Monday, September 21, 2009

Gay Guy in Seminary: Day 36 (Calling)

There's been a lot of talk recently about each of our callings, which is a strange Christian concept for those of you unfamiliar with it. It's even strange for us so-called insiders. Apparently, this is even strange for European Christians in general, as our Old Testament professor, who is from Switzerland, humorously tried to explain to us on the first day of class.

A calling, like the secular meaning of the word, is something that you feel like you are meant to do. Of course, when I use it, I mean something that God wants us to do. You can be called to do something right now, or you can be called to do something far in the unforeseeable future, to any point in between. Some people stress out about this because they think they're supposed to have all of the answers right now. Unfortunately, or fortunately as you may choose to see it, God doesn't work this way. People, including me, have a tendency to forget that God does things on his own time, not our time. We just have to have faith in him to take care of us. Of course, this reasoning isn't that comforting when you feel like God isn't giving you any direction. All I can say to those people is to continue to do the right thing and keep praying for direction. Mother Teresa never felt God at all for a very long time in the later part of her life. She described her faith as emptiness and darkness, yet she persevered. If she could retain her faith in God without being able to feel him, then those that are lucky enough to sense God's presence yet do not know what he wants them to do should remain faithful as well. Sometimes he shows us only a little bit of the path, other times the floodlight shows the whole thing. Still other times only parts of the path will be illuminated with the sections in between shrouded in darkness. Why he does this is his prerogative.

As for me, I do feel that I know what God wants me to do. That is why I spent 2 years at California Lutheran University to get my bachelors degree. That's why I'm at San Francisco Theological Seminary right now. That's why I'm writing this blog. The Presbyterian Church and the Christian Church as a whole has done incredible damage to itself and to the community at large with its stance against homosexuals. On top of that, most of the mainline denominations are in decline. There are many factors involved in this, but I believe that the churches' stance on gays also plays a role. As secular society marches forward in it's understanding of human sexuality, the church remains entrenched in its backwards mentality of hatred disguised as piety. This makes the church irrelevant in the eyes on many, least of which are those in or involved with the LGBT community. It is also tearing the church apart as those who choose to love their neighbors fight for the rights of those of us who are being oppressed. I don't know why God chose me for this fight, but he did. I don't know how large of a role I am supposed to play, only that I am supposed to play one. I don't think it was an accident that I was born in the 2nd most conservative presbytery in the country, and I don't think that it was an accident that my parents decided to raise me and my siblings in a Presbyterian church.

This is what I like to call the "ugly" side of my call. There is a prettier side that involves cappuccinos and cookies, but that's a post for another time. Good night all!


  1. I strongly support you in your fight. Ask me sometime about mine w/ the same issue in my church. It's a long story.