazing and important story, amazingly told. I am quite sure I would not have had the courage to do as you did; and you did a splendid thing. (I am a Christian, but was not always one, and so had the privilege to choose what denomination I wanted to affiliate with -- indeed, what kind of Christianity I believe to be Christianity. Being socially progressive since the cradle, I chose to be baptized in an Episcopalian church, and I live in NYC, where any churches that are notably intolerant are disapproved. I cannot imagine your struggle, but I can imagine it better now.) The truth, truly, sets us free.


anthony venn-brown_2
6/22/2010 6:44:09 AM

What a wonderfully encouraging story. I believe there is a new climate of questioning. Firstly people are asking ‘Has the churches response to the gay community been appropriate’..and secondly ‘do we need to look again at our beliefs about homosexuality?’ I too have recently been invited to lecture at one of the leading Pentecostal/Evangelical Colleges here in Australia, Tabor Victoria, as an openly gay man of faith. This is a first in this country but reflects that it is not all opposition out there…..people are genuinely inquiring. We need to step up to the plate and share our stories……these are powerful as you say. what wonderful opportunities we are being given. Anthony Venn-Brown An Ambassador for the LGBT Community Author of 'A Life of Unlearning - A Journey to Find the Truth' Co-convenor of Freedom 2 b[e] Honoured to be on the 2007 & 2009 list of the 25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians


hoyt mcguyer
5/6/2010 4:06:29 AM

An excelent story told, thank you brother.


heidi hunt
5/5/2010 2:57:38 PM

Jonathan, thank you for fighting your fear, for the courage to face your enemies - you have proven your commitment to God, by affirming who you were made to be. That is all any of us can ask of each other. I hope you have found a home church, if not, please check out the United Church of Christ whose identity includes being "an 'open and affirming' church where no one's baptismal identity can be denied because of his or her sexual identity."