Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I don't know your Jesus

Jared, if you are truly following Jesus Christ, then you should repent of homosexual behavior and follow SEXUAL PURITY. If you aren't following Jesus Christ, then do whatever you desire. Kind Regards, ___
I never replied to that message. In fact, I "archived" it, meaning I attempted to delete it and Facebook said it was archived, so I could still bring it up, but it wouldn't be in my regular message listing.

What does being a Christian mean? According to its Greek origin as a word, it means "Follower of Christ."

Okay, so someone who follows the teachings of Christ? And what did Christ teach?

Love. Repeatedly throughout the Gospels, Jesus rarely condemns anyone. He mentions a final judgement, but He makes clear that this is done by God, His Father, not Himself. Right down to the end of Jesus' story, He practices love for everyone, even the people nailing Him to a cross to have Him die a gruesome and painful death, even praying "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

And those words seem to sum up mainstream Christianity very well. Christians don't know what they're doing.

I posted on Facebook and Twitter today about how people call president Obama the Antichrist and how his newly-revealed stance in favor of gay marriage is likely going to make people reiterate that statement.

However, I pointed out that the way mainstream Christians act, the Antichrist is actually looking like a good thing. "American Christians by their actions in the name of Christ say that Jesus was into favoritism, and hated people that didn't agree with his actions," I posted. Antifavoritism and antihate would be nice.

I went to church for over 20 years. I heard the message that "your actions reflect Jesus" many many times. It's even the concept of that "What Would Jesus Do?" craze. The thing is, while Jesus, according to the Gospels, had no limit to His love, his self-proclaimed "followers" are making limits. I understand being human and reaching your limits, but this isn't the same thing. The people who taught me those things are the first ones to shun and condemn gay people. Way to follow Matthew 7, people.
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
The best Bible student I know (my mother, who has made the effort to display love to people who drink, smoke, and are of differing sexual orientation) explained to me that "judge" in this context means "criticize and condemn." This is the words of Jesus, the basis of Christianity, yet it seems so hard for people who call themselves Christians to follow. Frankly, I've seen people who claim to be atheists who are better at following this.

The man who sent me that message basically told me that if I was gay, I shouldn't be a Christian. If the belief of Christians is that anyone who does anything you don't agree with is unworthy of God's love, then maybe I don't want to be one. At least, not by this definition.
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." — John 15:12
I think I'd rather live by this commandment of Jesus rather than trying to hold everyone to my criteria.


Sammy Moshe said...

Jared, I don't say stuff like this lightly, but I can count the number of sincere Christians I've ever met on one hand. They're actually pretty easy to spot.

They know their material, and they have this sincere christ-like way about them. They're never pushy about their beliefs, and they're kind to people, even beyond the point I would personally consider reasonable.

In the years I've known you, Jared, I have always considered you one of these people. And I honestly don't think you've done anything to be ashamed of. It's the way you are, man. There's nothing wrong with the way god made you, unless you're going to concede that god can be wrong.

My only thought is that that the person who's sending hate messages your way has not read and understood his bible. If anyone should stop calling himself a Christian, it's him. Not you.

Take care.

Leanne said...

Some reading material for Christian friends whom show hatred towards gays. It's worth the few minutes to sit down and read this.

Jared said...

That's a powerful article, Leann.

What I find disturbing is the guy saying I should repent of "homosexual activity."

Yeah, because since I'm gay, I must be sleeping with a different guy every night. Oh, or maybe the sin lies in adding to my wardrobe!

I didn't even "lie with another man," so I don't get what automatically makes me sinful.

Shaun O'Donnell said...

The sad truth as Sam has said is that most people have not read or understood the teachings of the Bible. I get a lot of flack for saying this, but historically and even today it is true. The Bible is the Word of God, written and Interpreted by Man.

At it's core the bible is the word of God, and if you read and study it than the true meaning of what God is teaching and how he wants us to live is there. Unfortunately there are far to many blind Christians, and worse those who use the Bible to push their own personal agendas.

It saddens me to see Gods words and works used in such ways, but sadly it is the truth. I said before that you were incredibly brave for coming out and stating who and what you are, and I know that you have a better understanding of the Bible than many "Christians" out there.

Your a good man, and a better Christian. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm proud to have you as a brother dude, and I take no shame in saying that.

Anonymous said...

Who is anyone to judge anyone else?

The Bible is one of my favourite books. But it's only a book. - An out of date book chock full of contradictions.

I feel sorry for whoever sent that message to you. It's a horrible thing to say to someone else.
Safe to say that that person's life has something missing otherwise, why should they preach to you how to live yours?

So far as I know, you only get one life and you should live it and be happy.
Best wishes,
Your non believing pal, Al Cook.