Tuesday, July 9

Christian views against homosexuality: I'm just trying to warn LGBT people

Nothing wrong with warning

"I think there is nothing wrong with telling people that they are in a bad place. If someone is about to get hit by a bus, you would push them out of the way, yell, shout, whatever you could. As a Christian believer the importance of heaven vs. hell is exponentially more important, and therefore requires action."  Jeremiah Spoon

On the surface I agree with this.  Who wouldn't?  I mean it's just a warning, right?

Yet, it isn't ever just a warning.  We know this because when we reject the warning in good faith with statistics, personal testimony, and expert opinions we are labeled liars, perverts, pedophiles, etc.  In short, if we exert our right to disagree the person never stops the warning they just get louder. 

Evidence of this is rampant in the media.  Take the following question and answer with Maggie Gallagher, the founder of the anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage, talking about the fallout of the Supreme court's decision on DOMA:

"KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Are last week’s rulings on marriage as monumental, with the staying power, of Roe v. Wade?
MAGGIE GALLAGHER: What you are really asking is: Will we concede the legitimacy of Kennedy’s fatwa against us, or will we respond with a sustained opposition — legal, political, cultural, and of the moral imagination?" - The ROE of Marriage
The Supreme court made a very clear and concise ruling that DOMA had caused real and sustained harm to same sex married couples.  This it found was unconstitutional.  Kennedy's "fatwa" (holy war) was in fact just that.  A ruling.

So now, the people that just want to give a warning had made a law and when that law was found illegal and unjust they accuse the JUDGE of wrong doing and promise to keep fighting.

It's like a smoke detector that won't shut off even when you pull the batteries.

That in turn becomes harassment.  Which is what we face now.  Harassment.

There is nothing wrong with warning someone in danger but what if they say "I understand what you are saying but I think this is the right thing to do, you don't have to participate"?

1 Corinthians 10:23-24

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

When LGBT people make their case at a personal level they can and usually do bring out scientific research and professional opinions that show the many ways that being out and open helps improve the outcomes for them.

When we are criticized for being LGBT that evidence is swept aside and ignored, our testimony is swept aside and we are called liars, and when we show that conversion therapy for the faithful is an abject failure we are told we just didn't pray enough or have enough conviction. In short we are told we were sinners because of who we are.

I don't know ONE LGBT Christian that hasn't wrestled with who they are before the world and before God. At some point we end up disagreeing we stand up one at a time all by ourselves before our friends, family, and churches and say "No, this is part of WHO I AM and God loves me and I love him".

What do those good Christians who just want to sound the alarms do then?

At that point I was told by the pastor of one church that I am worse than a murder because I was an unrepentant sinner. Just because I think God made me this way and that it was past time for me to be myself instead of trying to be something that I so clearly wasn't comfortable with.

If I wanted to be a active full participant in that church I was told effectively that I had to say something that I believed with every ounce of who I am to be false. I was in short told to lie. Instead, I left. I didn't leave God. I left that church because for me GOD was not in it. A mighty sad thought for the 2-3k members.

I think in that moment that church gravely sinned against me and it's not just me that faces this. Almost every LGBT person of faith faces this. It's a completely rational reaction to this to FLEE the faith and test EVERY tenant of it. Statisticly, we know by comparing the number of Christians at large to the number of LGBT people that identify as Christian that around 30% of the people who were planted are lost.  The are lost because the soil became hostile.  It dried up. Jesus talked about this.

What's even worse, we know that a good portion of non-LGBT non-Christians CITE how the church treats people with this ISSUE alone being a leading cause of their disillusionment. These are the people that look around and see what happened as wrong. That's dry useless soil.

If what people want is to throw out stumbling blocks....this is it. It's effective. It kills peoples relationship with God yet that is the OPPOSITE of what we are supposed to do.

Yet, many in the church will rationalize it...because someone hears that message and turns around in utter defeat and is welcomed back in is then lifted up as an example. This is the person that is the one that everyone goes to....because they "overcame" it.

Of course, they really didn't...or they probably really haven't....they just shoved that piece of themselves back in the closet. So then we get these "godly examples" that fall through the floor when someday their natural attractions and needs overtake their commitment to God. (Hey, it happens to widows and it happens to ex-gays)

Nearly every ex-gay leader ends up repenting of it eventually. Just look at Exodus.  However, the repentance is long after they have done their stint and become twice the slave to it doing so much more damage than would have been done if they had just been honest.

I have news for those against LGBT people getting married. Gay people do get married all the time inside of straight heterosexual marriages and what happens is so often a travesty where one person ends up in pain suffering for who they are until they assert their identity at which point everyone else in the family gets to suffer too.

See I don't have a problem with LGBT people being themselves...who will they hurt? I have a problem with the fact that LGBT people feeling like they have to lie about who they are.  I am WISE enough to see not just the damage to LGBT people but the collateral damage to those that are not.

It's not just a bad recipe for LGBT people....it's a bad recipe for EVERYONE.

This is why I fight. I don't need approval...I don't care if I am loved for myself. I care because I love others.

I oppose the view it is sinful. I cite the evidence. I offer testimony. I appeal to emotion and reason.

So what do we do at this impasse? Must there be a winner and a loser? Is it really losing to break bread in your church with someone you think is wrong?

I don't think so.  I'm happy to break bread with any other sinners and worship God.

Tuesday, March 13

Romans 1 and LGB people (and a bit more)

A lot of people like to point to Romans and say bad things about lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people.  Let's talk look at this a little. 
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
There is is.  It sounds bad, it really is bad.  Here's the thing, these are straight people, heterosexuals that become homosexual.  They take on the persecution that homosexual people suffer every day.  Even death.  Even in Roman times.  Now that's a bad punishment.  Take note.  It's a punishment because they are losing heterosexual privilege.  It's a punishment because, at least at that time, it would have meant they couldn't have kids, and it's a punishment because not only is it homosexuality but it was degrading to them.

Most homosexuals, however, will tell you that they have known they were homosexual from an early age and in many cases their parents and friends could tell from an earlier time.  They didn't become homosexual because God was punishing them.  They just were, always.

In Romans we see people punished for REJECTING God and worshiping idols.  Let's look at in in context.

 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
 To say that Romans condemns homosexuality is really wrong.  What it is condemning is rejecting God.  Homosexuality is a punishment and it is in and of itself ENOUGH of a punishment because scripture says they "received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

There is no justification to be mean, cruel, or to make pronouncements about the state of homosexuals.  It's hard enough to just live.  Christians are called to a HIGHER CALLING, a calling to not judge and just love.  Romans 2 talks about that. 

When we selectively limit our scripture to just a hand full of verses we miss that.

God's awesome in my book.  I love God because he sent Jesus to preach love.  Because of that, I know he loves me.  Even if every church and every Christian tells me I am unwelcome...I know God is waiting for me with open arms.

Because of that love, I'm able to better love others too.  Because it's a gift.

What I will not do, is stand idly by and watch others tell people through their actions that God doesn't love them even while the words might say that he does.

Jesus didn't pile on burdens.  He accused the phairasees of that.  If someone is LGBT and wants to reject that and be a "normal" heterosexual, I certainly think that's wonderful but if someone is LGBT and says they love God or want to know him, that door swings WIDE OPEN FOR THEM TOO.

Marriage is sacred because it is a COMMITMENT before God, it is not sacred simply because God created it thousands of years ago.  Marriage is rejecting promiscuity.  It's the formation of a three chorded union of the spouses and God.  THAT'S HOLY.  THAT'S good.  It says so right in 1 Tim 4.

Wednesday, January 4

Why not gay marriage and civil unions?

Health care costs. Springfield Illinois had a surprising number returned by their actuaries. $725,000/year for an estimated 65 people to get insurance with them. That's $11,153.84/for each. So against the state law, they decided behind close doors that their employees wouldn't get that coverage. I wonder, does this same debate go on behind closed doors in the states around this country? Is the real reason for marriage inequality money? We are talking about 9 million LGBT people on the conservative side. Of course the real number is likely to be much lower. ( divide by 2 because we are talking about partners, divide by 5 because only 20% of the younger crowd marries and SSM isn't going to see that) still 900,000 people at a bit over $11k/ea is actually still more than $10 billion dollars a year. Does that make you mad if you are LGBT? That the states are taking from you that much extra money? It's not just the taxes at the federal and state level. It's not just the human dignity. It's stealing a huge part of the American dream from us. That is a denial of liberty and justice. Given that it doesn't affect me personally, because I have been lucky enough to have a 'traditional' marriage for the last 17 years, is it ok for me to be mad about this for you? How much more good could we do as an economic force with an extra $10billion in our pockets every year?

Wednesday, October 5

Why same sex marriage

As Christians we are commanded not to judge one another.  We, however, do judge situations.  Sometimes, we come to the conclusion that behaviors are inherently sinful.  For example, while we wouldn't condemn a repentant adulterer to hell we would certainly find adulterous acts to be inherently sinful as God has always held.  However, when he encountered Mary about to be stoned, Jesus, showed compassion and empathy.  He discouraged her attackers and one by one laid down their stones and departed until it was just them.  We might also not let an unrepentant adulterer be part of our church.

I don't think anyone in the church would argue that sin requires repentance to receive grace.  We also all can agree that grace is not earned by repentance but by faith. 

This is the dilemma when it comes to unmarried people in sexual relationships.  The Bible is abundantly clear that this is sexual immorality and this has good logical basis. 

For example, who has not been "in love" with someone and had their "heart broken" even without sex being involved?  How much worse is it if you gave yourselves to each other?  Horrible, right?

So God gives us marriage and tells us that is how it should be.  Permanent and life altering. 

I can testify that life for me changed the DAY I married.  It has never been the same since.  Every decision I make is tempered by her needs and the same is true for me.  At least if we get it right....

I suppose this is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.

However, he also says:
8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Clearly marriage is, at least impart, the cure for sexual immorality. 

In fact it's so clear throughout Pauls writings that it's mentioned this way repeatedly.  Take for example 1 Timothy 5:

 11 ... For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
Of course, we know that marriage isn't just a cure for sexual immorality.

Mary Fairchild, on about.com, sums up the foundation of marriage account from Genesis:
We can conclude from this account in Genesis that marriage is God's idea, designed and instituted by the Creator. In these verses we also discover that at the heart of God's design for marriage is companionship and intimacy.  (http://christianity.about.com/od/faqhelpdesk/i/biblemarriage.htm)
Paul also draws another lesson from marriage.  He talks at length about how marriage is like the relationship between Christ and the church.  Take for example this passage in Ephesians 5:
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
What's clear here is that the relationship clarity is that in marriage we learn self-sacrificing love about Jesus for the church and us to our spouses.

Ecclesiastes 4 talks about how life is just BETTER when you aren't alone.  Just as God said in Genesis when he saw Adam by himself.

So lets review up to this point, marriage:

  1. Cures loneliness
  2. Teaches self sacrificing love
  3. provides companionship and intimacy
  4. cures sexual immorality
 This is why if a young man and women get involved with each other and are in a sexual relationship we direct them to marriage.  We always have.

Let's be really clear here, 4 out of 5 of our CHILDREN in the church have sexual relations OUTSIDE of marriage.  This is only slightly less than those outside the church.  (http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/27/why-young-christians-arent-waiting-anymore/).  Let's also not pretend that it's a new thing.  I know I did the same thing.  With my wife before I married her.

I married her though and stopped sinning because, as we covered, marriage cures sexual immorality.  Sex inside marriage is a divine blessing.  Sex outside is a curse. 

The question I pose then is if marriage has all these benefits and cures sexual immorality...then why not same sex marriage? 

For the last 100 years or so we might say that it's because it's a perversion of what God intended.  We might say it's because it's banned in the old testament and called a curse in the new testament.  Ultimately we conclude we can't give our blessing on unrepentant sin.  We might be right.

What if we aren't though? 

Does same sex marriage not provide companionship, intimacy, cure loneliness, and teach self sacrificing love?  Are they not capable of doing much good in the world just because even if we are fallen and flawed we are still a reflection of God.  If marriage cures sexual immorality, why wouldn't God allow it for EVERYONE? 

Gay people don't and most can't find the satisfaction that heterosexuals can in a relationship and almost all of them have tried to.  In fact, for most, the need to find that in a relationship overcomes them just as it would for a young widower.

A recent study from the ex-gay organization Exodus international concluded with 

Can we find one logical reason why someone should be denied, in Gods name, the right to follow God because of who they love?

When they go to church and are turned away because of who they love then everyone loses (God, them, and the church). 

How would you feel if a Pastor looked you in the eye and told you that a murder who repents of their sin is welcome in Heaven but you are not because you don't believe you are sinning? 

By the way, sinning, is missing the mark, not bad, not evil, not condemned....just off mark.  That's what it means.  Look, I don't know a LGBT person who would not admit that they wanted to be normal.  To hit that mark.  They just can't...so they want to do the right thing in Gods eyes.

When I look at the Bible it's clear that the RIGHT thing is marriage.  Every Christian LGBT person should come to the conclusion that their are two right choices:  Be celibate or marry the person who would otherwise bring you to sin if you know you can not be celibate. 

That's the choices for heterosexuals and I am convinced GOD wants it that way for everyone.

The DAMAGE from denying same sex marriage rights is astounding.

The effects on people include death, mental illness, high rates of STDs, drugs, drinking, broken families, loss of faith, etc.

The effect on the church is that people are rejecting it because the generally held belief is that most people see it as unloving and hypocritical.  Our youth more so than our elders.  Worse, churches are splitting and dividing because within church roughly half of the people support same sex marriage because they have seen the issues play out with family and friends.  They think the church is failing God and the people.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.  6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 

Maybe you have heard "Love the sinner, hate the sin" and live by it.  Do you know where it comes from?  Mahatma Gandhi.  It's not Christian. 

Maybe we need to give Gandhi a toss and pick up grace and give it.  We have the authority as the church to look at the evidence, talk to the spirit, and love ABUNDANTLY.

Tuesday, August 30

A dream and a study...

I was given a dream recently that I am supposed to share. I pray that I accurately portray what I saw.

In the dream there were initially two groups of people.

In one group there was a group of people engaging in all sorts of sexual perversions. None of which were loving each other but just using the others. There were homosexual activities as well as heterosexual. It sheer and utter hedonism. God was not with them. There was sickness and disease spreading among them. They hated God.

In the other group there were Christians talking about what they saw and how to fix it. They loved God. They had all the answers to every problem on display. They seemed to know exactly what to do.

They didn't seem t0o concerned when one of their own would slip over and go into the other group and start engaging in the hedonism. They also were very happy to welcome people into their group when they just stopped being part of the other group and wanted to come over.

This second group accepted everyone back except for the homosexuals who tried to join them. Many were turned away and went back to the hedonism broken and sick. Some, however, stopped taking part in hedonism and started loving relationships and worshiping God. Those people formed a third group.

The second group turned its attention from the first group and started telling the second group what to do. They weren't talking amongst themselves any more. They had stopped looking at the hedonism of group one and were focused on the new third group. They had all the answers still and told them God wasn't with them. At first the second group was very sure of itself but then some of the people started moving into the third group.

The third group was like the second except no one who left the first group was ever turned away. Soon almost half of the second group had left and was with the third group.

The second group was furious. Still saying the same things about the third group.

God was angry with the second group. He loved them but so many people who tried to join them were turned away. Many in the first group thought about leaving only to watch people be turned away.

God asked who is saved? I said the second and third groups. He said no. Only the third group was loving all their neighbors.

He then asked, who is it easier for me to reach? The lost and wicked who know what they are doing is wrong or the righteous who are lost on the path?

A study was released today by the Public Religion Research Institute looking at how we view homosexuality as it intersects with our faith.

Only 10% of the people in the study would turn away homosexuals at the door. The numbers say that 46% think it's not a sin and of the 50% that think it is a sin 68% would call it a sin but welcome them in their church. (see Q31 and Q32)

This is an issue that is tearing the Christian church apart and where there is such division amongst people that say they love God there is guidance. We should throw open the door and love abundantly. Leaving the decision to God to decide.

When we fail that call we drive a wedge between people and God. This is the greatest sin. To be the wedge between God and one that he is calling. The mere accusation of this should send shivers down your spine. What will GOD do if you are in the one who judges wrongly?

Well according to this study, over 54% of the population believes that religious groups are alienating young people by being too judgmental. (See Q34 b) Let me be clear, this is all age groups this is ALL young people...not just homosexual youth.

Worse though, 69% of the YOUNG people say that it's the case (See summary). They know best because it's a question talking about them.

When we see our young people fleeing the church and we are wondering why....here it is and it's not just a disturbing dream but it's a fact.

I'm in the third group. Please join me no matter where you are right now, there is room.

Wednesday, June 15

Coming out

When I was 7 I knew when I grew up I wanted to work with computers or be a pastor. Now that I am grown up I work with computers and will be one of Gods representatives to the LGBT community, particularly the transgender community.

My new name is Christine Spencer. I grew up Christopher Spencer.

While I had such clarity on what I wanted to be when I grew up I also had a secret. Many of my earliest memories are of me cross dressing and thinking I was a girl. I couldn't reconcile that with my body and I thought it was wrong. I knew girls do some things and boys do others. So despite these feelings and despite all the times I snuck on my mothers earrings (clip ons), or wore my sisters or mothers clothes...I told no one. I wanted to be good and I thought I was bad. It was a form of self loathing that only in the last few years have I begun to get over. In coming out now, I have made a choice. I have chosen to stop hating myself and with that choice comes the recognition that many people from family to friends to strangers will hate me for it.

As a child, I often dreamed I was a girl. I loved many girl things and many boy things. I often hid that I loved the girl things like playing paper dolls with my sister and watching girl shows like My Little Pony, Care Bears, and Strawberry Shortcake.

I could never quite reconcile it within myself and honestly I didn't want to. I wanted it to go away.

By high school I knew I liked girls. I thought surely this meant I was a boy but liking girls didn't really change my inner self, I still felt I was feeling more like a girl. I did boy activities but I wasn't fitting in. A large part of my childhood is lost to me now because I was not enjoying it.

When my puberty hit, I started to have breasts. Possibly that was because I was gaining weight fast but it could be something more. In any case, I have had breasts since. This was a source of both great comfort and great pain.

I remember once at scout camp where I was working on a life guarding merit badge and some little kid maybe 8 years old asked their father why I had breasts. It was devastating. He said what I thought, what I wondered, what haunted me.

Even today, I wonder if under the physical male shell there isn't more going on. It's probably nothing. I am probably in just a regular mans body but I am not like other men. I am also not fully like women.

Being trans is best understood if you think of a sliding scale with different points on the line. Some men are all men...Some women are all women...but in between we have a wide variety of people with different tastes and visions of themselves which they express in their clothing choices, in their mannerisms, and in their relationships. None of us are exactly alike.

Most people identify very closely to the lines that match their bodies but many are in between and some, like me, cross over to the other side. It's neither wrong or right, it just is. You are how your mind sees you to yourself and after a lifetime of trying to change it and believe I am not on the other side of the line...I accepted I was and I accepted that it just is.

I think I prayed more prayers than stars in the sky asking to have it changed. God never answered me until I felt him call me Christine and later when he woke me up to start They Know Not...which has not received the attention it has deserved.

All that praying with no answers...but I didn't lose faith because God has been good to me. He has blessed me by answering other prayers, saving my life (on more than one occasion), and giving me my wife and children. Many lessons also have been learned over my life because of him.

Today, I am able and called to come out boldly because of his love and his enduring grace. I can do it with my heart clean having rejected and grown out of much of my sin nature by his guidance without fear that I am letting him down. Without fear that I am lying to myself. Without fear that I am slandering his name.

My God is good. There are none like him. He created the heavens and the Earth and all things in them. His power and vision are unmatched.

It's a mighty small box painted around God if people think he can't create people like me. Clearly he does because I am a witness to it and so are millions of other believers. Our experiences are different, our walks on paths less traveled but our destinations are the same.

I'm out. I'm me. I'm going to reach people that are lost. If you have a problem with that, you are not standing against me...but against God who stands behind me. Leading me from behind much like a driver in a car steers the wheels of the car.

I take the Bible very seriously. I still believe the Earth and all creation are young. I don't believe our story stopped with the early church. I don't believe that the Bible is the end only the guidebook from which we can learn about God. We are his messengers. His people.

He entrusted us with sharing his love in every generation across all time and to all people. My job is to share it with others like me. Standing against someone in Gods name does not bring them closer to God. It does not change them in a positive way. Degrading them does not uphold How precious and wonderfully made they are to God.

Doing these things does not lift up God, it pulls God from their grasp. They get lost and abandoned. This has devastating consequences which are well detailed in study after study.

That is not how God works. It's fruits are layed bare for those with eyes to see. It is because of this that I must come out and pick up my cross.

I am Christine Spencer, trans-woman, follower of Christ, servant to all.

Love and grace to all who read these words. I pray you can understand.

Friday, May 20

In Re: to http://thesouthend.wayne.edu/index.php/article/2011/05/detroit_seminary_hosts_lgbtq_dialogue_session

I'm a trans woman.  I am not impressed with this event at all if the reporting here is accurate.

First of all, there is no way that 150 out of 300 people are gay or lesbian unless you have an event that is targeted to or organized by gay people.  Certainly not at a church service.  Try 20-40 out of 300.

Next, gay men should be men.  Trans-women should not be.  I don't know what was meant by that but be careful, you might just marginalize the community I belong to and that's not right...particularly from a group that knows what it's like.

Third and probably most importantly, if you believe you are gay and can't be saved, you need to stop being gay.  If you can't God must be a real cruel master.  What father would create someone in the impossible situation of being something they can't be?

Here's what I believe.  I believe Jesus taught about love.  He was right their criticizing the super religious and told them that they "strained at a gnat and swallowed the camel."  They didn't get it then and they don't get it now.  Same people in different stripes.

Jesus said do as they say not as they do.  Love like they say...not like they do.  Selfless love esteeming others as more important than you and humbly seeking God through prayer is where we LGBT Christians need to be.  We should act as peacemakers between the very conservative and the LGBT community as LGBT members of faith.

We must bridge that gap and extend the love of God to our LGBT brothers and sisters and welcome them into his kingdom.  We can't sit in shame and silence while others whom he loves are lost to lies and confusion.

The purpose of marriage is to prevent the married couple from sinning.  It's blessed and sanctified by God for that reason.  Just because the examples in the Bible didn't include gay people doesn't mean God never intended it.  Just as Jesus saves and sanctifies the church, marriage saves and sanctifies the couple in it from sin.  God graciously allows us through marriage many blessings and many of those blessings also would be of great benefit to gay and lesbian couples.

God made bridges when people needed him too.  He granted GRACE.  He parted the sea.  He guided the stones to fell a giant.  GOD is GOOD.  GOD ALWAYS MAKES A WAY and as the church it is our job to make that way for those that are lost and hurting and needing his love.  We were extended the authority to act and we have every right and obligation to do so.

If we get lost in the rule of the law we lose sight of grace.  Jesus said there is a time and a season for all things and extending marriage to committed same sex couples and accepting the truth of others who are different so that Gods message of love is not LOST on them has come.

Paul asked the question should we continue to sin so that grace should abound and answered it for us also.  Not all things are beneficial so of course not...

Yet this is one thing where we can see the harm and feel the pain.  We can also see how that is overcome by people learning to accept themselves.  We can see the joy and goodness that flows from someone who lives in what they believe to be their truth.  Even if you think it is not what God intended, how can you suggest that they should be stuck being miserable and feeling despised by God?  How can anyone of faith reconcile our loving God with that pain?

Studies conclusively show that if a family accepts and loves their gay child the child will thrive but if the child faces rejection, judgement, or condemnation the risks all across the board are worse.


Know it in your heart.  God loves gay people too.  If you can't see this and your heart is so hard then Paul's words in 1 Timothy 4 are for you:
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
 Everything God created is good.  LGBT people are born that way.  They almost always try not to be who they are sometimes to the point where they give up on themselves and attempt suicide. (well over 20% have attempted.  Higher numbers in the trans community).  It's often but not always a narrow and hard road.  Particularly at first.  If you can't see the pain then there is something wrong.  If you can't have compassion then there is something wrong.

The Church will overthrow and tear down this wall.  Gods people can not be held apart any longer.  His message will prevail.  You watch.  You see.  Millions will be saved!