Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘GLBT

In thinking about the Penn State mess I wondered if I would have enough courage to buck the system and be a whistle blower. Would you? It takes courage to swim against the established tide. JoePa was a force who didn’t want trouble, and to come against him didn’t happen. And because of that no one was a voice for those boys. As hindsight we can look back and say “oh yes”, but really??? Would you lose your job for someone?

Would you dare lose your standing in the community to stand up for someone…would you be like Jesus and love even though you might be called a sinner and be ridiculed? I think doing that would be radical for Jesus.

That’s grace and that’s hard.


I recently heard a minister say that America isn’t a Christian nation anymore. We conservatives like the idea of a Christian nation—I know I do. I’m thankful that I don’t live in 1940’s USSR or 1970’s China, but as it applies to eternity location doesn’t matter. Because our citizenship is in heaven, Paul said for us to be content whatever our situation might be: whether we’re in America on a Sunday morning or in the salt mines of Russia.

This minister—Scott Lively—has stated that Uganda is a Christian nation because they are taking a stand against homosexuality. Apparently this must be Mr. Lively’s litmus test for what constitutes a Christian nation. In watching the documentary Missionaries of Hate, I heard a Ugandan pastor preach about gay sex practices—extreme information that would be similar to a minister preaching that all heterosexual couples use whips and chains—yep, that extreme. However, sex details of any kind are inappropriate to be included in a sermon. As he spoke the congregation was ‘in a lather’ against the gay community. A message of this kind only sows seeds of hate and fear.

What would Jesus do—in Uganda, for instance? The only lifestyle Jesus challenged was those people who believed that they were holier than others. Jesus looked at all men and women as being precious to God, and wanted us to give unconditional love to our neighbors. Read Matthew 22:36-39: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Right now in Uganda there’s a critical piece of legislation that we conservatives need to say a hearty “no” to its passage. This bill seeks to imprison or execute homosexuals; it’s morally wrong and totally un-Jesus. As Christians we need to actively oppose this legislation. Why? Let me offer a few reasons…

  • First, it’s wrong to target the gay and lesbian community—or any community. An example we can surely remember is how several school shooters targeted the football players. In the end only God knows what’s in a man’s heart, and our command is to love.
  • Secondly, this legislation is fertile ground for a ‘witch hunt’ if someone wanted to get even with another person; or if someone assumed the ‘guilt’ of another simply because of that person’s manner of speech, dress or associations.
  • Finally, if it starts in Uganda, where will it end and what other groups will be targeted as part of ‘cleansing’ the nation? Germany is a good example of this type of cleansing.

I think Martin Luther King stated it quite well in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail: …I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Please speak out for those who need your voice. Consider the words of Martin Niemoller:

“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

I’ve been reading some books lately that are along the same subject: what does the world think of us? Us being conservative Christians…or simply Christians. In my humble opinion I think many Christians take liberty in the verse that says “the world will hate you because it hated me first” (loosely translated from John 15:18). Being a jerk doesn’t qualify for ‘being hated’ in the manner Jesus was talking about.

The first person I think of regarding a misuse of this verse is Fred Phelps. He isn’t liked because exhibits no Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). But where are we creating a problem that interferes with people coming to Jesus?

One area I believe is when we mix politics and Jesus. Jesus was about sacrifice and grace (unconditional love) that draws people. Now let me just jump right in and be more specific with a current event…when we’re out in force saying rude and unkind things about our President, then non-Christian say “oh yes, they’re political, therefore Christians are…” So when violent calls are made to political foes, people see Christianity as being a violent political religion. Jesus tells us to be content no matter what the circumstances. Therefore when I can’t get into a doctor for six months–I will have to rely on Him to help me through. Total trust in Jesus, now isn’t that a novel concept? I wish it was 1960 again but it isn’t and I know that Jesus will keep me even in the darkest hour of need.

Try reading Lord, Save Us From Your Followers! by Dan Merchant (or just get the video!) or unChristian by David Kinnaman (this is back by research done by the Barna group, a recognized church research organization.

For the last ten years I’ve been trying to see things from a different perspective than Southern United States, conservative Christian doctrine. I started by reading the Bible for myself and not through the eyes of “pick and choose” and “this is what my seminary taught”. Then I got very basic when I started seeing real life situations bleeding before my very eyes. Case 1: Pillar of the church family in Big Southern Town, USA where the family helped to start the church, Dad was head of the ruling board of that body. Mom was director of the children’s ministry. Only son came out as gay and the church “didn’t need them anymore.” Case 2: Wife is abused, but church members secretly gossip about what she did to ‘make him do it’ and will there be a divorce. Case 3: Gay father wants custody of teenage son. Mom and stepdad are abusing him. I was helping the father, and when I asked for prayer, a church friend said “well, I don’t think that is a good idea.” The boy was being routinely beaten and more. The judge in the case refused to listen to the boy or the father because the father was gay. The judge got his position because of family values and being a Christian. However, his honest desire to serve families was marred by idiotic teaching that a gay father cannot love his son and protect him as much as a heterosexual parent.

Not that all issues are gay-straight, but gay is the issue of the last two or three decades that divides the church. Before that it was Women’s Rights and before that it was the race issue…were we going to let “colored people” go to church with us? Ugh!!!! I moved to Alabama in 1964 and I can tell you it wasn’t pretty. We lived in a place that was ruled by the KKK. Sunday morning pew warmers (I will not call them Christ Followers even though they identified themselves as Christian) who had hate in their hearts for African Americans.

Therefore, use this Holy Week of the Christian faith to look at your life and how others see it. Choose to change to a course of being a Christ Follower…Red Letter Christian (i.e. do what Jesus said in the red letters) and forget all the other. Be His example!

I’ve been pondering this blog for quite some time. Actually it was before Thanksgiving that I began thinking about it, and as we get within hours of Christmas, I’m continuing to think of family. Tomorrow Liz and Chris will be arriving from Virginia, and Mom from Alabama. Friday my brother and his family will be coming for a couple of days. While I could survive one holiday without family, it would only be because I knew they would be there for the next one.

Three weeks ago my close friend lost one of her sons. In a flash a young man who finally had a goal and was making plans for his life was gone. In another part of town there’s a child I see frequently when I’m out. This child has no idea that I know who she is. She only knows family on one side because of a murder many years ago. One side took the kids and the other never made an attempt to make peace. There I am looking and thinking “wow if your family could only see you”—actually I know the family who doesn’t know the child. They are listen among the super-Christians in my hometown. Yet…a child who has their blood doesn’t know them.

There are many reasons why people don’t see their families over the holidays other than weather or distance. When we first married our church took in a girl who had been disowned by her family because she was pregnant. Others aren’t welcome because they’re _____.

Jesus was born so he could take our sin. He was born to die so we could have life. Our eternal security is based on the fact that Jesus gave unconditionally to people who didn’t deserve it.

If this holiday comes and your family isn’t there. Make the call. Open the door and welcome those who haven’t been home in a while. Make Jesus the reason…He did it for you.

I was driving down Church Street the other day and glanced over at an old church here in town; a famous town landmark. It is also famous for a sign they put in the window a few years back. This sign said everything about the heart of the church. Here it is: if you expect us to give you food go somewhere else. Obviously this old church with its spectaculor downtown tax-exempt property didn’t like the idea of smelly people who needed food messing up their campus. And one day Jesus will say something like: depart from me because you never knew me.

Feeding someone might be food. Or it might be a welcoming embrace of a friend or family member who needs to come home. It’s the holiday season. Remove the barriers to God by opening your heart to …. and you fill in the blank.

Hasn’t the news been full of deaths lately? Some expected, some a shock, and most untimely. We just returned from a family reunion in Houston. It was great! We left with our souls over-flowing with love, both given and gotten. So how does this all weave together—other than the fact we were on our way to the family reunion when we heard about Michael Jackson?

People have a need for their family to ride out the bad times, but also be there to help restore lost souls. The Lord is the one who ultimately restores our souls, but He makes good use of our family in the process. When they’re there, who else do you need? What happens, then, to people without family (either blood or by religious bond)?

I heard Chuck Smith, Jr. once say that when a person isn’t allowed in church, or to come home it’s like a musical piece that abruptly stops without warning. Even the non-musical sorts can discern that something isn’t right. When we separate from our loved ones because of a matter we disagree with…whether it’s spiritual, personal, or because of an argument about dish washer detergent (it’s happened!)…it is a song that isn’t finished, and leaves all persons with a void.

Many conservative Christian communities embrace the concept of disfellowship. There’s scripture selected for this practice. I can remember 40 years ago I had a relative-in-law disfellowshipped from the church because he killed his wife…nothing was said about the wife’s many transgressions, or the fact the fatal bullet may not have come from his gun because it was like an Old West shootout; it was messy. However, I was 15 when this happened, and considered disfellowship a wrong practice for these reason:

  1. If he killed a person, wouldn’t it be good to have him in church? Just when you need to embrace the Savior, the people who know Him just don’t think you belong with them even though it says in the Bible that murder is a sin like gossip and lying and coveting…
  2. The concept of disfellowship goes against the grain of what Jesus taught. He embraced all the outcasts and seemed to have a distaste for those religious sorts who thought they were better than everyone else (i.e. see the church disfellowship voters in #1).
  3. And then, finally, if gay people don’t belong in church (I’ve heard this twice in the last few weeks from people outside my geographical region) because of their sin…hum…well, then how are they to know how much Jesus loves them? And what about sin in the church, I mean if we kick out people because they aren’t clean enough to come into the church…my, my, my…let me think about people who are dirty with gossip and lying and coveting, for starts.

We conservatives don’t have an exclusive club with a secret knock. We have a building of whosoevers who have joined because Jesus lives in their heart, OR they are seeking to find out more about Jesus. If we rip the final chord from the song, then we’re left without a song. If we don’t allow certain people in a church, then we’ve forced people to believe that God doesn’t love them. Their hearts are then broken and they may seek other things to heal that hurt, or to fill the void. When we don’t allow our family members to come home “until they repent,” then we shut a door.

We have been given a great salvation, and to whom much is given, much is required. Open the door and welcome in that lost child…extend grace….love beyond reason and God will change your heart!










Last week the girls and I vacationed in the Washington, DC area, and were able to get in a few hours at the Smithsonian. As an added bonus we got to see the new Night in the Museum movie at the Air and Space Museum. What a treat! However, this week the series of museums were in the news when a shooter went into the Holocaust Museum with a gun and killed a guard. It was his hatred and feeling of superiority that led him there.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’m quite familiar with that type of attitude. In 1964, when I was ten, we moved into the heart of the KKK. In an effort to recruit my father (futile effort), he was made privy to physical acts of violence against African Americans in that year and place. The men who did this had hearts that were warped in a superiority-type of hatred for another group of people.

Amid all this with the shooter and the reminder of modern-day hate crimes, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the issues around legalism. This problem occurs when we believe we’re superior. We might not be shooters or even have an active “soap box,” but I challenge my fellow conservatives to step back and look at our actions….in a way that we make sure we’re never guilty of this aire of superiority.

One story that my oldest daughter told me was about a girl who had been active in church, then got a new boyfriend and eventually moved in with him. Now she isn’t permitted in church. What???? What’s this Body of Believers thinking? Is the church a social club for the “good people”–oh yes, good people, I guess that never sin.

Sin is more than just the outward and obvious. It is all about the heart. Remember the Pharisees…they did everything right according to the Law. However, Jesus wasn’t impressed with their pure actions, and said their hearts were sinful–just as sinful as those men in Fosters, AL in 1964. As conservatives we somehow tend to overlook the heart-based sins and instead point fingers at those who are in a “sin” that we can see with our eyes.

Therefore, my conservative friends, please examine your heart. When you judge by the length of a person’s hair, skirt, relationships, or the type of praise music and style of worshiping the Lord, etc. you are judging by externals. Turn and allow the Lord to move within you to more understanding, an act of grace, or examine your own heart for the personal issues you need to address.

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Gal. 5:13-15.