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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

by Jim Gordon

We have talked about discrimination in regards to racism and women’s rights. Today we finish up by talking about another form of discrimination. The violation of LGBTQ rights and the hateful way many are treated.

Growing up in the church, I was always taught that the bible clearly stated that homosexuality was a sin. The thing with this was that I never questioned it or did any further study into it on my own. I just accepted what the pastor said, as I did most of what I was taught.

Over time I began thinking about the love of God. The bible said that God is love. Jesus told us to love God, love one another and love our enemies.

Throughout the gospels I read of the way Jesus lived on earth. He loved people. He never condemned, never judged, never played favorites. He treated people with respect and was inclusive of all. That made me begin to question why so many of his followers today act with such hatred and malice toward those they see as different than themselves.

I began reading books and listening to other views and realized there were other interpretations of the few verses I was always told condemned those who are LGBTQ. Such books as ‘Torn’ by Justin Lee, ‘God and the Gay Christian’ by Matthew Vines, ‘Unashamed’ by Amber Cantorna, ‘Is God a Gay Basher’ by Jan Liebegott and ‘Unclobber’ by Colby Martin. I read blog post by James Finn, Susan Cottrell and others who know what they are talking about and offered other explanations and interpretations of difficult bible verses.

Keith Giles published an article I found interesting entitled The word “Homosexual” does not appear In the Bible [Pre-1946]. Thus insinuating that there was another word and meaning in regard to homosexuality up until 1946 when the term was added.

Interpretations and beliefs aside, just reading about the nature of God as presented by Jesus, I could not understand nor believe that those who were born as LGBTQ were not loved or accepted by God. And if God accepts those who are LGBTQ, the rest of us should also.

After all, we are all human beings. The labels are added by groups of people and not God, labels which cause division, exclusion and people being treated as second-class citizens.

It is hard to believe that still today, LGBTQ people are so often discriminated against just because of who they love or how they feel they were created. Now, I am against lust and open sex just because it feels good whether it be between straight or LGBTQ people. I believe in committed, loving relationships between two people either straight or gay. I believe all the different gender identities covered as LGBTQ+ are people just wanting to be happy and accepted for being who they were created to be.

To be treated with hatred, to be looked down upon as sub-human beings, to not receive the same equal treatment and basic human rights as every other human being is just wrong. To be denied health care, housing, jobs, cakes, adoption privileges and being able to serve in the military just because of their gender is a terrible disservice to people that are loved by God. People who are loving, smart and capable of fulfilling their desires but are unable to do so because of all the unloving discrimination in our world.

What really gets me is that many times, not always, the most discriminatory actions and hate filled treatment comes from those who claim to be christians. Those who claim to represent God, who is love. They seem to show more hate and unacceptance than others. Those of us who follow the example of Jesus and who love God should be the biggest supporters, showing the love of God and being inclusive of all. Yet due to the mistranslation of some bible verses and due to taking what we were told or what we read without further study and follow-up, many choose to judge and condemn those who are LGBTQ without any further question.

As mentioned in my previous articles, those who are black/brown, female, and those with various religious and nationality backgrounds all deserve the same treatment and opportunities as anyone else. God did not make any mistakes or second-class human beings. All deserve the same human rights and equal treatment no matter what they believe, what they look like, who they love or how God created them.

It is time to forget the labels and see people as human beings. It is time we love God and love all people without the judgment, condemnation and hateful treatment we so often see in our world. It is time to follow the words of Jesus by loving God and loving one another.

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If you think by the title of this article that I am going to say being gay is a sin and they had better repent or else, you are wrong. I will not get into the debate of whether being gay is right or wrong, or of bashing other human beings. We see and hear enough of that kind of talk all over the place and truthfully, I think we should be above that way of acting and show the love and acceptance Jesus said we should have for one another.

For some reason or another, Christianity has made being gay the supreme sin of the world. Whether it is a sin or not is not for me to decide. I do know we ALL have sinned in one way or another. God showed us how to live a perfect life and none of us can do it. He knew we were unable to live a sinless life, and He sent Jesus to provide a better way, a way of grace. He did the work, now we can rest in Him.

Jesus told us to love others. He did not put us in charge of pointing out everyone’s differences or mistakes. We are all different in one way or another. Jesus came to show us that God loves and accepts us, and when he died he took our sinful nature and put it to death.

I recently saw an article somewhere that said gays hate Christians. First, I do not believe that, at least not for all gay people. Let’s face it, some gays do hate Christians, as do some straight people.

I really believe the problem for those who hate Christians is because they see Christians who are unloving, condemning and unaccepting. They seem more concerned about being right and getting their point across rather than showing the love of God. What those taking the brunt of such treatment so often do not see is the Father, who is love. They see people calling themselves Christians, yet not acting at all like God our Father, who loves all, accepts all and died for all.

Today what a lot of people see, and it seems especially gays, are people telling them they are bad, they are sinners, they are unacceptable, they need to change. Unfortunately, a lot of people saying these things are Christians who are supposed to be showing the love of God.

Jesus came to show us the Father. He came showing love and acceptance to all he met. In fact, the only ones you see Jesus having a problem with were the religious people of the day who thought they were better than everyone else.

love-yet-different

We can love and accept others even when we are different and do not agree. Loving does not mean always agreeing, but it does mean loving without condemning and expecting anything in return.

We can be Jesus to those we come in contact with each day, but let’s be the Jesus of the bible, who loves and accepts others. Let’s not be a jesus of religion who condemns those who do not believe and act like we expect.

God is love, and we, as followers of Jesus and representatives of God, are to be like our Father, loving everyone we meet along the way.

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With all that is going on in the news these days, especially here in the U.S., it makes a person wonder what this world is coming too.

Bruce Jenner and his gender change is getting national attention. Various police situations, the most recent being Ferguson and Baltimore are in the headlines. Racism, gay rights and many other situations are going on that seem to be escalating rather than improving.

There seems to be more and more unrest, with people getting very dissatisfied that nothing seems to be changing.

I’m not going to take up these issues directly and I certainly don’t have the answer that will satisfy everyone, but I will say that Christianity is not the answer. When I say Christianity, I’m talking about the religion with rules and regulations, do this, don’t do that, and all that comes to mind when talking about modern-day religion.

Loving and accepting others by the power of Christ from within is the only way that will make a difference.

I am disappointed to see so many people who follow Christianity being so mean and argumentative towards others who feel differently.

I see Christian people arguing, yelling at others, trying to prove their point and basically condemning them to their face. This kind of behavior certainly does not showing the love of Christ.

I personally feel that showing the love and acceptance Jesus showed to everyone he came in contact with while on earth is what is needed.

loveandacceptance

We are not called to condemn others, judge others or try to prove our point over theirs. Jesus said to love God and love others. It is not our job to judge and condemn, only to love.

That does not mean we have to agree with everyone. It doesn’t mean we condone everything others do. It just means that we can love and accept others as they are, and trust that God will bring about any changes. We are not the ones that need to point out things in others’ lives or try to force them to change. We can love them as they are and allow God to do the work.

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In our world today, people are constantly fighting over who is right and who is wrong, or whose rights have been violated. Abortion rights, women’ rights, gay rights, discrimination by race, gender, nationality and on and on it goes. I think we could come up with a different topic each day to fight and argue over.

In the natural world, I do not think this will ever change. Each of us want to have our rights upheld, and we do not want to back down from what we think are our rights.

In Kingdom living, I’m not sure any of us really have any rights. We have turned everything over to God and we let His life flow through us. At least, that is the way it should be. We have been crucified with Christ, we are dead to the old self and it’s no longer about what we want, or how we want it, but letting His love and compassion live in us every day.

God created man (being both men and women) in His image. No one group of humans are better than another. There is no upper, middle and lower class of human beings. We were created in His likeness, and we are equal in His eyes. Needless to say, in our world each of us grow up in different cultures and have different opportunities and lifestyles, so there are upper, middle and lower classes based on economics, but spiritually each of us are created equally in His image.

One area that has been given a lot of light recently is the decision in Indiana of the so-called Religious Freedom Act. Although I don’t understand the law completely, it is certainly not right for anyone to be discriminated against. Truthfully, I do not know why, especially in America, we need a religious freedom act. We already have all the ‘religious’ freedom we need. True, there are certain things we feel are being taken away, but honestly, we are free to love God, talk to God anytime and anywhere, love others, attend church or not attend church, and many other things without the fear of being put in prison or killed.

Acceptance1

In regard to the Religious Freedom Act, I personally believe the gay and lesbian community should be free to live their lives and be loved and accepted like anyone else. It seems we Christians want to demonize gay people and say they are worse than anyone else. I’m not sure why that is, but I certainly do not believe this is the way it should be.

Even those who try to show acceptance have a strange way of doing so at times, such as a recent posting I saw on Facebook stating something like .. Jesus ate with tax collectors and prostitutes, yet you can’t make a cake for a gay couple? I understand what they are trying to say, but to me the underlying message is still saying that being gay is a sin.

Truthfully, I don’t think we are to be the judge of such decisions. We are not called to say who is right or what is sinful. We are called to love God, love others and make disciples. The decision of who is right or wrong, what is sinful and what is not is in God’s hands, not ours. The Holy Spirit will convict the worldly of any sinfulness. We are to love everyone we come in contact with, and accept them as they are….just the way God did for us.

We all have different thoughts on what is right and wrong. What we feel is wrong, may not be wrong to someone else. No matter how we feel, do we have the right to point out the issues in someone’s life that we don’t agree with or accept? Many times we want to uphold our right to express our views and point out the differences of others, when we should not say anything, show God’s love and allow God to do what needs to be done.

It seems each of us have certain sins that we consider worse than others. I’m not sure why we are so hard on some things and yet never talk about others. You never hear, gluttons can’t eat at this restaurant…is that a sin or a poor life style? Cussing isn’t allowed around here…is it a sin or a bad choice of words? Smokers aren’t allowed here…is it a sin or an unhealthy choice? No divorced people allowed to participate in our church…is it a sin or a bad choice in your mate? Why do we make so much out of making it our right to point out what we consider sins or flaws in others when we should be showing Jesus and his love to them?

Let’s face it, we all sin at times. There are no levels of sin, none that is better or worse than another. Through Christ, our sinful nature was crucified and buried at the cross. We are now free of the sinful nature, although we obviously still sin when we take our focus off Jesus. Thank God our sins have been forgiven by Christ’s death because God has provided His grace for everyone.

GraceforAll

Just as much as we should love others and accept them for who they are, that doesn’t mean we are always going to agree. Each of us have our way of thinking and each of us have what we feel is right and wrong, and we don’t have to give that up. We do need to realize we are all different, we feel different ways about things, and we consider different things right and wrong. We should not discriminate against anyone for being different, and we should love and accept everyone and just agree to disagree on some things.

I think it is time to stop being negative and focusing on what we think is wrong, stop worrying about our rights and start realizing that God loves each of us. We need to stop putting people into groups we do not want to associate with or those we treat differently, and accept the fact that we are not all the same. We can accept and love one another in Christ by letting Him live through us, and loving those He brings into our lives each and every day.

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