Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christians, Bibles, Jesus, Oh my!

     Now, I don't write blogs or anything of the sort often. In fact this really is my first one. However, I've quite recently for the past 2-3 months had some interesting conversations and intriguing moments that I probably will never forget. I think to really start the story you have to go back to the start of the semester. I had just gotten back in touch with someone who I never considered a close friend by any means. His name is Garret ( Don't hate me for adding you or others to this blog) and he's really a nice guy. I only knew him because he dated a friend, and because of that I never really spoke to him. But we got to know each other over Facebook and then I had found that he was a recently saved Christian.

            Anyone who knows me knows that I have a... distaste I guess would be the word, for Christians. However Garrett seemed very patient with me and even at the beginning when I was at my worst with him and completely terrible to him he was nice to me too. We had many conversations about God, Jesus, Homosexuality, the Bible. All sorts of stuff. He was a semi typical Christian, except that he was so much more loving than many Christians who had condemned me in the past. So I grew fond of our late night (11pm-whenever we just couldn't handle staying up any longer) conversations. Then some of his friends started adding me. I think the first person to add me was Alejandro, then Krestan, and then Camilo. 

           I was remarkably rude to all of these seemingly nice people to begin with. I remember sending them messages strictly prohibiting any form of conversion or attempt at doing so. They responded respectfully and letting me know they would never do that. Which I greatly appreciated. I was growing fond of the Christian religion as a whole, simply because there was so much love shown through these 4 guys. I would never consider becoming a Christian at this point in the story of course, but I enjoyed the topic and I enjoyed learning knew things from them all. Then came the time when Garrett asked me to come by a bible study one day. Originally I had said no, but I caved in at some point and just said what the hell and went

               I remember being nervous. The last time I can remember being that nervous was when I was going to take my final tests for my GED. I literally knew absolutely no one there. I was expecting maybe 4-6 people. But there was at least double that if not more. I felt really uneasy to begin with but everyone welcomed me and were very friendly so I eased up. I had brought a book, because when I hear the word bible study I assumed notes would be taken or something. But none were. I also had printed off about 90 pages from a website with all the contradictions in the bible and some of the horrible things from it. I had no idea what to expect.

                To begin everyone started singing, I wasn't expecting it but it really didn't shock me at all. The lyrics kind of annoyed me, everything reminded me of being a slave to something you can't see. After that was over they started talking about a chapter in the bible. It slips my mind now as to what it was about, but a lot of it had to do with keeping your faith, being patient, not straying from God and so on and so fourth. Then it ended and they all said prayers and did this praying thing that I don't even know how to quite explain. I remember one guy, who's name I won't mention because I don't really know it nor do I know him well, but I remember not praying or having my head down or anything but he looked about on the edge of crying during the praying. I was confused, but he was the sweetest guy I'd ever seen so I almost cried right there on the spot too, especially for what he was praying about. Then it ended and everyone broke off into groups and talking and obviously the first person I talked to was Garrett because he's the only person I really knew there.

                So we start talking about what I thought, I wasn't surprised with anything that happened but I wasn't completely upset about it either. We started talking yada yada getting into some of the more heavy conversations. Before I knew it I was surrounded by people, or at least it felt that way. Everyone was paying attention to our conversation and it was becoming a tiny bit awkward. People would jump in and give there point and how they felt and I remember one person, her name is Kayla, who just came off as an extremely loving person. I don't know her well, but she definitely made me feel more comfortable in what would have been an awkward situation. When homosexuality came up is when things began to get touchy. I kept cool but inside I was really wanting to scream and cry. Everyone gave their opinions on it and everyone said it in the most loving way possible, but I felt like no one really cared to see it how I do or put themselves in my place. They said they did, but I could tell they weren't really. Nothing knew to my knowledge was said and nothing surprised me from it, but I was a tad bit hurt that no one could simply drop the religious beleifs for a simple second just to be a little empathetic rather than simply sympathetic. I left on a good note and was generally happy with how the evening had gone.

                      Over the next several days, which ended up the next two weeks, I found myself struggling internally. I so longed for such a loving relationship with people like they all had. They were all very clearly genuinely happy and I wanted that, because while I am very happy for the most part there is always a pit inside of me full of angst and despair that hurts. Mostly because of my past and what i've gone through. Seeing these people so happy made me feel like that pit could be filled and covered. So I had come to the realization, at least for the moment, that I wanted to be a christian. However I knew I couldn't give up my sexuality because I knew I could never give up something I've always had. None of them understood what I mean, and they came up with their own reasonings. But when you are born liking boys how do you just change that on a whim for a God who may or may not be real and for a religion that condemns you as a person and everything you stand for morally and have fought for since you came out to the world. 

                 I tried talking to everyone about this stuff, I really did. I found letters from pastors that were pro homosexuality and I went through the depths of myself to try and show them how it felt. I opened myself up to basically complete strangers, just to be open for painful heartbreak in their responses. Nothing had changed, and none of them were opening up their mind or being empathetic in the slightest. Sympathy can only go so far, but to truly understand something you really need to be able to be empathetic and place yourself in someones shoes. No one seemed to be able to discern themselves with their Christian selves in order to see things the way I do. To see why it's so painful. For the first time ever, in an attempt to find love and turn to God and Jesus, I felt dirty for who I was because of my homosexuality. Those who know me know that my sexuality is the one thing in this world I'm most proud of, that I stand by consistently. It's the one thing I value the most. And to feel dirty because of it only caused me more sorrow and hurt. I was completely lost as to what to do with myself.

                   This leads up to where we are today, I still feel the pain but I've gone back to 3 weeks before I went to the bible study. I've learned to not pre judge Christians in general, because many are very nice and loving. However nothing is different when it comes to their beliefs, only how they go about it differs. I'm still at an internal struggle with myself but It's slipping away. I'm beginning to love myself again, which feels good. But now I feel more anti-christian than ever before. Especially at the recent notion that God can remove homosexuality. On a mission trip Garrett went to he met a gay reform christian who is now straight and has a family. This was the one thing that sent me over the edge and upset me enough to not want to be a christian. Because either A) that person was never a gay man in the first place he was only curious and is now spreading lies. Or B) that man is Gay and is trying to please society and is risking his family by being in one with a woman, as so many politicians have shown.

                Now I would like to clarify, none of this was to look down upon or to throw anyone under the bus. What this is, is my way of getting everything I feel off my chest. I've been telling myself I would blog about Christianity in general for a while, considering I keep seeing pro Christian blogs consistently. I  really do love everyone mentioned in this blog in a special way, not that kind of special. But in an odd way that's not like my other friends ( who I love so dearly <3). 

               As I continue on this journey of internal struggle and realizations and just the new knowledge that comes from having a broader circle of Christian friends I will also continue to blog about it. It seems healthy as well as interesting in the long term.


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