I fear I sound down, depressed, or generally negative in a few posts and I am certainly none of the above. I intend to not rant or communicate harshly but I’m compelled to share a fantastic experience I had last night that was both uncomfortable and necessary.
Let’s just clear the air, shall we? If it wasn’t evident by my lack of cursing and discussing my thoughts on the Lord in previous posts I’ll explicitly state I’m a Christian. I belive God created the world (yes, that Genesis is literal to a large extent even though I’m not theologically educated enough to be able to say that seven “days” is today’s understanding of one week or several 24 hour periods as God’s time is not our time.) I believe that God sent his only son, born of a virgin, to the world and He died for our sins. Christ, in turn, was raised three days later, and we’re awaiting His return for His church. Obviously there’s more to my faith than this and I welcome all questions about it.
Here’s a helpful link for critics: http://www.watermark.org/media/advanced-search/
Anywho, Christian beliefs are often considered unpopular, intolerant, and generally judgmental. I can’t say I disagree with most of society’s experience with the “Christian.” We’re often hypocrites, as we ARE human, and may express our views a little harshly, as we ARE human. This is in no way intended to dispell the hurt, torment, abuse, and general lack of love shown by many religious groups calling themselves churches i.e. Westboro Baptist Church. They skew the Word to fuel their own hate and lack of understanding. Living in Topeka for many years hardened my heart to them but after coming to realize they’re lost, delusional, and completely void of a loving tone to express their feelings, it’s important to take a stand and correct them (with love, not violence.)
The post is not about Westboro, the Catholic church, or inauthentic Christians. My intent is to share an experience with several non-believers who were able to, shockingly, have a debate about same-sex relationships and spur one another on towards better way of coummunicating disagreements.
I attended the very liberal University of Kansas and could not be more thankful. I bleed Crimson and Blue and through my studies of Social Work was openend to a world that I thought was only written about. The stories of abuse, addiction, and life struggle were hard to listen to and I made friends from all different backgrounds. I have gay friends, straight friends, Obama-voting friends, and at the time, McCain voting friends. My opnions on politics and social issues were always different than the rest and, as such, deemed unpoular and unloving.
One particular friend is an openly gay man who I care for and love deeply. He is a positive, open minded individual who fights for equality across the board. We disagree on our stance on whether being gay is a sin and it’s a difficult conversation to have. Many non-believers have previously been believers but because of mistreatment and abuse by the church have turned away. I can’t express my sincerest apologies enough. I’m opinionated but hate hurting anyone’s feelings. I wrestle with keeping my mouth shut in uncomfortable situations but also don’t want to be a fair weather Christian. The Truth is difficult to speak in love.
Dear friend, if you’re reading this, I thank you for your openness and willingness to converse with me on a topic you’re so emotionally invested to.
Knowing this is a public blog sets me up for criticism and encouragement. My prayer is disagreement of my views can be expressed respectfully and thoughtfully as opposed to being rooted in hurt, anger, and malice.
For those of you who have been wounded by the Church or another bringing the Good News of the Lord, please know that the pain is heartbreaking and I can only empathize. The God above hates the sinful nature of man and the actions taken toward you that have hardened your hearts to Him. I ask you to connect with me, a local church, or someone who lives an authentic Christian life (note I don’t say perfect life,) and ask the hard questions about why we believe what we believe and how it’s even possible to believe in a book written thousands of years ago that appears to be a bunch of rules and condemnation. You’ll find it’s a book of love, redemption, forgiveness, and eternal happines.