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What Does It Mean To Be Affirmed?

One of the messages of At the End of the Day is that sexuality is not always the black-and-white, easily answered topic that many want it to be. There is a lot of tension and gray, and in that tension, grace and love need to be the resounding answer.

That’s why I love that I’ve found Sarah and Lindsey, a celibate, LGBT, Christian couple – and their blog aQueerCalling.com.

Each post I read from them is inviting to conversation, open to debate, and based in love and grace.

They remind me that labels, categories, and generalizations do not work within the Christian community. We are one.

I especially love their post from earlier this year, “What Does it Mean to be Affirmed?” Here is an excerpt (you can read the whole post here)

“No matter how much you love and care about an LGBT, ‘Side A’ person, if you don’t support modern sexual ethics, you might as well be in league with the Westboro Baptist Church.” It’s a bit of hyperbole, but something in that statement resonated with us because of the challenges we’ve faced in advocating for our own needs for affirmation. We’ve observed that the process of defining the terms “affirming” and “non-affirming” privileges the perspectives of LGBT people with progressive sexual ethics and ignores the experiences of those who hold to a traditional sexual ethic. While we’re interested in hearing all stories that other LGBT Christians are willing to share with us, including those from people whose beliefs are different from ours, we feel it’s time to share a different take on what it means to be affirmed. Today, we’re going to tell you more about what makes the two of us, and many other LGBT celibates, feel affirmed within our faith communities.

We feel affirmed when other Christians ask questions and avoid making assumptions about what words mean, what we believe, and what our doing life together means to us. It’s comforting when we know that the other folks in our parish are able to talk to us openly and honestly just like they are with everyone else. We appreciate it when our fellow parishioners are willing to ask us, “Why do you prefer to use the language of LGBT?” instead of insisting, “If you’re not having sex, you’re not really LGBT. You should say instead that you ‘struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA).’” When folks ask us about our sexual ethic instead of presuming that it must be progressive because we’re LGBT, we feel welcomed in church exactly as we are. And we feel especially affirmed when members of our parish show interest in talking with us about how we see our way of life as opposed to glancing at us with suspicion every Sunday. We appreciate people who have gone the extra mile to invite us into their homes for dinner in order to have these conversations because it shows they really care about getting to know us.

I invite you to read the rest of the post here, as well as read through many of their posts.

And I ask you the question: what does it mean for you to be affirmed?

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