Christians Who Still Donít Get What Jesus Is All About
Despite polls showing that the majority of Americans are accepting of gays and lesbians and same-sex marriage; most Christian Church denominations still will not declare that God could love, forgive, accept and save GLBT people.
For these Christians it is a closed issue. End of discussion.
No matter what anyone says, they will NOT accept that GLBT people can be Christian or that God will accept them into His Kingdom. They quote a handful of Bible verses and quote Paul who seems to say that such people will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Well for those who study the Bible, they must know that slavery is upheld in the Bible, polygamy occurred with many Bible figures, women were 2nd class citizens and the Christian faith does not follow the Old Testament rules, commandments and traditions set out by Moses, yet they insist they follow everything in the Bible.
Christians today eat pork and shrimp, don't stone their rebellious sons, support women's rights and are OK with divorce. Well, if they are so adamant about following the Bible, why are their attitudes different about these issues?
The Word of God is the LIVING Word.
When Jesus came, He brought the Holy Spirit to continue His work after He was gone and the Spirit of God has changed the hearts of His people and brought us closer to the heart of God and the Spirit is STILL MOVING today.
The Spirit led us to understand that even after centuries, slavery is ultimately wrong and unjust. And after centuries, discrimination because of race is very wrong. The Spirit led us to understand that anything harmful done against another person...is a SIN.
Yet humankind is stubborn and refuses to heed the Spirit. We are stuck in our ways, don't like change and tend to go along with everyone else. And because of church doctrines, traditions and history, they don't like the idea of rocking the boat lest the one doing the rocking gets kicked out.
But to NOT LISTEN TO THE SPIRIT...is well...not such a smart thing for any church that proclaims to be seeking God's will.
Discrimination against GLBT people among Bible believing Christ serving churches is STILL ALIVE by most major Christian denominations, though they won't admit it.
Though Jesus never said ANYTHING about GLBT people, let's consider His ministry.
Remember the adulteress who was brought to Jesus? (John 8: 1-11). Well she was just about to be stoned by the top religious leaders who also quoted Bible verses to Jesus as they were picking up rocks. Yes, the BIBLE clearly DOES HAVE a commandment by Moses that all adulterers are to be stoned. So what gives? Why didnít Jesus go along with them and the Bible? After all the Pharisees were technically RIGHT!
Because when Jesus came to earth, He brought something the world could not recognizeÖGodís LOVE.
Jesus brought unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness to the world. That love changed EVERYTHING. He forgave the adulteress and took her away from the blood-thirsty religious crowd who wanted to see the LAW fulfilled, even if it meant her death. Compassion was not even in their vocabulary.
In Jesusí day, the poor and the sick were considered sinful. It was believed that God did not heal or bless people who were unrighteous, sinful, unforgiven, unclean or unrepentant. Poverty, disease and bad fortune was Godís punishment for their sin or the sin of their parents. But Jesus' ministry showed that these were false assumptions.
In His ministry Jesus forgave, healed and ministered to the blind, the disabled, the mentally ill, an adulteress, a prostitute, a tax collector, foreigners, lepers, a convicted thief...all the undesirables of society that the upright, righteous religious people turned up their noses against. He forgave them their sin, healed their bodies and cleansed their spirits. He loved them and they loved Him back. Jesus showed them that sin is NOT an obstacle to God and broke down all the walls that kept man from God and each other.
Still the religious diehards refused to budge. They had to keep the walls up and separate themselves to keep the unclean, dirty SINNERS away from them. That was the way they were taught, but Jesus made it very clear that they were WRONG.
So do you still believe that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Christians will not be accepted into Godís Kingdom? We who are set apart, scorned, ridiculed, taunted and abused by the world?
Jesus taught us not to judge ANYONE and to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves, to forgive our enemies, to welcome strangers and forgive those who hurt us. His ministry was ALL ABOUT removing the obstacles between us and connecting us back to God and to each other. Jesus was not about dividing and excluding, but healing and learning to love each other, no matter who we are. Jesus came to bring back LOVE.
Jesus had a lot to say to the self-righteous religious leaders. Why? Because corrupt leaders, ministers and teachers raise up corrupt followers. Jesus' harshes words were not aimed at the people, but to the leaders who were tearing apart God's Word.
The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18: 10-14) showed the difference between the self-righteous, upright Pharisee who thought he was honky dory with God while the humble publican declared that he was a sinner.
In Jesus' Parable of the Good Samaritan, (Luke 10:25-37) it was the scorned foreigner who did the work of God helping a beaten down man, while a priest and a Levite walked away.
And just as in those times, today there are religious people who put up walls against outsiders...sinners. They study the Bible backwards and forwards and can quote every verse verbatim, but they still donít understand the heart of God.
"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." - John 5:39-40
They hold on to any reason to keep themselves above while pushing others down. That is why God will declare, "I never knew you".
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ -Matthew 7:21-23
They labored over details of the law but had no sense of what God really wanted from them.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! -Matthew 23:23-24
The Parable of the Sheep and Goats tells us what is missing with so many Christians: LOVE.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” -Matthew 25:31-46
Christians scour the Bible to make sure we're doing everything right- "Tell me what to do and I'll do it". It is easy to love the rules, commandments and laws because it is spelled out for us and easy enough to do. But we fail to acknowledge the elephant in the room -LOVE. We don't understand that we cannot serve God if LOVE is missing from the equation.
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
-1 John 4:8
Jesus proclaimed to the Pharisees that they could not recognize God because of the hardness of their hearts and that even the rocks at their feet would sing Godís praises if they would not. He wanted them to know that their hearts were harder than rocks with no feeling, love or humility! (Luke 19:37-40)
“But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not lament.’ -Matthew 14:16-17
Jesus even told them to their face that He was on to them. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”-Matthew 23:13
By the way, the reason they are not entering in themselves, is because their lack of love disqualifies them.
And so too today we have Christians who are trying to block salvation from GLBT people, by continuing to insist that God will not accept us unless we somehow become like them.
So many Christians today say they follow Jesus, yet, they don't act or live like Him at all. They have deluded themselves.
So is it really a far cry to believe that God loves, fellowships and accepts the praises of His GLBT Children? God loves EVERYONE equally and there is NO ONE who is closed off from Him. Given Jesus' track record, do you really still think that Jesus would close His heart to His GLBT children who cry out to Him?
“Then who can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”-Mark 10:26b-27
And so for any son and daughter of God, whether gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, intersexual or queer who has been abused, hurt, ostracized, rejected, pushed away or blocked by these controlling, condescending religious people...KNOW that God does not go along with them and has no issue with you at all. As Jesus said, all you have to do is knock and He will come to you.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” - Rev 3:20
No matter who you are, God only has LOVE FOR YOU and wants you to love Him too and no one can tell you otherwise.
“Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” - Colossians 3:11
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