February 05, 2006

God Will Deal with the Messengers of Hate

One of the more frequent themes I have written about and readers have contacted me about is their anger at what we feel is a gross distotion of God's message by "fundamentalists" preaching hatred against GLBT people and those who don't vote Republican. In my bible study over the weekend, I ran across some scripture that addresses how God will handle that when the time for reckoning arrives.

Luke 20:45-47 (NIV) While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be published most severely."

Luke 11:52 (NIV) "Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering."

Matthew 7:22-24 (NIV) Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

If, as I so strongly feel in my heart, they are wrong, those preachers will be punished severely on judgement day. It it difficult but critically important for us to remember that no one on either side of any issue has the right to judge others--that is God's right and His alone. In these and other scriptures, he clearly promises that he will deal with those who have misrepresented His word and led others down that path.

What if I'm wrong? What if I have misinterpreted the leading of the Holy Spirit and I'm wrong about what I write here? I would face that same type of punishment detailed in the scripture above. Unlike many of the followers of the "fundamentalist" leaders, however, I have taken responsibility for the couse I am charting with my life and my writing.

I have, with guidance from my wife Brenda, my Pastor Dale, and other leaders at my church, worked very hard on developing my individual relationship with Jesus Christ. I have put the effort into bible study, prayer, and studying various teachings on important issues to educate myself and, more importantly, discern God's will for my life without it going through anyone else's filter.

If we have been influenced by a leader who has gone astray, we still have the responsibility to figure out God's will for our lives, not our leader's will. It does take some effort and committment. It's not easy. The bible is not easy to figure out. It can be difficult making ourselves be still and pray. That is where the nourishment of the spirit comes from, though. Without it, our spirit starves just like our body without food.

I went through a spell of my life where I starved my spirit, and it caused me to be less than I could be. I know many people are currently doing the same, especially GLBT people who have just had the living crap kicked out of them by the church.

Please remember, if you've experienced that type of rejection, that is is coming from man, not God. He loves you and is reaching out to you right now, right this very minute! If you reach back and open yourself up to His love, your life will never be the same. Leave the hatred behind, God will deal with those who inflicted it upon you. Just focus on His love and let the Holy Spirit into your soul.

No man, regardless of how much political power he amasses or how loudly he screams, can EVER take that away from you.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if the ability to feel connected with God is something we're born with or without, much like hetero- or homosexual attraction. It seems to me that it's just as potentially damaging to say "God wants to have tangible interaction with you. All you have to do is let the spirit in." to someone who can't feel close to God as it is to say "God made you heterosexual; stop being gay" to a man who is attracted to other men.

    I see some strong parallels between those who advocate "personal relationship with God" and those who condemn homosexuality. They've had a certain kind of experiences, all their friends and the people they respect have had the same experiences, the Bible seems to support their views, and those who feel differently tend to leave (or be excluded from) the church and be disinterested in the things of God. They even have stories of people who thought they couldn't have this intimacy with God but were proven happily wrong. Why would they doubt that God made everyone the same way?

    And so those who lack this connection with God either hold their tongue and try to fake it, or they convince themselves they know God just like everyone else, or they get sick of the whole charade and get out of the church. Being constantly made aware of what they're missing (a plug for a "God shaped hole") they may try to patch it with pleasure. And the God-experiencers say "See? He was never really seeking God. He just wanted an excuse to live in sin." and be all the more convinced that they're right.

    Just a thought.