Truth, Lies and Stereotypes

Warning: I’m pretty sure to offend everyone with this post.
A few days ago an acquaintance posted something to Facebook that offended me so deeply it actually stuck in my brain and wouldn’t leave. I had nightmares about it for two nights. It made me angry, and then I was troubled because it made me angry. I won’t bless the offensive content with a link, but suffice it to say that it was about Christians and the GBLT community.

Here’s the problem: I’m a Christian. Anyone who doesn’t know that about me, well…they don’t know me. But what is maybe less well known is that I have worked with a number of members of the GBLT community, some of which I consider friends. In particular, there is a writer that I have a great deal of respect for who is trans-sexual. She’s also a Christian and devoted to her marriage and her family. She is a classic stereotype destroying individual. I adore that.

I was thinking about the bit of offensiveness that had been posted and how — like so many other stereotype exploiting bits of late — this piece was intended to trigger hatred. I’ve watched various organizations claim to speak for Christianity — and sadly, people like the individual who posted this nastiness begin to believe the lies. They believe that Christianity is based on hate. And that makes me sad, because some people may never see the truth behind the lies.

So, just for the record, I thought I’d mention something from the source of true Christian beliefs, the Bible. This is what a Christian believes:

Romans 10:9-10 (NASB translation) that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

You’ll actually find Romans a wonderful explanation of what Christians DO believe, and an explanation of why the law existed originally and how it applies to our “modern” lives. The book of John tells the story of Jesus’ life. In Romans, Paul writes to the intellectuals of his day and explains Christianity, its history and its relationship to the law. It is a fascinating book where one man grapples with how sin and God affect his daily existence. What you won’t find is a qualification of that statement. The Bible doesn’t say you can be a Christian IF you believe in Jesus *and* you don’t do x, y or z. It does give advice on how to live, but that is secondary — and personal between an individual and Jesus.

Now, do I have views about what is right and what is wrong? Yes. But MY Bible does not tell me to go out and tell people how to live. In fact, it says the opposite. It does tell me to share my love of Jesus — the same way I tell people about the others in my life that I love. Here’s the thing: I believe in an all-powerful God–one who was willing to die to give each and every person the right to choose to love Him or not. When He saw people who did not love Him, He cried. When He saw “religious” people who didn’t “get” what He was trying to say — ones who were so caught up in legalism, for example, *then* He became angry.

Maybe some of my Christian friends will be offended by this. Some of my non-Christian friends will definitely be offended, especially the one who I believe posted the lies without thinking or perhaps even being aware of the truth. But I had to write it. Why? Because it struck me as probable that this individual was being driven away from any understanding of Jesus and what He died for by these lies and irrelevant legalistic battles. I simply care too much to let that go unchallenged. I’ve discovered over the years that I have an amazing ability to offend people. For that, I’m sorry…but I’m not sorry for the passion that drives my life.

This world, this existence…it is only one dimension. I find the multi-dimensional nature of eternity and our lives can be easily drowned out by the clamor of this world, but that a moment of silence, perhaps spent looking up at the vastness of space or the wonder of a single cell…well, if people are silent, even the rocks cry out.

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