Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gay Devotionals

While Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”
John 8:1-11

Have you tried lately to find a good gay-affirming devotional on the Internet? Used to, I had a number of sources I could go to for inspiration, but lately, they are harder and harder to find. Some of the sources that I used to use, either no longer have the content they used to or the website is no longer valid. I can think of a few reasons for this:
  1. Have gay people strayed so far from Christianity that no one wants to minister to them?
  2. Have churches become more welcoming and therefore there is no longer a need for Internet devotionals?
  3. Do gay Christians just not care enough anymore to put out devotionals?
  4. Are there resources out there that Google just can't find?

I do think a lot of gay people have turned their backs on Christianity. Many "Christians" have certainly turned their backs on gay people. Is that an excuse? No, it isn't. We must not give up on Christinity. God doesn't give up on us. He loves us and wants us to love him. Just because many fundamentalist Christians have turned their backs on gay people and see no place for gay people within the church does not mean that God feels the same way.

In Vermont, there are no gay bars. The explanation I have found is that all bars are welcoming to gay and straight and therefore there is no need for separate bars for gay people. There are many churches here that are the same way. They don't make one's sexuality an issue when welcoming people into their churches. Quite simply, they welcome everyone. Is this true of the country as a whole? No, it isn't.  There are still many churches that if you are gay you will be asked not to come back.

That brings me to whether or not gay Christians care enough anymore to put out devotionals. I think since DADT ended and gay marriage and adoption became legal, we have become relaxed in our fight for equality. Churches are the last place in America where equality exists. Few churches are fully integrated racially, and they certainly aren't integrated when it comes to sexuality and gender. Some churches are becoming better about gender equality and many of those are more integrated with different sexualities. Some of those churches claim to be gay affirming now, but honestly, when it comes down to it, they aren't. We have become too relaxed in our fight for equality and we need to keep fighting to be included in our churches.

I hope there are sources for gay devotionals that I just couldn't find.  If anyone knows of any, please let me know in the comments. I love being able to take a devotional and allow it to inspire me for a post.

You may be wondering about the Bible passage above and what it means to this post. Well, the fact is whether other people who call themselves Christians may condemn us for being gay, they forget Jesus said, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” None of us are without sin and therefore none of us can cast the first stone. There is but one judge and that judge is God, for He alone is without sin.


Paul said...

Wow, I'm hardly ever the first to comment.

I would like some further explanation of a couple terms in your post to help me understand it, if you would.

What is a devotional? In the church I grew up in we didn't use that term. We had 'devotions' which were rites involving scripture and prayer, but surely there is no lack of that on the internet. What makes a devotional gay? The poster or the posting?

Also, what do you mean when you use the term Christianity in this post? There are certainly still gay, self-professed Christians among us. There are even gay, self-professed Christian congregations of various sects. Is your Christianity dependent on community? Were I a hermit who believed and tried to follow Jesus Christ, but had no contact with other Christians, would I not be a part of Christianity as a whole? Is a self-professed Christian deemed not part of Christianity because they fail to be Christ-like? or because they are unchurched? or because they actively and knowingly violate Christ's command to love one another?

I always wondered about the passage you quoted where Jesus told the woman to 'go and sin no more', if she succeeded in doing so, if Jesus believed it were realistically possible for her to do so, and how each of them felt when she (probably) failed. Isn't the adultery defense one of the arguments "Christians" use against homosexuality? You can't have sex because you're not married and you can't marry because we say marriage is only between a man and a woman. Ergo, no sex for you, homo. If Jesus were to tell me to avoid this sin henceforth, I don't know what I'd do, but I'd probably burn for it.

Michael Dodd said...

Well, as a reader/writer I have been told, "If you can't find the book you want, write it."
You post devotional reflections regularly. If you start a devotional blog site especially for gays, I think they will find you. And by looking at your readers and at links they provide on their own blogs, you can track down sites that may be helpful to you. I discovered your blog, for example, through another blog that I found through a general search for gay bloggers.

Of course, that will get you all sorts of things, but it is pretty easy to skim through the names and figure out what to ignore. Or not, depending on how you are feeling at the moment. ;-)

Full disclosure: I thought about starting such a blog several years ago, but I confess that few people found it and fewer commented. So maybe this idea is not going to work.

On a somewhat related topic, I for a short time I had a blog about a fictional Congregation of St. Cornelius, the God-Fearer. The idea was a community of people like Cornelius in the Book of Acts who had not fully embraced all of the teachings of Judaism, but who was nonetheless in search of God, respected the ways and teachings and was chosen to teach Peter that God looks and works beyond the boundaries created by religious and political leaders. I think there are any number of gays who are God-fearers but who find that the churches they know are too much (or too little) for their needs. They hesitate -- as do I, to be honest -- to identify as "Christian" because the term has come to mean much that they find offensive.

"Suffer the little children to come unto me," said SomeOne Whose friends were trying to protect him from bother. Descendants of those friends today might heed the admonition.

Joe said...

I post almost all of my Sunday posts on but it gets very few visitors.