A VERY QUEER GRACE

Sin is a difficult issue for many, if not most, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT” or “queer”) people of faith. It is the primary reason why LGBT people are denied full participation in the life of the Church, including the denial of sacraments and rites such as same-sex marriage and ordination, as well as the denial of many secular rights such as civil marriage and anti-discrimination laws. Sin also torments LGBT people starting from a young age. That is, we are taught very early on that same-sex acts are sinful, and we will be condemned to eternal punishment in hell if we fail to repent and abstain from such acts.

As a result, many LGBT people are unable to understand what grace – that is, the unmerited gift of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ – is all about. If a central part of our identity (if not the central part), which is the ability to experience embodied love and pleasure with another human being, is understood as intrinsically sinful and in need of repentance and abstinence, then why should we care about God’s grace? In fact, what kind of sadistic God would create people one way and then insist that they change who they are in order to attain salvation? It is not surprising, then, that many LGBT people have turned away from the Church and organized religion.

So begins the first of five essays by the Reverend Dr. Patrick S. Cheng to be posted over the coming weeks at THE JESUS IN LOVE BLOG. As you can see from the above, it is good stuff. The titles of the essays are:

1) Erotic Christ
2) Out Christ
3) Liberator Christ
4) Transgressive Christ

5) Hybrid Christ

Check them out!

Comments

A VERY QUEER GRACE — 9 Comments

  1. By the same token single heterosexual lovers are deemed sinful if unmarried, as are relationships where one partner is single and the other married regardless of gender, or circumstances.
    Not much consolation I know but you are not alone!

  2. How is that “by the same token”, cymraeg?

    You’re essentially equating CHOICE (adultery, and “fornication” in the old term) with ORIENTATION. Hets can CHOOSE to have sex in a sinful state, or a blessed state.

    Queers aren’t given the option of blessing! >:-(

    ***

    That’s a lovely image (and your cartoon is pretty good, too!)

  3. Your cartoon ads a nice twist of humor to cheer me up after putting together the post on sin and grace. The phrase “I do everything around here” is often heard between my partner and me… but somehow, by God’s grace, we work it out. Thanks a lot for sharing the news of this important new queer scholarship.

  4. Great ‘toon, Mad One.

    As I’ve shared many times, I grew up in Evangelical Land where it was generally accepted that the “broken” sexual orientation was due to sin – Either on the part of the broken due to separation from god, or on the part of the parents (See the writings of Doodle Dobson, regarding whom I cannot include a title, given his complete disregard for the science of his own field. If I were as negligent, I would have lost my license long ago.).

    So, given my same-gendered orientation, my assumption was that for some reason beyond my reckoning, god had removed himself from me, and all pleas to he “healed” were ignored. Yet, I knew that this was not the nature of God and subsequently didn’t reject my faith, but remained in a perpetual state of puzzlement until the angst of being in far exceeded the angst of coming out. That led to a dive into the loving arms of my creator who knew me at the time of my creation, and would be with me even if I made my bed in hell. Truly, I had been born again.

  5. KJ, beautifully said. You were born gay, because God, who knew you from your mother’s womb, also knew that God’s own works would be revealed in you. And so they are.

    And speaking of Grace, whatever happened to our human Grace? I miss her.

  6. I was sitting in church this morning (yes, we are ahead of you all here in Oz) and as I listened to the reading of Jeremiah 23 I couldn’t help but reflect on KJ’s post above.

    1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.

    Amen.