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DON’T WAIT FOR CHANGE, ACT NOW – POLITICS, LIFE, AND LOVE

Are you caught up in political insanity? Is the news bringing you down? Stop lashing out at people and show a little love and kindness. It is never wrong to do the right thing.

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LGBTQIA Pt. 1 – Christians Should Have Respectful Communication with Homosexuals

Tough Love

Tough Love

**Disclaimer** The opinions in this blog are my own and should not reflect negatively on my company, church, or family. They are not intended to cause hurt or pain to anyone, but rather to provoke a healthy discussion amongst thinkers. There is a huge chasm of diversity in my readers so if you choose to read, comment, or engage my audience, please do so with respect and professional courtesy.

The topic of homosexuality and the Bible has been debated and researched by some of the greatest minds of the last century. As with most debates, there are some solid arguments on both sides. This will be the first blog in a series dealing with the topic of homosexuality and the Bible. Although my primary focus is on professing Christians I welcome all to participate in the conversation. I should also acknowledge there is a wide continuum of responses from various Christian camps about how to interact with the gay and lesbian community, running the gamut from unconditional loving acceptance to malicious attacks based on bigotry and ignorance. Nobody wants to be identified with the latter category, but sadly, many of us have developed bad habits of poking fun and belittling a serious issue for the church to address.

I freely admit I do not understand some aspects of how to interpret the Bible on the subject of sexuality in general, let alone homosexuality. I am well aware of the verses condemning fornication and homosexuality and I am not dismissing them, as these will be addressed in a later blog. However, I see a huge disparity in the way many believers have traditionally understood these scriptures vs. my understanding of the nature of God and his Son. I will go on public record, if your version of the gospel includes being hateful, disrespectful, or causes you to make fun of a person because he or she is a part of the LGBTQIA community, consider yourself at odds with my doctrinal position. In fact, you need to repent. I know I have had to back up and re-evaluate my thoughts on this subject, because it was not as black and white as I originally thought.

We have to start communicating… people. How many gay people do you know? Are you able to politely and respectfully have a conversation with them about this topic? It may be awkward and uncomfortable, but take Stephen Covey’s advice from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”

The main reason I am isolating fundamentalist Christians is, they should know better. Most claim to have the final answer on doctrine and judgment. Folks like Pastor Jim Veitch, from Bible Truth Baptist Church in Georgia are not preaching the gospel when they publicly ridicule homosexuals from the pulpit. Look at the anger and riotous language he uses to motivate his crowd. No wonder hate crimes are on the rise, when people leave the church they leave God behind and take all the prejudices and anger with them. Where is the hope? How is this being a witness of the love of Christ to anyone inside or outside his building?

We can address the interpretation of sin in a later blog, but initially, let’s start with the saying, “it’s never right to do wrong.” Even when a person in the Bible was sinful and perverted, Jesus did not preach condemnation, but redemption. In fact, the harshest and most judgmental words He spoke were often directed at religious leaders. These New Testament preachers were hateful, arrogant, false teachers, and they were leading people have a false sense of security in being exclusive. Is it possible that this could happen today? Of course! Am I throwing out the baby with the bath water? No, but the first step to understanding the seriousness of this situation is to communicate. Based on the text, it appears Jesus spent a lot of time with sexual deviants and in almost every scenario He showed love and compassion. Are we doing that today? I am not saying that everyone in the LGBTQIA is a sexual deviant, but I am saying even if they were, hatred and sarcasm is not the answer building a relationship with them. Before you make fun of someone for being gay, think these questions: Are you strong in your faith? Are you unashamed of the gospel? Are you willing to lay down your life and try to help someone? Do you feel like you are right then be careful you don’t use your sword to bully. Basically, I say ut up or shut up!

To be continued…

**A few edits have been made to clarify points of confusion**

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Sometimes We Make Our Own Chains

Sometimes we are bound in chains of our own making.

Sometimes we are bound in chains of our own making.

Freedom of Religion is Based on Healthy Interpersonal Communication and the United States of America prides itself on this concept of freedom. Ironically it seems that more people are in bondage than ever before in the history of the country. Debt, substance abuse, greed, spiritual callous, and many other masters have enslaved Americans showing no quarter. Even before the colonies separated from the British, men like Roger Williams had a strong conviction that government and religion must have a wall between them. This wall was intended to protect the church from becoming corrupted by the government and visa-versa.

Another advocate for liberty sprang up in the twentieth century, Parker J. Palmer. He was an activist, educator, and leader for social change. I believe it is in his book, Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead he states, “Material realities … are not the fundamental factor in the movement of history. Consciousness is. Human awareness is. Thought is. Spirit is. Those are the deep sources of freedom and power with which oppressed people historically have been able to move immense boulders and create remarkable change.” Parker continues this thought, “consciousness precedes being, and consciousness can help deform, or reform, our world.” He seems to be saying self-awareness makes the difference in those bound and those who are free.

Paul the Apostle puts yet another unique spin developing this concept from looking past our own imprisonment toward that of others. After preaching (in bondage) what must have been a persuasive sermon before Festus and Agrippa he finishes, “I pray to God that not only you but also all who are listening to me today might become such as I am—except for these chains.” It appears that Paul’s openness and vulnerability may have been tugging at the heart of Agrippa that day. The most powerful imagery in this story is this, Paul is the only man in the room bound in chains, yet he clearly communicates that not only is he free, but he wishes they were as free as he was. Do we have the same opportunity to stand before this world in the bonds of debt, substance abuse, greed, and spiritual callous, along with many other masters and profess the same kind of liberty and freedom as Paul? What ever I am lacking in openness, I want to discover how to open those closed doors to my heart and then share the liberty with others.