Dissonance began to dissolve …

A reader writes …

My name is xxx and I am [20-something] years old and I am deeply in love with the Gospel and the person of Jesus Christ. I’m also a gay man. It has been my personal agony for the past ten years to live torn by two seemingly opposing forces: my faith and my sexuality. Then, one day, I began to see that these two opposing forces were only opposing because I made them to be. I learned that the only viable choice between the two was to not choose. Over the past four months, I’ve come out to various family and friends to absolutely ASTOUNDING love, acceptance, and grace. This is, in at least a small part, your doing.
Brian, I’ll probably never meet you, and that’s okay (although I’d love to shake your hand in person), but I want to thank you from the absolute depths of my being. It has been your continued dialogue on matters unrelated to sexuality that finally contributed to my rethinking my polarized views and the Greco-Roman mindset (that I now speak incessantly about to my friends) that I had become trapped in. I remember watching the video you were a part of: “Thoughts on Being a Heretic” on Matthew Paul Turner’s blog, Jesus Needs New PR. As I listened to you speak, the cognitive dissonance that I had experienced for YEARS began to dissolve, and I began to understand a different way to see the Gospel, the Bible, and ultimately…myself.
I remember thinking: “Oh God, this is the beginning of the end.” And I wept. I wept because I knew that freedom was just around the corner. So I prayed…and studied….and prayed….and studied. Finally, about six months ago, I sat alone in my room and hugged my dad’s old ratty and worn King James (my favorite bible to this day) to my chest and wept…and wept…and wept some more. I’d never felt more free in my entire life. I’d also never felt such self-acceptance.
Somehow, “thank you” seems too shallow a phrase for what I want to communicate to you, but…Thank You and Thank You AGAIN. Your words have been pivotal in my journey. I know that your work is often thankless and that your teachings and views have lost many friends for you. That sucks, and I hate it, but after reading the last few posts on your blog, I just felt the need to let you know that there is at least one young man that has love, joy, peace and (Praise God!) righteousness in the Holy Spirit thanks in no small part to you, and I am proud to be full of so much paradox.
I hope that this note finds you well on your journey.

Thanks so much for these encouraging words. What an honor for my small work to be a part of your story!