Saturday, October 5, 2013

How the Church Should Treat Those who are Considered A Marginalized Community.

This post finds me in a bit of anger at how I and the entire marginalized communities of people (gays, lesbians, transgender, poor, illegal immigrants, disabled, homeless, prisoners, elderly, prostitutes, etc)... have been treated by Religion/Christians and got me to thinking. What would have happened to me 2, 5, 10 or 20 years ago had I died in my anger at God and my treatment by Religion for me identifying myself as a gay man. How I was treated and thrown out like I was not worthy to be cared about or like an old rag doll that didn't get to play anymore?

Would I have died & stood in front of Jesus and been told that he never knew me? Hence my anger!!! Would I have died without salvation? Hence my anger!!! Why didn't you make it known to me before Jesus? Hence my anger!!! Why was religion allowed to treat me this way? Hence my anger!!! How many people have died in anger after having been told that they were destined to hell, treated poorly by Christian's or whom were never told the real truth about the unconditional love of Jesus and in their anger and confusion turned to a life of terrible sin? How many countless multitudes of people have perhaps died without salvation due to your treatment of them?

Being 100% honest, I myself am not perfect here either and I think that if anyone reading this looks deep down inside their souls. I/We are far from having treated others nicely, but I have been Outted by God and now realize that I am being made a new person and only want to live a life of pure love for others.

I left my church and religion behind at the age of 15. I was tired of hearing from my church leaders that I was less of a person than everyone else, and confused at some of them disowning their own children for being gay. And of course this was also the hatred and condemnation that I heard on TV, Radio and newspapers. That God hated FAGS and we were destined to hell. For the next 19 years I really didn't care.. I was going to whoop it up and have fun while I was here. Might as well enjoy my short time on this short life if hell was my destination. Not to mention that life on this earth was already a living Hell. But then the next 14 years were full of depression, self loathing, and alcohol binges almost nightly. Crying out to God and my mother weekly as to why... Sorry for all the pain mom.

  • Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Now having found the true love of God and a wonderful church for one year, I now know that these are all LIES!!!!

And finally, after decades we receive a much needed response from a prominent religious leader, as Pope Francis speaks about no condemnation, having no right to judge and also states that the church is obsessed with abortions, contraception & gays. Absolutely perfect. I would hope that ALL leaders of organized churches would follow his lead. There is only one who has the right to Judge. And YES, we still have a long ways to go, but at least its a start to some much needed conversation that Christians need to WAKE UP and take a look at yourselves....

The two greatest commandments that contain the whole law of God:
  1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with they whole mind, and with they whole strength;
  2. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
How about we stop obsessing on asinine issues and help each other heal from our broken lives. We all need to realize that we have one thing in common. That we are all broken in one way or another. I would think that all Christians would be more obsessed with their fervor for Jesus and his wonderful grace and mercy as well as the salvation of others.

Not one church should have the right to make rules and regulations regarding your right to attend a church, to join in on worship or even to serve in the church. Every church should welcome you regardless of where you are at in your life, or your identity. They should be boisterous that you are seeking and wanting a relationship with God just as they are for anyone else. My feeling is that the more legalistic a church is, the faster I ran away. These rules of don't eat this or that, prayer must be said exactly like this, church must be on this day, blah blah blah... Some churches are so legalistic and try to follow so many laws that don't matter, that their belief in salvation will never happen for any of their members, because their perfection cannot be attained.

Following too many legalistic rules takes time away from the real reason for Christianity. Focusing on Christ!!! Legalism is the attempt to please God by erecting hard and fast rules where the Bible does not give them, and then making them binding on oneself or others. It is not a matter of following those things that are commanded, or that have clear biblical principals associated with them.

God loves every single person whomever they may be or how we identify ourselves.
Some of those who choose to condemn, choose to use the following scripture to do so:

Corinthians 6: 9-11 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Also take a look at Revelations 21:8  where the Lord said, “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Since most can identify will all of these except homosexuals, they seem to want to pull that out of the bible and throw it way out of context and proportion as if it is the ONLY unforgivable sin, and therefore Jesus cannot forgive you. What they forget to note is that due to these scriptures NOT ONE person is righteous enough to enter the kingdom of God. Whom in their lifetime has not told a lie? If you have looked at someone with lust you are considered an adulterer.. Hmm.. I believe that Anger at someone is considered murder... anyone? Oops.... guess my introduction of anger was a no no...

All who are in Christ Jesus have been washed and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. YOU my Friend are forgiven. To live with him eternally is by faith in Jesus Christ and what he has done for you. Works are not a condition of Salvation but if you truly love Jesus, your heart should want to do good works for those whom are less fortunate or in need of care and healing. And therefore to reach out to others to hear them, help them, care for them, and teach them the word of God and Salvation.

Simply being homosexual and having same sex feelings is not the sin. The sin is having sex outside of traditional marriage. Heterosexual or Homosexual. At this point in my journey, I do not agree that because you have a same sex marriage, that this makes it okay. I wish that was true in God's eyes, it would make my life so much easier, more pleasant and much more enjoyable. (Seeing as how I have a partner of almost 14 years, It sucks having to live as roommates, but we made a commitment and to be honest, if he was not in my life at this point to keep me moving forward, I am not sure that I would have started on or to continue this wonderful journey in Christ Jesus). Now I know in this day and age it is unfashionable to suggest that this activity is unrighteous, and trust me it is a hard pill to swallow. Is it fair?.. maybe not, but neither is it fair that people are born disabled, paraplegic or that children are born with disease, or blind, or deaf..

This past week our church had a week of prayer, where we met every day at 7 AM and again every night at 7 PM and the major theme of every morning and night was how thankful we are that we belong to a loving church and prayed that we would get to know each other on a deeper level. That we would have the courage and strength to take that love to our neighbors & the marganilized communities to show and teach them the love of God for all.

The point is, that we all deserve condemnation, but that condemnation is not to come from anyone other then Jesus. Those within the church (body of christ) that you choose, should love you regardless of your circumstances, how broken you are, or wherever you may be at in this point of your life.

The church should be there....

To Love YOU
To Guide YOU
To Accept YOU
To Listen to YOU
To Understand YOU
To Hold YOUR Hand,
Most of all to help YOU grow in the
Word of God's love for YOU.

Regardless of how you feel about organized religion, if you have a feeling that something is missing in your life, and that it may be God; there are churches out there that encompass nothing but love for YOU. My church is proof of that. I have been loved from day one, have been welcomed to serve in the church, helped and prayed for after opening up with my struggles, and still loved after putting it all out there. After all, a church is full of broken people from all different backgrounds and stories. And each story that is shared should just make the church stronger and grow in each other and God's love for us.

Keep searching until you find the perfect fit.. It is out there. I attended quite a few churches until I landed. Please don't give up. God has not given up on you, so don't cave in and give up on him.

  • Jeremiah 29:13  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart
  • Matthew 7:7  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
  • Lamentations 3:25  The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,to the one who seeks him;
  • Psalm 40:16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, "The LORD is great!"

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