by Doug Bevins
Before I launch into the meat of this article, let me first state that this is my opinion based on my experiences. This article is not meant as a knock somebody who thinks differently over the head because I’m right and they are wrong piece. This article is simply as an, I hope, wake up call/encouragement.
I know many who read this are turned off by the title and they have every right to be. After all, what have the Church and Christianity done to endear itself to the masses? As I see it, there is more hate/fear/doubt/frustration/etc. seen in Christianity by those who are looking in from outside. Who wants to be a part of something that spends more time hating then sharing love/peace/help/etc to those in need? Believe it or not I’ve been there and have asked and am asking many of the same questions that others may be asking themselves regarding this matter. First off, it’s ok to have doubts. Doubts lead to the ability to choose on a given part of this issue that’s causing the doubts. After all, if one did not doubt, how does one gain clarity? Doubt is ok. Do not let others tell you different. I’ve been told many times that I’m not Christian enough because I do not attend a Bible study (attending Bible Study/gathering with believers is important but not at the expense of our personal faith walk). This next sentence may rattle some cages and I hope that happens: the Christian faith is as much a personal faith walk as it is a gathering of believers in community, BUT not at the expense of either aspect. The believer does not have the right to say they know best and the church does not have the right to tell the believer that they are living their faith in an improper fashion (aside from that faith breaking laws or causing immoral actions or attitudes in the church. That is different). Church (body of believers in community) and the believer (individual) are meant to coexist -period. How does one do that? Three things come to mind: expect it to be messy, be real, and care for each other. Church/Christianity is not meant to be neat and tidy or to hate. Love is meant to be the cornerstone and love means that messy will come to the surface as nobody is perfect but everybody is real with real thoughts, feelings, and problems, and nobody has the right to hate because none of us are perfect (NONE ARE PERFECT). Lastly, how can believers claim that they love each other if homosexuals are targeted/hated because they chose/were misguided to a lifestyle that, is sin by the standards of Christ but the person who made the choice does not know better (That sentence is NOT meant as hate speech or anything of the sort.) I am simply stating what I believe needs to change.