Archive for April, 2014

A lovely friend of mine asked me to write this.

One of the hardest topics as a Christian is forgiveness. When it comes to forgiving others that is. Ofcourse very few Christians have problems with God forgiving them.

The forgiveness we would like from God is unconditional and free, it does not demand payment as we recognise that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross creates the means by which God forgives us.

However, there is one, huge, huge caveat.

Jesus in the Lord’s prayer says “Father forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Thus, if we want complete, full forgiveness from God. We have to forgive others.

Sounds simple doesn’t it but it is notoriously hard to do.

If we realise our forgiveness from God could just be dependant on how we forgive others, that puts a whole new light on it.

Nelson Mandella said “Forgiveness is a powerful weapon”. I would add, yes Nelson, but it comes at sometimes a high price until we look to Jesus on the cross.

There are still consequences though, for example, if someone steals something from you, Jesus says in Matthew 5:40 “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”, surely not Jesus, surely we should pay what is asked?

Jesus has this thing about going the extra mile, when someone steals something from you, give them something else!

WHAT?

My possessions Lord I’ve worked so hard for?

I want to say don’t give them anything else and lock your stuff away.

Jesus doesn’t seem keen on the whole idea of protectionism, “I forgive you but leave me alone”.  He is more interested in reconciliation.

So if I want reconciliation and forgiveness from God then I have to do the same to others.

It works when judging as well, as you judge others so you shall be judged.

Does Jesus command us therefore to be a doormat?

No because a doormat cannot show love or servanthood to the person who has offended us. Jesus asks us to be a better person by repaying pain with love and that is really hard.

But, forgiveness must come with wisdom, if someone keeps breaking things, may be a good idea to put things out of their way. If someone steals from you, forgive them but be wise about leaving your wallet out, it’s more loving not to because then no offence is created.

Overall, it’s about love.

That’s my thoughts on the subject but I recognise just how hard it is to forgive, especially when there is a lot of pain involved. Forgiveness is a powerful weapon, but one that sometimes takes time to yield. Healing from hurt is a whole other story as is repairing the loss that has happened.

Jesus died on the cross to make it possible, don’t think for one minute that was not a painful experience.

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”

Sometimes this can be the first step.

“Lord, Please forgive them and let me come alongside you in forgiveness, show me what you want me to do to reconcile things”.

(or for the more desperate)

“I can’t believe they’ve done it again Lord”, to which He responds, “they are just like you”.

Awkward, very Awkward.

 

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With all this “Marriage is always between a man and a woman” rubbish Christian’s pro port I would point out that Easter is actually a Pagan God and Christian’s redefined Easter as a time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, if Christians were so concerned about “Tradition” they would return Easter right back to where it belongs as Pagan idol worship.

The truth is it is completely hypocritical to use the “it’s always been this way” argument because it simply does not stack up.

The people Jesus loved

Posted: April 15, 2014 in Me and Jesus
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Following up to my last text on Does God love me? I decided to think about the people that Jesus loved and reached out to and conversely those he did not have time for.

Jesus Loves:-

  • Fishermen
  • Tax Collectors
  • “Sinners”
  • Publicans
  • Lepers
  • Prostitutes
  • Roman Soldiers, especially those who have a  “servant” who is sick
  • John “The disciple who Jesus Loved” Who would lay with his head on Jesus’ Chest
  • Judas, the betrayer
  • Short people
  • People who were demonised
  • Thieves (especially those on the cross, who incidentally forgot to get baptised or repent)
  • Children
  • Women – remember the woman that touched the hem of his garment, remember that women were seen as second class
  • Samaritans
  • The poor
  • Peacemakers
  • Those who mourn
  • The persecuted because of his name – incidentally that doesn’t include Pharisees
  • Prodigal sons
  • Slaves
  • Pharisees (remember Nicodemus)
  • The World
  • The sick
  • The disabled (I hate that word)
  • The blind
  • The different
  • Basically anyone for whom the word “Outcast” applies as he was an Outcast.
  • His mother
  • PARTIES! (especially when they run out of wine)
  • Carpenters
  • Rich People (remember the Rich young ruler) (I know it’s on both lists)
  • Poor widows who only have 1 mite to put in the offering

Jesus is not amused by:-

  • People turning the temple into a den of robbers
  • Pharisees – people who have forgotten love in favour of law – whitewashed graves who shut the kingdom of heaven in mens faces.
  • Rich people? – Remember the Rich young ruler

I wonder, just wonder which list Gay people like me fit into?

Does God love me?

Posted: April 14, 2014 in Me and Jesus
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I have been struggling with this question for years. For the straight person it is easy to assume God’s love for them.

What I think “The Church” thinks.

I think that some of the church is cool with me and some of them hate me. The ones who love, really love, the ones who are not sure want to love but have been told by “someone” they can’t but feel awkward about it and the ones that hate, well they REALLY know how to reject someone.

I hear repeatedly (just listen to LBC radio), I’m a sinner, I’m an abomination, I’m not “natural”, I commit the unforgivable sin, I can change and become straight. Even though I live alone with my cat and hardly see anyone.

I still remember vividly when my church decided to have a discussion on Gay Marriage in the lady chapel at church. I did not go, I found it incredibly hard as I was sitting over the other side of the church. I felt like they were all discussing my life as if I was on trial.

Frankly, I don’t think the Church really believes half of the things it says. I mean no one gets stoned to death for committing adultery?

I wonder what Jesus would say to the church about this whole thing.

What I think Jesus thinks.

Jesus, this is much more awkward.

What do I know about Jesus? Jesus condemned the religious for shutting the gates of heaven in mens faces by all their rules.

Jesus, he loved outcasts, after all, he was an outcast, he was born away from home, he was an immigrant in Egypt, he hugged lepers and healed them, he reached out to everyone, I wonder what he would say to me?

Perhaps he might not be so interested in my sexuality? Maybe God actually would love someone like me. I mean why would he create me and then punish me for being who I am?

Would Jesus allow me to be in love with another person? Would Jesus celebrate love I had for another person even if he was the same sex as me?

Well, it was well known that the Roman Centurion, quite a few of them were Gay and Jesus healed his “servant”. I mean, if you have a servant and he’s sick, you get another one, don’t you? Why did the Roman Centurion journey all that way to meet some Jew, perhaps his love for the Servant was more? I mean, the greek word, so I’ve been told COULD mean lover?

So what if God does love someone like me? Does he think I’m second class, not quite good enough like the church thinks, does he think, as Archbishop Welby recently said, that Gay people should be sacrificed so that violent people will not hurt Christians?

I wish I didn’t have this nagging doubt. Every time a Christian says again that I’m an abomination to God. I wish I could some how break through this.

If I could at least “touch the hem of his garment”, perhaps no one would notice. I don’t take communion in church.  I would tell people it was because I could not get married in church but in fact it was something else, that deep down I feel second class, not quite good enough as far as the church is concerned. I am awkward, like a piece of furniture that does not fit in. That old rug, or odd chair that you just can’t get rid of.

I often think it would be easier not to go to church at all. Easier just to live my christian life alone, after all I do a lot of the time. But you know I just hope one day I will be able to feel that God loves someone like me.

The Striving

What feeling inadequate before God does actually can just lead to depression, for me it does as well but also striving, the thought that perhaps if I do OTHER things to impress God he can overlook the one thing I can’t change.

Does God love me?

Not sure.