Saturday, January 23, 2010

Are you choosing to suffer?

During the last few months, I've watched and waited with my grandparents as they passed from this life into the next.

And I watched a lot of extra, and needless, suffering.

During this time most of the people around me - including my grandparents – believed all of their suffering to be natural and inevitable. Just part of getting old and being ill, they believed. At no time did my grandparents accuse or distance themselves from the people and medical belief system that caused them so much extra, unnecessary suffering. In fact, like their MDs, when they felt good they believed it was their "medicine" making them feel good, but when they felt bad they believed that meant they needed more "medicine". Like true-believers, they never broke their connection to the very human system that was actually killing their ability to be strong and healthy.

It brought an extra measure of sadness to me, to watch. I could speak up. I could add information about what true health and healing really look like, and how they are truly accomplished according to both scientific and historical proofs – with real science, in other words. But ultimately, it all still remained my grandparents' choice to believe in modern, junk-medical science, and the extra-painful end of their lives was simply the end result of their choice based in that belief.

I've walked that same path of believing-no-matter-what. I'm a lifelong science-geek, having begun my fascination with science when I was just five years old, starting with all kinds of biology and then quickly expanding into physics, geology, astronomy, and more. Even though I held on to my faith in God (in fact, I saw science as simply a way to illuminate God's design of the universe), I was also another kind of "true believer": modern, scientific thinking completely ordered how I saw and interacted with the world around me.

So, many years later when I became seriously ill and my life and health depended on my "thinking outside the box" scientifically, to even consider that science today is based on flawed logic and biased, unscientific presumptions was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do my whole life. This was true, even though the not seeing it, and later the seeing but not accepting it, caused me a great amount of needless suffering and further damage to my body, some of which I still work to recover from, even today.

I had to understand that modern science is based in the minds of human beings who are simply that: human beings. Therefore, science is subject to the sins of corruption of ideals, flawed assumptions, and rotten foundations of thought found in every other human philosophy; it's more tempted by the satisfactions of personal power and greed than in truly discovering what works and doesn't work in the world.

To find true science, then, I had to be willing to change. I had to be willing to examine even what was "known" to be beyond needing examination. I had to be willing to risk losing my connection to the decayed "majority", in order to find and keep to the whole and healthier "minority".

And until I did – until I began to let go of false-science – I had nothing but my own and others' self-serving fantasies, to cling to.

Most Christians today suffer under a similar human philosophy. We're too often spiritually sick and spiritually dying, and we also believe this suffering is natural and inevitable. For example, we're Gay, or one of our loved ones is Gay. False-Christianity tells us that being Gay is wrong, so we suffer in fear of punishment (of ourselves or our Gay loved one) or in feeling we are hurting God somehow. During all this, we just "know" that our suffering this way is right.

When still thinking only within the false-Christian box, we go further. Just like my grandparents with their false-science MDs, we don't distance ourselves from those who teach and project that extra, unnecessary suffering into our lives. Instead, if we're Gay we might believe when we feel bad it's because we're Gay and need more Gay-hating "help", and when we feel good it's because with Gay-hating "help" we're denying being Gay. Others can provide us counter-information to this false-Christian system until they're blue in the face, but unless and until we make the hard choice to begin even considering a way of understanding ourselves outside the false-Christian box, we'll simply continue our pointless suffering to the end.

As Gay Christians we have to understand that the religion of Christianity is based only within the minds of human beings who are just human beings. Human beings who are sinful, corrupt of ideal, and lacking in sure assumptions. Human beings who have built their church on spiritual sand, instead of on the Rock of Jesus.

To find true Christianity, then, we have to be willing to change.
  • We have to be willing to examine everything we've been taught, to test it against the real Jesus. 
  • We have to be willing to walk away from everything that claims to be about Jesus, but is not. 
  • We have to be willing to risk losing our connections to the spiritually dead and comatose Christian majority, in order to find and keep to the whole and healthier minority.
And until we do let go of false-Christianity, we'll have nothing but fantasies to cling to. And we'll keep suffering.

So, how do we start to do that?
  • How to we begin the long process of letting go of what only claims to be about Jesus, and start embracing Jesus
  • How do we stop being the blind following the blind? How do we move from the wide path of destruction to the narrow path of life, at last? 
  • And how, at last, do we stop choosing to needlessly suffer?
There is no set "formula" that I've found in my own path, or in others. But here are some things I've noted, along the way:
  • Those who become satisfied, stop and sit. You may rest for a time, but don't ever put down spiritual roots in anything but Jesus. God won't be done scraping off all the anti-Jesus gunk off you until He comes again. Keep at it!
  • Remember always that God wants you to succeed. And He wants you to be only about Jesus. If you don't give up, you cannot fail. If things don't seen to be moving right, look around you, test your assumptions, and try something else focused on Jesus.
  • There is nothing to do, say, or pray that will make you "right" with God. Only truly trusting in God and God alone does that. Stop trying and start relying!
  • Look for others who are also blessed with Holy-Spirit-induced dissatisfaction with the "Christian" way-things-are. God is calling out His remnant from a bazillion different peoples and places in the world. Be open to those who are seeking just-Jesus, and be open to how different they may be from you!
  • Keep in mind that much of the just-Jesus path feels lonely, in the early part. God is still with us, of course, but not having a "God club" to go to each Sunday can feel bad, until we realize that going and sitting in temples of smiling false-Christianity feels even worse. Remember that just like an ex-smoker eventually loses their craving for nicotine, when you are further along God's real path you will also lose your craving for faked God-clubs. 
  • Explore resources that tell the truth about church and false-Christianity. The sidebar on this blog contains a growing list of books and other resources that tell a closer truth about Jesus than what you find in the "mainstream". Use them to clear your spiritual mind and heart of nonsense you've been led to believe.
  • Share your own faith journey and resources with others! Start your own blog, for example, or start talking to other Christians and non-Christians in your local life about a life about just-Jesus. Help those who aren't as far along the path as you.
And, as always, email me if you'd like to chat or share a resource to list here.

In His love,


Saturday, January 9, 2010

The evil of fake-good evil

It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the evil in this world.

It's even easier to be tricked into calling good what's actually evil, to do and be things in God's Name that God hasn't assigned us to do.

As human beings, we like it. We like believing we're on God's side, even when we're actually doing the devil's work. We want to believe we're one of the "Good Guys", even when our actions and results say otherwise.

We even pride ourselves -- especially if we are "in ministry" -- in how "God is using me!". We too often completely forget that God used even the worst of the evil Babylonians and Romans -- but that never meant they were on His side, or doing things His way. 

The Bible tells us that God will use what human beings make, all for the good of those who love Him (see Romans 8:28, for example).Which doesn't mean that God loves evil, but rather that God is so in control He can use even evil against itself, out of love for us.

Which should make us quite humble, in how we approach and interact with the world around us.  How many straight "Christians", for example, chase hundreds and even thousands of Gay and Lesbian people AWAY from Jesus for every one they bring to Him? They claim to be doing this in God's Name, but the results say otherwise. Therefore, they can only count their sins among those who have worshiped other gods, committed murder, and robbed the poor.

A little more Spirit-led humility from them would prevent such disastrous and ungodly evil.
  • A little more willingness to see what God is actually doing within the Gay community, and to reject -- as Peter did (Acts 10) -- what they only believe has to be what God's "Law" requires when it obviously doesn't match what God is doing. 
  • A little more willingness to actually trust in the Lord, instead of asking the Lord to trust in what they're doing for Him. 
It's easy enough to see the gross evil of anti-Gay "Christians". Even other straight people see and are disgusted by their god-rejecting hypocrisy.

But do we also see the same kind of evil in ourselves, especially if it's a little more subtle, a little less harsh, a little more "friendly"? 

The Gay Christian community is truly coming into its own, in the last 25 years. Unfortunately, with that has come the same sins and problems that have haunted straight churches and straight Christians for so long. And now, it's too easy to see that many Gay Churches and Gay Christians today are also turning off hundreds and thousands of people away from Christ, for every one they bring to Him.

  • By also being and building crappy human "churches" and then telling people what they find in them is "Jesus".
See, it just doesn't matter how much we want to do "for the Lord", when the Lord hasn't asked us to do it.

It just doesn't matter how pretty the human church idol we want to build for God is, when the Lord said 2,000 years ago to tear it down and never rebuild it.

It just doesn't matter how much "good" we think we're doing, when what we're doing is on the devil's worksheet, and not Jesus'.

Jesus came and died and rose again 2,000 years ago to put Himself into people's hearts -- and that includes Gay people's hearts. He came to show us how powerfully He loves each of us. How far He is willing to go to be on our side. How pleased He is for us to be exactly as He created us to be.

And that's what Gay people need to know about today. 
  • Not "your" church.
  • Not "your" theology.
  • Not "your" denomination or clerical rank or services or good works or anything else you can name.
Gay people need to hear about Jesus, and the loving relationship Jesus wants to have with them, in the place and way and life they live right now. Right now!

And that's it.

Anything more? Is just fake-good evil.