Andy Hill is a member, and former deacon of a Presbyterian Church in New York City. He works in finance, and in his free time rides his bike and searches the city for the best burgers and pizza.
1. Briefly share a bit of your journey as to what brought you to the place you are at today (concerning homosexuality and faith). I was raised in a Christian family and asked Christ into my heart as a young boy. I knew from a very early age that I was gay. Since I had grown up in the church and genuinely trusted God, I believed what my leaders told me: that my inability to avoid repeatedly falling in love with my male friends was inherently sinful and that struggling with homosexuality was simply my cross to bear. I spent years seeking out reparative therapy counseling, resisting male friendships that might lead to feelings I couldn’t control, reading books to help me figure out how to change, attending support groups for homosexual “strugglers”, and committing myself to celibacy. But instead of drawing me into a joyous Christian life, all these efforts sent me into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety that left me seriously considering suicide. All I wanted was to live righteously and please God, but He never seemed to be doing what I always thought He was supposed to be doing: making me straight. A little over a year ago I asked God if staying alone was His requirement on my life, or if I had just been trying to add value to my salvation to ensure that He would never leave me. I believe He was the one who planted that question in my heart, because I knew the right answer. “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Absolutely nothing. God called me into a relationship with Him simply because He made me, not because I wanted to please Him by trying to become straight or remaining celibate. He’s my Creator, and He wanted to remake me into a man who now loves and feels everything deeply, instead of the one who once hated everything (including himself) and felt nothing.
2. What are your views of the known texts in scripture that all appear to see homosexuality as a sin? (for example, Romans 1 speaks of a man with a man doing what is ‘unnatural’, or Leviticus 18 speaking of a man lying with a man being an ‘abomination’) The Bible verses that address homosexuality all condemn homosexual acts of rape, promiscuity, and prostitution. Scripture seems to be completely vague on the concept of committed same-sex relationships built on mutual love, dedication, and respect. I’m no theologian, so instead of proving this here, I’ll plug the best book I’ve read on the topic so far. “Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships” by James V. Brownson (2013)
3. Do you ever think in the back of your head that you’ve made the wrong decision? That this is sin and that you are resisting God’s will for relationships? Having now gone through such a radical transformation in my understanding of the gospel and personally experiencing what it means for God to set us free for freedom’s sake, there’s no mistaking that He has been the author of all that I’ve learned about myself and Him. And now that He’s done this work in me, I see myself as a bridge between my church and gay Christians who want to worship with us and earnestly seek after the truth that sets them free. For the first time in my life, I know what it’s like to worship God in spirit and in truth. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am in my relationship with Him without the years of preaching and community I’ve been blessed with at my church.
4. What would you want to say to those that are in opposition to your lifestyle? Now that my eyes are open and I’m interested in meeting someone I might fall in love with and marry, I see how few gay men are out there who love God passionately, and it’s clear to me how the church has failed to deliver the gospel to the gay community. We have all failed them. So instead of debating whether it’s right that I should fall in love and get married in this life, let’s fix our eyes on eternity and do what Jesus called us to do: spread the Gospel with unconditional love to everyone.