A queer affirming hymnal called ‘Songs For The Holy Other’ is helping LGBTQIA+ Christians keep the faith, but what faith exactly is that?
I want you to imagine for a moment a Christian church that, say, served alcohol to their members instead of coffee, what be wrong with that? It would be in violation of scriptures like Proverbs 20:1 (KJB) that tells you drinking alcohol will deceive you and should be avoided at all costs. Imagine a Christian church that promoted violence, it would be in violation of scripture like Romans 12:18 (KJB) that tells us to live peaceably with all men, and allow God to have vengeance, not you. Now imagine a Christian church that took the music to beloved hymns and wrote new lyrics to promote the idea that God affirms the queer lifestyle in spite of the fact of scripture like Romans 1:21-32 (KJB) that absolutely condemns it. You would make God a sinner and a liar like you. The new hymnal ‘Songs For The Holy Other’ does exactly that.
When I read the Bible, I clearly see that God has provided salvation through His Son Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for any and all people who desire to be saved. But part of what salvation is is acknowledging that you are a sinner who is against God by your very existence, and that you need to become born again as Jesus commands. There is no such thing as an LGBTQIA+ Christian Church because the Bible clearly declares that lifestyle to be 100% in opposition to God. Just read Genesis 19:1-17 (KJB) or Jude 1:7 (KJB) to see how God feels about the lifestyle of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is no ‘holy other’, God alone is holy, and if you want God you must be born again and start battling your sin, not embracing it.
‘Songs for the Holy Other’ was compiled by a committee of Hymn Society members representing seven denominations and a wide range of sexualities and gender identities.
FROM CNN: Jeannette Lindholm knows the feeling. The professor and hymn writer based in Salem, Massachusetts was raised in an evangelical Christian church, surrounded by music. “Hymns have a powerful influence on theology and how people understand and experience the divine,” she says. Except, her early years of faith were marred by a strong dissonance. To her hometown congregation, and even to her family, Lindholm’s sexuality was a sin in need of healing, an aberration to be tolerated at best. But Lindholm didn’t want to be tolerated. She wanted to be loved.
“I profoundly believe in the healing power of love and grace,” she said. “I didn’t want to abandon my faith.”
Instead, she dedicated her life to studying music, feminism and theology. She absorbed other religious perspectives. She fell in love with her now-wife, Chris, and found a faith community that believed what she had all along: That divine love has no qualifications, and to be different is a blessing. Two of Lindholm’s works are featured in “Songs for the Holy Other,” a collection of LGBTQ-affirming hymns compiled by the Hymn Society, a 100-year-old institution for religious music. First published in 2019, the collection has proven to be a unique resource for churches who fully celebrate queer believers.
“The title, Songs for the Holy Other, is a self-conscious claiming of otherness as holy and beloved of God,” the project’s mission statement reads.
LGBTQ Christians, faith leaders and allies know how important this perception is — to see otherness celebrated in this powerful form of song, and to be considered necessary in a community instead of just tolerated.
“Songs for the Holy Other” was compiled by a committee of Hymn Society members representing seven denominations and a wide range of sexualities and gender identities. Through submission calls and good old word-of-mouth, the committee chose 45 texts from more than 160 songs and hymns, paying specific attention to works that weren’t already widely available.
The result is an alchemy of tradition. Historically, hymns have been written to fit with different, familiar tunes to make them easier and more enjoyable for people to sing. That practice continues here, with some recently written works like “A Hymn for Self-Acceptance,” “God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces” and “Impartial, Compassionate God” being paired with melodies familiar to many churchgoers. READ MORE