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Notes from a Gay Christian Woman August 7, 2009

Posted by Emma Jayne in Christianity, Church, Life Issues, Theological Reflection.
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Being gay is not a lifestyle option.

I didn’t wake up one morning and decide, “Now I shall be gay.” Nor is it about something that I do or how I behave in bed. Being gay is a part of who I am, and when you tell me — in your condescending way — that you hate the sin but love the sinner, you’ve completely missed the point.

Do you tell a black woman that you hate her skin but love the person within? How then can you tell me that you hate my being gay but love me?

But you say that’s different, that she was born that way, whilst I was born — well, what do you know about how I was born? You look at the outside: only God can see the heart.

You say it’s OK to be gay as long as I don’t do gay: that I must remain celibate. You say that sex is for marriage, but you deny me that privilege. You put fences around me — for my protection, you say. But that’s not true, is it? The fences are for your protection, to keep you safe from me, from the threat that I and my friends supposedly present to your nice, clean-cut clearly defined community.

But I won’t play your games. And so you drag me before your angry God, with your stones in hand, ready to throw at his command. “We caught her in the act,” you say.

He looks at me and he looks at you and he shakes his head and bends down to draw a line  in the sand. He writes above the line. He writes below the line. He crosses the line. But you can’t see what he’s writing: you’re standing too far away, not wanting to be contaminated by my ‘sin’ … my lesbian love.

There. I’ve said it. Yes, I’m what you call a ‘dyke’, a woman in love with a woman; and this angry God of yours: he looks at me and he loves me and he understands and he accepts me. He looks at you and offers you the same but somehow the stones in your hands that were meant for me have turned into a hammer and nails for him.

He stands and faces you, holds out his hands.

“We want to help her,” you say.

“Whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already raped her in his heart,” he replies. “Is that how you would help her? By planting your seed in her belly to make more of you? Has she not already been hurt enough?”

I listen, amazed. I look at my body. How little you know, I think. This body of mine that you would take and break and make into one of your own: how little you know. My body — is this my body? It has never bled like other women’s bodies: I have never known that gift, that glory, that … indignity. These seeds you would plant would not grow, could not grow: an infertile field, with no hope of a harvest. But you: what do you see?

“She is evil,” you say. “She has a devil.”

“What?” he asks. “Are you not devils, making these accusations? Is this how you drive out devils?”

He holds out his hands again.

“She is a sinner,” you say. “You’re supposed to say, ‘Go, and sin no more.’”

He smiles. “Go, and sin no more.”

“No,” you say, “to her, not to us. Look — we’re the ones with the stones, the hammer and the nails. We can kill both of you.”

His smile disappears. He holds out his hand, draws me to my feet, whispers, bids me depart: the scene, he tells me, is going to get messy…

Comments»

1. Dave Marriott - August 8, 2009

Amazing. Thank you, Phil, for this. And can you pass on my thanks and regards to whoever wrote this.

Phil Groom - August 8, 2009

Thanks David — Emma (not her real name) says hi and sends you a friendly wave.

2. mike - August 8, 2009

very moving – i cannot make further comment as i am not God – but he loves her and so should I – and i sincerely want to; even whilst i am still trying to learn to what ‘Love’ actually is.

Every Blessing to you ‘Emma’

Mike

3. apriljayne - August 9, 2009

Thank you Phil this is brilliant! I am a Methodist minister and the straight mother of a gay daughter. Together she and I stand against homophobia in the church. These notes are simply stunning!

Jayne

Phil Groom - August 11, 2009

Thanks Jayne. May you and your daughter find the strength and courage you need to stand together in love. Sending my love and best wishes to both of you.

4. Joy - August 10, 2009

A message for the church: Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1v17). Whilst this is still outstanding could we please remember there is bigger fish to fry than sitting in judgment on those we don’t understand – which up until this point hasn’t achieved its goal anyway!

A message for ‘Emma’: I applaud you! I love that you have found your identity in Christ. My pray for you is that you will always remember that you are firstly a child of God above all else. There are some whose minds will not be changed this side of glory and so may your words bring healing and restoration to all: Christian and non-Christian, gay and straight.

Phil Groom - August 11, 2009

Thanks for such encouraging words, Joy – much appreciated :)

Emma Jayne - February 12, 2010

Hi Joy – sorry for not replying before now. I’ve just come back to this, been re-reading the comments and simply want to thank you for your encouraging words. May God bless you as much and even more than you have blessed me: thank you.

5. fromthesamesky - August 11, 2009

Beautiful writing, beautiful writer. Powerful ending – that moved me. Love to you, and to Emma.

6. anita - August 15, 2009

Phil, thanks for letting me know of this blog post. It was indeed powerful and I thank “Emma” for sharing her witness with such boldness of faith.

7. Sam - August 25, 2009

Not Christian. But am open to new idea’s, beliefs etc?
However I am very much in contact with the Church, and Agree with a lot of it’s principles. Unforetuneatly, homophobia is not one of those that I agree with.
Brilliantly written, pass on my regards to ‘Emma.’

8. Helegant - February 13, 2010

Thank you for this – just found it. Please thank the author. very powerful.

Emma Jayne - February 13, 2010

Thanks Helegant – Phil’s just told me about your post on ‘Purity Laws‘ – thank you.

9. Barbara - May 24, 2010

Came over as Phil has joined my site. I was searching to find out who he was as he had given recognition to my post on Pilgrims Hall’s new venture – a Christian bookshop.

Emma’s pouring out her heart really touched mine and left me in tears. I have been a Christian for over 60 years and went through pain and devestation when I found out that my son was gay almost 20 years ago. It brought me to a place of realising that I did not ‘know it all’ and that there were no easy answers and that he needed my love more than ever. I had a lot to learn and am still learning and trusting God who holds the world in His hands and loves us all equally. Blessings.

Emma Jayne - June 5, 2010

Hi Barbara and thank you. It’s a difficult journey, isn’t it? But when God’s love touches our hearts it makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Blessings to you too :)

10. Paula Ann Walker - February 12, 2011

This has so touched my heart. Thank you so much. :)

You speak of experiencing God. That is my experience too. Not what I read or what I hear or what I am told (though these things can be useful and inspiring at times.) :) Rather you speak of a life you share with God.

Many many blessings and thanks again for your honest and educational blog.

Thanks for sharing Phil. :)

Phil Groom - February 19, 2011

Hi Paula, and thanks from both Emma and me :)

11. Shadow Dancing: A conversation about faith, hope and gay love in the church « Phil's Boring Blog - April 28, 2012

[...] Perhaps I can leave you with a link to a piece written by my friend, Emma Jayne: Notes from a Gay Christian Woman [...]

12. Lucient - August 6, 2012

“All have sinned…” we are all born with sin (lust, deceit, murder, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, stealing…) every last one of us. The sin of homosexuality is no different from those who murder or steal or even have an sexual relationship outside of marriage. We are all born with sin. The problem here is that somehow, homosexuality, has become the worst sin ever (in the “church”) and a glorified status sin outside of it. We were all born of the same stuff… addictions, dirty thoughts (some naturally have them and just keep quiet about it), lying. When Jesus said “Go, and sin no more” He did not give a pass to sin. The woman, who was supposedly “caught” in adultery, was told “…neither do I accuse thee. Go and sin no more.” If she was “caught in the act” where was her partner? The guy who she was with probably was among her accusers or maybe the accusers knew who it was. Jesus didn’t condone adultery that day. Neither did he condone judging others. However, sin is sin and we can’t pretend that we are allowed to live however we please as long as it seems it doesn’t hurt anyone. The more I see articles and blogs and media on this the more I think of Romans and my heart breaks.

Phil Groom - September 7, 2012

*sigh* … something tells me you really haven’t understood the issue here, Lucient. Homosexuality isn’t a sin that needs to be forgiven: it’s an orientation; and until Christians learn to reorientate their thinking and move away from the language of sin — lumping homosexuality together with adultery and theft as you have done here — then the alienation of the gay community from the church will continue.

Emma and others in similar situations aren’t interested in “living however they please” as you put it, but in being true to who they are rather than being forced to live a lie.


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