I Think God Has A Huge Sense Of Humor!

Sometimes I think God has a huge sense of humor, because for as crazy as it feels with my best friend who’s been gay his entire life going through a total rejection of that now, receiving an email from someone who once did that very rejecting of gay people like he and I, yet now realizing how far off they were in their views from God’s higher and more loving truth, seems even crazier.

How all this came about requires going back to the beginning, which is over 25 years ago in fact, when I initially became best friends with a guy in college who would eventually become the first true love of my life, even though I was totally oblivious to what was transpiring within me then.

As I got to know this person during that period of my life, who I’ll refer to by his first initial “R”, I’d also go on to meet his mother, who I’d quickly learn was an extremely conservative Christian. I was ok with that at first because I really didn’t know what my sexuality was at the time nor did I even have much of a connection to God then either. A day came though when I’d realize what was going on within me and it came immediately after getting clean and sober from alcohol and drugs. It was then I fully grasped I was gay and always had been, but far more difficult, I also saw that I had fallen in love with “R”. It took me six months after starting my emergence from the closet to actually tell “R” about my sexuality and my feelings for him. “R” would completely reject me after that, even though we had shared many close moments during our drinking days that one would seriously have to put into question his sexuality as well. Regardless, a few years went by before I would work up enough courage to contact “R”’s mother to see if maybe “R” might be open to talking to me again. During my phone call with her, she asked why my friendship with her son had fallen apart and it was then I got fully honest with her as well. I told her about my sexuality, which was as far as I got before she began proselytizing about ex-gay ministries and how I wasn’t keeping to the will and love of God. I mailed her a letter after that call that was intended for “R”, while in turn she mailed me literature about leaving “the gay lifestyle”. I’d never read any of that literature she sent me and during my last contact with her over the phone, she told me “R” wanted nothing to do with me, even all those years later, and had no desire to read my letter either. She told me she’d also be praying for me, to be free of the “lifestyle” I was living and upon hanging up, I had no intention of ever speaking to her again, as both she and her son had caused me great pain and suffering.

But obviously God had other plans, as about a week ago, I’d open my email to see I had received something from my personal website. It was a personal correspondence from someone, which at first glance I thought was just spam, because I get a lot of that on my website. I had almost hit the delete button when I realized it was actually not spam and instead from “R”’s mother, the subject of which said two words: “An apology”.

While I feel her correspondence’s exact contents are probably best meant for her eyes and mine only, I will summarize by saying that she expressed her sincerest apologies for the way she treated me all those years ago due to my sexuality. She also spoke of how she used to be in such a narrow, fear-based evangelical arrogance and that she was in a completely different place today where she saw me with much more unconditionally loving eyes and heart. What’s interesting about this, and ironic for that matter, is how this contact from “R”’s mother came at a time when my own best friend has been going through a place of rejecting his own sexuality due to all the messages he’s been receiving no different from the ones I received from her long ago.

I’ve been pondering the sheer scope of all this and been left wondering if this was somehow God’s way of answering one of my prayers. Truth be told, I’ve been questioning my own sexuality in life all over again solely due to all the conservative Biblical-based messages my best friend has been preaching as of late. Most probably wouldn’t understand what it’s like to have a 22-year friendship with someone who’s gay suddenly say it’s a sin to be that way and reject it outright. Nevertheless, I feel “R”’s mother’s email came at the exact time I really needed a strong reminder from God that I was perfectly created just as I am and perfectly loved just as I am, that being gay.

So, for now, this story has been left with me sending a response to “R”’s mother asking to continue the conversation over the phone. I truly hope she’ll be open to it, as I’d love to know how she went from one end of the spectrum to another when it comes to her views on God. Whether that ever happens or not doesn’t matter so much as I’ve come to accept that maybe, just maybe, God really does have a huge sense of humor in how prayers get answered…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Totality Of God…

A few weeks ago, when my best friend was visiting me, we sat down early on a Saturday morning with a friend of mine who guest preaches at the spiritual center I currently attend, during which my hope was that maybe he might help my friend see things from a different perspective when it comes to God and homosexuality. Although my best friend’s viewpoint on the subject didn’t change after that meeting, I was still grateful to have had the experience, as it reconfirmed my own stance on the matter, especially when it comes to God.

Ultimately, I believe God is a lot bigger than the Bible, although many Christians would probably have my head for saying so. As my preacher friend, who’s also a Bishop, suggested, the totality of God goes way beyond the Bible, the Quran, the Torah, and any other book that’s ever been written about God. I agree and would go so far as to say that if every book ever written on the subject of God was put in an enormously large library, it still wouldn’t even touch the totality of God.

Unfortunately, my best friend feels just the opposite, as he believes that God’s truest word can only be found in the very pages of the Bible and the Bible alone. Hence the reason why he feels as he does now about homosexuality because it’s in those very pages in black and white where several passages denounce any same-sex relations.

I, on the other hand, have seen God in so many other ways in this world. I’ve seen God in a Muslim. I’ve seen God in a Wiccan. I’ve seen God in a Jew. I’ve seen God in a Hindu. And I’ve even seen God in an atheist who may not even believe in any type of God, but still does their best on a daily basis demonstrating the unconditional love of God anyway. Along the same line, I’ve seen God in many homosexuals, each who also do their best on any given day to offer the unconditional love of God too, myself included.

But, like my best friend, for the longest time none of that fell into my belief system since I used to believe the only true God was the one from the pages of the Bible. Because of that I never could fully accept myself and my sexuality in entirety, and if the totality of God was strictly that from the Bible, not only would I never be accepted into the Kingdom of God, but so wouldn’t billions and billions of people on this planet. At some point that started to not make any type of sense whatsoever, hence the reason why I began having to see the totality of God as something more than that which came from the Bible alone. Add in all the discrepancies to how the “Word” was constantly being applied in this world, the countless interpretations from Biblical scholars that all seemed to contradict each other, and plenty of people who warped God’s unconditional love into conditional or judgmental-based views, I realized God’s totality had to be something more than the Bible.

Eventually, I arrived at a place where the totality of God had me still identifying Christ as my Lord and Savior, except without labeling myself anymore as a Christian because of how much negative connotation that seems to hold these days in this world. With the amount of gay people, and people from other religions for that matter, who keep on being rejected because of the Bible and Christianity, I simply tell people now that I follow the unconditional love of Christ as best as I can. This thankfully has helped me to fully accept a number of things including the sexuality I was born with, the current relationship I’m in that’s same-sex based and fully monogamous, and plenty of others who come from non-Christian and non-Biblical-based backgrounds.

Many Christians, including my best friend, might say I’ve allowed the “Enemy” to sway me. If the “Enemy”, which of course is really just another term for Satan, has swayed me, I surely wouldn’t be holding the unconditional love I have for my partner. On the contrary, that “Enemy” was most definitely present in my past during the majority of all my previous relationships when I wasn’t faithful, when I did random hook-ups, when I attempted to break up marriages for sexual gain, when I viewed pornography, and so on and so forth.

So, no, I don’t believe the “Enemy” is swaying me today into believing any of this because for me, the totality of God absolutely includes the unconditional love I have for my partner. In the end, choosing to see the totality of God in this way, beyond the scope of the Bible, has allowed me to connect to countless souls on this planet that are just as worthy and deserving of God’s unconditional love. Souls that are indeed homosexual, souls that may never claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but souls nonetheless that truly do their best, every, single, day, to bring as much Light and Love onto this planet as they can.

And if that isn’t part of the totality of God, well, then I really don’t know what is or ever will be…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

What Do You Do When Your Best Friend Says They’re No Longer Going To Be Gay Because Homosexuality Is A Sin?

There have been many difficult things I’ve had to go through in life, but watching someone who began identifying themselves as a gay individual long ago, someone who just so also happens to be my best friend in the world, come to the decision that homosexuality is a sin, was not one of them.

Writing about this isn’t easy because I have somewhat unstable feelings and emotions surrounding it, not just because it primarily deals with my best friend, but also because it deals with religion overall, chiefly the Christian religion, something that’s always been a loaded topic for me. Thankfully, I did receive the blessing from my best friend before writing this, as he knows how much my writing helps me to work through my spiritual struggles in life.

This story begins with me being born and raised a Christian, which for the longest time I was proud to consider myself one. I was also born gay, as I discovered through many complex forms of therapy I did over the years where I remembered that even in my very early single digit years I was attracted to the same sex, which to this day is still true having never found any sexual attraction to a woman whatsoever.

Nevertheless, this spiritual journey in life to figure myself out took me through intense studying of the Bible, participating in numerous Bible study classes, and even becoming a Deacon at one point. Along the way, I began to see how Christians, and people from many other religions as well, used what they saw in black and white in the Bible, and any other spiritual books they followed, against gay individuals just like me. And the more I did, the more I became disgruntled with religion in general. Eventually, I steered clear of religion altogether because of it, that is until I decided that maybe God was bigger than all those religions and that maybe all their books weren’t necessarily the “absolute” truth of God either. I mean after all, how could each of those religions say their Book was the “absolute” truth of God anyway? In light of all that, I no longer label myself as being from any spiritual background, other than being a spiritual type of guy who seeks God and does his best to use the main principle of Christ (i.e. loving each other unconditionally). Unfortunately, this is where my best friend and I began to clash.

It started about seven months ago or so, after an excessive string of promiscuity had come to an end and a period of celibacy had begun for my best friend. It was then he decided what he had been told from many Christians over the years and what he had always read in the Bible was actually true, that homosexuality was indeed a sin and not approved by God. Believe me, when he first told me this, I was utterly shocked. For being the guy who helped me come out of the closest, the guy who helped me find God and the love of Christ, the guy who led me into my life of recovery from addiction, and the guy who agreed with me for over two decades that those passages in the Bible that denounced homosexuality had to be wrong somehow, it was like receiving a huge slap in the face that stung so hard it left a permanent mark.

But, being who I am these days, I believe it’s ultimately important to live and let live, to accept others for where they are on their spiritual journey, and to just love unconditionally, so I opted to accept his new path as best as I could. That was going just fine until I told him that my partner Chris and I were planning on getting married next year and that I looked forward to him being my best man. We had always talked about us being that for each other if we ever got married. Sadly, it was at that precise moment that he shook his head and said he wasn’t sure if he’d even be able to attend my wedding now, because it went against his new religious beliefs. Immediately, the image of that baker in Indiana who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple came to mind, except in this case, the baker was actually my closest friend in the world.

So, as you could imagine, I was shocked and honestly, I still am. All of those years and all of those rejections I received from pastors, churches, friends, family, and plenty of strangers too, solely because of my sexuality, never once did I EVER imagine that one day, a form of it would come from my best friend. What’s even harder about this is how the last time I had been planning a marriage with someone I thought I was going to spend my life with, my Mom did the very same thing by telling me she wouldn’t attend my wedding either. Things were never the same after that with her or with that partner. With that being said, the dilemma I face now is whether I want to get married at all. If I get married, there’s a strong likelihood that a 22-year friendship could come to an end, and if I don’t, there’s a strong chance that my relationship with Chris may suffer irreparable damage. I feel like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t and my deepest truth is that I really don’t know what to do now.

What I do know is that I love my partner with all my heart, mind, and soul, and remain monogamously dedicated to him. I so wish that all religious people could see that there is a beautiful God-based love even in a same-sex monogamous relationship like Chris and I have. But sadly, a relationship like ours is still detestable in their eyes and, in their opinion, in God’s as well.

But if God and Christ are nothing but unconditional love as I’m often told, then why wouldn’t God support the unconditional love my partner and I have for each other and our desire to enter into marriage? And wouldn’t my best friend coming to our ceremony be part of demonstrating that? These are the questions I continue to wrestle with over and over again as I try to put myself in my best friend’s shoes. Shoes that have never been in any long-term, monogamous, deeply loving relationship with any man. Shoes that only knew for the most part, a promiscuous lifestyle with men. And oh, how do I know those shoes so very well, because I lived in them at multiple points, and it’s those shoes that I believe are the actual sin that those spiritual books like the Bible speak of, not the ones I have on now where I absolutely love my partner and want to spend my life monogamously with him.

So yes, I have a hard time believing that God is really telling my best friend that he shouldn’t come to my wedding. I have a hard time as well believing that God actually disapproves of my love for Chris. And I especially have a hard time believing that God approves of all those judgments that continue to be made towards gay people just like me, because God made us the way we are. I certainly didn’t choose my sexuality, but boy if I could, I absolutely, positively, wouldn’t have chosen to be gay in a world where Christians and plenty of other religions constantly choose to look down upon people like me day after day after day, calling my lifestyle a sin.

In the end, all I know is that I love both my partner, and my best friend, immensely and equally, and don’t want to lose either. That’s why I’m choosing to leave this conflict in the hands of God to figure it all out, because I honestly can’t make sense of any of it.

So, what do you do when your best friend says they’re no longer going to be gay because homosexuality is a sin? I really don’t know, but I believe God does, and hopefully His unconditional love will prevail through it all…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson