Poor christians

We know that, for a minority, homosexuality is disgusting. We get that. Many of those people call themselves Christians, and base their bigotry on the Bible. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of the justified derision they suffer, which they deserve, and transfers it to the Bible, which is far richer and more interesting than they know. It makes good people ridicule the message of Christianity.

Here is one such fool. He is an idolater, ignoring the message of Christ and ascribing vast importance to one of his own bigotries. He is without love, not caring for God’s creation or permitting God to create it as God wants. He is ignorant of the teachings of Jesus, not understanding that bit about taking the log from his own eye. He is a poor Christian, and unfit to be a pastor- all that is clear. But- why does it matter to him so much? Why this one issue, to keep banging on about?

Here is another. He wrote on how a priest in New York had denied communion to a lesbian woman, because she was living with a partner. The priest, now suspended for other reasons, denied it to her at the altar rail, breaking the Catholic rule about not creating a scandal at the altar rail, as well as humiliating her in public -at her mother’s funeral! John got all pious on us, telling us that the bible condemns lesbian sex, and so does God. I challenged him on this, and he said I had misunderstood, and closed comments on the thread. Which was a shame, because I liked his line about being a Follower of Christ on twitter. He has now deleted that post, but this one shows where he is coming from. “Don’t expect the Lord to find forgiveness for you”- he lives with a judgmental God, that condemns people who are doing their best under difficult circumstances, and sends a great many of them to Hell.

John, I have no misconceptions about your post. I get that you are extremely insistent in it that you are not judging others. I tell you that you are, because you are taking an interest in a “sin” which you are not tempted to. So you are talking of something you know nothing about, and have no need to know about. Your false interpretation of the Bible is that Christianity condemns lesbians for what we do; if you really were not judging, you would take no notice. Are you entirely sure that you write of this because of your own selfless commitment to religious truth, or does your personal disgust for other people making love have some part in it? God does not mind. Why should you?

I am angry because I and other people I care about have been and are still told in childhood that we are wrong, that we are less than others, that our characteristic is not to be welcomed and celebrated as part of human diversity created by God but to be condemned and hidden and shamed. Under this wave of bigotry some of us break, and some of us just do not reach our full potential. Your previous post is just one small part of the oppression hurting God’s children Now. You can turn to similarly bigoted people, and reassure yourself that your own opinion is right and you should continue to oppress us; or you can turn to Christ, and read Acts chapter ten.

Crumbs, I really am doing teenage. This is part of stretching my wings, flexing my muscles. It is better to be able to stand up for my individuality and worth publicly, but doing it at the keyboard is good practice.

Some Evangelical Christians say beautiful things.

20 March: after I got totally fed up with that pastor, and said I would prefer the Lake of Fire to Heaven, if God were really like he said, I got thirty page views from his site. Welcome. You may be shocked by some of what you read here: the openness to other religious traditions, the struggle with feelings, so different from Evangelical Certainty; the acceptance of people, and the total lack of belief in an Eternal Hell. Try to see the Love. Try, if you can, to see some good, any good, in what I write. Please leave a comment, and explain if you can the Love in your position.

As far as the pastor is concerned, he has no ears to hear. The thing is that gay people do not affect him. He may carry on serenely believing the rubbish he believes about us. He does affect us- that is why the it gets better videos are so necessary.

22 March: That pastor confesses in a comment,

 But quickly, to be clear, the ELCA has formally approved of homosexuality for a long time. To make matters worse, in synod convention in 2010 they formally approved of homosexual pastors. (To be expected I suppose since they already approve of female pastors)

Ha! The lights are going on in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America! People are listening to the Holy Spirit, despite all the efforts of Hoobie and his pals to keep people in darkness, bigotry and fear! I don’t want to know why Hoobs disapproves of female pastors, that would be just too pointless and boring. If you really want to know, this is Huebner’s splinter-group, which is not part of ELCA.

17 thoughts on “Poor christians

  1. Dear Clare

    John, I think you call him, in his post fails to see another basic contradiction in his statement that “if you do not forgive your fellow man, do not expect god to find forgiveness in you.” or some such twaddle.

    Substitute the word “I”, “my” and “me” for “you” and “your” in the above, and notice that John condemns himself for being unforgiving. A nice, neat little knot that is completely un-necessary. Obviously not the most logical message for a pastor to send out to his flock.

    It seems that acceptance of what IS, is very hard for us all.

    Have a wonderful day, Clare. Thank you for your marvellous posts, with pictures! xxx :)

    • Christianity, for me, was a gateway into acceptance. Jesus said, “Whoever is not against you is for you” and “whoever is not with me is against me”. How to reconcile these two statements, and find room for the middling uncommitted? I decided that morality was addressed solely to me, and that I could not judge another person. Acceptance.

      This was unbalanced before I discovered self-respect, and realised that I could stand up for myself- too much acceptance, perhaps.

  2. I’ve found that people who idolize the Bible are incapable of having a rational conversation about its contents.
    When they asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, he told them to love God and your neighbor. Love you, neighbour!

  3. I had to laugh about your comment about you doing teenage. I can SO relate! It feels like I didn’t start my teenage years until 40! Part of me regrets not having a bit more self-confidence and self-worth earlier, but better late than never! Anyway, I’m glad you’re doing your teenage years too. :-)

    And thanks for your post. It is incredibly sad some of the things that are said and done in the name of Jesus. It seems people are getting caught up in the letter of the law and missing the intent of the law. I know it’s an easy mistake to make, but it’s also a very destructive mistake. Both to themselves and others.

  4. This is a beautiful post, and I am so sorry about “believers” who are so filled with bigotry. The religious people of Christ’s day were always raging about the kind of people Christ was hanging out with, condemning everyone around them.

    How do “Christians” constantly overlook this fact, and place themselves above anyone? We are all broken and unworthy of grace. Yet His grace is accessible to all. That’s the definition of grace- unmerited favor.

    I love the fact that because of Christ’s example, I am free to love everyone and forbidden to condemn anyone!

    • I do not know how long they will stay on his blog, but I have exchanged ten comments with that “pastor”, ending with him promising to pray that I will believe precisely what he thinks I should believe, so that I may attain salvation. I will pray for his victims. I do think that a lot of Christians miss the point, thinking ours is a God of Rules, rather than a God of Love. The stern policeman in the sky, who talks a bit about Love, but, really, the rules are more important.

      Love one another, for Love is of God.

      • I often think of the thief on the cross next to Jesus who didn’t have time to perform any rituals, yet Christ promised to see him in Paradise!

        None of us deserve what God offers to us, but He is the great equalizer.

        I ran from Christ for years, but He kept calling my name until I gave in. I sense He has called your name a few times too. You can be certain He knows all about you and your struggles and He loves you deeply.

        His love is truly amazing, and I have no choice but to pass it on.

  5. Hi Clare,
    I am sure that God is the ultimate expression of Love and Forgiveness. How could an energy that permeates all the Universe not love itself, and all its many expressions?

    I remember disgracing myself at a Christening when I was about six or seven. The Priest was holding the small baby girl, just a few weeks old, and I was hanging off his words. It was the first Christening I had ever attended as a child big enough to be aware of what was going on.
    This man started talking about how the baby in his arms was filled with evil, and born a sinner, and that only this act, the act of receiving God’s Blessing, would redeem her soul.

    I felt a huge swelling in my heart, although we were not a church-going family. Something deep within me stirred up. This man was wrong! I couldn’t believe what this man was saying and that no-one was stopping him saying such terrible things about that innocent baby. Where was his kindness and love?

    I stood up in the middle of that church and loudly announced ‘MY God doesn’t hate anyone, especially babies that just got born.’

    Then I ran outside and refused to go back in.
    I still stand by that sentiment. My God has love for All.
    Much love to you,
    Nicole
    xx

    • Wow.

      Yeah.

      Welcome, Nicole. That shows that you are a psychic. Congratulations. I am delighted to have you visit here. These people see God in an utterly different way. It is the difference between “original sin” and Original Blessing. Human beings are good and beautiful and powerful. Thank you for sharing your story.

        • Have you come across Birth into being? We can claim that for ourselves. We can give that belief to children now. I did a workshop in London, I hope it is in Oz too.

          Actually, we do give that to children more and more. I was passing the local junior school, and a man was greeting all the children by name as they came in. I thought that was beautiful, showing respect like that, will gain proper respect.

  6. Hey, dropped in and this post caught my eyes. Both of them.

    Religion is a hard, hard, hard thing for me. I know there’s love out there, I feel it nigh constantly. I have this nasty habit of tuning in to the emotions of other people, so a day where I don’t feel love of one kind or another is a sad, sad day indeed. I think one of my greatest talents is probably reading the feelings of people I know and even people I don’t. So when people start talking about God and how He is all forgiving and all powerful, all knowing and all loving, and then they take that same God and say He is the type of vindictive deity who would condemn people to hell for their love– that doesn’t ring right. Sometimes I wonder how anyone could think that. But tradition is a human habit that is so hard for people to break.

    We spend ever so much time dwelling on ‘commandments’ of the past. To me, my religion, my faith lies in the people around me who I love, and the love itself– that feeling which can lift you up to your highest and dash you back down again in the brief moments it’s gone– . I find it beautiful, and at once terrifying. Awesome and awful. I think humans are all kinds of things. Sure they’re blessed and beautiful and wondrous, powerful and pretty, but they’re also despoilers, murderers and thieves. As individuals I can love them, but the race as a whole tends to be an intolerant, greedy lot. Thus Christianity and some of its disciples’ intolerance for the silliest of things.

    You can’t pick and choose, with love. You really can’t. Who it happens to, when it happens to you, why– it’s all yours. You can’t say ‘But no, that’s not right that you love that person’ because who are YOU to judge? If God is conscious and forgiving and loving, if God is omniscient and omnipresent, if God is LOVE itself, then it doesn’t make a darn bit of a difference who you fall in love with at all, or how many, or where or when. It’s serendipity that it happens to you, and serendipitously lovely when it does. If you spend so much time trying to push your own rules on something that essentially is the essence of beauty and wonder and peace in the world, you’ll burn yourself out before you make it even budge. No amount of silly squawking or screaming or shouting will make people STOP falling in love.

    No amount of threats or messages carrying eternal damnation will stop love from happening between whoever it darn well pleases. And that, in my own humble opinion, is exactly as it should be. If God didn’t want us to fall in love with who we like, He wouldn’t let it happen in the first place. While it’s true that God gave us the power of choice, I don’t think He cares to let us make our own choices about who we love. I like to think that happens all on its own, and that’s what He intended in the first place.

    <3s,
    -Eris

    • Welcome, Goddess.

      I can explain the Evangelical view easily enough: Adam sinned, we share the sin, this brings as a natural consequence God’s wrath, God sent “His” son to be a sacrifice to be the price for the sins of the whole world, so we cannot be Saved without believing in Jesus and His sacrifice, but after that belief we have to repent of our sins and obey the rules, an important one of which is no sex outside het marriage. So, God is love, but you are going to Hell. It makes perfect sense as a closed system.

      I said “God saw what God had made, and behold, it was very good” and the pastor referred me to Genesis chapter 5. It isn’t any more, apparently. But then Psalm 139, “Your works are wonderful and I know it well” contradicts that, so this rigid structure is inconsistent with at least parts of the Bible, and I think with a generous, loving interpretation of the Bible as a whole.

      In the end, Pascal’s wager goes both ways. If God really is like the Evangelicals say, Heaven with him sounds pretty unappealing, and the price is simply too high. But I do not believe in Hell, and certainly not as a punishment for lovemaking. Ex-ex-gays show that the price may not be payable.
      <3 to you, too. There is never too much <3 .

  7. Pingback: Speaking the Truth in Love to Homosexuals, Muslims, Mormons, and More « CTKpalmcoast

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