my eyes were drawn to a particular article about an evangelical pastor who, instead of holding a picket sign while telling people they were going to hell like others have, wore an apology sign on behalf of Christians during pride this past weekend. my heart couldn't help but smile. "finally! someone gets it", i thought.
but then i started scrolling through the comment section and saw what everyone else would have written on their picket signs, and honestly, i was quite irritated and down right angry that people who claim to love God could be so hateful and naïve, when hate goes against all that Christ stood for, and stands for, and all that we as believers should.
on one end, we're mourning with a church full of people in south carolina who are recent victims of a hate crime, while on another, we're creating our own.
1) the words you say have the power to heal.
i've hammered this point out in many of my blogs, but i'll let this excerpt from the huffpost article, "an evangelical pastor at his first pride parade" hammer this one out for me this time:
"i was overwhelmed by the response. people began to cheer. many asked me to slow down so they could take a picture. some wiped away tears and simply mouthed 'thank you', or 'i accept your apology'. for the next few miles, cheers and cameras and tears greeted us everywhere we went. i was grateful i was wearing sunglasses, because there were a few moments when i simply welled up with tears and couldn't handle it anymore.
i couldn't handle the acceptance. i couldn't handle the forgiveness. i couldn't handle the small glimpses i witnessed of healing unfathomably deep hurts.
there was only one feeling i had: pride"
the words you speak have the power to heal, yes, but they also have the power to create deep wounds. choose yours wisely.
2) we have no right to judge something that we ourselves aren't modeling.
i had just tied my garbage bag and found myself placing it on my bed. my bed, people. when realizing what i had done, i quickly took it off in disgust. moments later, however, i found myself less and less disgusted. "at least it's my garbage", i thought. "not somebody else's".
isn't that how we view sin? the very things that we struggle with [our own garbage] isn't as gross/bad as anyone else's, yet at the end of the day, garbage is garbage.
it's time we stop looking at others' 'stuff' [in this case, homosexuality] and start focussing on our own [i.e. the amount of divorce, adultery, and the abuse of authority that just so happens to exist in most churches today]. i wonder how much further we would get in life if we were to spend all of our energy looking in the mirror and working on our own 'garbage' instead of spending all of our time going through other people's 'trash'.
3) an aPAULAgy.
to my male friends who love men, my female friends who love women, [and anyone else who doesn't fit in either category] i echo that pastor's sign that day. forgive us, those who claim to love God, for the ways in which we have judged you, made you feel inferior, and/or left you out, because in doing so, we have misrepresented Christ.