god hates fags

Lessons of Levi

Scripture, unlike our attempts at active reflection today, shows Jesus going to Levi at Levi's tax-collecting booth.  Jesus actually went to Levi's place of sin.

Then Jesus asks Levi to follow him.  I do not recall a sinner's prayer or even a Roman's Road.  Perhaps one of Jesus' bonehead disciples had a huge wooden sign that read, "God hates tax collectors!  The kingdom of God is near.  Repent or die!"

But I do not recall that in scripture either.  Anyway!  Jesus calls Levi, and Levi follows very willingly.  Oh!  It doesn't end there.  Going to one tax collector's little booth was not enough.  Jesus goes to have some dinner with Levi and a bunch of other tax collectors.  Jesus sat and hung out with them. I read that he sits with them; eating.

This was not the guys getting together for some food and cards either.  Scripture tells us it was a large crowd of tax collectors.  Jesus went to a huge tax collectors' dinner conference to hang out with them.

Oh, and possibly the most accurate reflection of today's Christian culture in this passage happens outside the "Hyatt Regency by the Sea" were Pharisee picketers with sings and megaphones.  The signs complained, "Why DO YOU eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

Now, let's not overlook something here.  The real thing worth noting is the Pharisees are the ones who first call the tax collectors "sinners".  They are never referred to as sinners until the Pharisees come on the scene. They were quick to place a branding on these people. Jesus goes into the margins of the marginalized and sits with them; the Christian elite sit outside branding tax collectors with titles.

Separated from love: part 2

It is painful enough to know we have convinced ourselves of this, that God does not love us when we sin or screw up, but there is something even more painful to me.  It is even more painful that out of our inability to understand this we have spilled over into the world around us.  We are convinced that our actions and decisions can separate us from God, and we have enforced this ridiculousness on non-Christians around us.  We have convinced them that God does not love them because of their sin and life decisions. Something is heart-breakingly wrong here!

One of my students did graphic design for some extra cash in college, and one of his bosses was a night club owner, author, and homosexual.  He had been putting the finishing touches on a book, and he asked my student to read the manuscript.  My student had told me a lot of the things he saw in this book.  The book is quite autobiographical and reveals a lot of this man's ideas of God.  His main thought and belief is that God hates him.  He is convinced that God hates him.  He doesn't mention Christians hating him; he is convinced that GOD hates him.  God has completely removed his love from this man as far as he is concerned.

Where does he get this concept?

Likely he gets it from God's people who themselves seem to be convinced (see yesterday's post) that you can be separated from the love of God, and if they believe THEY can be separated from the love of God, then surely so would homosexuals.  So some make signs and scream from megaphones.

But lets be frank; we don't need signs and bullhorns on a street corner do we?  We are capable enough in our minds and comments to condemn homosexuals, drunks, whores, prostitutes and democrats to separation from God's love.

Why do we do this to people?

It appears that we do it to ourselves as well.  We have convinced ourselves that we can be and often are separated from the love of God.  This is crazy enough that we have convinced ourselves of this, but it is breaking my heart that we have convinced the homosexuals, drunks, sluts and divorced of the same thing.

The TRUTH of the matter is:

God doesn't hate 'fags', whores, sinners, or you...

His people do.

Persecution: don't flatter yourself

Many Christians will say the Bible tells us people will hate us for being followers of Christ.  They will use the words of Jesus telling us we will be persecuted because of his name.  People use this part of scripture to attempt a validation of THEIR actions.  When their actions anger people, they all but shrug their shoulders and say, "Well the Bible tells us people will hate us when we speak the gospel in Jesus' name." I am not entirely sure people today are angry with the gospel OR Jesus.  I am not convinced that people are angry because we have really represented Christ to these people or our culture.  In fact, I think most people are great with Jesus but angered by his followers' actions.

I am not sure people hate the gospel as much as they do the Christians.  I am not convinced that our culture is frustrated with the gospel, Jesus, Christianity or its message as much as they are with the the followers' actions in the name of the gospel, Jesus, and Christianity.

There WILL be persecution for those who are followers of Christ (that much is promised) but there is a fine difference between persecution and deserved disappointment and frustration with poor examples of Christ, the gospel, and love.