Friday, October 29, 2010

Why anti-Gay theology is just another worldly system

The Bible -- especially the New Testament -- talks a lot about the world, and about things that are "worldly" -- meaning, things that are about human values and for sinful human benefit, rather than about God's way.

Jesus said that neither He nor His original disciples were "of the world". And that makes total sense, since the Bible also tells us that the devil is the ruler of this world. Anything done according to the usual way of the world, then, is done according to the devil's -- and not God's -- way.

So, to do right by God sounds simple enough, doesn't it?
  • Hold to God's stuff -- the stuff that's all about good.
  • Push away the devil's stuff -- the stuff that pretends to be all about good.
But which is which?

The human church and its theologians and translators and pastors/priests/popes are quick to tell us that answer, aren't they? Most of them will tell you whether someone is "worldly" or not depends on how they think and what they do about sex, human authority, and economics. Some others will add in that you can tell if someone is "worldly" or not by what how they stand up against wealth, oppression, and exploitation.

But very few will add that "worldliness" is also about whether one lives a Christian life the human church's way -- or God's way. 

I've come to realize over the last several years that there are certain ways that human systems "work" in the world. And I do mean all human systems, including the medical system, political system, justice system, economic system, and more.

Whether in ancient history or modern day, and in every human culture, every human system invariably:
  1. Claims to be highly responsible, but fights against having to be accountable for much of anything.
  2. Claims to be beyond questioning or above investigation, but obsessively hides its errors and sins and attacks those who threaten to expose them.
  3. Claims to have tons of data to support or justify it, but that data just doesn't exist or it's been fudged or faked.
  4. Claims to  be responsible for great benefits, but those are either not real or were caused by something else.
  5. Claims only it can protect us from great, looming dangers, when actually it's one of or the largest threat we face. 
Quick example -- today's modern western medical system, which:
  1. Claims to be highly responsible, but fields one of the most powerful political lobby groups in the world to maintain and promote profit and prestige first before everyone and everything else. 
  2. Claims to be beyond questioning or above investigation, but obsessively hides its mistakes and incompetents, and punishes those who report even gross negligence.
  3. Claims to have tons of data to support or justify it, but doesn't use real science anymore for its medications and treatments. Research by MDs shows that more than 80% of the time, doctors are simply guessing or just doing what everyone else is doing -- without any real data to demonstrate what they're doing works or won't do more damage than good.
  4. Claims to  be responsible for great benefits, as in how it promotes itself as the cause of much longer lifespans, when it's actually only added about 3 years to anyone's life (if not taking more than that away -- see #2 and #3 above). What actually doubled our lifespans? Modern sanitation practices, which allowed for cleaner food, water, and living spaces.
  5. Claims only it can protect us from great, looming dangers, that only it can protect our good health and wallets from bad medicine and charlatans, when actually modern western medicine causes more death and injury than heart disease, and more than cancer, each and every year.
It would (or should) be very easy to understand the human system of modern western medicine, then, as a worldly system -- one about human sinfulness, and not about God's way of loving and caring for people. We may work within it. We may need it. We may enjoy what it actually is good at.

But modern western medicine still remains a human system, run according to human values, and therefore a worldly system. 

What about anti-Gay theology?

Well, anti-Gay theology is actually only one part of a larger human system that calls itself "the Church", but which is more appropriately called "the human version of Church".

And this human version of church:
  1. Claims to be highly responsible, but can't even manage to live out the most basic of Jesus'  commands, like turn the other cheek and don't be fooled by Pharisees. (Yet we're supposed to learn to be "good Christians" from them and their example).
  2. Claims to be beyond questioning or above investigation, but hides, protects, and promotes some of the most evil-living people on the planet, including child-rapists, those who lust for wealth, the self-righteous, and power-obsessives. (Yet we're supposed to be "safe" there.)
  3. Claims to have tons of data to support or justify it, but has had to twist and remake God's real message (as He gave it to us in the original languages, contexts, history, and so on) to make it seem so. (In other words, it has to lie to make itself seem to be the real Body of Christ)
  4. Claims to  be responsible for great benefits, but has actually been responsible through the centuries and into today for everything from mass murder and torture to driving people away from the real and only Jesus Christ (Which sounds more like the False Prophet, to anyone listening).
  5. Claims only it can protect us from great, looming dangers, when actually only Jesus can protect us from anything -- and one of the things Jesus must protect us from is the human church system (and which also means it's put itself in Jesus' place -- that's called blasphemy anywhere else).
And the anti-Gay theology part of this "church"?
  1. Claims to be highly responsible, but drives Gay people and their loved ones to deep depression, self-hatred, condemnation of what God has approved, drugs and alcohol, legalism, and even suicide. (Even though neither Jesus nor anyone among God's people in the Bible ever did anything like that).
  2. Claims to be beyond questioning or above investigation, but is all part of the same "Christian" thinking that defends and demands sexism, racism, classism, and other exploitive ways of being in the world. (Which means that even if it wasn't anti-Gay, it would still be ungodly.)
  3. Claims to have tons of data to support or justify it, but only has scripture ripped and mangled completely out of context, completely out of what God actually meant for His people to understand. (Which means they are worse than Gay-haters: they change the Word of God to suit their own itching ears.)
  4. Claims to  be responsible for great benefits, but has accomplished nothing beyond promotion of hatred, driving Gay and straight people away from Christ, and destroying whole families, just as the rebellious, empty-talkers and deceivers of the legalists in Paul's day did (Which puts them at odds with God even more than with Gays).
  5. Claims only it can protect us from great, looming dangers of being Gay, when actually it's only "dangerous" being Gay around people who follow anti-Gay theology (Which makes this one of those "Jesus, protect me from Your followers!" things).
Anti-Gay theology truly is just one more ungodly way of imagining God. It's worldly, because it functions according to the world's -- and the devil's -- values, and not God's. 

And so it rightly remains on the "Push away the devil's stuff" list.
  • Even when it's "nice". 
  • Even when it's smiling. 
  • Even when it tells us it loves us.
In fact, it could come attached to a million dollar bill -- or the end of a rifle -- and it would still be just another worldly way of doing God's stuff wrong. 

If you are still trapped by the worldly human system of anti-Gay theology,
  • Open yourself to the Holy Spirit, resting in His love, peace, and healing,
  • Pray that God will help you let go of the worldliness we're calling anti-Gay theology, and
  • Pray for all those -- Gay and straight -- still caught in its anti-God ugliness
And, as always -- keep to Jesus!
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed! [John 8:36]

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Fundamentalism kills Fundamentalists

    I just finished watching the film Born Again, a documentary by lesbian and ex-evangelical / ex-Christian Markie Hancock.


    What a reminder how, even when it's full of love, laughter, and commitment, fundamentalist Christianity is also full of pain, grief, and death not just for Gay people caught up in it, but for the straight people there, as well.

    Which is just like Jesus and the New Testament writers said it would be.

    The documentary also reminded of my own journey out of fundamentalism. While Markie and I grew up far apart in distance (she in the eastern USA, me in the west), class (she in upper middle class, me in working class), and family situation (she with mother and father both still in the home, me raised by a single mother and my grandparents), the actual experience and practice of growing up devoutly evangelical was so similar it was spooky.

    Worse, though, was the sameness of the spiritual and psychological disease that infected and laid waste to both our families and the individuals in them.

    It's easy enough to recognize the damage from fundamentalism we're conditioned to see. The scenes of Markie's brother (who also came to reject God) and his no-food-but-lots-of-beer apartment after his divorce, and his feeling that he had had to waste half his life trying (still not successfully) to heal from his fundamentalism-infused childhood certainly brought to my heart and mind my own God-rejecting family members who live within alcoholism, or who've otherwise lived lives of broken bitterness and pain born of the fundamentalist "family values" they were made to grow up under.

    I wonder, though, how often we see the other damage fundamentalism causes? The damage we're conditioned not to see?

    Markie's parents and other brother remain fundamentalists. This documentary presents their insistence that it's Markie's homosexuality that antagonizes God. What the film misses is that fact that the only thing antagonizing God in this setting is the fundamentalists. 

    Fundamentalists are among those counted as modern-day Pharisees. But they are more than that. They are also the builders of the modern-day Tower of Babel, imagining they can prove themselves by their own works. They are also the modern-day Eve and Adam, some tricked into believing Satan while some prefer outright Satan's ways over God's. And they are the modern-day fallen Hebrews, honoring God only superficially in ways that please their own psychological needs and teaching and clinging to human ways as if they were God's.

    Fundamentalists live lives of the flesh, and the damage done to them (and their families) by their lives is so obvious to those who can or will see.

    Despite their white-washed tombs exterior, for example, legalistic Christians are rank with:
    • Immoral behavior (like sexually abusing children and spouses)
    • Sensually loving things (like praying for cars and living with more wealth than they need)
    • Worshiping human power and place (like setting up, adoring, and always-excusing-the-abuses-of  hierarchy in families, churches, and society)
    • Glorifying death (like blessing, adoring, and living the torture, rape, and destruction of war)
    • Creating enemies to fight/hate (like bearing false witness against Gay people)
    • Remaking God into their own image (like pretending that God supports their most beloved sins)
    • and more.
     These are all deeds of the flesh, and Paul and others in the Bible warn clearly that:
    ...those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21b)
    Unfortunately, though, while it takes very, very little to unmask the God-rejection of fundamentalism, it's an incredibly aggressive spiritual disorder that only screams louder when you try to discuss anything healthier with it. Talking to someone still trapped in fundamentalism is like trying to tell a drug-user high on methamphetamine, and who lives surrounded by others who also live and breath and take meth, about the real world.

    Fundamentalism really is an addiction. And just like meth and other drugs kill the body, fundamentalism kills the mind. It makes people think and do crazy things. Things like:
    • Believing it's "love" to treat someone like filth (even though Jesus said to treat everyone like you'd like to be treated, and I'm doubting that fundamentalists want protections for their jobs, families, and homes to be legally denied them), and 
    • Believing they are Jesus' disciples when they do the opposite of almost everything He taught (even though Jesus said those who love Him do what He says, not what they would have preferred He have said).
    • and more.
    All of which means that the people most deeply in danger of hellfire in this film were Markie's fundamentalist parents and brother. 

    See, God understands people like Markie and her other ex-Christian brother. He understands and will do something about sheep like this being hurt and chased away from Him. When we know to look for it, His assurance about this is all over the Bible. Here's just one place we can find it:
    "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD. "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1-4)
    Here's another:
    (Jesus said:) Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie -- I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:9)
    And I myself am just one of millions upon millions of proofs that one can be raised in a fundamentalist church, infected with the spirit of fundamentalism, and to escape that wander for many years far into hating and rejecting God because of confusing Him with those in my life and culture who blasphemously claimed to represent Him -- and still be completely healed of fundamentalism and its siblings through the still and always present love of the real Jesus Christ. I am also proof that one can make that journey and return to Him as a Lesbian, and remain a Lesbian.

    God understands stumbling blocks. God understood why I went so far away. And He actually even used my time away from Him to burn off fundamentalism from my soul, like burning away a cancer. And then He helped me to see that He'd never been far from me at all.

    But what does God think of those who put the stumbling blocks out there? 
    (Jesus said:) Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:15-23)
    (Jesus said:) But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! (Matthew 18:6-7)
    (Jesus said:) So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:40-42)
    As long as any human being remains within fundamentalism, they are in danger of hellfire. Because they are fundamentalist? No. They are in danger of hellfire because fundamentalism is Jesus-hating, despite its false belief otherwise.

    God doesn't hate fundamentalists. Fundamentalists hate God. And they treat Him with the same false-"love" they treat us: pretending good; delivering bad.

    There are too many people still needing to release and heal from fundamentalism and its siblings. So, which fundamentalists can you pray for in your life? Not in the self-righteous, self-lifting way that fundamentalists pray, but in the Jesus-way. Who needs help - not to become or start thinking like you, but to start opening more and more to the real Holy Spirit and the real Savior who wants more than anything for them to find and invite Him in?

    To whom in your life is Jesus saying:
    You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. (John 5:39-40)
    A final note:

    Fundamentalism is insidious. Its warping of our hearts and minds is stealthy. Treacherous. Subtle. And those of us who were raised or otherwise immersed in it can think we've moved beyond it -- yet still carry it like germs to infect and kill other parts of our lives.

    If we have fundamentalism anywhere in our past, we have to recognize that it marked us then and probably in some ways marks us even now. Makes us think in black-or-white ways, for example, and to think that's "smart". Makes us think domination and control is a good thing, so that hurting people is "Ok". Or makes us believe even that dysfunctional families and churches and jobs and schools and governments are "normal". And so on.

    All of which means that if we aren't noticing, we can still be very hurtful - in our families, in our churches, to the spread of the true Gospel, and more - and not even realize it. We should all to spend a lot of time with the Lord, allowing Him to continue healing us of this spiritual disease so that we don't continue to spread it, even as we think we are rejecting it.

    There's nothing sweeter and more healing, than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ!
    (Jesus said:) Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Come out, come out - from wherever you are!

    Coming out can be a fearful thing. Events like National Coming Out Day help, because they can get us in touch with others who have made or are making the journey to being fully who they are in the world -- something we can never do while we are still "in the closet". And even if we still don't "come out" ourselves that year, we still have the opportunity to hear more of the truth about being Gay or Lesbian:
    • We can be as normal and healthy as straight people (but like other oppressed minorities, we have to choose to be).
    • We can be as loving and moral as straight people (though, like most straight people, we should aim higher than that!). 
    Some informational and helping resources for coming out as Gay or Lesbian can be found in HRC's A Resource Guide to Coming Out (you can direct-download the PDF here).

    HRC also offers A Straight Guide to LGBT Americans, a guide for straight people who are or have found out about Gay people in their lives (PDF here).

    Other coming out guides can he found on their site, as well. 

    One other guide I noted on their site was Living Openly in Your Place of Worship (PDF here). And that's what I'd like to spend a few minutes on, this morning.

    Struggling to be allowed -- by other human beings -- to be who God created us to be in "places of worship" can be a mighty work of God. It truly can.

    But it can also be a devil's errand. 

    And we have to know which it is in the "place(s) of worship" we want to be a part of.

    See, most Gay Christians simply want "in". Or back in. We are nearly always just as contaminated by human-created "churches" ("liberal", "conservative", and in between) which change or ignore God's Word when it doesn't match their  human- and demon-inspired "theology" and live by human-pleasing "values" that only mimic God's way, as straight people are.

    And it's understandable we'd be that way. We (and straight people) grow up in cultures where fake-church and fake-Jesus permeate absolutely everything. In such an atmosphere, it would be an amazing thing if we didn't at least start off thinking we see and know what God really wants when actually we've only absorbed what human beings want to pretend God wants.

    In that sense, we're a lot like the paganistic Hebrews still living in Egypt: we think we already have it right -- and we have no idea what God really has in store for us and our future. 

    So here's the thing:

    If we Gay people are struggling to get in or back in to Egypt, aren't we going the wrong way?

    Praying, talking, discussing, picketing, arguing, pleading, preaching, and fighting to get back into what only pretends to be God's house is sure the wrong way.

    But it hurts, I know, to be separated from our community or the church.  It really does.

    But we have to ask ourselves why. WHY does it hurt to be separated?

    I know from personal experience:
    When we're really, truly, finally honest with ourselves and each other, we can only admit that it hurts because we're missing the human connection we find "in church".
    How can I say that? 

    Because God is found everywhere. When God let the temple be destroyed, He let be destroyed the last place He'd ever let Himself be "housed". Instead, our bodies -- individually and collectively -- became His temple, the place where His Spirit works and rests and lives. So if we want to "be with" God, then we simply need to turn our thoughts and heart toward His presence within us.

    So, is it wrong to hunger for that human connection? Absolutely not. God created us as social beings. We need other human beings around us and as part of our lives.  

    The problem comes, of course, when we start mixing up our need for human connection with our need for God connection -- when we start believing the lie that says satisfying what human beings want from us will also satisfy what God wants from and for us, as His people.

    Human beings are sinful wretches. Religious human beings are the worst sinners on the planet. And that includes Gay people too.

    And that means that if human-church people aren't blocking or attacking Gay people, they're blocking or attacking African-descent people, or women, or the poor, and so on. And if they aren't doing that, they're full of people who cheat and abuse the poor, or treat women like garbage, or give themselves respect and authority that belongs to God alone, and more.

    Even "nice" churches are chock full of a nasty case of humanitis, simply because they are full of religious human beings, if nothing else.

    And that's what we're struggling to be allowed back in to?

    That's what we can't wait to become "clergy" in?

    That's what we think God wants from us?

    Don't know about you, but my own answer -- after years of answering wrong -- is today:  
    No way!
    Being a follower of Jesus Christ means walking a lot of fine lines. It's all part of that "narrow road" He told us to make sure we keep to.

    As Gay Christians, one of the fine lines we have to walk isn't that much different from the walk that straight people have to make, too:
    • Rejecting what only pretends to be about Jesus
    • Accepting with our whole, exclusive heart the real Jesus. 
    The difference for us is that those straight people who have hatred and condemnation in their whitewashed-tomb-hearts have actually done us a great favor in removing us from their churches. 

    Being kicked out of a church that even the real Jesus isn't allowed in is not as bad as we think, once we get past the real human hurt we feel!

    So do consider prayerfully whether the church you want so badly to get back in to, or be a more open part of, or otherwise "serve" in some way is actually what Jesus wants you to do.

    Is there something more godly you could be doing? Like maybe...
    • Joining with others who have also rejected human-church for the real Jesus and His real, worldwide Body (as in making friends, not simply in joining another religious organization).
    • Shedding all the human-invented theologies and contraptions that are simply pagan practices painted with a Jesus face on top (the book Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices is one place to start).
    • Allowing the Holy Spirit to heal your human hurt, and to grow you new courage and contentment in God's real ways
    • Doing God's work like He intended: through your own effort, and not simply via some pastor or committee. (Like, how about learning a homeless person's name and bringing them some coffee and a smile the next cold morning? And then how about not telling anyone you did it, so it stays between you and God?)
    God had a LOT more in store for the Hebrews than to simply half- and fake-worship Him in Egypt. He has a lot more in store for us too, when we'll finally let Him lead us away from Pharaoh's way of doing things.

    So do come out today! -- As a Lesbian or Gay man in love with the real Jesus Christ and His way of doing things, even to taking up the Cross of rejecting human versions of Him that have sunk themselves like hooks into your heart.

    Let Jesus heal, direct, and own - even this!

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Christian? What do you owe Gays & Lesbians - and Jesus?

    With the recent attention on Gay teen abuse and suicide, something else has become even more apparent: just how much deeply Gays and Lesbians have been spiritually, emotionally, and physically abused by false Christianity and religion in general. What's also becoming more and more apparent in the face of escalating attacks upon us by false Christianity is a greater willingness by Gays and Lesbians to express disgust, rage, and hatred toward anything Christian.

    I just watched, for example, this clip from (Gay man) Michelangelo Signorile's radio show, where a straight Christian man - who said yes he believes that Gays are going to hell, and yes he believes the Bible condemns us - called in to respond to what Michelangelo was saying about Gay teen suicide. The conversation pretty well illustrates where most straight Christians and most Gay people are in the USA right now.

    Here are just a few quotes from their dialogue. If any of what they express does not sound familiar to you, you haven't been listening to those both Gay and straight who most need to hear from you:
    Michelangelo (after Christian man said his being polite to Michelangelo proved he was being respectful): "You've not shown me one shred of respect. You've spoke nicely, and you've been polite, but that's not respect because you think I'm less than you. You think I'm a sinner."
    So Michelangelo calls nonsense on the idea that you can label someone's life perverse, unnatural, or ungodly and do so with a good conscience because you were polite and nice when you did it. And he's completely correct in that call.

    First of all, the idea that homosexuality is wrong comes right out of the same perverse and ungodly "scholarship" that also convinced most people at one time or another that:
    • Women can only "serve" God by being object for men's pleasure and sexual reproduction and otherwise shutting the heck up and making dinner.
    • People of African descent should only be slaves - and God likes slavery anyway.
    • People have wealth and/or power in the world because God favors them. 
    • People who are poor and/or powerless are supposed to shut the heck up and live short, brutal lives under the thumbs of the wealthy people God likes more.
    • Christians can torture and kill other people and God likes it, as long as they do it with a military uniform on. 
    • And so on.
    We should all be calling nonsense on all of those, as well, because these also only "work" scripturally when sinful human beings twist the Scripture out of the linguistic, historical, cultural, textual, and Jesus meaning that God gave to us, and into their own version of "God should have really said/meant THIS".

    And there just isn't any way to tell lies about what God said and do it in a "respectful" or "loving" way.

    Second of all, this whole idea that the "proof" of our Christianity is that we're "nice", is more than ridiculous. Some of the nicest, most respectful and even caring people I've ever known have been atheists, buddhists, new agers, hindus, and more. "Niceness" only proves you know how to interact with others without stealing their toys or spitting on them. "Respectfulness" means you hold the other person to at least the same level of Ok-ness that you hold yourself to.

    This Christian man's "niceness" and false-"respectfulness" only proved he knew how to play the "good Christian" game to a degree that he'd even fooled himself. Problem is, fewer people - Gay or straight - are buying that garbage anymore.

    Even BIGGER problem is - more and more of them are rejecting Jesus completely because of how poorly so-called "Christians"demonstrate Him to the world. After all, here's Joe Christian who "loves" the people he trashes and hurts, and there's the God he claims to represent. How hard it is for anyone outside of Joe Christian's cult of Scripture-twisting to not assume that God's love is just as fake or shallow as Joe Christian's is?

    What kind of fixes can you see here, that you can make a part of your own life? For me, I see things like:
    • Helping people see real, nonjudgmental love from my heart. That means speaking up against something only when it's obvious wrong (like - its hurting people, causing them to kill themselves, or chasing them from God - DUH!). That also means constant repentance for those times I screw this up, and my trying to find ways to make things right again for those I've wrongly made think the Lord is just as stupid as I am.
    • Helping Gay teens and adults to understand God's real love for them. That means going out of my way to tell them the truth. Not just assuming they'll get it from church or the internet or something. Something like telling them, "I'm not pushing you at all to become a Christian, but it hurts me when bigoted people tell lies about what's in the Bible and I just want to point out that the real Bible, in its real languages and such, does NOT say all those stupid, hateful things a lot of people say it does. What the Bible does really say is that God has gone to an awful lot of trouble to try and show every person -- including every Gay person -- that He created us just as we are because He loves us dearly, and He can't stand the thought of not wanting to be with us through eternity."

     More from the dialogue:
    Michelangelo (challenging Christian man's reason for calling): "You called because you're feeling really guilty because you felt the finger was pointed at you and you wanted to convince me you're a nice person, but I think that you are a sheep. I think that you don't think on your own. I think you have a cop-out here. You want to believe you're not doing anything wrong but you are doing something terribly wrong, very wrong. You are part of the climate of hate if you give money to that church. If you in any way support that church, you are a hatemonger. You're not going to convince me of anything else and you can once again say 'I've been nice to you', (but) I don't give a cr*p how nice you are. Tell it to the kids who are being bludgeoned on the streets and who committed suicide because of your beliefs."
    Wow. Any person with Christ in their heart hearing that shoved at them should feel - what? Anger? Sorry for the sinner that said it? Happy not to be such a heathen?

    Nope. A person with the real Jesus in their heart would be cut to the quick by that. 

    Would recognize that what's described is THE number one sin of modern Christianity:
    Going mindlessly along with all sorts of human and demonic garbage whorishly painted up like a smiling Jesus-from-hell, never challenging the false-Christianity, and feeling really good about it and their salvation because that's what the pastor/priest/pope said is right and because the best way to be a Christian is to not make waves in the Christian world.
    And a person with the real Jesus in their heart would immediately do a self-check and see if what was said was really true, and if so, get on their knees and repent of it immediately, apologizing to God and people alike for being such a poisonous, "inoffensive" sheep.

    Because what is this person (in this case Michelangelo) saying? S/he's saying:
    "People are suffering beyond their ability to stay mentally and spiritually healthy, and in some cases physically alive, because of how you and the people you stand with are being so-called 'Christians'."
    It shouldn't be hard to figure out. If because of our "witness" people are: 
    • Crying,
    • Hurting themselves,
    • Drinking,
    • Drugging,
    • Crawling away from God,
    • Hating Jesus,
    • Despising themselves and others like them,
    • and more...
    ...then it's darn sure what we're practicing ain't what Jesus taught, and it's dang sure we are to be counted amongst those false Christians that Jesus sends in the End to the fires of hell, no matter how many healings and exorcisms and good works we've done in Jesus' Name

    We should get that, and straight Christians should get that: 

    It isn't being Gay that will send you to hell or makes God hold His nose when you pray. What does  send you to hell? 
    • Being a poisonous sheep. 
    • Being a nice hypocrite. 
    • Being anything like what the church that humans' built calls "Christian".  
    But now, what if we look at ourselves and we are not guilty of this Number One Sin of the modern Christian world (at least not now) that we've just been accused of? What should be our response then? 
    • Love. Because this person is someone deserving real love from us, because whether they ever decide to follow Jesus or not they still already have real love from God. 
    • Agreement. Because they do have it right, even if they need to narrow down that shotgun blast range just a bit.
    • Help to hopefully begin to see the difference between the good God and the bad Christians He actually warned us would show up in droves, and who He warned us to protect ourselves from.
    What every Gay and straight Christian owes to Gay men and Lesbians is the truth of God. The REAL God. The one who created a whole world just because He loves us. The one who stands on the side of the oppressed, and sends the oppressors away empty and hell-bound. The one who knows our sorrows, has suffered them Himself, and who promises to make things all right in the End, just to make sure He gets to love us forever.

    So I ask you what I ask of myself, today:
    • What can you start doing today for Gay teens and adults in your life, community, church, and city?  
    • What does God require you to speak out against, because it doesn't represent who He really is?
    • How can you better show the real Jesus to yourself and others, more and more each day?
    Here are some other resources and articles you might find useful, or that might get you started: