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.
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:
- Hurting themselves,
- Crawling away from God,
- Hating Jesus,
- Despising themselves and others like them,
- and more...
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".
- 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.
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?