This is a reply to my thin ice post...
This is quite a long sermon...
I'm sorry Ami, but I believe you read something in that "Thin ice" post that just isn't there. I never said I would legislate anything in the name of Jesus. It is just as unfair to lump "Christians" all in a big lump and say what they feel and believe as it is to lump any other group together and say what they feel or believe. I believe God has a plan for the life of everyone, specific to that person. I do not claim to be an expert in God, or have the right to legislate anything in his name. I read my Bible for myself and allow God to shape and mold my heart and mind through that, prayer and listening to the preachings and teachings of others. I am a believer. I never want to be separated from God again. If I have to choose people or God, I'll go with God everytime. He never disappoints. Sometimes I am encouraged by others, sometimes discouraged and it causes me to look into The Word(HOLY BIBLE)and meditate on it myself. There is power in the Bible. I get my feelings hurt by people-Christians and non-Christians. I ALWAYS WILL. I WILL ALWAYS HURT PEOPLE TOO, no matter how much I don't want to. We are flawed!! We live in a world that is fallen, one day God's ultimate plans for us will be revealed-for now we live in the sinful world that results from the sin of Adam and Eve.
I love to have my faith challenged-God can stand the close inspection. We may vacillate with the latest trends-but He is the same yesterday, today and always. I try really hard not to get so bogged down into tradition that I lose God. I don't go to church for the people. I am a person and I know I am far from perfect. I mess up all the time and that is my flesh, not God. "Christians" have a bad name because of our wrongs-not because of God. I worship HIM not a group of people-not even a group of really "good" people. God never promises us we will arrive and be good enough. He tells us the blood of Christ will SANCTIFY us-IF we allow it. Some do and some don't. No one else gets to judge us because only God can see and know my heart. I may blow it today and do really well tomorrow...my heart is the same both days.
Some sin is very black and white-adultery, child molestation, cold blooded murder, armed robbery-It is easy to stand against that type of sin. It is easy to turn from that sin. Some would say homosexuality is a black and white area-that is easy to say if it is not your struggle. The sin most of us struggle with is in the gray areas. I believe there are gay people who renounce God and have no desire to be involved in Christianity whatsoever. It breaks God's heart, but he gives us the choice to reject him. I love people who renounce God just the same-not always easily though-some of those people have embraced a lifestyle of hurting others that is nearly impossible for others to even tolerate much less love them. In fact, we often fear them and what they might do to us. Saul, who later became Paul(author of Acts, Romans and most of the letters) made a career of murdering Christians. He was so feared in the land, that after his conversion, men had to accompany him to churches and testify on his behalf that he was indeed a changed man. God can call anyone unto Himself!! Maybe someday, when God reveals His full nature to them, they will change. Maybe my silly little ounce of tolerance will be just the spur they need to get to God. Hallelujah-thanks for the privilege of being in God's will. That is why I am here-to try to share the good news with others of God's love for them-ALL of them. It is not His will for ANYone to perish-but still some will choose it. Some will be so caught up in the "fun" of the world, believing the lies of Satan, they will reject God. I have been there, done that and got the T-shirt. No thank you. It is lies lies lies. I have a peace that surpasses all understanding now and when I lay my head on the pillow at night, I might not love how I have acted all day, but I know God will help me do better and He loves me. I never want to give that up again.
I digress, there are homosexuals out there who love God. They feel separated from him and don't know how to get back to him. That is the struggle that breaks my heart. You see, they are no different than me. Everyday I have sins that could separate me from God if I walk away from Him and pursue them. Thankfully, I have the blood of Christ to cover my sins-so I am not separated from him and little by little every day I become more what his plan is for me. I try not to judge the sins of others. We think it is so easy to see the sins of others-AND SOMETIMES WE ARE WRONG. I gripe about the sins of others. Often. Usually as soon as the gripe exits my mouth, I feel the Spirit convict me. Sometimes it takes a few days and much stumbling and hurting of others on my part to realize it. Sometimes it takes someone dear to me to say, "You did not handle that right!" So I try hard and pray alot-but still I am thankful for Christ most of all, because I will NEVER be good enough. Without the blood of Christ- I am on my BEST day, UNACCEPTABLE. I will never be nice enough, "Christian" enough to deserve God. I don't have to be. His son died on a cross and shed the blood that covers my sin-past, present and future. There is a bumper sticker out there that annoys me, but says it all-Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven. You don't have to do everything right to be a follower of Christ. You just have to believe in Him, accept the wonderful gift of salvation, enter into a glorious lifelong realtionship with Him, and slowly with work and time, you will be a new creature in Him. The relationship is the KEY. You cannot be in relationship with Him and continue the same path you were on before. He will lovingly and constantly plant your feet on the right paths. You will be MADE new, sometimes it is very painful, as he will allow pain into your life to teach you what you need to be taught.
There are scriptures on homosexuality, gluttony, drunkenness and many other sins. There are specific references to many things-but without the relationship with God and the Spirit guiding you, they are often misread. All I know is God made everyone unique. Completely unique. I can't possibly tell you how to live because it will be skewed to my way of thinking. And you are not just like me. There is only one me (Can I get some praises on that!!). God designed us with a plan in mind. I so want to live out that plan. More than anything in the world. The key to
happiness in my humble opinion, is to live in God's plan for you. Those are the only truly happy people I know.
Not everyone who gives themselves the title of "Christian" are Christians. However, that simply is not my place to decide. Especially since I do things every day that are not very "Christian". I am to love and honor everyone regardless. Even if I can't stand them. No one ever said this was the easy path.
Ami-I love you sister. I enjoy your blog and I hurt for you that so many people have hurt you or people you love in the name of God. Don't judge God based on people-most of the time, we just make Him look bad. Get to know Him on your own. Pray for Him to reveal Himself to you and He will. You won't be disappointed. I hope this does not come across any other way but me giving you my testimony of what being a Christian means TO ME. Alot of my friends who are Christians may read this and think I am off-base. Others may think I am right on. Ten years from now, I may be so changed by God that I don't agree with this anymore because God's word is alive and active in me-improving me every day. I am thankful for His guidance.