Monday, June 11, 2012

Christ, Love, Salvation, and the LGBT People

As a Christian, I have written extensively in this blog on what the Bible really says about homosexuality.  I have used other people's studies, my own studies, theologians, historians etc...
                    The Favorite Sin of the Conservatives
                     I Have Family Values....Oh...and I'm Gay!
                    Does God Really Hate Homosexuals?
                    What Other Abominations Should We Condemn?
                    Jesus, the greatest commandments and Homosexuality
                    Ruth and Naomi
                    The Bible Says- - - Homosexuality
And several others.  Actually, I had no idea how many times I have written to Christians pleading with them to please do some studying.  When I see people shouting that "God Hates Fags..." or "Homosexuals are going to hell", claiming that it is the Word of God, it truly appalls me that these people think are doing God's work when indeed they are buying into lies to turn people away from Salvation.

I ran across this, the way Christians should behave, the way to bring the Good News to all people, and I was so happy that at last, some Christians believe that God's Word is for everyone.  

From This Blog:  Where is Jonver??

This is an amazing photo that captured the moment a gay man hugged a member of a Christiangroup, that came to Gay Pride to apologize for the way the church has treated homosexuals. It’s nice to see people of faith have common sense enough to know that hate and prejudice is wrong. A step in the right direction towards equality and something everyone should learn from. THIS is the kind of compassion that religion teaches, but far too often doesn’t follow. Well done.

Since seeing this photo, a friend of mine had introduced me to more of the story. A man, by the name of Nathan, is the one you see above hugging the gay guy in his underwear, or Tristan rather. Well, Nathan wrote a blog about this day and this moment and what his and his fellow church-goers had done. Here is what he had to say:
I hugged a man in his underwear. I think Jesus would have too.

I spent the day at Chicago’s Pride Parade. Some friends and I, with The Marin Foundation, wore shirts with “I’m Sorry” written on it. We had signs that said, “I’m sorry that Christians judge you,” 
“I’m sorry the way churches have treated you,”
 “I used to be a bible-banging homophobe, sorry.”

 We wanted to be an alternative Christian voice from the protestors that were there speaking hate into megaphones. 

What I loved most about the day is when people “got it.” I loved watching people’s faces as they saw our shirts, read the signs, and looked back at us. Responses were incredible. Some people blew us kisses, some hugged us, some screamed thank you. A couple ladies walked up and said we were the best thing they had seen all day. I wish I had counted how many people hugged me. One guy in particular softly said, “Well, I forgive you.” 

Watching people recognize our apology brought me to tears many times. It was reconciliation personified. 

My favorite though was a gentleman who was dancing on a float. He was dressed solely in white underwear and had a pack of abs like no one else. As he was dancing on the float, he noticed us and jokingly yelled, “What are you sorry for? It’s pride!” I pointed to our signs and watched him read them. 

Then it clicked. 
Then he got it.

He stopped dancing. He looked at all of us standing there. A look of utter seriousness came across his face. And as the float passed us he jumped off of it and ran towards us. In all his sweaty beautiful abs of steal, he hugged me and whispered, “thank you.” 

Before I had even let go, another guy ran up to me, kissed me on the cheek, and gave me the biggest bear hug ever. I almost had the wind knocked out of me; it was one of those hugs. 

This is why I do what I do. This is why I will continue to do what I do. Reconciliation was personified. 
I think a lot of people would stop at the whole “man in his underwear dancing” part. That seems to be the most controversial. It’s what makes the evening news. It’s the stereotype most people have in their minds about Pride.

Sadly, most Christians want to run from such a sight rather than engage it. Most Christian won’t even learn if that person dancing in his underwear has a name. Well, he does. His name is Tristan. 
However, I think Jesus would have hugged him too. It’s exactly what I read throughout scripture: Jesus hanging out with people that religious people would flee from. Correlation between then and now? I think so. 

Acceptance is one thing. Reconciliation is another. Sure at Pride, everyone is accepted (except perhaps the protestors). There are churches that say they accept all. There are business that say the accept everyone. But acceptance isn’t enough. Reconciliation is. 

But there isn’t always reconciliation. And when there isn’t reconciliation, there isn’t full acceptance. Reconciliation is more painful; it’s more difficult. Reconciliation forces one to remember the wrongs committed and relive constant pain. Yet it’s more powerful and transformational because two parties that should not be together and have every right to hate one another come together for the good of one another, for forgiveness, reconciliation, unity.

What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the beginning of reconciliation. It was in the shocked faces of gay men and women who did not ever think Christians would apologize to them.

What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the personification of reconciliation. It was in the hugs and kisses I received, in the “thank you’s” and waves, in the smiles and kisses blown.
I hugged a man in his underwear. I hugged him tightly. And I am proud.


THIS is truly heart-warming. I am crying as I write this because I am proud of this man and his willingness to share what he believes, despite the criticism he may receive. After this, even more came together to keep this story going. Someone had recognized Tristan from the photo, and Tristan got in touch with Nathan. These two shared how this moment meant so much for each of them, and that is what’s remarkable. One person meets another, and for each of them, this was a lasting experience and memory.
What a wonderful story!  This is what I believe Christianity is all about.  This is what I believe Jesus Christ would do.  He would not discriminate.  He would tell them of His love.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just How Far Have Christians Strayed From The Bible

In my home state of Indiana, a little boy sings a song about who will and will not make it to heaven and people cheer.

The Bible says that there is rejoicing in the presence of the angles over one sinner that repents...not over people going to hell.  How did we stray so far away from God's will, God's commands, and God's love?

At the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in which I grew up, I have heard sermon after sermon on how homosexuality is the last step before God gives up on a nation.  Once I heard one of the street preachers of our church say, "My name is .....  and all homosexuals are going to hell..."

We have Westboro Baptist Church with the signs that say, "God hates Fags..."  Other Baptist Churches disown them only because they say that the only soldier that God loves is a dead soldier.

My wife and I tried to put our son in the local Baptist Church School and they refused to allow him to attend.  They sent us a letter saying that "we have nothing to offer your son...".  I now believe that.  However, at the time I cried.  I sent them a letter saying, what about telling and teaching him of Jesus?  I never got a reply.  I even called and the Pastor refused to speak with me.

Where does all this judgement and hate come from? Let us examine the life of Christ. Christian means Christ like. The Bible says, "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" John 3:17 KJV
The ruling religious people of the time hated Jesus so much that they killed him. What did they hate about Him?

     1. He ate with Publicans and sinners
      2. He healed the sick
     3. He raised the dead
     4. He spoke with  Samaritans (The Woman at the Well)

Today's Christians would not pass the "love your neighbor as yourself...". Today's Christians would probably put Jesus to death for hanging out with sinners. Jesus would probably go into bars to tell the people in there of His love. He would go and have dinner with mobsters and murders to let them know that the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost....and Christians today would not be able to accept that. They would have to judge the Almighty as being "worldly" as did the Pharisees of old. Just how far have Christians today strayed from what Christ's message is? "For God so loved the world....that whosoever...." John 3:16 KJV

 "For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost..." How much have Christians become like the Pharisees? (...I thank God that I am not like this man...)  They have strayed from Jesus.....Very very Much.


All I am asking is that before passing this type of hate and judgement, you ask yourself, what would Jesus have me say to this person.  What would Jesus want me to tell this person?

How much have you actually studied at what the Bible REALLY says about homosexuality?