I have an elderly neighbor who lives a few streets away, that I see from time to time on my one-mile walks that I take occasionally whenever I’m feeling up to it. Over the past few years, I’ve gotten to know him pretty well, as he tends to always be sitting on his porch either reading or smoking a cigar whenever I pass on by his home. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about him over time, it’s how deep his belief in Christ is and how much he places his faith in the Bible being the absolute word and truth of God.
For the most part, I’ve truly enjoyed each of our conversations and from what he told me just recently, so has he. He even went so far as to say how much it’s been positively affecting his life and helping him to see God in new and different ways. Why I say “for the most part” though, is because of his stance on one subject and that’s homosexuality. While we haven’t talked more than a couple times about it, I’ve come to learn how strongly he believes homosexuality is a sin, like so many others who believe what the Bible says is 100% the truth.
Knowing someone who feels this way is nothing new to my life, as I know of plenty of people who feel as he does about homosexuality. The challenge I have with this man though is that he has no idea that I’m gay and thinks I’m actually in a relationship with a woman. Because of that, every time I talk to him, I feel like I’m living a lie and have begun to wonder if God wants me to tell him the truth.
I’ve faced this situation so many times in my life, with people who were benefiting from the insight I had from my own spiritual journey with God, people who were feeling blessed by the spiritual connections I made with them. That is, until I would tell them I was gay, which would most frequently lead to me getting either Biblically lectured or them rapidly disappearing from my life or both.
Honestly, it makes me sad that I’m afraid to be 100% truthful with this man. Because I’m pretty sure if I am, he’ll no longer be receptive to anything I have to say about spirituality and faith from that point forward. I have a pretty good idea how he’ll actually react because he told me how one his family members confronted him on this very subject and they no longer speak to each other. He also has claimed that he is very close-minded when it comes to a few hot topics such as homosexuality. I know there is no real reason why I need to tell this man that he’s talking to a gay individual. Yet, at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m being my true self with him either.
Truthfully, it sucks I live in a world where Paul’s words from the New Testament are interpreted today as sexuality immorality means homosexuality is a sin. It sucks that Jesus never spoke on this subject in the Bible ever. It sucks that most people disregard all the crazy laws of the Old Testament, except for the ones that talk about sexual immorality. And it royally sucks that friendships and families are regularly becoming divided these days, all because of some guy trying to love another guy or some girl trying to love another girl.
Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure that if I tell my neighbor that I’m gay, that positive feeling he’s been having with our conversations will quickly evaporate and any good I’ve been doing to help him to see greater Light through my own spiritual journey will suddenly be erased. That’s the sad state of homosexuality and Christianity nowadays. Two words that even in 2019 are still such strong antonyms to each other.
Regardless, Christ says to love my neighbor as myself, and for that, even knowing my staunch Christian neighbor’s beliefs, I continue to practice unconditionally loving this individual, which somehow continues to help him on his own spiritual journey. Why God is using me, a gay male, to slightly expand a very reserved Christian’s beliefs I don’t know, but I often wonder if a day will come when my neighbor actually asks me about my own personal beliefs with homosexuality.
Should I tell him I’m gay?
Or do I simply state my deepest belief that whomever one loves, that God asks us to do it with all our heart, mind, and soul and that everything else on the subject doesn’t matter.
I don’t know what I’ll say if that was to happen, but for now, I just wanted to share what it’s like being gay in a very Christian world, that still has yet to see someone like me as a loving child of God and not a sinner…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson