What are we to do?

I recently started following a blog called Equipping Godly Women, and I enjoy it because like myself, she is Protestant and her husband is Catholic.  Recently she wrote a post about:

How Should Christians Respond to Target’s Bathroom Policy?

In the comments, a Teresa, who is a trans-gendered person, had this to say about the church and Christianity.  And I quote:

I disagree with your statements a bit. 1. Jesus multiple times references loving others, no qualifications, just love, correct?  2.  He NEVER ONCE mentions either trans or homosexuals, and as Hebrew 3:18 says, the old covenant (basically the laws of the old testament, is fulfilled with the coming of Christ.  Some have interpreted it to mean ONLY some things, and they chose and pick what is still valid, and what ISN’T, kind of hypocritical if they are claiming to be following the Word of God, of course WHICH Word of God will you follow?  Which of the over 200 versions of the bible to you believe?  So many people just find one that fits their beliefs, and believe THAT ONE is the one and only true Word of God, kind of makes them saying they know better than everyone ELSE, aka judgmental?

Sorry having a “crisis of faith” at the age of 11-12, and LOOKING for other spiritual philosophies to cover or explain what happened to me, I never found one that made any real sense.  No one has YET shown me anything to change my mind.  I do believe there is a higher being, of some sort, but what we have in the holy books of man are just that, books OF and BY men.  The fact the ones YOU are reading was originally ASSEMBLED by a group of men, rewritten many times by OTHER men, and mis-translated by even MORE groups of men shows it is NOT, and can NOT be the absolute, perfect word of God, sorry.

This is usually where I hear the quote “that the devil or his disciple will twist the word of God to their advantage” but isn’t this exactly WHAT Christians do?  They take ONLY the parts they like, dismiss the rest?  This is another reason I feel that “organized religion”, something JC was against by the way, is just a way to impose THEIR views on others not as intelligent, or those not as well-educated (biggest problem in the middle ease in most people estimation is illiteracy, so they ONLY know what their Mullahs tell them, just as it was in the deep south many decades ago (or some still today I guess)

This saddens me tremendously.  It is very clear that this person has never, ever truly felt loved.  Not by God, and certainly not by Christians.  And what has God has called us to do – to love.  Love in action, love in emotion, love in faith – it is the Greatest Commandment.

Mark 12:30-31 NIVLove the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.

I don’t know this person’s story – and I won’t even pretend to understand their story, or to understand what they are going through, or the absolute deep heartache that has pushed them to go to this extreme.  I don’t.  And I never will.  But, I do know pain.  It may not be the same pain as this person, but pain is pain.  I do understand hurt and I know rejection.  Sadly, only too well.  I understand what it feels like to be completely rejected by people who call themselves Christian.  It is the one reason that even though I am a complete born again believer, I hesitate to put my foot in Church.  I just can’t – the hypocrisy, and self-righteousness of many of the people there just send chills up my spine, as does my own hypocrisy and self-righteousness.  Baby Girl has been begging for a while to go to Sunday School.  After my experiences in church, I cannot – just cannot – bring myself to send her to Sunday School.  Isn’t that a crying shame?  Church should be the one place where all people, including whores, prostitutes, liars, murderers, trans-gendered, adulterers, fraudsters, anyone can come for grace and love and peace for their souls; where they can move beyond sin, and self-loathing, into love and grace and wholeness and acceptance.  Instead you have to look and act in a certain way when you attend Church before you can find acceptance.

However, where this writer and I differ, is that I know that the church is made up of people, fallen people, who even though seem to be able to only relate to others who look and sound just like them, these Church people are just as much in need of love and grace as anyone else.

And yes, the writer is correct – Christ did come to fulfill the law of the Old Testament, but because certain sacrifices are no longer required, doesn’t mean that we can ditch the whole thing and just do as we want.  I don’t understand the lifestyle of a transgendered person (or in fact many other different lifestyles), or agree with it, or even comprehend it: I have seen many verses condemning divorce and adultery, and only a few come to mind with regards to homosexuality.  So, while I am no expert by any means, it would seem to be that the breaking of the covenant of marriage is deemed far more serious in the Bible than homosexuality.  Now, I know the writer of the comment is transgendered, which doesn’t necessarily mean she is homosexual – I do get that.  But the bible makes no reference to transgendered, so homosexuality is the closest reference we have to work with.  I don’t think this gives anyone licence to do as they please, but I do think that in the order of things, divorce features on a higher priority level – just due to the number of times it is mentioned.  And why?  Because marriage represents God’s covenant; His relationship with mankind.  Break that up, and your whole view-point of God is distorted and broken.

I’m not sure where the commenter gets the notion that Christ was against organised religion – he was against blasphemy and hypocrisy that the organised religion of the day was about.  But, any religion that helps you find God and Jesus, that points the way to truth, and love, and God, – based on His word – I think will be fine – whether you’re Catholic, or Protestant, Charismatic…

And sadly I do agree that many Christians only take from the Bible what they want to take – and use the rest to judge and ignore as they deem fit.  The whole point is a relationship with Christ, growing closer to God, and believing in His son who came to die for us and to bring us to Heaven.  It is a shame that many – myself included – pick and choose verses they like only to ignore important verses that don’t really suit them.  It is wrong, something I feel convicted of right now.

But, what is the point?

What are we to do?

We are to love.  If people are not feeling the love of God then we are failing miserably as Christians.

1 Corinthians 13:13 NIVAnd now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

It is NOT our job to understand, or to make people conform to our way of thinking, or to change people to ways that we find acceptable – it our job quite simply to love them.

It is God’s job to change and to heal – only He can see into their hearts and only He truly knows their hurts, their heartaches, their pain.

It is not our job to add to their hurts and frustrations – as Christians we are called to be the light of the world; to show the world who Christ is through love.  And it is difficult to understand what we are supposed to do with all this; how are we supposed to handle these types of situations.  I can’t tell you, because I don’t know…  I just know that when people truly feel loved, and are willing to put in the hard work of healing, many more doors open to them through God’s grace than just the one option of living with that hurt, of feeling that there is no alternative, that they’re stuck where they are.

God’s love always bring truth, healing and a change to be more like Christ.  And that love comes through the arms and hands of the people in His church.

Having said all this, however, doesn’t mean that the truth spoken in love will feel all nice and warm and fuzzy.  Sometimes the truth hurts – no matter how much the person is loved.  Sometimes, the truth is not what we want to hear – that doesn’t make the message wrong or the person giving the message a hypocrite.  Someone may not want to hear that the person they’re having sex with and who is not their spouse is adultery – they may not want to hear that message, no matter how in love they may think they are.  The truth is still the truth.  They are still committing adultery and moving further and further away from being like Christ.  And being told that won’t be an easy message to receive – even when told in love.

Very often people lash out at Christians and call them judgmental and lacking love and abusing God’s word and scripture-hopping, when in fact all they’ve done is told the truth.  People may not want to hear that homosexuality is wrong, and they may not want to hear that a whole lot of other things are wrong – like adultery, sex before marriage, lying, stealing, divorce, etc, but it is still wrong.  Even if I don’t like the message or the messenger – my not liking it doesn’t change the fact that it is in God’s word and that it is the truth according to the Bible.

So, yes, I can hate not being told something in love – but if I just hate the message because it goes against something I believe is right for me, then I have to question my motives, question what I understand the message to be, and question whether I have the right to change the message just because I want to.

But, what is the point?

What are we to do?

We are to love.  If people are not feeling the love of God then we are failing miserably as Christians.  And when we’ve given the truth, in love, and it is a truth that they will battle to come to terms with, then we love.  We just love!  Let God be God, and we just love.

Carrying on my journey of gratitude – to change my thinking and to appreciate what God has blessed me with:

I am grateful for so many things right now – writing this blog post has made me realise just how much healing I have received.  How far I have I have come in my journey towards wholeness.  I am grateful that God has quite literally grabbed the bull by the horns, so to speak, and shown me how toxic my thinking was, and has shown me a way forward to change my thinking – to think God’s thoughts.  I am grateful that no matter how much I can despair in this life, God will never give up on me (or any of us).  I am grateful that I am a believer – that He loves me, loves us all, and that we can all through His grace have salvation and love in our lives.  I am grateful that with God we need never fear; God is always on our side.  I am grateful that salvation comes just from accepting Jesus into our hearts – He will do the rest (sometimes though we need to stop fighting it, and surrender ourselves to the truth of His word).  I have so much to be grateful for…

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