Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gays and Jesus - A Different Christian View Point

Back when AIDs was still a plague that was killing all it touched, I was wrapped up in trying to learn how to deal with my own issues brought on by my still existent TBI, and what was said about AIDs didn't effect me, and was not part of my world.  After all, I have always been heterosexual and I am still married to the same awesome women I married in 1979.

Not my monkeys, not my circus, so to speak.

Then my wife and daughter took me to see Rent right off Broadway in New York City.


I have learned much since then about my own prejudice, institutional prejudice, societal pressure, about my own discernment of the scriptural text and most importantly what the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of God, wants me to do and understand.

All of that, however, was not enough for me to write this blog entry, until my recent family trip to watch my nephew receive his baccalaureate from the University of Oregon in biology.

Caveat Lector - The Truth Shall Set you Free, but it will Hurt.

We arrived in Eugene Oregon at 6:30 in the morning and went straight to bed, after 12 hours of traveling.  When we woke up, this was the view from the porch.  Pretty awesome that the home my sister had rented was in such a fantastic setting.

It was a Sunday early afternoon, and we were in a house with 5 females and 12 males, all pretty much relaxing all over the place.  The numbers of people would also fluctuate radically during the day, as friends of the family and the graduate came by to enjoy the company and the celebration of my nephew's accomplishment.  It was, even for me, a paranoid anti social person due to TBI, a joyous time.

We went shopping as a team, went to Starbucks as a team, came home and cooked and ate as a team, or at least what passes for a team in the Northwest, where personal freedom of action is not just a nice concept, but a reality of every day life.

After dinner, it started to get cold, so the groups got tighter and the fire on the porch was ignited. As it turns out, one of the genes from my nephew's other side of the family was music, so many of the people there were musicians. And then, most of the older attendees, and by older I mean old enough to remember JFK, rather than remember who he was, were sitting around the fire swapping stories of my sisters' (Both of my sisters live in the northwest and were there) and my life, since none of them had ever met me (the friends that is - I knew my sisters).

Off hand, one of them said, "I would have died from aids way back then if Robin had not been there."

Alarm bells rang in my head, but not at first from the "I would have died" part, but from the AIDs part.  That meant that they were probably gay.  Wait a minute,  I was already informed that they were gay, and was taking a low profile on my faith, because the gay community, as a rule, pretty much distrusts Conservative White Christians.  Me.  They distrust me I thought, so I avoided any apologetics for the first day of our trip.

Yet, even so, it had not really occurred to me that people I knew actually had AIDS.  

I stupidly said, as it sank in, "Then you must have seen many of your friends die?"  I meant it as sensitive, and fortunately they took it that way, but in retrospect, it was loss of impulse control, as the real fact that these were gay men, looking around, most of them were gay men, that had AIDs.

I then heard stories of just how my sister had "saved" them, and it was those stories that prompted this video.


I heard story after story of personal encounters with who I know as God, but they called "Higher Being" or "Spiritual Encounter."  Everything they said was in line with scripture and had the feel of genuine encounter with the Spirit of God.

Everything they were told in their encounters showed the Love of the Lord.

This did not confuse me because of the assumption that they were an abomination, according to a tight and blind reading of the scripture, but it did confuse me because of the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, as they did not profess to know Jesus.  To be sure, I was jealous.  

But, the Power of the Love of the Lord overwhelmed me non the less.  I have felt this a couple of times in my life. At Church on Christmas Day a few years ago; when my daughter accepted the Lord, though at the time I had not; when I was baptised for the 3rd time; When I decided to give up on using TBI as a crutch and a few times when my wife ran "Run to Homebase" for others with TBI. I'm prone to emotional events, but these events were not emotional but rather total life altering extra vision, on your knees noticing the Power of God spiritual. I recognize the Spirit of the Lord when it moves now, and this was one of those events.

Suddenly I saw God working in these people, and in one of their encounters with the Holy Spirit, God told them they "were ok, just they way they were."

I could give you dozens of reason why many read the "clobber" phrases in the bible as a condemnation of homosexuality, but I won't.  That's the wisdom of man, rather than the wisdom of God.  I will just say this.  Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor as your self.  Love is an action, and it does not have condemnation or judgement in it.  Condemnation is God's job, not ours. We are called to the Gospel of Jesus, the Christ.  That is Love in spite of Sin, to obliterate condemnation.  Do that. Just Love people.

Be the Little Christ that Christian means, rather than the little demon in other people's lives.

So I crossed the line that day.  Before Monday June 15, 2015, I supported Gay Rights, because I "thought" and my biblical research supported Gay Rights.  I had long ago stopped saying "life style choice," because I am a physicist, and science has shown without doubt it is not choice.  Just like it has shown that the earth is not the center of creation and that African Americans are NOT inferior to anyone.  All of these bigoted choices have at one time or the other been supported through selective and gymnastic interruptions of the Bible. I had already crossed that line, but on Monday, I crossed another line.  I felt that I had been called to stop living in the shadows, performing random acts of love. I had been called to make a stand.

This scarred the heck out of me. I had not idea what I could do, or what would happen.

Then the rest of the story happened. Anne and I spent the rest of the week at my sister Robin's house in Seattle Washington. I told her what some of her friends had said about her work with them.

She then told me a little more about what she had done in the last few decades.  She called the early years of HIV a plague, and if you remember, 100% of those with HIV were supposed to die, and most actually did.  She and her colleagues created a group, I believe it was Team Quest, in Portland Oregon, and it's purpose was to create protocols that would keep the gay community with HIV alive, against all odds, until medication was invented that would keep them alive.  Fortunately, that day has come, which was also news to me.  However, keeping people alive against a virus that is 100% fatal seems like a fools quest.  It was not.  They not only keep people alive, but they are one of the primary reasons that people are not afraid to be tested for HIV in the northwest.  They provided the love, the care, the concern and the counselling that was necessary and never before done for a community that was being obliterated by a plague and shunned by the people of God.  They became God's hands. The were Love.  There is far more to the extent to which Robin personally went, but this is enough to see the Love.  Love is sacrifice, and it only come from God.

So, this is my call.  To bring God, though Love, to this community.  They already are more spiritual than I.  Many have talked directly to God. But our bigotry, our hate, our fear has caused them to turn for the Lord, and approach him from a different angle.  How can we let that stand.  Salvation and Love is the gift of God to all people, and we are called to be bring the gospel of Love and Forgiveness, not the gospel of Hate.  Examine what you believe, about the gay community, then ask yourself, what would Jesus do.  I can't see him with posters saying he hated gays.  I can't see him trying to get the Romans to execute, disenfranchise and destroy them.  I can't see him not selling them cake.

I can see him walking into their community, as he did with leapers, who were believe to be sinners in their time, and Loving them, touching them, feeding them.

We have been playing for the other team.  Stop it.  Be Gods light, not the darkness.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome post.

    Love is a verb

    Our "neice" was born with HIV - she passed away this last December at 21 from the disease. The challenges she lived with her whole life where heartbreaking. The support your sister is giving that community is amazing. My niece stopped taking her medications- wether the youthful ignorance that she could
    Just do it her way or depression from losing her mother to AIDS and the lifelong battle she was having including the stigmas surrounding her battle.

    Thanks again for sharing and being a light.
    A. Buzzell

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was an awesome post to be sure. I completely delighted in understanding it in my noon. Will without a doubt come and visit this blog all the more frequently. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing. Christian Counselling

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