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.
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:
- Claims to be highly responsible, but fights against having to be accountable for much of anything.
- Claims to be beyond questioning or above investigation, but obsessively hides its errors and sins and attacks those who threaten to expose them.
- 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.
- Claims to be responsible for great benefits, but those are either not real or were caused by something else.
- Claims only it can protect us from great, looming dangers, when actually it's one of or the largest threat we face.
- 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.
- Claims to be beyond questioning or above investigation, but obsessively hides its mistakes and incompetents, and punishes those who report even gross negligence.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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).
- 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.)
- 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)
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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).
- 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).
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.
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
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed! [John 8:36]