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I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.

This isn’t just a Utah phenomenon. I’ve lived outside of this place. I’ve worked outside of this place. It was just as bad in Denver. It was just as bad in California. I see it on blogs. I hear it on television shows and radio programs. I hear it around my own family’s dinner table from time to time. Usually said so passively, so sneakily, and so “righteously.”

From Christians.

From Buddhists.

From Hindus.

From Muslims.

From Jews.

“God hates fags.” “God hates addicts.” “God hates people who shop at Salvation Army.” “God hates people that aren’t just like me.”

People may not be holding up picket signs and marching around in front of television cameras but… come on. Why is it that so many incredible people who have certain struggles, problems, or their own beliefs of what is right and wrong feel so hated? Why do they feel so judged? Why do they feel so… loathed? What undeniable truth must we all eventually admit to ourselves when such is the case?

Now, I’m not religious. I’m also not gay. But I’ll tell you right now that I’ve sought out religion. I’ve looked for what I believe truth to be. For years I studied, trying to find “it”. Every major religion had good selling points. Every major religion, if I rewound far enough, had some pretty incredible base teachings from some pretty incredible individuals.

Check this out, and feel free to correct me if I get this wrong…

According to Christians, Jesus taught a couple of interesting things. First, “love one another.” Second, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (“Her” being a woman who cheated on her man.)

According to Buddhists, Buddha taught a couple of thought-provoking things. First, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” Second, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

According to Hindus, a couple of fascinating teachings come to mind. First, “Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all.” (Krishna) Second, “Love means giving selflessly, excluding none and including all.” (Rama)

According to Muslims, Muhammad taught a couple interesting things as well. First, “A true Muslim is the one who does not defame or abuse others; but the truly righteous becomes a refuge for humankind, their lives and their properties.” Second, “Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first.”

According to Judaism, their scriptures teach a couple remarkable things. First, “Love your neighbor like yourself.” Second, “Examine the contents, not the bottle.”

The greatest spiritual leaders in history have all preached love for others as the basis for all happiness, and never did they accompany such mandates with a list of unlovable actions or deeds. They never said, love everybody except for the gays. Love everybody except for the homeless. Love everybody except for the drug users. Love everybody except for the gang members, or those covered in ink, or the spouse abusers. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody with the exception of the “trailer trash,” those living in poverty, or the illegal immigrants. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody except for our ex-lovers, our lovers’ ex lovers, or our ex-lovers’ lovers. The mandate was pretty damn clear, wasn’t it?

Love others.

Period.

So if this is the founding directive of all the major religions… why is it that sometimes the most “Christlike” people are they who have no religion at all?

Let me repeat that.

Why is it that sometimes the most Christlike people are they who have no religion at all?

I have known a lot of people in my life, and I can tell you this… Some of the ones who understood love better than anyone else were those who the rest of the world had long before measured as lost or gone. Some of the people who were able to look at the dirtiest, the poorest, the gays, the straights, the drug users, those in recovery, the basest of sinners, and those who were just… plain… different…

They were able to look at them all and only see strength. Beauty. Potential. Hope.

And if we boil it down, isn’t that what love actually is?

Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of incredible Christians, too. I know some incredible Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus and Jews.  I know a lot of amazing people, devout in their various religions, who truly love the people around them.

I also know some atheist, agnostic, or religionless people who are absolutely hateful of believers. They loathe their religious counterparts. They love only those who believe (or don’t believe) the same things they do.

In truth, having a religion doesn’t make a person love or not love others. It doesn’t make a person accept or not accept others. It doesn’t make a person befriend or not befriend others.

Being without a religion doesn’t make somebody do or be any of that either.

No, what makes somebody love, accept, and befriend their fellow man is letting go of a need to be better than others.

Nothing else.

I know there are many here who believe that living a homosexual life is a sin.

Okay.

But, what does that have to do with love?

I repeat… what does that have to do with love?

Come on. Don’t we understand? Don’t we get it? To put our arm around someone who is gay, someone who has an addiction, somebody who lives a different lifestyle, someone who is not what we think they should be… doing that has nothing to do with enabling them or accepting what they do as okay by us. It has nothing to do with encouraging them in their practice of what you or I might feel or believe is wrong vs right.

It has everything to do with being a good human being. A good person. A good friend.

That’s all.

To put our arm around somebody who is different. Why is that so hard?

I’m not here to say homosexuality is a sin or isn’t a sin. To be honest, I don’t give a rip. I don’t care. I’m not here to debate whether or not it’s natural or genetic. Again, I… don’t… care. Those debates hold no encumbrance for me.

What I care about is the need so many of us have to shun and loathe others. The need so many of us have to feel better or superior to others. The need some of us have to declare ourselves right and “perfect” all the freaking time and any chance we have.

And for some of us, these are very real needs.

But I will tell you this. All it really is… All any of it really is… is bullying.

Sneaky, hurtful, duplicitous, bullying.

Well, guess what.

There are things we all do or believe that other people consider “sinful.” There are things we all do or believe that other people consider “wrong.” There are things we all do or believe that other people would be disgusted or angered by.

“Yes, but I have the truth!” most people will adamantly declare.

Okay.

Whether you do or not…

CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

22485 comments
Jess LB
Jess LB

Btw, would you mind if I translated to Spanish? I think it is truely beautiful, and would like to post it for all my acquaintances to read. Of course, I would adjunct this link so to know where is the original post from.
Please answer to my mail ( if possible, for 22.484 comments are truly a lot). Yours sincerely,
Jess (Madrid, Spain)

Jess LB
Jess LB

Great article, I think the minds of many have been said aloud here. I believe the problem is it's an idea not practiced enough in the true world. From now on I'll try to make it better.
Thank you again for I've been really touched by this amazing writting.
I stay hopefull that it will get better, or that I'll meet more people like yourself that make it that way.

Ono
Ono

For anyone who is down in despair because of feeling rejected by who you are, we have often said it gets better. But life has its highs and its lows, but we keep driving through life, and much like this CRV reaching its 100,000 mile turnover this is life's moments. Be sure to stay here so that you too can see these moments--the good and the bad. And please always remember to stay with us on this earth plane so that you can experience them too. It does get better.


http://youtu.be/-Lug_IxFKo8

LadeeV
LadeeV

Thank you so much for this article! You can readily see that it comes from your heart

Tiffani
Tiffani

Hey everyone. I just wanted to share something wonderful with you all. This past weekend, I attended a church leadership conference for predominantly UMC pastors, youth leaders, administrators, etc. Though I don't feel called to this vocation, I attended because I love to learn, and I wanted to hear these people discuss the church today, and where it is headed and what we can do to more closely resemble the Kingdom of God.

The second day, the afternoon keynote speaker was fantastic. Her name is Rachel Held Evans, and she's a blogger whose work I've been following for more than a year now. It was such an uplifting discussion. After her keynote, there was a lot of time for Q&A, and of course when church people get together to discuss issues most important to them today, the topic of homosexuality inevitably came up. Rachel was bold, guys, and she was brave as she told this group of 800 church leaders that millennials are leaving the Church because of the way it treats the LGBT community. In fact she said it was the biggest reason! And in response people asked questions: "What can we do to change?", "How can we be more inclusive, practically speaking?", "Rachel, why do you believe what you do about homosexuality?". It was an incredible, fruitful conversation.

So I just wanted you all to know that the tide is changing. At least within the UMC denomination---which, admittedly, is more on the progressive end of the spectrum---church leaders are asking the right kinds of questions and adopting the right kinds of attitudes. Rachel's talk, and her Q&A, gave me so much hope for reconciliation, for a time when the Church is willing to create room in its theology and in its pews for the LGBT community.

CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

I am feeling that there is so much negativity in the dialogue here, and that is exactly what the  original article was meant to try and dispel. People  should be kind to each other, treat each  other  with respect and even if we strongly disagree,  the dialogue should not devolve into  name calling or inconsiderate behavior.  I am not Christian, but was brought up Catholic, and attended Catholic school through 4th grade. I have many Christians in my family. All are respectful, and we all agree that prejudice/bigotry of another person, for any reason, is simply intolerable and should not ever be considered a Christian/Spiritual value. Having said that I  would also say that arguing with someone whose beliefs are 180 degrees out from yours, is time wasting. It is not educating , it becomes brow beating and frustrating for all sides. Just be kind and allow yourself to be a role model, not argue just for argument sake, that is simply ego gratification and gets you no where.  Blessed Be!

Walk the Walk
Walk the Walk

My eyes are full of tears and my heart hurts.  I feel the pain in the words of your friend.  I am a Mom of a gay daughter who I would give my life for.  I am a former Youth Pastor.  First there is a distinction between religion-where you worship and your faith (mine is Christianity).  As I have told many of my Christian friends and the youth I taught is that God got rid of judges in the OT -and there hasn't been a want-ad placed by Him to fill the positions since.  I love Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech"  When I speak of it I change it just a tad-I have a dream that every one would be judged by the content of their character and not by their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.  That we would look at each other's hearts not anything else.  For those who hate my daughter you are missing out knowing a wonder, fantastic human being. (okay I'm partial because she's my daughter).  If you are of any faith and believe you have been created by a loving God remember we have all sinned-lied, cheated, stole so what makes your sinner "better" if you think homosexuality is a sin?  In God's eyes a sin is a sin is a sin.  We sin because we are imperfect beings.  And if you believe in judgement there will only be two people there you and God.  As your friend said "I didn't choose this".  Who in the hell would choose a life that would cause so much pain and heartache. DUH.  I will love you for who you are in your soul, not what you are.  I will dislike you for who you in your soul, not what you are.  For parents who hate their gay son or daughter remember they are a gift to you and someday you will be held accountable to the One who gave you the gift.  I may never meet your friend but tell him on the winds I send my love.  Tell him on the winds I send a hug (and I'm a hugger).  Tell him on the winds I send peace for his heart.  And for the so called Christians the Word is "Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind AND love your neighbor as yourself."  There must be a lot of self-hating people walking around.

Peace

Kievjoy
Kievjoy

@Tiffani I am non denominational and have been surprised several times when the discussion on the LGBT community has come up and I have said 'I know you won't agree with me but ...' then said my beliefs about them being as they are because God has made them that way.  I have been pleasantly surprised when even some of the church leaders have said that they agree with me and hope they don't get chucked out of their churches.  


There are a lot more who do believe it is something that is not a sin, if they are truely gay.

True Love
True Love

@Tiffani

I would rather have a question about how can we all be closer to what God wants for His people.

Despite how people have treated me, both before and after I seen the light of the new world that Jesus created, I keep seeking the truth even if it hurts. The hurt was real and deep but it was soon healed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am happy to hear that some people have found why some souls are leaving the church but they are not concerned if that is getting closer to Jesus.

The difference of a good life here and a new life here is astounding.

Ono
Ono

@Tiffani  

Tiffani, It is encouraging to hear. The one thing that I wanted to point out is, that it isn't the church that is making the changes, it's the people. Just like it wasn't the church that has made the problems for LGBTs for thousands of years. It was people--those who professed to be followers of Christ. It wasn't Christ who has made their lives a living hell, but us Christians. We need to always claim the responsibility for the wrongs we have done as well as how we are making it right.

What is really sad, is that the words you shared of what they were asking wasn't, How do we make it right, how do we make it up to them? My answer to the question would be first take responsibility for the wrong that we have done. That's the first step. It almost sounds like they were more worried about the young people leaving and how they could stop that from happening, then the fact that they have horribly hurt a group of people. 


I am very glad to hear that another group of Christians are realizing they can't continue the path. I just wish I could hear more humility even regret for what has been done to LGBTS because of our religion. 


And thank you for sharing this, even if I am being a bit of a curmudgeon.


DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@CarolynWolfe  Hi Carolyn,


You are absolutely right on all counts. I have often asked myself why I bother engaging with some of the folks who show up here. My wise friend Rob pointed out that while we are never going to change the minds of many folks, there are still others watching the conversation who take heart from LGBTQs and allies standing up for them. On more that one occasion an observer has chimed in to express their gratitude for the support they see here. I think it remains necessary to stand up, particularly in a largely gay-friendly forum like this one.


However, I don't like it when the devolution to name-calling happens, and I readily admit to my recent guilt on that count. One of the tenets of Buddhism (the religion I most readily identify with) is Right Speech, and I'm fairly certain that calling someone a robot or a troll does not fit that definition, and I usually feel somehow dirty after I go there.


At the end of the day, though I am straight myself, I feel a tremendous love and empathy for the LGBTQ community, and when someone gets on their soapbox to put them down, I find it exceedingly difficult to remain civil (though I USUALLY am able to do so).


Anyway, I don't mean to argue with what you've said, as you are spot on accurate. So thank you for the reminder. I am trying.

True Love
True Love

@Walk the Walk

We mortals choose many ways that are damaging and painful all the while hoping for better not worse. Maybe it is the limitations of our senses and most people assume that what they think or feel is reality. There is a better way to get where one wants to go but many times it means giving up something from the past to grasp what is the future. Questioning what God sees or His will is ok from the start but at some point life has to meet reality.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@Walk the Walk  You are a star, Mom! Thank you for stopping in and sharing your unconditional love.


Please ignore the troll.

Ono
Ono

@Walk the Walk I loved your note and your voice of love. We have to keep those voices heard, especially for our children, so they know they do not walk alone in this world. We need them to know we have their backs!


Peace to you too.

True Love
True Love

@Walk the Walk  

The response to all sin is repentance. You may claim your particular action or lifestyle is not sin, that is your choice. Only way to see that is taking one person at a time. What their attitude and relationship with Jesus will be obvious. The part I look at is if they consider God's word, His love letter, guide and promise book to us to live by. It is not divisible nor is it possible to overrule. The proof will be when each of us meet Jesus face to face. If one is willing to put your best efforts of doing good on the line and get the last word from Jesus at the time, THAT is your choice. I intend to rely on Jesus's word and rest on the side of what the Bible says. But I probably would get along with your homosexual son or daughter, I don't have agree with or accept everything said and/or done.

Tiffani
Tiffani

@Kievjoy That is very encouraging! I imagine there are a lot of church leaders who are "in the closet" about their beliefs in favor of gay marriage, for fear of retribution. 

Tiffani
Tiffani

@Ono Hey Ono. I totally hear what you're saying, and sometimes I feel that frustration as well. 

I think, though, that this is where grace comes in. After all, baby steps are still steps. I wish life were as easy as talking to someone about the experiences of LGBT people in the church, and a light bulb flicks on in their head and suddenly they feel convicted and empathetic for what has been done in the name of their religion, but that isn't how life works. It takes time, and patience, and of course along with that a lot of grace. 

Also, regarding what you said about these people being more concerned with reaching young people than with reconciliation with LGBT people, that's more or less because that was the topic of Rachel's keynote, so that was the foundation from which the discussion about homosexuality sprang up, and not because the listeners valued one issue over the other.

I know what you mean about people vs. church. Keep in mind, that it was people who were asking the questions at the conference---people that have a degree of power and influence, who can return to their own congregations with a better understanding of where they've gone wrong in this conversation.

CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

@DavidStevens @CarolynWolfe

Hi David! I  appreciate everything you said, and I  just want you to know I was certainly not singling you  out at all. I was just trying to gently remind myself and all of us to  be  kinder. I  certainly agree with you that we should stand up for the LGTBQ community. I am straight too, and have seen and heard enough Gay bashing to make me  terribly disheartened. However in this forum there are a great many  people who  stand up for  those that have been  marginalized, abused, discriminated against, etc. I applaud every effort and would like to add my voice! Buddhism is a beautiful path. I wish you joy!

Ono
Ono

@True Love @Walk the Walk I wonder if you will be too busy preachin', it's a shame that God's love rarely shines in your words TL to others. I keep holding hope and praying for you.

TraciRowland
TraciRowland

@kathleen z @TraciRowland 

I'm sorry you're going through family stuff too *hugs* 

My Mom and Aunt are supposed to be coming in May. Sadly I'm not entirely looking forward to the visit. My appearance has changed a lot since they saw me last, and I'm not looking forward to them calling me by my former name. I know they will though. I'm not sure how to move forward with this. I want to see my Mom, but then again I don't. 

Time is definitely on our side, but I'm growing impatient with how slowly my transition seems to be going. I'm not getting any younger, dammit!

I love you hardest! :P

TraciRowland
TraciRowland

@Ono @TraciRowland@kathleen z

Thank you Ono. Yeah, it's incredibly frustrating when certain buttons get pushed. It's really easy to blow up about it, but I've learned that really doesn't change much of anything, even though blowing up seems to make you feel a little better afterward. Maintaining self control and composure has it's own rewards, but wow is that a challenge. 

I'm honored to have gotten to know you too. 

kathleen z
kathleen z

@TraciRowland @kathleen z   "I think so too, but I'm trying to be better. To let go of all of the anger and pain I've been through, so I don't bite back. It's hard though sometimes because I'm human. "   

 .... it's all good, I think God especially loves our humanness, and when we triumph and we come to him in our pain, weakness, hurt, anger or our good times of love, kindness, caring..  well he is our heavenly father, enough said!

kathleen z
kathleen z

@TraciRowland @kathleen z I 100% relate...going through some rough family stuff now too, love isn't suppose to hurt this much.


And I don't think you have to necessarily let it go, just remember that everything we go through and happens brings us to the place we are suppose to be. And although you are missing them, they are also missing the wonderful, amazing, loving, kind person you are...and they feel that..they aren't unhurt by their own decisions.

They (whoever "THEY" are) say that time is the great healer....I'm holding out, time is on our side...we will both have to just love each other a little harder until time gets us where we are suppose to be and we can stand better on our own.

I love you harder!

Ono
Ono

@TraciRowland @kathleen z 

Traci, I think you do quite well. I know it has to be hard when there are people purposely push certain buttons that are painful. And missing your family well that just sucks. I do have some family issues too, so I can relate to that feeling a lot. Anyway, I think you are one terrific person and I am honored to know you!

TraciRowland
TraciRowland

@kathleen z

I love you too Kathi.

I think so too, but I'm trying to be better. To let go of all of the anger and pain I've been through, so I don't bite back. It's hard though sometimes because I'm human. 

Thank you for your loving kindness in accepting me into your family. I hope everything is going ok there. I'm doing ok, just been doing a lot of work on myself and letting God deal with a lot of things I'm not able to handle. I've been missing my bio family a lot, and it's taking a lot to move past that, and let all of that go. 


<3

kathleen z
kathleen z

@TraciRowland @CarolynWolfe@DavidStevens@True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

Traci, I feel that you have every right to be bitchy at times because of the anger and hurt. I think you go above and beyond  in being caring, honest and non judgmental and I think it is a testament to your character and your relationship with Christ that you are this way with so many hurtful things that have been said or done.

And to use your own analogy of the beaten dog...a dog will almost always growl first before biting, I think of your bitchy times as growling.

Love you my sister

TraciRowland
TraciRowland

@CarolynWolfe @DavidStevens@True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

I've been wanting to respond to this since I saw it, bt wanted to respond with the love and compassion that you've shown, so I had to pt a lot of thought into this. We've tried to teach Tre Love abot or lives and or experiences. I've been completely transparent in sharing abot my life, how I've tried desperately to live "like a man" in order to keep my family, and how I failed hard becase I'm not. I've told her and many others abot the alcohol and drgs I've done to numb myself from the pain of my existence. About the suicide attempts. About how giving all of that to God freed me, and how He sent people into my life to help me overcome this and allow me to live my life authentically.

True Love doesn't want to learn, but dismissed every point I ever made. We've given her overwhelming evidence that our orientations and gender identities are not sinful, but innate (we were born this way). 

Some of us have suffered much at the hands of those like True Love. I lost all but two members of my family coming out, and several people that I thought were friends, people that I loved deeply. I miss these people, especially my family, who I thought I was very close to. Other Christians have turned my family and former friends against me with incorrect teachings. People like True Love.

Picture an abused pet, a dog for example. This dog gets mistreated in every way imaginable. Beaten, kicked around, teased, over a long period of time. Eventually that dog will have had enough and will bite back. 

We are that dog. We have had enough. You can't expect us to take abuse and not do anything about it, or say anything about it.  

You know what my biggest sin is? Not talking to God as much as I need to. Which has nothing to do whatsoever with my transsexuality. My second biggest is smoking, something I've been struggling with for a long time now. Again, this has nothing to do with my transsexuality. I know smoking in itself isn't sinful, but I also know God would rather I didn't do that to myself.

I've since chosen to ignore rather than bite back at True Love, but I won't ask others to choose my path. You shouldn't either.  

If you perceive any part of my post to be catty or disrespectful to you, please  hold me accountable. I don't want to be that way, but sometimes it does come out. That's another thing I'm learning to control. My anger and hurt makes me bitchy at times. I don't like being like that. 

kathleen z
kathleen z

@TraciRowland @kathleen z@DavidStevens@True Love That is so perfect!!

And no worries about needing time to yourself, I completely understand. I've been swamped with school and some heavy family stuff so I haven't been really connected either. But I feel you there for me if I need, as I hope you know I'm here for you.

Love you

TraciRowland
TraciRowland

@kathleen z @TraciRowland@DavidStevens@True Love

You already do. I'm sorry I haven't been around much to talk and hang out. I've been in need of time to myself, and for some reason I can't seem to get rid of this cold I've had on and off for like a month. 

Thank you for the compliments about my name. Traci means "brave" and Anastasia means "resurrection", as in the me that I am now, the me that had to hide for most of my life has been brought back from the dead in a way. 

I love you too!!

True Love
True Love

@Ono @True Love@DavidStevens@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

I am sorry if you think I am on a pedestal but I really see that as in the eye of the beholder.

I have peace, love, joy, grace, longsuffering and I am seeking righteousness (Matthew 5:6)

I also have been born again with a new life with Jesus.

Hope you all have a blessed life.

Tiffani
Tiffani

@CarolynWolfe Thanks for having the guts to say this. With a few exceptions, I've also mostly bowed out because it was growing increasingly frustrating for me to engage TL. Way to be a voice of reason. I think you have more patience than I do. :)

CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

@DavidStevens @CarolynWolfe@True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

Short answer? Yes. Longer answer- If the conversation is not helpful, if it is deteriorating, if it is  in any way bullying then it is no longer productive to continue. Of course TL is engaged in this discourse, she/he most likely feels attacked on all sides. Ask yourself this question, what is this accomplishing, why am I doing this, if it is only ego driven (and  you should try to be honest with yourself because it does seem like egoes on both sides are getting in the way), then pull back.. Truly, this is no longer a teachable moment and  it is simply back and forth baiting. So yes,  my answer would be to  disengage and agree to disagree. 

Ono
Ono

@True Love @Ono@DavidStevens@kathleen z@Walk the Walk  

No TL, I have not reversed anything. Yes I do speak from the heart, and I think the only time I was sarcastic with you, was when I said I was your mirror. 

I truly wish for you to find some peace though and show some of God's love to others and yourself. I think I am done talking again, but will engage with you when you start speaking like a real person, reaching out for connection, instead of the aloof pedestal you put yourself on.

True Love
True Love

@DavidStevens @CarolynWolfe@True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

The LGBTQ people that I have counseled have all been life long friends since the talk was on a one to one basis. I have NOT directed my words at any one in particular and furthermore, it is words directly from the Bible.

If anyone commits suicide from these type of words, I can show plenty of cases where suicide happened despite these words. 

True Love
True Love

@Ono @DavidStevens@True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

Since all you say is from the heart(I have not reason to think otherwise, even though sarcasm has been used frequently), it would appear you have reversed every thought and intent. That's especially true when you don't like what is said.

There is no reason at all that the words you don't like can't be rebutted or discussed. I am not surprised really, the contemporaries of Jesus and apostles were dealt much more severely.

God Bless All

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@CarolynWolfe @DavidStevens @True Love @kathleen z @Walk the Walk  


Hi Carolyn,


Again, I appreciate your measured viewpoint. I wonder what you suggest instead? I have noticed that TL has chimed in to nearly every pro-LGBTQ voice to remind them that they are sinning. As we know, words of this nature are at the root of what drives so many gay people to suicide.


Should we remain silent?

CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

@DavidStevens @True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk


I have been reading more and more of the comments and find myself in the unenviable position of defending True Love. Not because I believe what he/she says but because you all are ganging up on him/ her and it is beginning to look like bullying. What does this all accomplish? It is not teaching, it is harassing. True Love  has the right to be heard on this forum. No, I do not agree with him/her but this back and forth baiting him/her is so unhelpful and seems very like the behavior you are saying you do not  respect.  I respectfully request that you stop bullying him/  her. And please do not tell me this is teaching or helpful because it is not. Seriously. 

Ono
Ono

@DavidStevens @True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk  

David, Sometimes when I read TL's preaching at us, TL seems to think he/she is Jesus itself.


However, his/her self-loathing and fear comes through loud and clear, and I do feel sad for her/him. I only hope he/she finds a way out and finds peace and freedom and real love.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@True Love @DavidStevens @kathleen z @Walk the Walk  

Actually, I think my parameters have been pretty consistent, but it is certainly possible that I am not grasping the semantic difference between "refuse" and "deny."


Okay, would you vote for a law that defended a business' right to refuse service to Jews?

True Love
True Love

@DavidStevens @True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

No. You keep changing the parameters.

Denying service to someone is different than choosing to not serve someone.

Have you ever noticed a sign on the wall or door of an establishment that says "We reserve the right to serve anyone" ? That is the law I would be in favor of.

True Love
True Love

@Kievjoy @True Love@DavidStevens@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

Peter did in fact attack the soldier with his dagger and at the crucial time he denied knowing Jesus. That is not the same as "running" away.

What Peter did was prophesied by Jesus and that was before Peter received the Holy Spirit to guide and empower him.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@True Love @DavidStevens @kathleen z @Walk the Walk  


Nope, what is a distraction from Jesus' message is your aloofness and arrogance, compounded by your unwillingness to show anything of yourself. The result is a disembodied preacher unwilling to make a real connection with people.


To find a link to Facebook accounts you simply need to click on the name of the person you're looking for, and their profile will (often) show a FB link.


BTW, you still haven't answered if you'd support a law that would defend the right of businesses to refuse service to Jews.

True Love
True Love

@DavidStevens @True Love@kathleen z@Walk the Walk

You have the fearlessness thing down good.

Point is I am not fearing for myself. My name would be one more distraction from Jesus's message.

I don't know anything about Facebook accounts and I haven't seen any Facebook accounts on here.

True Love
True Love

@kathleen z @DavidStevens@True Love@Walk the Walk

That is true. That is not the whole truth because what knowledge the heart is filled with is crucial. One can be filled with knowing many, many ways, many levels of reality but only one will be the ultimate truth.

When the ultimate, complete truth is lived out, it will apply to all. The ultimate and complete truth is righteousness as only Jesus can teach. That is when life is really truly joyous.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@True Love @DavidStevens @kathleen z @Walk the Walk  


Right. You have mentioned how fearless you are in your faith, once claiming that you would be willing to be tortured (which, I assure you, will not happen as a result of revealing yourself).


And yet, you will not even share your first name here.


You will notice, sir/madam, that many of us have linked this page to our Facebook accounts, we are easily reached as real people.


Fearlessness is a wonderful thing.

DavidStevens
DavidStevens

@True Love @DavidStevens @kathleen z @Walk the Walk  

Of course a name could be faked. And yes, you've given me very little reason up to now to believe what you say.


But, giving us your name would at least be a gesture of humanity. You keep talking about choice; you have a choice to offer something of yourself.

True Love
True Love

@LyubaAllenivnaMarchenko @True Love

I am interested in why you see it as illogical.

Of course, Christianity isn't founded on logic. But Christianity is logical with no need for logic. People need logic. Christianity is founded on faith in the perfect life of Jesus Christ. That's why I can overcome the offences that have been in my life.

True Love
True Love

@LyubaAllenivnaMarchenko @True Love

I hear you loud and clear. I can show anybody the love of Jesus but it is based on your choice to accept or reject it. You may choose to continue in what is comfortable based on your experiences.

LyubaAllenivnaMarchenko
LyubaAllenivnaMarchenko

@True Love It's not a choice. I dont believe Christianity because it is illogical and based on fear, extortion, manipulation and injustice. That is the way I've experienced it and one day, I just had enough. 

True Love
True Love

@kathleen z @True Love@DavidStevens@Ono@Walk the Walk

OK, this is getting nowhere. We are talking past each other so if you don't mind, I will move on to another line.

I try to reference each point you make and it seems to have a different meaning to you.

No hard feelings on this end.

Have a blessed day.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@True Love @kathleen z@DavidStevens@Ono@Walk the Walk Again you are mistaken. I know full well, have felt it and lived it and continue to live it everyday...the unconditional love of Christ. And although I am only mere human I still make mistakes, but I do love my fellow man unconditionally. That does not mean that I cannot and do not ever get angry, upset or know that not all mankind will act, respond or behave with good or kind intentions and that they should be held accountable for those things when they happen. That doesn't mean that I don't love my fellow man, it means I can continue to love them in spite of those things.

True Love
True Love

@Tiffani @True Love

That passage is about what happens when/if Jesus and his teachings are accepted and lived out. We have no chance of loving or being loved w/o Jesus loving us first. The condition  of not following the teachings and purpose of Jesus's life means the "love" that is given by Jesus will be seen as something else. So acceptance of God's love is much more than connecting with God. Acceptance of His love is a new life. A new creation the same as a new baby. That is the reason for the reference to being "born again". It doesn't matter how much the one being born is loving. A new baby knows nothing of the new world they have entered. This new life is dependent on God and God's people to learn a life that wasn't in existence before.

So, you are correct that God doesn't stop loving any one. The issue is God's love is not the same as mankind's love. One can say their love is unconditional but it is conditional on the basis of ability to love like Jesus does. 

True Love
True Love

@kathleen z @True Love@DavidStevens@Ono@Walk the Walk

You have love for your children as much as I do. The truth is no love would be possible w/o God loving each one of us first.

Of course you would love your children w/o condition. That is as far as we can see. There are plenty of children that have grown into adults who have good intentions, the same as other good people. The problem is good people don't know the first thing what to do with the love they receive. The truth is people have good intentions and still their love is short of love as Jesus made it.

The quote, "You don't have love for anybody unless they ascribe to your definitions". means people like me who disagree with your definitions. Of course exceptions can be found but if your unconditional love is true then it wouldn't stop with strangers. I believe what you define as love, it is really acceptance.

What is truly sad is you would die an endlessly painful death but it would be so limited as to result in the same outcome as the person who did nothing. It takes the blood of Jesus Christ to make love real and effectual all the way through eternity. I do know that kind of love. That doesn't happen b/c I am better but it happens b/c Jesus Christ was perfect and died in my place. Everybody can know that unconditional love.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@True Love @kathleen z@DavidStevens@Ono@Walk the Walk Not true TL,   " You don't have love for anybody unless they ascribe to your definitions".


I have full, complete and unconditional love for my children, and there is not one definition that they need to ascribe to in order to receive my undying love, it is theirs completely and the only thing they have to do is just be. There is not one thing in this or any other world that would cause my love to deviate from them. There is not one thing that they could do or be that would cause my love to deviate from them. I would die an endlessly painful death for them without question. Sad that you don't seem to have or know that kind of love.

Tiffani
Tiffani

@True Love That passage is about man's acceptance of God's love. We can choose not to abide in his love if we wish, but that doesn't mean he stops loving us.

True Love
True Love

@Tiffani @True Love

So what do you do with John 15:6-7 and 15:10? Just ignore them if you want but I can't. John 3:16 is the reason for God sending Jesus and it means how much God loves us. Our response is a choice of our own free will. How much are we as individuals going to be giving our will over to God.

It's OK to question me as I am another mortal human the same as everyone else. But questioning God to the point of disbelief is the dangerous part.

God Blesses all.

Tiffani
Tiffani

@True Love "He did give His love unconditionally except for He knew of one condition that would be required. "If you love me you will keep my commandments.""

That is a condition for those who call themselves followers of Christ. That is not a stipulation that Jesus placed upon his love for us. I rarely use language this harsh, TL, but I feel I must. What you are talking about here is a false gospel. There is no solid scriptural basis for the idea that God's love is conditional. None whatsoever. It's basic theology, and the most fundamental of all Christian principles: it's John 3:16, for goodness' sakes! Stop twisting the beautiful message of the Gospel.

True Love
True Love

@kathleen z @True Love@DavidStevens@Ono@Walk the Walk

Nobody has unconditional love as Jesus was. We should try as we will all benefit from doing that.

You don't have love for anybody unless they ascribe to your definitions. I have seen it in the real world and here in the virtual world. "Agree with me and I will love you in return"

Please don't fool yourself into thinking that everybody has the same love for each other. It isn't true and it never will be in this life.

Jesus Christ does love us all. He died and rose again so that we might have life. The condition to that is if we keep his commandments. The conditions are lifted when we get to the other side.

You may have any understanding of me as you wish. I can't change that. What I do hope for is that the truth that Jesus spoke of is learned. We should all be able to do that if your love is truly unconditional.

kathleen z
kathleen z

@True Love @DavidStevens@Ono@Walk the Walk And yet TL you show none of the unconditional love that you claim to know so well from Christ.

You show nothing of an understanding, a following, an acceptance of Christ's true ability to love each and everyone of us without prejudice, you only give conditions to how your love is given.

We accept Christ's love for us freely, openly, unconditional as it is given...it is you TL who cannot seem to accept that he loves us all, and you who keeps trying to convince us and yourself that he has conditions for that love.

So at the end of it all we will think of Christ as love personified and we will think of you as not understanding what "True Love" really is.

True Love
True Love

@Ono @True Love@Walk the Walk

I have peace that is beyond this world.

My efforts in this life is to be this peace if possible and to pass it to other people who will listen to the words of Jesus rather than mine or others.

I want peace also. However peace with God means peace with others. Peace with others is not peace with God.

True Love
True Love

@Ono @True Love@Walk the Walk

Oh, I am used to it and I know some people will find fault with my ministry even if they have to invent some story.

If me saying the truth is offensive, well that was prophesied. I have aided people that were down and out, destitute. As soon as they discovered or heard the truth about Jesus then they would get all offended and start cussing.

Like I said "You can judge me all you want.", doesn't bother me at all. I live to a higher standard, which is why I continue to give to people.

Please tell me what you judge this posting means to you.

I judge nobody, Jesus does the judging by His word.

CarolynWolfe
CarolynWolfe

@LyubaAllenivnaMarchenko @DavidStevens

Right there with you,  I am Wiccan and agree wholeheartedly! Hail the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine. I have a quote from the  movie Pollyanna-  she was talking to a pastor who  breathed fire and brimstone into his sermons. Pollyanna said "Look for the Good in people and you will find it."  I think this is a positive  outlook for all faiths. Blessed Be!


Ono
Ono

@True Love @Ono@Walk the Walk

TL, bless you anyways. It sounds like the attitude you dish out to others, doesn't feel so good to you when it is mirrored back, eh?


Given with love from your mirror--Ono

Ono
Ono

@True Love @Ono@Walk the Walk  

Good luck TL, I think it is going to be a hard lesson for you. Please come back when you find your humility, and love from Jesus. We'll talk then, when you are softer.

True Love
True Love

@Ono @True Love@Walk the Walk

Thank you for your viewpoint.

I don't dislike anyone, including myself or others.

I am sorry you have such a bad take away from my words. That goes for the words of Jesus also.

True Love
True Love

@TraciRowland @True Love

He did give His love unconditionally except for He knew of one condition that would be required. "If you love me you will keep my commandments."

Why did they kill Jesus?

The simplest explanation is that no one was aware that they had been used by Satan for centuries before the fact. Of course it was God's plan. But that plan had been set in motion at least 4 centuries prior and God would have had a better plan with the "religious right" being in God's will. The point being is that if people of all types and kinds want to be ignorant and go their own way, they can do that, but at their own peril.

Who stood up to protest any  part of Jesus's torture and death?

This matters because until the Holy Spirit came to give guidance then they didn't have the strength or directives to do the impossible miracles as prophesied by Jesus.

The lesson I learned and the way I got on track is seeing my role in the plan. I had the benefit of looking at all of God's plan to the level of the "above it all" like a panoramic view from beginning of what God wants to show to the end. Also included is a view from the inside planning and future events since by God's grace and love through the Holy Spirit, I have every part covered.

So in reality God's love is unconditional here and now. The long term eternal love is very conditional since there are many ways to mess it all up and in the end of time in this life to lose it to Satan.

True Love
True Love

@DavidStevens @True Love@Ono@Walk the Walk

I am a follower of Jesus and Jesus was/is the best example. Since Jesus is love and compassion, then it is impossible to know love without Jesus and I am prepared to follow Him all the way through to heaven. Try as you might any other way and it will be futile. I know Ono was talking about me and I am saying you wouldn't accept Jesus's love either. And His life was perfect. So, at the end of it all you will think of Jesus and me any way you wish.

Ono
Ono

@True Love @Ono@Walk the Walk  

I'll keep praying for you TL, if you let God soften your heart, you will feel much better. Takes a lot of energy to stay in that place of dislike for yourself. When God does his work on you, you will find so much peace you will wonder why you expended so much energy on the dislike of yourself and others. Find the happiness in his love, instead of spending your time looking for the bad in yourself and others with scriptures.

Kievjoy
Kievjoy

@True Love @Ono@Walk the Walk Jesus died as an atonement for our sins, He died the perfect sacrifice in our place, as a Christian I'm surprised you even have to ask that TL as you say your a christian.  If anyone had saved HIM we would not be saved.


Jesus never condemned anyone, he spoke to them and they recognised their own sin.  He never started shouting in their face 'You're a sinner you committed adultery or whatever.

TraciRowland
TraciRowland

@True Love


"How much love did Jesus show the people.?"

He loved unconditionally. He loved them so much He was willing to suffer unimaginable pain and horror and die for them, and the rest of humanity past, present and future. He showed them (and us) unconditional love by dying for them (and us).


"Why did they kill Jesus?"

He was a threat to them. They were terrified of Him because He threatened their power structure, and their control over people. Ultimately they killed Him because it was God's plan, and we'd be eternally lost if they (or someone else) hadn't. Pilate tried to get out of it, but the religious right of that era demanded Christ be killed. 

 
"Who stood up to protest any  part of Jesus's torture and death?"

Why does this matter? No one could, they would have been killed too, and God had plans for the apostles and His other followers that didn't include death at that time. 

True Love
True Love

@Ono @True Love@Walk the Walk  

I ask you these questions: How much love did Jesus show the people. Why did they kill Jesus? Who stood up to protest any  part of Jesus's torture and death?

No, I am not convinced the lack of Jesus loving himself or anyone was the cause of His death. I wish somebody would respond to this with sincerity and honesty.

Ono
Ono

@True Love @Ono@Walk the Walk


Your words give what's in your heart away, TL. But I always hold hope that God will give you humility and let you understand how easy all this can be taken away from you. I hope its an easy lesson for you, but it may take a real hard one for you to come around. Miracles can happen though. Most of all I hope you learn to love yourself.