On My Honor singer Drew Justice has come out in a new blog, where he not only maintains his faith (“I am gay, and I am a Christian”), but challenges the opinion that the two cannot go hand in hand (“So, why is it that so many assert that people have to be one or the other—gay OR Christian?”).

For those unfamiliar with them, they're a pop-punk band from Knoxville, Tennessee who were named one of AP's 100 Bands You Need To Know in 2013. They released their debut album, I Never Deserve The Things I Need, this past June and have toured with the Swellers (whose frontman produced it) and Veara to name a few.

Read an excerpt from Justice's post below and the full entry here:

“Not long ago, Mike Reynolds, formerly of the band For Today, made the comment that “there is no such thing as a gay Christian.” Just last week, in what seemed to be a well-intentioned essay, the band’s frontman Mattie Montgomery, issued a psuedo-apology, not only on behalf of the band (which Reynolds is no longer a part of), but the Christian community as well. While Montgomery’s statement went further to address the shortcomings and hypocrisy within the Church, it never thoroughly touched on the idea of a “gay Christian.” The frontman did comment that he could not “support the homosexual agenda in our nation,” saying he has “never heard a homosexual couple tell (him) that the reason they are together is because, out of a place of devotion to the Lord in prayer and scripture study, (The Lord) commanded them to be together.” 

I have never met Montgomery, and I dare say most of my gay friends haven’t either. I can’t and wont speak for every couple, but I was recently fortunate enough to witness the wedding of a close friend of mine to his same-sex partner and now husband—a ceremony in which their belief that God brought them together was mentioned on multiple occasions. They love each other and that is very clear. My friend is gay. My friend is a Christian. I say none of this with the intent to attack any individual’s beliefs, similar to my own or not. My concern is for those who are dealing with the issue in their own life, every day—the people of my generation and others who find themselves torn between feeling and belief. Not long ago, I found myself in the same situation. 

I am gay, and I am a Christian. 

To Reynolds and many others, this seems to be a paradox. As a teenager, it did to me as well. I had the feelings and in a way always knew, but continued to make excuses. “Surely it’s a phase,” “I’m confused,” “If I was, I would know and be open about it,” and of course, “I can’t be gay, I’m a Christian.” The odd part is that I never had a true opposition to homosexuality. Even when I was quite young, I can remember supporting the idea of gay marriage, especially in a nation that supposedly does not discriminate based on religion. By high school, I openly supported the LGBT movement, but I still had work to do in myself. I’ll spare the details, but by 23 I felt that I had finally come to understand myself in those regards and began letting my friends know, oftentimes apologizing for the fact that it took me as long as it did to be completely honest with myself and with them. Both of my parents found out within the last year. I never had any video confessional or major blog “coming out” for everyone, as I didn’t see the point. There were no suddenly shattered closet doors, illuminating fireworks or loud bells magically ringing, as nothing really changed, other than my acceptance of myself.

I sing in a band that exists in a debatable subculture—an extension of “punk rock” and whatever that has come to mean to those who hold it dear. In and out of that community, I have had many conversations about both my faith and my sexuality.  What concerns me now is the constant “us v. them” created on this topic by both sides. To be totally honest, I couldn’t care less about most people’s opinions of homosexuality being a sin, whether they view it as one or not. So many aspects of Christianity are placed under a microscope and schisms in the Church are an undeniable happening. It’s always been this way in Christianity. Even the apostles had differing views on the regiments of marriage and sex; it’s no surprise that Christians today are the same. Being a part of this “punk rock community,” it’s easy to find support for the gay community, and that’s something I’m thankful for. While this world that I love and exist in certainly has more of a secular population, I’m no less Christian for being a part of it, and I have rarely felt ostracized for my beliefs. More times than not, it has led to solid conversation and debate among friends of mine with different views on the matter—welcoming, understanding-seeking conversations. If you refuse to have or acknowledge those conversations, growth is impossible.

So, why is it that so many assert that people have to be one or the other—gay OR Christian?”