A Final Few Thoughts
Adventism can influence contemporary American gay/lesbian culture and thought. For instance, Bruce Bawer, an openly gay author and spokesman of conservative gay views, has been able to reconcile his Christianity with his sexual orientation. This process came in part through Bawer's meeting a gay Seventh-day Adventist man who had left Adventism upon realizing his homosexuality.127 However, both felt deeply convicted of God's love for each one of them, and they decided to reclaim their spirituality and Christian birthright. Their shared journey led them to an Episcopal Christian tradition as they came to understand what it really means to say "God is love." Worship, loving relationships and the Savior are for gays/lesbians and straights. Bawer and his spouse slowly arrived at an understanding that their committed long-term relationship was a reflection of God's love in their lives. That any church as a human institution might continue to suggest that the very aspect of their lives making their love possible remains profane in the eyes of God is no longer a relevant burden they personally carry. Bawer and his formerly Adventist partner, rediscovered a personal relationship with the Savior. Being a gay or lesbian Adventist should never be an oxymoron from an institutional perspective--for it is not necessarily a moral incompatibility. Fortunately, many gay/lesbian Adventists, whether single, celibate, or in committed long-term intimate relationships, have risen to the very best in their religious heritage: they live by the promise that no human institution, not even their church, will separate them from the Savior's love.
It is my prayer that institutional Adventism will review and reconcile doctrinal policies regarding homosexuality and the Christian experience. Should institutional Adventism be unable to support homosexuals more, I hope that the church will endeavor to hurt homosexuals less.
In the meantime, despite the significant setbacks handed to me in the name of moral purity by my church of origin, I have survived to thrive by grace. I have been blessed by the support of some courageous “traditional” Adventists who are willing to fellowship, break bread, and walk with me. And I live with cautious hope and optimism. It is a hope born in knowing that with respect to homosexuality, the enemy to Christian love and loving is not hate. Rather, the enemy is ignorance.
I yearn to be part of an Adventist church which would rather err on the side of helping hurting people than hurting helpless people (gays/lesbians and straights are "helpless" to change their sexual being). One day, I hope that openly gay men and lesbian women will be routinely welcome in Adventist churches. I hope that committed long-term gay/lesbian relationships will be recognized and held to the same moral standard of heterosexual relationships by Adventist faith communities--rather than despised and denounced. I pray that gay/lesbian Adventists (and their families) will be supported and nurtured in Adventist communities as they grow and mature in their own spiritual journeys. The Savior offers grace to all human beings--whether "Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, gay or straight."128 As Christians who have "fallen in love" with the love and loving of Jesus, may we aspire to the example of our Savior in loving each other and nurturing an inclusive church.