THE CHURCH NEEDS TO STOP THE HATE FOR GAYS: THERE, I SAID IT
You must first catch a fish to clean a fish
Posted September 26, 2010
Thankfully, long gone are the days that by not choosing to discuss the 800 pound gorilla that he simply disappears in a puff of smoke. The fact is the spectacle we make of ourselves ignoring him makes him either go and get a buddy to share the entertainment with or go in the other room and rob us blind. In either case the choice to remain unenlightened and ignorant is no longer an option. The laws of our land dictate that ignorance of the law is no excuse to break the law. In the tenants of Christianity, grace allows your innocence until knowledge and conviction prove out.
During the 3 ½ years that Jesus walked the earth in His ministry He chose to keep company with the undesirables in society. He chose thieves, tax collectors, drunkards, fisherman, prostitutes and the vagabonds. There was a strategy to His mission here on earth. In order to lift the consciousness of a building you must engage its foundation. Jesus was able to walk among the dung heap as society would call His ardent followers without being weighed down by their burdensome smell. Yet He was able to teach and astound the aristocracy of society. They were called the Sadducees and the Pharisees.
The misnomer about the Sadducees and the Pharisees is that they were not bad people at all by today’s standards. These people were the Supreme Court justices, the lawyers, doctors and the CEO’s of the time. These people were the top 1% of society. Yet they couldn’t understand why a man would so vigorously pursue breaking and challenging Mosaic Law. The law dictates not working on the Sabbath, yet He healed and preached in the streets and gathered crowds to teach heresy. The Law dictates that the beggar, the blind and the infirmed be considered invisible and third class citizens; yet He healed them, spoke to them and seemingly empowered them. The Law dictates that all prostitutes and adulterers be stoned to death, yet He did not judge them and told them they were forgiven and sent them on their way.
By today’s standards, Jesus would probably be considered the unshaven trendy liberal, possibly with dread locks and an entourage of society’s and Hollywood’s troublesome elite. You see, this is who He hung with back then. The issue with His disciples is that they represent today’s church. Peter had an attitude problem and was known for being boastful and not able to control his mouth. Philip was on the fence with most issues and was the average Christian, neither here nor there. They at times seemed hypocritical by the way they fought among themselves. They at times had an agenda that was unlike Christ’s agenda even though they walked beside Him. They also had a tendency of putting money before ministry, like Matthew. Some were like Judas, he was so filled with pride that he preferred to commit suicide rather than repent of his mistakes.
The point of this is to illustrate that although Jesus did have faithful followers like John who was with Him to the very end, He had a dysfunctional group of followers who tried their best to get it right. In spite of their many mistakes and character flaws, Jesus still never judged them. In fact Jesus made it a point to never judge anyone who came to Him and asked for His help and understanding. No where in His ministry did Jesus shun the harlot or the societal freak. Jesus taught that in order to change them you must first win them. No one cares how much you know unless they know how much you care. Our modern day church is so caught up in the fact that we live half the truth that we forget that in order to clean a fish we must first catch a fish. What gives the church the right to screen its clientele? We should take notes from hospitals. A trauma unit does not run down a 21 item questionnaire for every gun shot victim that comes crashing through the door by the EMS. The trauma team’s objective is to stabilize and save a life. They don’t care if the victim is gay, straight, a career politician, gang banger or an embezzling hedge fund manager. In time, the appropriate after care personnel can address the lifestyle of the patient to curtail further incidents like what brought them there.
Jesus didn’t make the prostitute or the leper feel less than. He empowered them through loving-kindness. He freed the prostitute and told her to sin no more. That’s what gave Him the reputation to allow another prostitute to wash His feet with her tears and dry His feet with her hair when the respectable citizen He was visiting didn’t even give Him a proper hello. It is also a fact that Jesus came from the bloodline of a prostitute (Rahab), a murderer and liar (David) and countless other public offenders. Jesus said in the book of Matthew 25:40 “…Verily I say unto you, In as much as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.”
CHRSTIANITY IS A PROCESS, NOT THE DESTINATION.
What the modern day Evangelical Church is missing is the same issue the Sadducees and Pharisees missed. Jesus came to do away with the law. His message isn’t just for the chosen its for the disenfranchised and the apparent dysfunctional. If a man gives His life to Christ and still struggles with smoking and dies the next day; he won’t miss heaven for a pack of cigarettes. If a woman comes to Christ and still struggles with low self esteem and continues to cut her herself, Jesus will not ban her from His presence for defiling His temple.
If a man or woman declares their acceptance for Jesus as their Lord and Savior and they still have homosexual desires God will not turn His back to them. Unlike His church and His disciples, Jesus can separate the sin from the sinner. Christianity is a process that we must all work through, it is not a destination reached. We all reach the final destination when we meet Jesus face to face. The same holds true for the habitual liar, the person who secretly struggles with addiction to pornography, pedophilia and gossip.
Let’s get the person into the church and let their personal relationship with God dictate how quickly their healing should take place. The body takes different times to heal various wounds. A paper cut takes a couple of days. A second or third degree burn may take years without proper intervention. When Jesus healed the blind man it took two attempts before the complete healing manifested. It didn’t mean that Jesus lost His touch. He was illustrating that some healing is a process.
There were many scriptures that were lost that depicted more of the works and philosophies of Christ. The King James bible is not the complete works of Christ, so therefore we should not assume we have the market cornered on everything that is Christ and His philosophies. God clearly states in Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” Jesus simply means He’s got more bandwidth for tolerating and interpreting spiritual and natural concepts than we do. So why do we pretend to have the last words on anything. The New Testament that Jesus came to teach on doesn’t specifically address masturbation yet many churches preach against it. We as Evangelicals need to do a better job using the scriptures in substantiating our hatred or misgivings or we will further lose credibility in our country.
When I first became a Christian I too had a great dislike for the homosexual lifestyle. While is high school I did a lot of theater and had a lot of homosexual and lesbian friends, but I quickly dropped them when my new Christian friends told me that God says they were an abomination to Him. As I grew in my knowledge of the word and my relationship with Christ I learned that Christ’s love is all encompassing and was not as rigid and black and white as my new strict church doctrine was teaching. I was able to change my views because of my desire to be more pleasing in the eyes of God.
Our church membership needs to be as passionate about getting out on the sea and doing some fishing for souls on our own, rather than just criticizing the size and the appearance of the fish that the current brings in. We need to be careful that our current sadusaic mindset doesn’t rival the original mindset that crucified Christ to begin with. The Power of Perspective in action here is the discussion of the 800 pound gorilla should not be avoided because of our lack of interest or inability to distinguish between the context of the matter and the content of our purpose; being Christ like.