Updated: May 3, 2021
Unbelief. That’s what struck me most about a dear friend’s resistance to my claim that Jesus actually can and does restore LGBTQ+-identified persons to wholeness.
My friend is smart and surrounded by talky Christians who jaw about their right to be ‘gay’ or to have ‘mixed orientation marriages’ or other undigestible mouthfuls. All profess orthodoxy. None are aware of how worldly they have become. Their little kingdoms reduce Kingdom authority. Big rainbow, little Jesus.
Maybe in the heat and struggle vulnerable persons slowly withdraw trust in Him for trust in their sexual experience. I get that. It can be tough to surrender and stay surrendered. Waiting is hard. Even then we can fail to see Him, bright as dawn yet still elusive to dim eyes and dull ears.
I draw strange consolation from the disciples’ response to the Resurrected Jesus. At times clueless (Jn 21:4; Lk 24:25), too frightened to speak (Mk 16:4), or simply unbelieving and full of doubt (Lk 24: 38; Mk 16:13; Matt. 28:17), the disciples struggled to apprehend the Resurrected Jesus.
It reminds me of my friends who cannot quite trust that Jesus can break the domination of disordered desire and reorder our passions. Risen, having stormed the caverns of sin and death, Jesus still cannot raise us from our LGBTQ+ graves.
He can. Yes, we must agree with our entombment and count as dead old identity constructs. He gives us power to entrust ourselves wholly to Him, over and over. And in His merciful love--bright, relentless, tender, and attuned to our deepest needs—He gives us mercy for naysayers. Rather than toughen in reaction to unbelief, we counter it with hearts softened and freshly washed. The forgiven sing a better song, declare a truer word than cynics not yet graced with divine encounter. The Resurrected Jesus raises us over and over. One greater lives in us.
We now live to confirm the true person next to us, summoning the new life welling up in him or her. We who are raised now live to raise others.
Generous love demands we eschew unbelief. Entanglement with the traditions of men strangles new life. Freedom is remarkably simple for those who believe. Resurrection? Our lives depend on it.