After a couple of recent conversations and reading I'm A Christian, Unless You're Gay and ATeen's Brave Response To "I'm A Christian, Unless You're Gay", I've been fired up and I can't get it out of my mind, so I've decided to write a blog post.
I think both articles are amazing and inspiring and I think Dan Pearce makes some very good points. Hate based on discrimination and prejudice is one of the fundamental reasons for many of the world's problems. I believe greed is another, but that's a whole different story and would require another blog post!
So, why do we disapprove, dislike or disown people just because we differ in opinion? Being the idealistic person that I am, I dream of a world without hate or war. Realistically I know this isn't going to happen. When I think of how much injustice and suffering there is in the world, it seems pretty impossible to change it. We can't change it all, but we can try and I plan to spend my life trying.
I've noticed some people are reluctant to talk to me about sensitive issues, because they think I won't approve or I will dislike them because what they've done or what they think isn't considered acceptable by my faith. My response is that everyone is a sinner and I've done and I think a lot of things that aren't always considered acceptable by my faith. Society's perception of Christians is often that they are brainless weirdos who don't understand the concept of fun and condemn anyone who does anything that might be considered a sin. I beg to differ.
I'm not saying all Christians are perfect...
Westboro Baptist Church the USA is a fine example of judgemental Christians. I'm very sure I'm not the only person who feels sick with anger after seeing this kind of image.
Those who don't follow a religion aren't the only ones who live in fear of being judged. I have some issues which I am terrified of sharing with anyone because it can be seen to contradict my faith. I've lost friends because they disagree with how I think and feel and now I am fearful that this might happen again. Is who I am best left unsaid?
I try to love others, but it doesn't seem like I'm doing enough. The stereotypical image of Christians needs to be broken and I definitely think us Christians need to be a lot less judgemental. I'm not perfect, nobody is perfect. I've been judgemental in the past and I've made lots of mistakes. Sadly, I've lost friends because of my mistakes but I've learnt that what I did was wrong. We need to be more accepting of everyone as a diverse community. Why reject someone because of their gender, race, sexuality, nationality, religion, choice of clothing, style of hair, favourite music, whatever? We can't pick and choose who we decide to love, although I'm sure most of us are guilty of doing this, I know I am. Did Jesus decide some people weren't good enough to be loved? No, he spent time with prostitutes and tax collectors, the outcasts of society.
Is what other people do for us to judge? I thought God was supposed to be the judge. Would we want others to judge us in the same way that we judge them? How can we properly judge someone when we don't know every single detail of their life? Can we really make assumptions of a homeless person, when perhaps they are homeless because they were abused at home and ran away? We don't have full understanding of the world, we didn't make it. So can any of us, regardless of religious beliefs, try to dictate what's right and wrong? No, we can't.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them "Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her"
John 8:7 (NIV)