The Lifestyle

The Importance of Understanding Rejection: A 360 View of “No”

Hey there folks. Lately, I’ve felt the need to share some words of encouragement in an effort to help those feeling fatigued by the pursuit of their dreams. I’m a believer that a lot of times in life, we as humans go through situations that really test us and force to either grow or shrink. Looking back on my life, I can recall countless experiences that have helped push me to evolve. But as I’ve gotten older, and I like to think wiser, I’ve realized that the things that have happened to me on my journey in life happened not only for my own benefit of growth, but also to help someone else. That is if I’m willing to open up and transparent (which is definitely not an easy thing to do.)

The Lifestyle

Belief and Faith. Two Things You Need to Pursue Your Dreams

In the today’s world, a value has been placed on everything.  Off the top of your head, I bet many of you could accurately estimate the price of a new iPhone, a pair of Jordan shoes, or a brand new sedan of your choosing.  For some time now, the world has elected to place a price on natural elements of the earth like water, gas, and even oxygen in some luxurious instances.  And of course money has value.  Why do you think so much attention is placed on the U.S. dollar and the Euro?  In spite of all the things society highly values, we somehow devalue two of the most important things a person can own. Belief and Faith.

Dating

Gay Dating While Christian

I hope you are doing great. I am writing because it seems like I am at a dead end and I am hoping your words might help me out.

Even though I have been in relationships with some amazing men and have been extremely happy, I never felt fulfilled. You see, I am a gay Christian. With that said, whenever I tell other gay men that I am a Christian it seems like they get scared and run off. At 27 years old and been in the dating pool, I now know what I want out of a partner but more than anything… I know what I need.  I would like someone that is also Christian, someone which will walk this road of faith with, someone that I can lean on for prayer and vice versa, but where else do I find such man? It’s not as if Christian Mingle has a section for us. I know yourself has a Christian faith, any words of advice.

Your fellow brother,

Let There Be Light.

The Lifestyle

The Condemnation Has Turned Me Off Church

Dear T,

I’ve been struggling with an issue for the past few months, and I’m hoping you can help me out.  Back in August when I went to church for the last time, the pastor gave one of those “gay people are going to hell” sermons.  It completely turned me off from organized religion.  Which I hate.  See I consider myself a Christian, and want to be a part of a church body.  I’m just not with being condemned every other week.  What are your thoughts?  I’ve read some of your posts and know you’re a Christian.

From,

Still A Believer

The Lifestyle

Letter to an Absentee Father from an Abandoned Son

Dear Dad,

I want to first off state how weird it is for me to write you this letter.  As a man in his late 20s, I didn’t think I would still have to be dealing with “daddy issues.”  But unfortunately, here I am.  I figured if I wrote you this letter to get it all out, it would somehow be therapeutic for me.  That I would get all my feelings out, and tell you all the things I’ve wanted to say, but never had the courage to say it.   Oh and look, I don’t even expect a response from you.  So no need for you to bother. Welp, here goes nothing.

friendship, The Lifestyle

Supporting What You Don’t Understand!

Dear T,

I have a question for you.  I’m not actually gay, but my best friend of 12 years has recently come out to me, and I’m not quite sure how to proceed with our friendship.  We met each other at our home church, and there I learned and accepted to a degree that homosexuality is not right in God’s eyes.  So still believing that, how do I give my friend my approval of his new lifestyle?  I realize you are not necessarily a leading scholar on Christianity, but I came across one of your posts on Instagram and you appear to be gay and Christian.  So I thought you could offer up some advice.  Btw, please don’t take any offense to my letter.

Best regards,

Ashley from Around the Way

The Lifestyle

In the Wake of THE Decision

Hey guys and girls,

Happy Monday to each of you! I was going to answer another question and offer some more advice today, but once again I feel pressed to speak my mind about something.  Although this is a sensitive topic and I hope not to offend, I wanted to share my thoughts on homosexuality and Christianity.

Following the historic decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, I started noticing the expected backlash from the gay/lgbt opponents. Some notable gospel artists expressed their “disappointment” with the Court, and the overall direction of progress in this country. While conservative presidential nominee hopefuls, have come out the box swinging, claiming the justices have made a grave error, and God still only views marriage as a sacred union between a man and a woman. And heck, some folks have even threatened to burn themselves and dissolve their heterosexual marriage, all in an attempt to stand up for Christianity. I’m not only offended by such opposition as a gay man, but as a Christian as well.

Despite what some would like to believe, I don’t think homosexuality is a polar opposite of Christianity, nor do I believe homosexuals are the enemy. And I get there are a few passages in the Bible that openly speak out against same-sex coupling, but the Bible also speaks out against slaves disobeying masters, and women not being fully submissive. I’m not suggesting the Bible is not true in its entirety, but rather perhaps some of the Bible is reflective of the times it was written.  And to my recollection by the way, Jesus himself didn’t mention homosexually specifically in the Bible.  However, He did mention the responsibility we have to love one another.

And newsflash believers in Christ!  Two main components about being Christian is loving your fellow man and ministering to others.  Many gay non-believers are not rushing to Jesus, all due to the judgmental (and often ignorant) expressions from a few that wave the Christian banner.  Where is the love in telling someone “you’re going to hell,” or “God hates you”?  Where is the ministry in condemnation?

I’d also like to point out, that the judgmental (and often ignorant) expressions have the power to drive gay believers from the church. And worse yet, drive them to serious states of depression and even suicide. There are countless stories out there of LGBT individuals taking their life in part because of certain pressures applied by Christian conservatives.

And look, I’m NOT saying that everyone must approve of homosexuality either. People are entitled to their opinion, and I respect that.  Besides, I think it’s difficult for someone to approve of what they don’t understand.  Many Christians, and people in general, don’t get that being gay isn’t a choice, but a personal trait.  Heck, until I came to accept myself, I didn’t get it either. However, I’ve come to realize that trying not to be gay is like trying not to be black or not to have brown eyes. Yeah I can buy skin bleaching agents and color contacts, but at the end of the day, I’ll never escape the real me.

What I AM saying, is that everyone should learn to respectfully disagree, and allow God to judge in his timing.  If I as a gay man am not serving as judge in your meeting with God in the afterlife, don’t attempt to serve as mine.  Also, I think people should come to realize that if same-sex marriage is something they don’t agree with, then they don’t need to do it! Point, blank, period! Just know that if I choose to jump the broom, I will because it’s now my nationally recognized right to do so!

In an attempt to wrap this up, let me just make a few final quick points.

  1. If you’re out there reading this and you are anti-Christianity or have turned away from God because of a run in with a specific church or church members, please don’t give up on your relationship with Christ. I promise you Christ loves you, and is willing and ready to embrace anyone that comes to him.  Don’t allow a bad experience or encounter with the church or its members to deter you from having the greatest relationship one can have in life. Think of it this way, if you have a bad experience with a restaurant, you won’t stop eating.  You’ll simply go to another restaurant to find nourishment!
  1. The national legalization of same-sex marriage was about awarding basic civil rights. It had nothing to do with launching an attack on “Christian values.” So if certain Christians aren’t offend by accepting “gay” tax money, “gay” tithes, and “gay” contributions to society (via certain athletes, politicians, entertainers, and businessmen), then they shouldn’t be so offended if gay and lesbian couples are heading to the alter.
  1. I once heard “that the best thing some Christians can do for the faith, is hide their membership!” I now understand the expression.
  1. Fasten your seatbelt people! The court may have sided with the LGBT community, but my “spidey senses” tell me this fight is long from over.

As always nothing but love,

T.