Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Freshman English

I have recently returned to college and am working on a degree in Information Systems. Now I haven't been to college since 1990 and I am certainly feeling my age, lol. I had almost 100 hours towards a Bachelors Degree in Pastoral Ministry, but only 9 hours transferred in and none of those were for Freshman English 1. I am now retaking it and my professor, who seems like a really nice guy, is causing me brain freeze. You know the kind, it's like an ice cream headache. Anyhow, I am having to do a lot of writing, which is good, so I will be doing some extra blogging on who knows what. So stay tuned.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Romans, Paul and Judging

I am setting here doing some reading and studying, on hell actually.  It’s something that’s been on my heart for awhile.  Don’t worry I am not that strange, I will post about it at a later time.  Anyhow I came across a few verses, that I have heard all my life and preached a few sermons on and some thoughts popped into my head that I wanted to share.

Romans 14:11-13

  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 
  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 
  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

especially verse 13- Let us not judge one another anymore,but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

  (I have inserted the Greek from Strong’s dictionary)

Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: - avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

How many have been driven away from God or kept away from Him because of the behavior and treatment that they have received at the hands of so called Christians.  The church, especially the Evangelical and the fundamentalist branches are full of judgments and condemnations of people and entire groups of people. 

The church has come along way in regards to it’s treatment of racial minorities and women, there’s still a lot to do, but progress has been made.  It’s now time for the church to stop being a stumbling block or a hindrance to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people from coming into the family of God. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Listening to Jesus

I’m definitely frustrated, bordering on being just plain angry.  This is been something tha I have been contemplating on and praying about for a while.  Certainly more contemplating then praying, sorry to say.  We started attending church when I was 8 years old, I am now almost 41.  I’ll let you do the math, as I hate math.  I started preaching revivals at 17 went off to bible college and after 3 1/2 years of college I dropped out before being kicked out.  I bought into all that I was told about being gay, never investigated for myself because after all, my denominational officials, my fellow students and professors, my friends wouldn’t steer me wrong would they?  I mean my brothers in Christ, who I studied with, prayed with, cried with, laughed with, counseled with wouldn’t just write me off.  Would they? 

Now on one hand I understand that most Christians don’t really study the scriptures, they may read them, if they do even that, but to really study them, the original languages, their historical context, etc. most Christians don’t do that.  They let their ministers do that for them!  So when the ministers, for whatever reasons don’t, the average congregant takes what comes from the pulpit as the “gospel truth” when it is really an interpretation.  I don’t want to sound arrogant, I don’t expect everyone to come up with the same outcome of those scriptures that I did.  I will say that I could be wrong, I don’t believe that I am, but that is where faith and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead a person comes into the equation. 

You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to like me, but you don’t get to tell me that I am not a Christian.  You don’t get to judge me that way, Jesus himself said so:

Don't condemn others, and God won't condemn you. God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them. You can see the speck in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the log in your own eye. How can you say, "My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye," when you don't see the log in your own eye? You're nothing but show-offs! First, take the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend's eye.
(Mat 7:1-5)(Contemporary English Version)

I think the Christian church, the evangelical mainly and the fundamentalist especially, needs to get back to the teachings of Jesus.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Assumptions and wordplay

It’s no secret that I am gay, I don’t think it is anyhow, and also most who know me know that I was involved with the ex-gay movement for quite a long time before I was able to reconcile my faith with my sexuality.  I am not saying that anyone who holds to the ex-gay school of thought is wrong, each person must live his/her own life.  I don’t have the right nor the obligation to judge anyone’s life or behavior, as long as you are not going around bringing harm to people that is.  I try very hard not to judge you, I may not hang out with you, but I will do my very best to not judge you.  Now I have said that to say this, I have heard various people within leadership of the ex-gay movement talk about self actualization, and being free to live your life gay if you want to, that they exist to help those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality, etc. etc.  But I have noticed from their writings those subtle little messages that they pass along to their readers either knowingly or unwittingly, but conveyed anyhow.  For instance whenever they refer to a church that is primarily made up of gay and lesbian Christians is seems to be the “gay” church.  Or when they talk about  those of us who have been able to reconcile our Christianity with being lesbian, gay, or bisexual then they throw out words and phrases like, compromising, watering down the bible, settling for less than God’s best and their are others.

Let me say this, I don’t believe that I have settled for anything less than God’s best overall in my life.  Yes there are times when I chose my own agenda over what I believe God would have me chose but I definitely don’t believe that is the case in my accepting being gay.  I wish that those in the ex-gay crowd would say what they really mean to say, and please don’t assume that you speak for all of Christianity, because you don’t.  My relationship with Christ is just as valid as yours is.  I will leave you today with the words of Chuck Smith, Jr.  whose father founded the Calvary Chapel movement,  “Although the bible may be the inspired and infallible word of God, our interpretations of it are not. 

Until next time, God bless.



English 1104

I haven't posted in a while. I find it difficult to put my thoughts into words as my A.D.D. usually pops up and it gets messy and frustrating. I am having to take a Freshman English class over again because it didn't transfer in. I took it in 1987 at Jimmy Swaggart Bible College and they hadn't gotten their accreditation from SACS. Anyhow, the English class is helping and I will try to make a more concerted effort to blog more. Not that anyone other than Rick is reading it. LOL