Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Violent Change of Identity


This is the topic i have decided to write on, and it's a topic that i'm least excited to talk about. That is not because it isn't interesting or important, but because it's definitely a church breaker. This has been something that i have struggled with, not sexual orientation wise, but faith wise. Where does God stand on homosexuality?
A few months back i prayed for God to put my spirit at rest about this subject, and i believe that He has. Before i tackle the subject I will let you in on the nature of my struggle.

I have many friends in the Church who are uncomfortable around homosexual people and who may use derogatory comments like 'that's Gay'- which is not ok with me. I believe that the best way to allow God to move is to show love to those outside of the church so i do my best to not offend. I also am uncomfortable with advocates against things like gay marriage, the homosexual culture, etc. in the church. I believe that

1. the way the church changes the society that we live in is through prayer and demonstrating Christ-like love
2. Hate is not something of God (however, i also do not believe in hindering an individual's duty as a citizen to vote for things that he or she believes in- that's what democracy is)
3. The thing that we as Christians are fighting against is not man, but Satan. we are part of a spiritual battle, not a physical one- fight accordingly, and
4. Focusing on just one sin- and not even, a majority of homosexual people don't get up and choose to be the way they are- is wrong. homosexuality is not any worse than murder, lying, stealing, greed, etc. everyone- saved or not- are sinners. The only difference is that we recognize our sinfulness and repent from it, constantly.

Because of these beliefs, i put the 'fight' against homosexuality in the same boat as the 'fight' against abortion- a worldly distraction from what God called us to do. the Great Commission wasn't to preserve the faith, but to spread the faith (and to continuously purify in the process).

Unfortunately, we are in a situation now where we need to spread the faith but the faith does not match up with what society deems as 'right'- and that is where my dilemma comes in. Personally, I really wish it did. As a black woman and a Christian I am against the discrimination of any group of people. However, my faith frames what that equality looks like and, therefore, my equality is different from the world's equality.

Where does God stand on Homosexuality.
So what's my Answer?

I could spend a load of time putting up scripture, talking theology, and interpreting certain verses but i'm not going to. Because even though, i believe, the bible is clear on it's stance on homosexuality, people still find things to argue about within those scriptures.

Instead, i will say this:
Christianity is different from other belief systems because in order to practice it properly, you cannot look at as a religion- or even a lifestyle. It is not something that helps me deal with the reality i find myself in. It is not a tradition that has been practiced in my family or in my community for many years. What it is, is an invitation. It is the understanding of the reality that we all live in: God created man to love, man fell away from God- entered sin, God loved us so much anyway that he gave up his son- a part of himself- to save us from our sin, this human manifestation of God died for our sins and rose again, and this process of shedding blood and resurrection created a bridge that connected us, sinful humans, to the holy God. The invitation is for us to Join God's family- Jesus Christ being our older brother and us adopted children of God. The byproduct of taking that invitation is the peace and joy that we have now that we are in God's family but the real prize is, even though we deserve it, salvation from the eternal fire and all that comes from being part of the family that has rule over all things- in short, Grace.

Knowing now, the nature of Christianity, we need to recognize what it means to take that invitation. I take the example of the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19. He asked Jesus what it is that he needs to do in order to gain eternal life- as he has already kept the law:

"Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth." (Matthew 19: 21&22)

Jesus knew this young man was rich and he knew that he kept the commandments. However, he made it clear to this rich young man that keeping the commandments were not enough- in order to receive eternal life (the invitation into God's family), one must give up all that he has in this life, for it. People usually look at this scripture to mean physical possessions but i would just bring up that possessions for a rich man is not just things, but an identity. His riches is what makes him, him. That is why he was sad on hearing this, because he knew he would have to give up what came with his riches- maybe a title, respect, certain responsibilities he enjoyed having, in order to have the eternal life God has for him.

Therefore, understand that taking God's invitation shouldn't be done lightly- there is a requirement from us. It is a violent change of who we are- nothing should come before the identity we find in Christ.

It is more than possible to be homosexual and Christian. It is also very possible to, for a time, have no sense of guilt for holding on to this identity and holding on to the Faith. However, if God's word and truth convicts the heart- and that goes for everyone- remember that God does not change for our own glory, we change for God's glory. That is the exchange that we willingly make when we accept God's invitation. If we are going to be part of the Father's family, we have to follow the rules of the house- and His rule is that we leave everything that we are and that we have at the door.

My name is Tabitha. I am a Jamaican, an American, a black woman, a global citizen, an environmentalist, a photographer, a college student, a human rights activist, a heterosexual, but first and foremost I am a follower of Christ. And i would give up all those other things if God wanted me to because his Love is much more worth it.

I do not wish to offend anyone, But i also know that sometimes speaking Truth doesn't come sugarcoated. I encourage all my brothers and sisters to ask God to reveal to them what identity or possession they may have a hard time giving up. Then pray for strength to overcome it.
I'm sorry it was such a long entry, I promise to shorten it next time.

A song before I finish- He loves Us

David Crowder also sings this song in his new album.

Peace be With You,
Tabby <3

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Covers

I just downloaded David Crowder's new album Church Music and i really like his cover of "All Around Me" by flyleaf. I will share with you now:

You can find the original flyleaf version Here.

While i was on youtube, i found another cover, but it was flyleaf doing "you are my joy/Inside out." I'm not that into christian hardrock- no offense, but i find it kind of tasteless but i do respect it- the more ways people worship God the better.

Here are the links to You are my Joy and From the Inside Out...and no i don't know what's up with the dress and pants combo, but it looks like she does it a lot (whatever the sister wants to do tho :P)

I'll probably make another post tomorrow b/c i have a good topic to talk about ^_^

Peace Be With You,
Tabby <3

"For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with the inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you."
Acts 17:23