Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Book: Coming out Christian by Jen Austin

I am a good way through a book called "Coming out Christian, Finding Wholeness in Faith and Sexuality" by Jen Austin. The reason I wanted to read this book is because I think that most (if not all) gay Christains go through an identity crisis. For me it's manifest in the identity pride stage here in the identity development model. The process of the coming out tends to involve a season of throwing oneself into one's identity as marginalized. A period of exploring what it means to be gay. For Christians I wonder if there isn't another step in the process, one of integration that specifically involves our faith. And it was for this reason that I was so caught by the sub-title here that said "Finding Wholeness in Faith and Sexuality".

This was my favorite quote out of the book this morning:
When a group of gay friends invited Paula and me to church one day, I was thrilled for the opportunity and relieved that someone else took the initiative. The invite came from out of the blue. I had no idea that these friends were churchgoers, but i was grateful to know that they existed, or in otherwords, that there were at least some homosexuals who did venture into a house of worship, if only on occasion. I needed the inspiration. My gay Christian seesaw was in need of leveling and I was becoming increasingly aware that I would not be able to bring it into balance on my own. Perhaps attending church with this group of homosexual Christians would be just the thing to jump-start the gay Christian reconciliation process...

The experience also allowed me to see that I had been wasting valuable time away from the church as I struggled with my homosexuality, thinking in some indirect way that perhaps God did not want me there. I had given homophobia the power to keep me isolated as a gay Christian in the midst of an identity crisis.
I can relate to this, even though I've been attending church. As I've shared more with christians who care about me and found gay christians at that church I go to now that's "open and accepting" internally I feel a bit more able to pray and connect with God.


Love Notes said...
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Heidi said...

May you be blessed as you walk your walk. I hope that you don't allow the lies of this world to keep you away from a close relationship with God. After all, thats what we are destined to be, is in constant commune with our Father. I pray that for you.

JJ said...

This sounds like an awesome book