Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Jumping into the deep end

I'm just going for it today because this is where my heart is at. If you're a regular reader that just skims or skips over my more "spiritual" stuff, you should read today's entry.

I recently heard that there is a project currently filming that I think is called "Jesus, Save Me From Your Followers." [I don't know if it is based on the book of the same name] I might be wrong on the title. Anyway, it's very provocative. It is intended to get the Church thinking again. I'm liking the timber of it.

They set up a couple of confessional booths at events that were geared for those in the homosexual community (I believe one was a gay pride event). When a brave soul wandered in, they asked the question of how it went and if he was suppose to confess something. The guy on the other side of the screen in the booth said something to the effect of, "Actually, I wanted to confess to you. I wanted to ask for your forgiveness for all the hatred and bigotry that Christians have been responsible for toward homosexuals."

Today, I'm seconding that motion. In the past, I have hidden hatred in my heart toward those who are homosexuals. Like the others who were around me, I was so ignorantly afraid to even think about talking to homosexuals. I'm guilty of claiming that their lifestyle made them less than human beings and for supporting laws that suppressed homosexual activity by making it illegal. Jesus never commanded His followers to do any of that. He did, however, command us to love our neighbors as ourselves. For all of this, I ask for your forgiveness. To those in the Church, I hereby confess that I have sinned against God and His Son by not living that out in regard to all people...especially homosexuals and illegal immigrants. Jesus was not anger and judgment toward a world that needed His message of hope and love. I have carelessly cast aside His Words in John 3. For this, Brothers and Sisters, I ask your forgiveness.

The Lord has done a lot of work reforming/renewing my heart and mind over the last year and a half. He continues to challenge me in new ways every day. I now count some homosexuals among my friends, and one particular blogger has been one of my biggest supporters and has cared for me more than a lot of people in the community of faith. They've been a steady reader of my blog for a long time, even when I haven't returned the favor. I owe them my deepest gratitude, though I never express it enough to anyone in my life who deserves it, I say it today especially to them.

What does this mean? Well, it means that I am culpable for my sins against all people. It means that if I am a true follower of Jesus, I'll bring His peace to whoever I am with or whoever I communicate with and wherever I am. And it means that I belong to, like Tony Campolo said, "the kind of church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3am at donut shops." If you want a better context for that, I encourage you to read "The Secret Message of Jesus."

What does this not mean? It doesn't mean that I'm signing up with any political agenda. I won't be getting petitions for anyone or anything...unless they ask for rights and freedoms to be taken away from someone. Then I'm 100% against that. Barring that, I'm done politically on these issues.

People of faith, until we show ALL people the love of Jesus, no ifs, ands, or buts (no law of man can void our responsibility to the Law of God, with that applying special regards to illegal aliens), no one will think He's anyone worth knowing. I don't want to have agendas anymore. I just want people to see the fruit of His love in my life. I haven't changed doctrinally. Or rather, maybe I have. Maybe I've changed the doctrine of proclaiming judgment from God (something we were never called to do) to proclaiming peace from God, and His good will toward all people. If we truly believe that the Holy Spirit is powerful, we have to allow Him to do the work.

I know I'm inviting all sorts of whatever by this post, which is by no means comprehensive, so bring on whatever. But, if you claim to follow Jesus, just remember that you should speak to me (and homosexual people, for that matter) as you would like to be spoken to.


silverneurotic said...

Congratulations on taking the plunge for this post. It takes a lot of guts to say what you said, and I support you 100%. :)

And I also want to thank you on behalf of a few friends of mine who don't blog nor read blogs, but if they did, they would appreciate your gesture of support and love towards them.

KingJaymz said...

My heart has been here for a long time. I think I've just begun to find words for expressing it over the last year and I was just ready to get it out there today.

Chelf said...

I have some whatever to say.

I agree that people of faith (I read ME in that) need to stop judging and start loving. Humans have used the face of Christianity for all sorts of atrocities against fellow humans, and that is wrong.

(I got this idea from Niki, and I am sure she was more eloquent, but here goes) I need to lead the lost to Jesus. It is not about ME forcing a change in them, it is about Jesus encouraging a change in them.

We had a discussion about this in a Sunday School class sometime last year. What would our reaction be to a prostitute in our building? What should the reaction be? What was Jesus' reaction to a prostitute? He forgave her sins, saved her life from the stoning the crowd was about to give her. How do you suppose her life changed? Did she go back to being a prostitute? Would I go back to being what I was, after having met the Savior?

I believe that homosexuality is wrong, and the Bible is my source. But I don't have to yell that to every person who mentions the subject. I see that I need to change my attitude. Hopefully, by that small action, I can create a wave of change in the people around me, similar to the wave you have started, J.

Delia said...

I'm so late reading this. I've been sick and haven't been doing much blog reading. Sorry.

I came to the same realization when someone very close to me announced that they were homosexual. After they announced it I still loved them as much as I always had and it hit me then, so did Jesus. Homosexuality may be wrong but so is a myriad of other sins that many of us commit and I don't see the hatred geared toward those other sins. As Christians we're supposed to love one another, that's what He told us, to love one another. I take that to mean everyone, even those who live different lifestyles than us.