At the Gay Christian Network conference in Houston in 2016, the theme of most of the break out sessions that I attended was recovering from shame. Brené Brown’s name was big that year. She is an expert in studies on vulnerability and shame, and her statements were espoused by session leaders and struck deep chords in so many of the thousands of LGBTQ Christians who were present. Spending your life hiding who you are, believing you are a mistake and forsaken by God, being told endlessly that you are an abomination, a blight, the thing that makes Jesus puke, that the only way to live and be loved is by denying how you were made by that same God, being promised loving acceptance that will be snatched away and replaced by rejection and condemnation if what you strive so hard to bury ever sees the light of day, is a universal experience for those of us who were raised and lived in the evangelical Christian church.
It’s hell on earth. And long years of it teach you to never let your guard completely down, never be really vulnerable, never subject yourself to the possibility of losing everything. Bullying and abuse from other kids and adults is just the way it starts when we’re young. As we age, the church takes the childishness out of bullying and replaces the meanness with hatred disguised as loving concern. Read the rest of this entry →
I ran across some notes I made once after hearing a good message from Dr. Charles Stanley. I don’t agree with all his dogma by any means, so I won’t recommend him in toto, but his message on a particular Sunday morning was a pretty sound one and it got me thinking, as I sometimes do.
His point, with which I agree: there is a difference between intellectually acknowledging the theory of Jesus Christ as the son of God, and actually having a relationship with him. Let’s face it, there are millions of people out there who will say without a moment’s hesitation, “Oh yeah, I believe in God and Jesus” and so they consider themselves Christians. And they do believe he exists, because they were raised that way, that’s what they were taught, that’s what everybody believes, in the same way you believe what your mom tells you she heard about your cousin’s neighbor’s son, whom you also never met. Read the rest of this entry →
Yesterday the Supreme Court made marriage equality a mandatory right for every citizen in all 50 states. There was of course a lot of celebrating! And I’m happy to say in my world there was not one word spoken in dissent or hate throughout. Not because I don’t have a lot of friends and loved ones. I do. But because in my world after 50 years I’ve culled those who choose to be hateful and negative.
I have people who do not share the same beliefs, but they are loving people who realize that they have no right to impose those beliefs on others. They are also caring people who will never pass by someone in need, who will serve and be kind to anyone who is hurt or injured. They have their own battles to fight with passion, on behalf of children with special needs or of different color. They know and practice one of the great laws: to treat another as you want to be treated, or to love your neighbor as yourself. Read the rest of this entry →