Friday, November 20, 2009

advocate life...

Deep, dark eyes, barren and empty, filled with tears as he spoke in tones hushed by fear. He sat across from me and let out the guilt, shame, and rejection he was experiencing from his family and church. He grew up in the church and knew the Leviticus and 1 Corinthians texts about homosexuality. Reiterating these truths would be moot and wasteful.

He wasn't asking for spiritual insight or forgiveness, but rather crying out as a broken man in need of love. In that moment I remembered a quote from one of my favorite pastors, "It's God's responsibility to save. It's our responsibility to love." My friend didn't need condemnation. So many others already had. He needed to know he was a child of God who, like me, needs a Savior.

I came across this article on the Marin Foundation blog and was completely taken back at what is occuring in Africa. There is a grave injustice occuring and if the church believes in the sanctity of Life, this matters. Despite gender, color, race, or ethinicity, we are all children of God. Advocate life. This is not a social gospel. This is the gospel.

18 comments:

Michelle said...

Thank you Bianca for addressing this. The quote you passed on "It's God's responsibility to save. It's our responsibility to love" is so powerful and I pray we walk it out in our dealings with ALL our fellow human beings. :) Thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

Wow Bianca: this topic hit home so bad this time. I had a nephew who confess to me about his orientation, I was trying to help him because he is a God Child and he has chosen God and the he goes to the church as much as he can because there, he has told me that he feels nothing and all those feelings banish from him when he is there, so I seek for help with a lady that is so involved at church but her words crunch me, they hurt me because she called my nephew abomination and that he deserves hell because he is a sinner, I hold back my tears and my hands because I wanted to slap that women right in her face, how can you be so hypocrite and only love people who pretend to be Christians but when somebody is really in a desperate need you turn back to that person because you are afraid of being associated with us sinners.. I stop frequently the church but I begun praying for my nephew daily and I know God will do the rest. He loves God and he said that he doesn’t understand why that’s happening to him, he knows that is not right. My only answer to that is to keep on going to church and keep praying to God, I was the first person he has ever told about this.. And he is suffering so much that I can feel his pain when he spoke to me… I never knew how painful is when you know somebody is in pain until you feel it right in your heart and it kills you... I would like to have some advice from you because I don’t want to confuse him even more...

Bianca said...

@TwitchyEye: Love you. Hope you're house gets extra clean :)

@Anonymous: 1. I'm SO sorry for the way the church responded. 2. Yes, you're nephew is a sinner. But guess what? So am I. And you. And the love-less church lady. 3. Read "Loving Homosexuals As Jesus Would" (C. Thompson) and "God's Grace And the Homosexual Next Door" (Alan Chambers).

Hope this helps!

Diandra Ann said...

This is a great post. And that's a great rule for more than just homosexuality.

You're fantastic :) So proud of you!

Anonymous said...

When my best friend of 7 years came out to me I was shocked but i didn't love him any less. When I continued to speak to him, hang out with him, and be there for him, my christian friends and family told me I was "encouraging his behavior." I never condoned it, but I refuse to stop loving him.

Cindy A. said...

Wow. I think this "issue" (for lack of a better word) needs to be addressed more often in church! This lack of love is actually why I walked away in college. My best friend "came out" to me and I did my best to love on him. I went to my (then) pastor and told him about my friend and asked him for advice and to pray with me for my bestie. He told me that it was best for me to not associate with this person anymore and that prayer can only do so much when the choice belongs to someone else. He said this person would only bring me down with him and that being with him would desensitize me to the fact that he was a sinner.

Thanks for this vlog, B. "Love like Jesus." Amen.

Beth said...

I read an extract from a letter Elton John had written to his 16 year old self the other day, in it he said something along the lines of..."some people will hate you for being who you are, especially people from the so called christian church"...as I read it I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, I have had a few homosexual friends who I love dearly, but as a part of "the christian church" i felt so convicted. Wouldn't it be so good if he had written something like "a lot of people will dislike what you do, but if you're feeling alone or isolated, you can always turn to the christian church, although they don't agree with your choice - they will love you and support you no matter what"...that's the church I want to be a part of.

stalela said...

I in NO way, shape or form support the Ugandan Bill, however, I was somewhat confused by the passion to rally to try to stop this when we have abortions being done every single minute in our country. How can we stand up for one cause & neglect another? Do we do so because we feel it isn't going to change? Do we stop rallying to protect the lives of the unborn because we are somewhat desensitized to the fact that it is happening? Every single minute? No one should be imprisoned or executed for their sexuality & orientation, nor should a baby be aborted & murdered because it is not wanted or because it may have a disease or possible chance of being abnormal in their eyes. I'm not saying one is more important than the other. Period. I am saying however, that the right to life is not just the right to live as a homosexual or fill in the blank. The right to life is a HUMAN right.

Kati said...

This is tragic and horrific. I feel like even those of us to speak up on behalf of homosexuals in the church are condemned at times.

Thank you for being a voice for those who aren't given one in the Church.

I posted a link to your blog on mine. I hope this gets heard.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting for me to read the article. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Michelle said...

@theothertwitchyeye I love you back. And did a double take in the mall this weekend when I thought I spotted you! ;) hahaa! Loves!

Jen said...

I heard Sy Rogers speak this year. Oh. My. WORD. His story of forgiveness, salvation and God's Grace is extraordinary. Get your friend onto him (pun totally not intended *grin*) I think he will appreciate his candour and his message.

http://www.syrogers.com

Staci said...

These topics & situations have been on my heart, not just in light of this article, but in light of sin, human decisions & lifestyles of sin.

I understand what you're saying & what people like you are saying when it comes to not condemning people, but to love. Something that I agree with yes, but feel there is a fine line of how we present our love for a lost world. There's a fine line between not overstepping our boundaries and watering down the truth that sin IS sin. I feel that we live in a world where making everyone feel cozy & comfy comes before being the voice that God may have sent into their life to be a part of saving their soul & sowing seeds. We are all in people's lives for a reason. It is no accident that I am where I am & that the people around me are where they are. It's not about keeping our mouths closed & so called loving them all the while never telling them we love them so much that we want all God has for them including a life of wholeness & free from the sin that so easlily entangles us. It's about taking our OWN lives & giving our everything to God so that he can use us in a mighty way to reach those who are deep rooted in lifestyles of sin by our example of what it means to love & what it means to overcome sin in our own lives...including homosexuality. Not that we are ever completely free from sin, but as believers, if we are completely sold out to God, the lifestyle of sin becomes less & less because we are filling our lives with more & more of God. It is God who choses US. It is God who changes US. It is God who uses US. He doesn't need us. But, he does choose to use us. As your friend who was condemned & treated horribly for his homosexuality...he needs to understand that not everyone who disagrees with homosexuality HATES him. You are in his life for a purpose. To show YOUR love for God & in turn your love for him. And in that love, sometimes hard questions get asked & sometimes hard answers have to be given--but in love. Not the kind of condemnation where you disown someone. Not the kind where you tell them they are disgraceful. But, the kind where if God speaks to your heart to share something--you are available to do so, in love.

I guess, I look at it like this: If today was my last day & I knew fully well that it was my last day & I was placed in a room with unbelievers of all walks of life & lifestyles (some who were also family & friends) & I knew and was aware of their lifestyle of sin, and I could speak to them in love, what would I say? What would I want my message to be? What would I want them to remember? Would I tell them the truth about their sin through a heart of urgency, redemption & love or would I just tell them how much I love them--no loving warning--just how I love them. Would I address my family & friends differently if it were my last day? Would I water down the truth just so that they would remember me kindly or would I want them to remember how I told them the truth I knew from God's word because I wanted to see them again someday and because I loved them so very much?

Example:

I am walking along & as I approach a family member's house, I notice smoke billowing from their basement windows. There is a fire. I look up & I can see my family all on the 3rd floor. They have the music blaring & they are all dancing & laughing & having a good time. They have no idea that their house is on fire. I'll be damned if I will sit down on the sidewalk & watch their house burn down with them in it. I would be calling them. Screaming to them. Calling 9-1-1. Trying to text them. Calling their cell phone. I would throw rocks at the window to get their attention. I would do anything to warn them of their impending fate if they do not get out of that house.

Staci said...

(continued)

Why do we live as if we have all the time in the world? What are we waiting for? Sadly, I think many christians don't know how to warn & love without hate. So, it makes all of us who do speak the truth in love seem like biggots. so rather than teach our fellow christians to reach out in truth AND love, we just tell them to OVER love to a point that we never tell them God's truth. We are called to love, but we are also called to live as Jesus did & sometimes he did address people's sin.

I've had many, many difficult conversations & I have many, many people in my life that I haven't had conversations with. My grandparents were the most amazing example of speaking the truth in love. They were so involved in the community from college students to their families. They had a jail ministry right up until they died. They were so well known in the community for their honesty, truth & absolute acceptance & love. They didn't sugar coat anything, but they balanced everything in love. When they died, at their funeral, unbeliever after unbeliever that knew my grandparents were sobbing & in tears because they knew how much my grandparents loved them & how much they just wanted them to be saved. Many gave their lives to Christ because my grandparent cared enough to love, yet speak the truth. But, they didn't do this on their own. They asked God for all the wisdom he would give them. We shouldn't take for granted the time we have been given here on this earth to be a light of truth to the people in our lives & to the world around us.

Staci said...

And in light of the blog you encouraged us to go look at, that is NOT okay. That is really sad. No one, no matter what they believe (because remember, Christians get murdered & jailed & tortured in other countries, too) or how people live should make their life not matter. It's so sad to see us living in 2009, and people being killed, tortured & jailed for their beliefs & how they live.

Bianca said...

Hi Staci,

Thank you for reading the article. I knew it would make more sense after reading it.

Like I said, I'm not advocating loving people to death or ignoring sin, but rather building relationships before bringing out the sin check-list.

Thanks for your insights and comments.

Bianca

Staci said...

How do you think we can focus & teach our fellow believers to love through relationships vs. having sin check lists? That was kind of my point (although long & drawn out). Living in a society that really pushes a "me, me" mentality or I'm right you're wrong mentality...we need strong leaders to teach those of us (and everyone else who have experienced wrong teaching or rule following) who have been told that to be a christian...you need to 1. accept Jesus as your Lord & savior, accept his love 2. Follow all these rules (no drinking, no swearing, no -fill in the blank-) Although, no church would ever tell you that you need to do both number 1 AND 2 to be accepted as a christian...but they make sure they emphasize number 2 or stick their noses up at people who mess up or focus more on who we are in Christ. Hence, pulling out their sin check list. And they are the kinds who walk around with picket signs (either directly or indirectly) with words like REPENT! OR YOU WILL GO TO HELL! GOD IS LOVE. GOD'S JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL! Instead of being a walking example of love & forgiveness themselves.

And I agree, wholeheartedly that it is NOT our job to save. But, it is our job to love & in that love comes a job to warn in truth. Like I stated earlier about the fire scenario...no...it isn't my job persay to run into that house all ablaze & save everyone in there. But, because I am in their life & I see it...it would be a shame not to warn them...mainly because I LOVE them.

M.T. Tomb said...

http://www.rbc.org/utmost/index.php

Reading today's devotional made me think of you and this blog spot or is it this spot on your blog? Any who, my question to you is (this is kind of an old blog are you going to be reading it?) when you love people without telling them the truth are you truly loving that person? You can't really love a person without being truthful, can you?

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