You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘gay’ tag.

There Is No Gay Debate

Why is there no gay debate? Because if we are walking in grace, we have no sin consciousness. Not our own, and not anyone else’s. Sin has been taken away by the Lamb of God. If it hasn’t, then Jesus failed. He did not fail.

It is by the law that sin is known. The law has been done away with. It is over. It is finished. We live by faith and grace. And, since the law was for the Jews, it does not concern us anyway. But when we try to live by it, we fall from grace, and have a veil over our eyes, keeping us from seeing truth.

So then why do some keep trying to put gay people under the law? When we use that mindset, we put ourselves under it too. That is beyond ridiculous. The only guide is grace, the divine influence on the heart. It will never lead us to hurt or abuse or manipulate. Grace produces the fruit of the spirit, and the chief thing is love.

Do you love someone? Then it does not matter if that person is the opposite sex or the same sex. Love is the measure. So, be free, whoever you are. Free to love, wholly and completely. There is no condemnation, and there is nothing you need to do to change yourself. You do not have to be deny yourself and be celibate. You are who you were born to be.

Gay debate? Nonsense. All those legalistic arguments are invalid under grace. There is no argument. Grace does not operate on arguments, and love needs no permission.

 

 

 

 

Catching the Brass Ring

I’ve never tried to catch a real brass ring. On old-fashioned carousels, you won a prize if you could lean out far enough to catch it as you whirled by.

We seem to live in a culture of brass rings. From politics to reality TV, we try to win that prize. We talk more about American Idol, The Voice, Dancing With the Stars, The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor, and so on, than we do about how to live a better life.

Preachers tell us how to win with God, and live a righteous life. They tell us it’s a better one. I’m not so sure. All that trying to please will kill you.

Politicians promise you a better life, with a chicken in every pot….  but no one can really promise that to anyone.

Then we have the un-holy alliances being made between politicians and religious leaders. There is most definitely no better life in that.

The brass ring, folks, is always out of reach. You may win American Idol. Or your political party may be in power. But after the ball is over…. it’s over.

I’m writing in frustration. Yesterday the state of North Carolina got confused and denied civil rights by vote of the people. Rights are guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States, not popular vote.

And guess what? The brass ring of marriage, held out with all its attendant legal rights and benefits, was snatched away from any who don’t meet what is now the state’s definition. One man and one woman. They even made civil unions illegal for all couples. And the proponents say they are defending families. Well, only certain families. The families the religious right says are families.

It’s their own fault, really. The religious have held out the brass ring of marriage, and kept it out of reach for those of whom they don’t approve. But there it is, shining in the sun. Beckoning. Taunting.

America is not a carousel….. and marriage is not only for those deemed righteous. The righteous should look in the mirror. They have affairs, multiple divorces, and in North Carolina it’s legal to marry your first cousin, providing the cousin isn’t gay. Go figure.

One thing certain is change. I have been very busy with Facebook and have not posted here much lately. So much going on, so many changes in where I am and what I believe.

Grace has taken me to some wonderful places. I have become an LGBTI ally. That means I support 100% a gay or transgendered  person’s wonderful gift and his or her right to be who God made them. My focus is on gay Christians and their sometimes painful struggle to reconcile their faith and their orientation.

Grace has also taken me into exploring the idea of ultimate or final reconciliation of all people. Not universalism that says the work of Christ means nothing. No, the work of Christ makes it possible.

These things are very controversial. Teaching radical grace got me into enough trouble with the established churches. But God reveals and leads and we can only follow. It we don’t we are stagnant and stop growing. I must grow or die, I think!

I am, as I said, on Facebook. And I will be here now and then. Blessings.

I once was invisible, closeted you might say, but now I am not. It happened in stages, much like the grin of the Cheshire Cat. Not really invisible, of course. But part of me had yet to appear. All that anyone could see was what I cared to show. So, this is a coming out story. But not what you think. Exactly.

 Only a few find the way, some don’t recognize it when they do – some… don’t ever want to. ~ Cheshire Cat

This has to start back in the 1970’s for me. Back when Christianity’s poster girl, Anita Bryant, took on the Dade County, FL, anti-discrimination ordinance. She said if homosexuals were allowed to teach the children, it would be a moral disaster. And I was a new Christian, so I believed her.

Some years later, I wanted to prove that homosexuality was as bad as I had been told the Bible said it was. So, I went to the library. I checked out “Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?” by Scanzoni and Mollenkott. It is the seminal work on the subject.

I found the book interesting, but I didn’t quite understand it all at the time. Still, it opened the door a crack and let in some light. Especially regarding the meanings of some of the Greek words the Apostle Paul used, and the meaning of the Levitical prohibitions in the Law of Moses.

A few years later, this time questioning what all the fuss was about over homosexuality, I read a book by Mel White, “Stranger at the Gate”. This man’s story blew me away. It was so honest and so compelling. At that point I began to see that being homosexual was not an evil thing, and was most likely natural.

But of course I quickly learned to keep quiet about it. It seems the mindset of “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it” does not allow for asking if God indeed said what we think He said. Or did He possible say something altogether different, and the Bible translator’s ideas changed what God actually meant?

As the years went by, and issues like abortion overtook the concern about homosexuality, I concentrated on my own life and problems. I was so unaware of the whole issue that I didn’t even know who Harvey Milk was until the movie came out in 2008. And I didn’t see the movie until I watched DVD the summer of 2011. Needless to say, I was deeply affected. I wish I had seen it sooner.

So, the questions were there. Furthermore, I did not like the increasingly strident and hateful attitude taken by Christians toward both abortion and homosexuality. What I was seeing was not, well, very Christ like. Perhaps they were wrong…

By the turn of the new millennium, I was online and my searching became easier. One day I found a book by a woman who was a lesbian, a Christian, and who pastor of a church in California, Elaine Sundby. I contacted her and she sent me a copy of the book, “Calling the Rainbow Nation Home”.

Her testimony is beautiful and awesome. Any Christian would know immediately it was genuine, if you left out the part about being lesbian. Unfortunately, if you leave that in, most Christians would say she wasn’t really saved, since she is a practicing homosexual.

I was well on my way to total acceptance of homosexuality. When I returned to college, and got my Bachelor’s degree in 1996, my major was psychology. I learned that homosexuality was no longer considered a psychological disorder. My women’s studies course further broadened my views. As did the biology of psychology. Clearly the biology of sexuality and gender is much more complicated than most know.

Since I was online, I eventually became involved in Christian forums and groups. There, I quickly learned that I still had to keep quiet about accepting homosexuals. Most Christian forums don’t even allow you to promote the viewpoint that homosexuality is not sin. You will be warned or flat out banned, and will be called evil, unsaved, false teacher, and anything else they can think of. You will not, I assure you, feel the love.

Enter the age of Facebook. This is more to my liking. I can now finally be myself. Whereas I can’t express open support for gay Christians in forums, or in my church, I can on my Facebook page. And I have control over the content. Abusive people can be “unfriended” or blocked. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

I did eventually leave church, but not over the gay issue. My experience online and on Facebook led me to grace teaching (i.e. the finished work of Christ) and that changed my life. It also opened the way for unqualified acceptance of homosexuals, transgendered, and the intersexed.

Not that I’ve really gotten it. There will be stumbling blocks. Some things will surely still offend me. And I struggle with being judgmental about those who are judgmental. But love wins!

Now, after having read many personal testimonies of gay Christians, their horrible struggles, how they were treated by the churches, and how God brought them through it all, I am solidly a supporter.

One powerful story, and not for the easily shocked, is a book titled, “A Life of Unlearning”. It’s by Australian Anthony Venn-Brown, a former Assemblies of God evangelist. He was found out as a homosexual and was forced to confess publically. He was married with two children.
I have a few gay friends, mostly online. One is local and we have met and talked, and an awesome testimony of God’s love and acceptance was shared. All the arguments in the world can’t shake one good testimony! I could literally feel the love, the joy, the peace.

You have no idea how freeing it is to just be accepting. Judgment and condemnation sap your strength. Neither is from God. Both operated out of fear and performance and are based on laws and rules.

So, the Cheshire Cat’s grin has been followed by his tail and his body. Is he complete? Most likely not. I think he is changing even as I write. He is perhaps rainbow hued…..

What is Paul talking about in Romans chapter one?

Jesus said that all the law and the prophets were based on two things. We must love God with our whole being, and love our neighbor. And an overview of God’s acts throughout the scripture shows, among others, this theme:

God loves us.

God hates idolatry.

God hates mankind’s abuse of one another.

Now, since Paul is the apostle of grace, when he talks about sin and judgment, we have to understand the context and see his statements in light of grace. If we don’t, we have Paul saying two contrary and mutually exclusive things.

We are either forgiven, and dead to law and sin, or we must keep confessing sin and obeying the law to keep ourselves on God’s good side. It’s is not both.

Paul clearly says that having begun in the spirit, we cannot continue in law.

If we do, we are fallen from grace – meaning we have left grace and its benefits in our walk with Jesus. (It doesn’t mean we have lost our salvation. He does not un-adopt us.)

When we read Romans 1, particularly verse 26, we have become accustomed to the understanding that he is talking about homosexuality. But traditionally it was not understood that way.

Romans 1:26 says this: (King James) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature

Traditionally, the understanding is that Paul is talking about pagan, idolatrous, practices and rituals.

The Adam Clarke Commentary says, Verse 25. Changed the truth of God into a lie. In the place of the true worship of God, they established idolatry. In various places of Scripture, idols are termed lies. Isaiah 44:20; Jeremiah 10:14; 13:25. The true God was known among the primitive inhabitants of the earth, those who first became idolaters literally changed the truth of God into a lie: they did know the true God, but they put idols in his place.

Verse 26. For this cause God gave them up; idolatry necessarily produced all kinds of impurity. How could it be otherwise, when the highest objects of their worship were adulterers, fornicators, and prostitutes of the most infamous kind, such as Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, Venus, abominable evils with which the apostle charges the Gentiles in this and the following verse. I could produce a multitude of proofs from their own writings; but it is needless to make the subject plainer than the apostle has left it.

Verse 27. Receiving in themselves that recompense, the women and men, by their unnatural prostitutions, enervated their bodies, so that barrenness prevailed, and those disorders which are necessarily attendant on prostitution.

The whole context of this passage is men leaving their knowledge of God and creating their own gods to worship.

They got progressively more depraved in that worship, which employed temple prostitution, involving both males and females.

I like the Message Bible on this:

Romans 1:24-30 So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them–the God we bless, the God who blesses us.

Oh, yes! Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either–women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men

– all lust, no love.

And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it–emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches. Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating.

Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way.

I have emphasized the part about all lust, no love. Whether someone is gay or straight, debauchery is universally condemned (for it abuses God’s creature – mankind).

Whether gay or straight, loving God and one another is the thing.

I would rather have to account for loving too much than putting burdens on people that no one can stand under. That’s what the Pharisees did. Not for me, thanks. Goodness and love win.

Which takes us back to what Jesus said to do.

The short of it is that there are “experts” on both sides of this. I have chosen to draw a big circle and be inclusive. Now that I’ve done it, a huge weight has lifted. The judging, and dragging the law around, was a heavy burden. I lost the benefit of grace.

Jesus said His yoke was light.

Come to think of it, LOVE is the long of it too.

Because love never fails and love remains. The greatest thing is love.

 

RSS Charisma Ministries

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Grace Walk

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: