Note: I don’t know how to put this nicely, so I’ll just be direct – if you are not a Christian friend in the closet, this post has not been written for you. It is not a challenge, an introduction for discourse or debate, or an opportunity to express an opinion on this matter; it is an encouragement to my gay brothers and sisters in Christ who are still in the closet about their sexuality. That is all. Any comments that do not fall under the category of encouragement, or do not meet my standards of encouragement (which, for this post, are SKY HIGH!), will be promptly, liberally, and unapologetically deleted.
I have personally clarified my position on sexuality in a series of posts on this blog that I am open to discussing: Broken Sexuality I, Broken Sexuality II, Broken Sexuality III, Broken Sexuality IV, and Nobody Goes to Hell for Being Gay. Although the comments to these posts have long been closed, you are welcome to contact me with questions, comments, or concerns via email (lydia[dot]evelyn[dot]thomas[at]gmail[dot]com), by private messaging me on my public Facebook profile, or by direct messaging me on Twitter.
Dear Christian Friend(s) in the Closet,
Please come out.
I know, I know, some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are downright nasty to those who identify as gay or lesbian or transgender or queer, automatically condemning you to hell on the basis of your sexuality. Some of them say you can’t be a follower of Jesus AND identify yourself that way. Some say that if you just pray enough, or have enough faith, it will go away. Some say it’s okay to struggle with your sexuality, as long as you don’t act on it.
Without knowing and sometimes without caring, some have left you struggling with your faith. It’s so much easier to stay hidden, rather than to expose yourself to that more direct judgment, rejection, and pressure.
Can I just say something, though?
You are being defrauded of at least part of the freedom and fullness and light and life that comes with following Christ while you’re still in that closet.
And can I say something else?
A half-life, a life in the shadows is not God’s will for you.
So, please. Come out of the closet.
I’m not even saying you should come out to everyone on Facebook or your blog or anything like that. There are people (even non-Christians) who are simply not worthy.
I am saying you should find trusted brothers and sisters in Christ to whom you can relate your struggles, who will receive you graciously and lovingly even if there is a sin issue present, and who will fill you with the truth about who you are and who God has called you to be. I am saying you should let yourself be known and loved by your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as you are known and loved by Christ. I am one of many waiting for you with open arms and hearts. (That contact info at the top of this post? It’s for you, too).
Come to us.
I’m a sinner too, and every bit as broken as you or anyone else. I’ll give you the same love, the same grace, the same truth I’ve been given and give everyone else. I’ll let you into those things I keep hidden, and let you extend love and grace and truth to me.
Because of Jesus, we can have fellowship, okay? That’s what I’m saying.
I am pretty sure I am one of the biggest proponents of victorious Christian living; that is, I don’t believe any Christian is ever in any situation where he or she has to sin. I believe that having the mind of Christ and Him alive in us and the indwelling Holy Spirit (the Helper) empowers us to be victorious over temptation, and ultimately, sin.
That being said, even with this supernatural ability, all Christians still sin. The fact is that we all fail to lean on God in moments of temptation every day of our lives.
There is grace to cover all of it.
Mine. And yours.
“If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous” (1 John 2:1).
Come out of the closet.
We need you. You are a vital part of the Church, and we can’t function the way God intended without you. All of you, not just the parts you think we’ll accept.
And we love you. You’re family. You’re one of us. You’re wanted.
So, please, come.
Jesus, He loves me! He is for me!