Last week I wrote a post called Don't Hide Your Light. After the week we've had and things that have gone on, there's just more to say on the subject of getting outside our Christian circles; the subject I'm going to write about is pretty much a taboo subject in Christian circles today, but we have got to break free of this taboo mindset and get busy in the work that God has for us. We have got to break down the taboo if we want to "raze hell." In the past, I've attended churches where we pretty much stayed in our Christian circles, and when we strayed out of that circle, even for ministry purposes, it was as if we were doing something sinful or wrong. I don't know how else to put it but just to be majorly blunt throughout this post. The things I'm going to say have needed to be said for a long time, so if it offends, I'm truly sorry; I don't mean to offend anyone, but I know this is what God has laid on my heart for this post. Much of this post is from rough experiences that both Dan and I have had together, experiences that threw us for a loop, possibly hardening us somewhat at first, but ultimately bringing us out of bondage into the light. I praise God for that light....truly.
Just to emphasize here that I am speaking out because of my faith; I am a Christian....a growing Christian who is just seeking to follow God's Word and do whatever it is that He has called me to do. That being said, here is the situation: This week we learned of a "Christian" ban that is taking place in our old hometown. I won't go into details, but a certain institution (won't name any names) is being banned because of an openly gay employee. Now, please let me clear something up before I continue. I do not believe that being gay is Biblical, and I, in no way, condone or agree with the actions of the gay movement....BUT I do not treat them any differently than I do my mom or my dad or my friends. I treat them with as much respect as I would anyone, and I look at them as a person with a soul and a heart and someone who God loves very, very much. After all, God created that person just as He created me; He formed them in the womb and knew them before they were ever born. He also gave free will. Jesus died for everyone, not just you and not just me; EVERYONE! Hatred and bigotry such as this ban do nothing but leave all Christians looking like utter snobs and hypocrites; in fact, I believe that bigotry such as this fuels movements, such as the gay rights movement. Hatred and bigotry are not the solution....
I don't agree with this ban at all, and I'm going to tell you why. It all comes back to getting outside of our Christian circles and doing what God has commanded us to do in His Word. Situations like this make me ashamed to associate myself with the same "Christian" name as these who have banned this institution. It hurts my heart to think that this person, who may not know Jesus, is being treated in such a way as to potentially turn him away from Christianity at all. Do these "Christians" not realize that people are dying without a Saviour every single day? Do they not see that associating only within their comfort zones of approval is going against every fiber of what Jesus taught and lived? In order to reach this world, we are going to have to get up and go. We are going to have to get out of our comfort zones and see people, all people, through the eyes of a Saviour Who gave up everything to come to earth for us. It may mean we lose friends, but to die to self is gain....
Is one sin greater than another? For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all- James 2:10 (NKJV). Did Jesus ban the adulterous woman? No, this is what He had to say to those judging her: He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first- John 8:7. Later to the woman, He said, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more- John 8:11. These verses have gripped my conscience and my heart many times: Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye- Matthew 7:1-5.
I will never agree with bans like these. They are shameful to the Christian faith, and I can't name one point in Jesus' life where He banned any person from coming to Him. Even when He was about to be taken away to die, He had no hatred or anger towards the one who had betrayed Him. He is willing that none should perish, but that all should come to Him. He is faithful and just to forgive those who turn from their sin and follow His ways, cleansing them from all unrighteousness. These words are more than words; they are actions that we need to instill into our very core; we need to go out into the world, and we need to show Christ's love to ALL people, not just the person who never offended us. Do I hold a grudge against those who have formed this ban? No, I don't....but I do feel sorry for them, only because I know the state that their minds are in....I know what it's like to be trapped in that feeling of continual bondage. I still struggle with it myself at times. Since I left home, and especially since I married Dan and we went through some situations together, I have had to almost rewrap my mind and heart around Who God is. I have a hard time seeing Him as my loving Heavenly Father vs. what consumed my mind before, images of an angry God, a Judge waiting to punish me. I still struggle with that mindset.
I must say, though, that I am ashamed to be lumped in with the same name as these banning "Christians." It's not about me, though; it's about this person who needs to know that God loves him. It's about reaching out when it might be uncomfortable for us to do so. It's about going where God tells us to go, no matter what discomfort or pressure we may feel from those who won't go with us....it's about dying to self, and living to God.
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