I think it’s appropriate to use this title for our first post. If you work in the Tech industry, you know the double meaning of this “greeting”. It happens to be that The Other Sheep leadership original formation consisted of a programmer, an IT Professional, and an Engineer. Not much diversity there. But as tech enthusiasts all of us are familiar with the “other” meaning of expression “Hello world!”. For us it is not only a greeting on a post to the whole web community, but as Wikipedia puts it:
” ‘A ‘Hello, world!’ program has become the traditional first program that many people learn. In general, it is simple enough so that people who have no experience with computer programming can easily understand it, especially with the guidance of a teacher or a written guide. ” Wikipedia
Please, bear with me as I use this expression (and this other meaning) as an analogy for what I believe The Other Sheep is as a group, and in general where we are as Christians LGBT.
All languages are difficult to learn. Even for babies, it takes more than two years of daily training to start putting sentences together. It is almost the same case for computer languages, it takes a long time to grasp them, to develop a useful program. Whether it is a human language or a computer language they all start simple and rudimentary. Babies begin communicating with basic sounds like “dah dah” or “mah”. Maybe some people will not consider those sounds “talking”, but they are attempts to communicate nonetheless. I think, for example, this is why the first word we learn in a foreign language is “Hello!” It is our first attempt to reach out to a native speaker in a sound they are be familiar with and words they will understand so we can communicate. In computer language the first program one learns will have this output: “Hello world!”. It is indeed a useless program, but it already has the structure of a program and it will keep on building to be as sophisticated as the operating systems that allows you to read this post. From a “dah dah” to incredible speeches that touch our lives, from an “Hola!” to “Estoy aqui para ayudarte y para mostarte el amor de Dios”, from a simple “Hello World!” to “Microsoft Windows Sever 2016” a language will always be a process that has a beginning and an indefinite end.
Like the “other sheep” that Jesus was bringing to the sheep pen to be one (John 10:16), I believe the Lord is bringing gays, lesbians, transgenders and all those “others” that were long shunned away by the church to be finally one.
But this is our “Hello World!”. We are just starting. This is our first “dah dah” to the Church to let them know that we are here, we exist. We love Jesus and we want to be acknowledged because although we are “other sheep” we are His sheep nonetheless. We don’t have all the answers but our faith is genuine.
I keep on wondering, why would any LGBT person want to be part of an institution that is so antagonistic towards them? I answer myself saying: First, because we have true faith and we believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and our calling is stronger than the Church’s rejection. But secondly, as messed up as the Church is, we acknowledge that they are the people of God, that God manifest his power in and through Her. Otherwise who in his/her right mind would want to join such institution? But this is something the world doesn’t understand, yet those of us who have faith got a taste of it and want to be part of it. We want to sit at the Lord’s table and have communion with Him and with His people, the “status-less” people ( 1st Corinthians 1:26), the people that He called, He redeemed, He forgave, He died for.
We made a lot of mistakes in the past trying to communicate to the Body of Christ. Our “Hola!” or “Hello world!” sounded as an insult for many in the church. We were hurt and we might have reacted instead of loving back as Jesus taught us. Some of us, in order to explain ourselves have distorted the Scriptures. We are sorry for that. We are still learning to talk, we made progress but we know there still a long way to go. But we are here, we exist, we love our Lord Jesus and want to understand His will for us and with a sincere and humble heart we say: