The Importance of "Coming Out" (Part 2)

[This article is written for individuals who are same-sex attracted and for their loved ones who want to learn more about how they can be supportive. Part 1 was directed more toward the Church. It would helpful to read that article before you read this one]

I participate in several closed Facebook pages. One of the most common discussions and threads that are posted deal with the fear of one’s sexuality becoming known by family members, friends, church family, or co-workers, etc. Others are asking whether or not they should disclose to parents, other family members, pastors, etc. Still others revolve around how to go about disclosing to these same groups of people.

It is GOD’s purpose that you walk in transparency and integrity through confession and repentance. Romans 8 is a wonderful teaching about being delivered from bondage. (Other applicable scriptures: Romans 12; John 8:31-36).

One of the most important things a same-sex attracted Christian needs to do is to come out of the closet and start living in transparency and truthfulness. You will never have the opportunity to know others and to be fully known until you do. It is crucial that you become fully known and fully accepted and loved for who you are . . . “warts and all” . . . regardless of what your personal struggles, issues, and realities might be. This is foundational in order for you to grow in intimacy with the Father and to continue in the process of being conformed into the image of JESUS (Romans 8:29-30; Philippians 3:7-21).

In Part 1 of this series I shared how I made an important decision twenty-four years ago that I would never hide the reality of my sexuality again . . . I will resist being forced back into the closet . . . I will resist living as I did for the first forty-five years of my life that was marked by lies, deception, manipulation, and secrets. That is a horrible way to live and is a recipe for a life of slavery and bondage and misery. Don’t do that!

"Coming out” is not an easy thing to do for most people. It isn’t something you should do without prayer and without support from a solid biblical counselor and/or without strong support from someone you know who loves you no matter what.

It is important for you to fully embrace the truth about who GOD is . . . He loves you . . . He is Always Good . . . His will is ALWAYS best and is ALWAYS right . . . He is Faithful . . . He will never forsake you . . . He is Your Peace . . . He is Your Joy . . . He is Your Life, etc. Draw a “line of faith in the sand” and declare, “no matter what, this is what I believe about GOD!” 

Another important dynamic for believers who choose to “come out” is for you to be confident in your true identity. It is vitally important that you know who you are in Christ . . . to fully embrace the truth of who GOD says you are as a result of His redemptive work through JESUS. In Christ you are completely accepted and acceptable . . . you are fully loved and loveable . . . you are righteous . . . you are holy . . . you are blameless . . . you are justified, etc.

Most likely “coming out” will be a process for you as you gain confidence in trusting GOD’s character and as you gain confidence in your true identity in Christ. The first person I disclosed to was the pastor of a church I started attending. I felt that if I was going to become a member of this church the pastor needed to know the truth about my story in order for me to have integrity. I went into his office with a lot of fear and trembling and expecting to be completely rejected. I was “surprised by grace” (as I like to call it). The pastor received me well, prayed for me and loved me. We became friends and I eventually became one of the pastors of that church. I was truly amazed!

This began a long-term process of disclosing to people the LORD brought into my life who would love me unconditionally and who would walk with me through life. I always expected rejection but was always “surprised by grace.”

Another critically important part of this process includes finding an authentic church family that embraces a biblical sex ethic but also who demonstrates authentic community and transparency. This would become a safe community of faith where you can actually thrive in living out your faith with integrity and freedom and without fear of rejection and condemnation. If this does not describe your church experience I will say without hesitation . . . GET OUT! Call me and I will be happy to help you find such a place. It’s really is a matter of life and death.