The other night in the line at the merchandise store, while they were packing up my bags,
I saw the pictures of the prophets on the picket signs screaming “GOD HATES FAGS”,
And it feels like the Church isn’t anything more than the second coming of the Pharisees,
Scrubbing each other till their tombs are white they chisel epitaphs of piety.
Some people absolutely astonish me. Am I the only one who sees this paradox? By calling someone a hypocrite you become one yourself. This is why Jesus warned in Matthew 7 and in Luke 6 that we should never confront a brother about a speck of sin his life before we’ve dealt with the pile in our own.
Even though we spend a lot of time in our churches talking about God “taking away our sins”, being a Christian has nothing to do with being sinless. Unfortunately what most of us call “repentance” is nothing more than tightening the knots in our fig leaves. We learn to hide our sins from the world, whitewashing our tombs, to the point that we actually begin to believe that we are perfect and sinless in the eyes of God and Man. We begin to believe that we have the right to pass judgment on others because of our “perfection”. Perhaps this is just another fig leaf for us to hide behind… if we can shine light on the sins of others we will look that much cleaner… draw the attention away from our own shortcomings and onto theirs and how much more profane their actions are than our own. Most commonly these sorts of people are the gossips, the ones who retell any story, without regard to source or accuracy, to anyone willing to listen or maybe just tell a boldface lie just so they have something to gossip about. This may help some people sleep at night, or maybe even give a sense of twisted satisfaction but the fact remains that such an attitude is actually pushing you away from Christ instead of making you look more like Him.
It’s been said that if your sin is small then so is your savior. If your sin is great then your savior is great. I am sad for those people who know of Christ and yet day after day they spit at the foot of the cross by telling themselves that they don’t really need it, they don’t really have any sin, they are perfect or somehow better than someone else and can speak for God against the sins of others. I am sad for those people because their Jesus is so tiny…a cute little pocket-sized Jesus that’s soft and squishy and squeaks nice things about them when they poke his tummy. …and every time they look down on someone, judge someone, whisper behind someone’s back, or retell some story disguised as a “prayer request”, their Jesus grows smaller and smaller, weaker and weaker, quieter and quieter….
…these people do NOT have the same Jesus I have!
My Jesus is a MONSTER! He terrifies me, He sometimes jumps me in the dark and knocks me down on my face… After talking to Him I sometimes feel bruised and bloody, as if I had been beaten! My Jesus is most definitely NOT cute and fuzzy! He tears me apart. He breaks my heart. He crushes my spirit. He destroys everything that I try to be.
I am the greatest of all sinners! I am the one who has been forgiven much! C.S. Lewis said that Jesus is not safe, but He is good. When we follow Him he keeps us in line. He tells us when we are screwing up. When we try to be something we aren’t he breaks us and puts us back together the right way.
When you meet the REAL Jesus you will know it because it will hurt… a LOT. He will rip you open and tear out everything that isn’t supposed to be there – Greed, Pride, Envy, Lust, Malice, Slander, Gluttony, Complacency…
When you meet a REAL Christian you will know it because it will give you hope. The difference between a Hypocrite and a Christian is that a Hypocrite will talk about someone else’s sin, instead of praising God for saving them from their own!
As I type these things that I KNOW to be true I am understanding full well that I have done, and continue to do, everything I have just condemned and then some. Jesus gave us only TWO commandments to follow, to Love God and to Love People as much as God does, and most days I fail at both.
How then can I call myself a Christian?
Because the more sin I realize I am guilty of the GREATER MY SAVIOR BECOMES! The more clearly I see how far from God I have been, the more FANTASTIC IS THE STORY OF MY SALVATION! I AM FORGIVEN! FOR EVERYTHING AND FOREVER!!! MY JESUS TOOK IT ALL AWAY AND FOR THAT I WILL FOLLOW HIM TO THE BEAUTIFUL ENDING.
You CANNOT be a Christian without understanding this idea, because until you do you have not met the real Jesus. We are ALL sinners, but the GRACE of GOD is big enough to cover us all! Preach the Gospel with LOVE, instead of preaching Hell with condemnation and hate.
To finish up, I want to clear up a couple of points. God does not hate “fags”, He loves everyone with every bit of His gigantic heart! Every time you use a word like that to talk about one of His children it breaks that same giant heart. Even when speaking to sinners God uses names like “child”, “son”, “daughter”… “beloved”. Maybe we should too.
I hope your Jesus becomes a monster.