Confessions of a 'Closet Christian'
I work in midtown Manhattan with a terrific bunch of people. All of them are liberal, three of the guys are openly, proudly gay. We all get along great and I'm considered one of the nicest, most reliable guys any of them has ever met.
All that might change, however, if I were to "come out of the closet." You see, I'm a conservative, born-again believer.
So far, I've been able to dodge some bullets. Example: Lately, whenever we're not discussing work issues, remarks have been thrown out about how wonderful it will be when the Supreme Court legitimizes gay marriage. (One co-worker, in fact, has a side job as webmaster for a gay wedding-planning site.)
I have kept quiet about my views on "everything liberal," and since no one has yet to directly ask me my thoughts on the issues of the day, I have been able to either stay mum, adroitly change the subject, or find something to do in another part of the office.
Trying to eke out a living as a Bible-believing Christian is not so easy in a wonderfully "open" town like New York City.
It's not always been hard letting people know what I believe. A dozen years back, in a former television job, I had no problem letting people know I was a believer and, in fact, others at the network were also "openly Christian." But times certainly have changed.
Now, in places like New York where progressivism has run rough-shod, it's okay to be "born gay," but not okay to be "born again."
So, for the time being, I remain in the closet.
Does that make me a "coward?" I suppose I could answer that question biblically. Passages like, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18), and "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart... soul... strength and... mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Luke 10:27), spring immediately to mind. "Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" (James 1:20), also comes into play here.
Again, I honestly like my fellow workers. I want to reach them, but in a gentle, loving way.
All this being said, one of these days, I suppose I will be "forced" out of the closet. Case in point: My boss has already been poking around the internet out of curiosity about my former television work. An article like this one would swing wide that closet door... if it weren't for silly pseudonyms. I also see a scenario where everyone is jubilant that the Supreme Court has "legalized" same-sex marriage and they look and see good old Simon not sharing in their celebration. Then their, "Why so glum, chum?" will turn into real concern when they find out why I don't share in their connubial bliss.
Oh, well. When that day of days comes, when I emerge from the closet, I can only hope that, prayerfully, I present my viewpoints without anger or bitterness. A matter-of-fact, casual demeanor would be a good starting (and ending) place.
Who knows? Perhaps I will then be pleasantly surprised and a live-and-let-live, agree-to-disagree spirit will prevail. After all, I'm a believer and I sure do know this: Miracles happen.