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Christians with gay children?

(76 Posts)
godanswerme Thu 22-Jan-15 23:52:45

Here goes ... I have been trying to pluck up the courage to post this thread for at least a couple of years.

I am asking Christians about their stance on their children being gay? My wonderful, beautiful, clever daughter came out to me when she was 16 - i was so proud of her and yet so worried as i was a fairly new Christian. I feel so lost because i know the bible has a lot to say about gay people and thats what i said to her that i was very proud of her coming out but i didn't know what to think in terms of our faith.

She has always been a believer and has lots of biblical passages on her tumbler - i don't know if she has ever really committed to jesus but i know that out of all of my kids she is the most with Faith (even when i wasn't a Christian i tried to bring them up with some sort of faith).

I suppose the thing i am trying to ask is - i am afraid if i go back to church ( i haven't been for two years and we have moved in the mean time so don't know how to find one here) I am afraid that if i go to church and get involved with one that they will find out about my DD and that i will be forever defending her and that i want so much to follow the faith that i found but i am ashamed to say i was afraid to go back to the church that i used to go to because neither me nor my daughter want religion to 'pray the gay away'.

This is who she is. this is how she is happy - she has been in a relationship for a year now and tells me she would hope to spend the rest of her life with this person. How can i tell her this is wrong according to the bible? I personally don't think it is - a committed relationship is something that she strove for and that i am so glad she found.

Im asking other Christians who have gay children, where can i find a gay friendly church? how can i find people who will love my dd for her choices and embrace her into being a born again christian? I sound so ignorant because i am. I have no idea where to start. the last thing i want her to be is ashamed of what she is - one thing i did learn when i did the alpha course is that God and Jesus love everyone and forgive those that ask for it. She and i both feel that she shouldn't have to ask for forgiveness for being the way that god made her ( i know some would disagree with that but i can vouch for the fact that she has always felt this way)

I want so much to go to church again - i didn't go for long and i don't feel like i can pray about all this - it keeps me awake at night because i either feel like i am bigoted ( which i am not) or that i can't have a personal relationship with Jesus because i and my lovely dd will be judged.

Any advice would be welcome - there is no point in flaming me over this as i have done it enough myself and it makes me very sad and depressed because i literally have no one to confide in who is a Christian.

Let me make it clear, i love my DD without question, her GF stays with us most weekends and she is lovely - i always prided myself on being open minded but i don't know how to go to church and be proud of my family inc dd when this is so frowned upon?

Devora Thu 22-Jan-15 23:59:32

OP, I can feel the distress beaming out of your post. I promise you that there are churches where you and your dd will be very welcome. Have you tried contacting the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement?

FishWithABicycle Fri 23-Jan-15 00:00:21

Hello.

Don't worry. There are loads of gay-friendly churches and loads of Christians who have not the slightest iota of anti-gay feeling.

The bible doesn't have that much to say about homosexuality. Jesus never mentioned it. It's in Leviticus in the same category as all sorts of things we no longer have a problem with.

Are you in the UK? Do you have a United Reformed Church near you? That would be a good place to start.

saintlyjimjams Fri 23-Jan-15 00:00:57

I don't think the Bible does have much to say about people being gay does it? Certain christians might, but I'm not sure the Bible does.

Seriouslyffs Fri 23-Jan-15 00:02:25

What church did you go to before? Would you be open to Anglican or RC? I'm guessing you went to a Evangelical/ bible focused church?
Don't deny yourself spiritual sustenance because of what some -- bigots-- might have misunderstood about God.

CaptainHolt Fri 23-Jan-15 00:05:40

gaychurch.org has a search facility for lgbt churches.

FishWithABicycle Fri 23-Jan-15 00:10:29

Visit changingattitude.org.uk/find-a-church to find a CofE church near you that has registered as openly welcoming of LGBT Christians. This isn't an exhaustive list so don't lose heart if there isn't one nearby - I know for sure there are some welcoming churches that haven't got around to registering yet, and of course there are also non-CofE options.

GingerCuddleMonster Fri 23-Jan-15 00:14:46

fear not, your faith will support you and keep you.

I can only echo what others have said about many of the lgbt Christian movements and speaking to them.

I feared returning to church after events in my life, but I was welcomed with opened arms and go every Sunday that I can, and I did do one of the big No No's technically.

godanswerme Fri 23-Jan-15 00:17:54

Oh so many answers hooray! I went to a large church near to where i used to live - it was a born again christian church ( sorry i don't know if that is anglican/rc/united reformed or what - i think it was a vineyard church.

tbh i went to church when i was little and never wanted to go back to a 'regular church' where its an actual church building because they always seemed so staid and if I'm honest a bit boring.

i went to the church that i joined because they seemed so interesting and into Jesus rather than just the thing that you imagine church to be ( i loved the alpha course) - admittedly they were a bit full on about committing to christ and getting baptised but i loved feeling so close to god when i went.

its a shame because me personally i feel like i still have no real relationship with the lord - he doesn't speak to me or make me feel like i can to him - i know its my fault and not his. This thing with dd has made it even more difficult to 'come back' so to speak - i would say she is more open and ready than i am - i just feel so unworthy.

All i want is to get back on track is to find a church that won't judge either me or dd ( i have 5 children in all and i am scared that dc's two younger brothers who are 5 and 2 will be tought that being gay is wrong and i really don't want that) I am a forward thinking mum who wants so much to embrace her faith but feels that she has so much baggage that i wont be able to find any fellowship.

I met several women from the church i went to - they would not have given me the confidence to go back devora you are right when you talk about distress - i don't know how to go back or how to tell her too as well ( she is only 19 so maybe might not want to anymore) i wasn't heartbroken because she told me she was gay - i was proud of her. i was heartbroken because i felt like the beginning of my faith was taken away from me sad

godanswerme Fri 23-Jan-15 00:20:04

PS devora - dd has looked into the lgbt christian groups online but they all seem to be in london or brighton. ( we are moving from where we are this year hopefully as we are in devon but even where we are moving back to isn't close enough to london.

godanswerme Fri 23-Jan-15 00:23:45

also when dd first came out we went on a lot of lgbt christian websites and could find nothing close to us - i just can't bear the thought of us ( her ) being judged - she is such a beautiful person - loves animals ( vegan ) loves people ( does charity stuff ) loves every-bloody-thing ... i just want to be able to talk about her with pride ( which i do everyday) without other Christians getting sniffy.

30somethingm Fri 23-Jan-15 00:31:20

www.religioustolerance.org/homglance.htm

There are a few interesting verses and (more) interesting interpretations.

I hope you find somewhere welcoming.

godanswerme Fri 23-Jan-15 00:32:44

Thank you 30

GingerCuddleMonster Fri 23-Jan-15 00:34:26

We are not the ones to judge, only one person can judge us, and that's the lord himself.

I go to a Anglican church, my vicar is a divorcee and me a married woman still to my ex husband (who was abusive) but have a baby with a completely separate man who happens to be of a different branch of Christianity, I thought I could never go back in to the church I married in, that stone building just seemed so cold, but then, I actually spoke to the new vicar, and he is lively and he opened up to me.

My advice would be, why not just go talk to some of the vicars in the local surrounding churches, explain your situation and just see what they say? Sometimes the friendliest of people live behind the biggest stone walls.

RevealTheHiddenBeach Fri 23-Jan-15 00:38:17

I'm afraid I can't add any help but didn't want to read and run - my best friend and another good friend from my church youth group are both gay (we're all now mid 20s) and although our original church has been pretty crap about it, a lot of leaders we know have been wonderfully supportive, so please don't think give up!

SoonToBeSix Fri 23-Jan-15 00:42:48

Hi I believe the Bible teaches it is wrong to be gay. I would be upset for any of my dc if they said they were gay. It would not change how I related to them and I have several gay friends who are aware of what I believe.
I think people who profess to be gay should be welcome in church anybody should be welcome at church . There is a difference between loving the person but not the lifestyle.

godanswerme Fri 23-Jan-15 00:46:52

Ginger i have thought about it and even thought about sending an email ( I'm not great with face to face stuff - i will probably blub )there is a fairly youngish looking church in the town near to us that i have been trying to pluck up the courage to go to.

Thats it really, i just don't know where to get the courage to go - you know what its like - you go, everybody is welcoming ( including the older members of the congregation ) but it all goes tits up when you say you have a gay daughter sad

The church that i went to after i did the alpha course there had a massive congregation and i stopped going for a while ( partly to do with dd and partly to do with other stuff) i got phone call from one of their helpers and she caught me off guard so i told her what was going on and how i was so worried and she literally went quiet and didn't say anything except that she would pray for me. nothing about dd or anything else - i just think that she didn't know what to say or that she was disapproving or something, i just don't know.

I was such a new Christian that i didn't know how to handle things - i didn't get baptised or anything - i feel so far from god and it makes me so sad.

SnapeChat Fri 23-Jan-15 00:48:48

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

godanswerme Fri 23-Jan-15 00:51:47

soon to be - thats what i mean, i think that most Christians feel like you do ( or the ones that i have met do. It makes me so sad. DD is in a happy stable relationship with her first ever girlfriend and i find it so hard to believe that God or Jesus don't support that. Surely he would rather a monogamous, kind and faithful person than a straight, promiscuous self absorbed individual?

I don't know, I have hardly read the bible as I'm not a good enough Christian but i really want to - i am just afraid that i won't be able to be because i would find it so hard to believe in a god that doesn't love his children ( and i believe that god made her )

GingerCuddleMonster Fri 23-Jan-15 01:03:34

god loves us all, through our sins, our triumphs, through the tests he places upon us, he loves us. Never think that god does not love you or your dd, sad

send an email, find the courage, ask the lord for strength if you can, he will hear you.

worst that could happen is no reply.

thanks

SoonToBeSix Fri 23-Jan-15 01:38:54

Godanswered am sorry I really didn't mean to make you feel sad. Please don't think I am judging your lovely daughter I really am not. My best friend is gay and I love her dearly.
I do honestly believe God created men and women only to have sexual relationship with the opposite sex. I believe the Bible is really clear on this. But of course God loves your dd, her sexually has no impact on Gods love for her.

Devora Fri 23-Jan-15 01:52:30

SoonToBe is absolutely entitled to her views, but IME most Christians do not share them (I accept this may depend on where you live, and I am in London). I have attended two churches as an out lesbian, at one the vicar was hugely welcoming (he said, "Let's be honest and agree how degrading it is for both of us that we have to even discuss if you are welcome here - of COURSE you are welcome, and so is anybody you love"); at the other, the vicar kind of tolerated me while holding his nose (told me he had to pray long and hard for guidance on having me there hmm). I have to say, for me it is absolutely not good enough to be a member of a church where I am tolerated, not welcomed - where people primly tell me that they hate the sin but love the sinner. I do not see that as a healthy context for relating to God or a congregation, and I would not want my children to be part of it. You and your daughter also deserve better than that.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Fri 23-Jan-15 02:37:48

Isn't vineyard a 'chain church' (for want of a better phrase!)? There might be another branch nearby you could go to, and just turn up with your DD so they take you as you come?

Although (and I don't know if all vineyard churches are the same) the one I went to when visiting a friend once was very very evangelical and I found it far too full on (I'm Anglican, and used to a very traditional village church, no waving/clapping/hugging mid-service!), so you might get more hard line people there?

I think you should try a few churches until you find one where you and your DD feel comfortable. I don't think God really minds which church you go to! I'm sure He'd much rather you and your DD were happy wherever you choose to worship.

FishWithABicycle Fri 23-Jan-15 07:17:28

I don't think it's true that most Christians share soontobesix's views, unless you subscribe to a very narrow definition of Christianity (I've been at churches where basically if you can't sign an extremely detailed Statement of Faith they basically consider you not-a-Christian). If you accept that anyone who considers themselves a Christian (i.e. is trying to live according to Jesus' teaching to the best of their ability) is a Christian, I think that view is a minority. Many more Christians understand that homosexuality is part of human diversity and you can no more choose not to be born gay than you can choose not to be born left handed (which also used to be considered a sign of evil and children were beaten for it until they learned to pretend to be right handed).

Some Christians will say there is no sin being committed in a loving gay relationship. The verses against it are in the same place as prohibitions on wearing fabric made from more than one type of thread, a passage explaining that if you suspect your daughter isn't a virgin you make her drink poison and can work out the truth by whether she vomits, and a ruling that if a woman is raped she ought to marry the rapist. Not many Christians go along with those verses either.

Some Christians will say that they consider the abstract fact of homosexuality to be part of the brokenness of creation, but that doesn't attach as sin on the individual. That given that they are how they are, it would be wrong to deny them the companionship and comfort that loving relationships bring, and that it is not reasonable to expect anyone to live celibate if they are not called to celibacy or to expect people to form relationships contrary to their sexual orientation, so do not identify or condemn any such relationships as sinful.

Some might consider that there is sin being committed, but that gay members of the congregation are no more to be singled out for specific condemnation than anyone else because we all sin on a daily basis and there's no difference in magnitude we all just do the best we can and don't judge.

You are unlikely to find a vineyard group which is lgbt-welcoming. If traditional churches aren't for you, try googling for churches near you using keywords like "fresh expressions" "alt worship" or "post-evangelical" - you'll find lots of people trying to find ways of being Christian without being tied to dry liturgy, and these kinds of groups are almost certain to be lgbt-friendly even if they don't specifically advertise themselves as such.

You could try the Inclusive Church site and see if they have a church near to you. Another place to try is a group called Diverse Church run by the Revd Sally Hitchiner . This is for teenagers/young people who are LGTG from conservative churches such as the one you used to attend. They are on facebook and twitter and I expect there is support for parents as well so it might be worth contacting them for advice.

Oddly enough you find more affirmation of LGTG in traditional churches. The catholic end of the Church of England is probably not your natural habitat but there are lots of gay priests running these churches so don't write off trad church as it might be a place to be for a while. For an evangelical church you could try an organisation called Accepting Evangelicals as they might be able to give advice on a church that will be a welcoming place for you.

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