Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai. NB – slightly cut down – for full size see here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have got the most wonderful friends. Some of whom, I guess, find me difficult to deal with at times, although they never say anything about it.

You know, some of my friends are always putting themselves down, I know why, because I’ve been there, self talking, is as bad at times as others being cruel. If you tell someone they are useless for long enough, they will agree and long after you are gone, their uselessness will become part of them. The old adage “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, is just, completely, rubbish.

My friends will tell you I have a rule, I call it rule 468 paragraph 4 (just for fun), “Thou shalt not put thyself down”. Whenever I or one of my friends or family go to put themselves down I quote my rule. Because, I think, in the same way that words have sometimes destroyed lovely genuine people (you know who you are), words can turn things around.

Look, I might not know you, but I know about you, yes, I do, I know that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, God himself wants you as his child, do you know how much that cost?, it cost, himself.

So perhaps it’s time we employ the rule, “Thou shalt not put thyself down”, because, I realised that when I was putting myself down, I put others down as well. You cannot love others if you do not love yourself. I’m not talking about a huge ego trip, I’m talking about feeling happy about yourself and knowing that the people that put you down, frankly, are only putting themselves down and reflecting their own insecurities.

The journey out of depression starts by seeing a light of joy at the end of a very dark tunnel. This is often the tunnel where self talk has chained us down.

You’re great, you really are. Anyone tells you anything different, let me tell you something, they don’t know you, there is only one person who truly knows you and he said how great you are. “While we were still God’s enemy, Christ died for us”.

So lovely, valuable, precious readers, let’s change the programme and make this world a happier, better, place.

 

Advertisements

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/07/13/christian-concern-cancels-anti-equal-marriage-parliament-prayer-rally-to-conserve-energy/

One thing makes me laugh about people, in fact about myself, is the need to be right. If you are right you hold power over those who are wrong, but in doing so you may miss the entire point of faith.

Look at Jesus, when he was asked by the disciples if they could sit on his right and left in his Kingdom, he simply replied that they need to become servants. “For whoever want’s to be the greatest among you, must become the least”. The great thing about being a Christian is there is no requirement to be right. The only requirements are twofold. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, sole and mind, and Love your neighbour as yourself. Paul the Apostle said “There is no law against love”.

The problem is that Jesus’ message is drowned out by media, by our friends, by what everyone else wants and thinks but the truth of the matter is very simple. The truth is that when you take a position of just loving without judgment. People can do what they want to do. Love is a powerful weapon.

Did God not answer their prayers and send fire from heaven? Did he not destroy the equal marriage bill? No. Perhaps he is more interested in how we treat our fellow man or woman, how we love, how we drop our “right and wrong” and come to the place of peace with him. After all, he is the final judge, not us. We are set free in Christ to love the “tax-collectors and sinners”, but this love can only be activated truthfully when we realise that we, ourselves, are the same as the tax-collectors and sinners.

Something that has always puzzled me is why Jesus says “Go and sin no more” to people who will obviously not stop sinning (that includes me). My actual thoughts for what it’s worth are that he was talking about the specific thing that the person was trapped in that was eating them. Anyway – that’s another topic.

What these people who prayed for LGBT people to be denied the same love and rights as straight people forgot…sadly… is that there were also many LGBT people praying that they would be allowed to be married, but their prayer was not borne out of judgement or “I’m better than the tax collector” mentality, but out of the pain of  years of persecution by just about everyone, science, religion, everyone.

God hear’s the cries of the oppressed. I don’t think he’s actually that interested in the religious bigotry. Not from what I read of Jesus.

Another Ill Informed Vicar made this statement http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/07/11/vicar-says-homosexuality-can-be-given-up-like-cigarettes-and-police-are-being-manipulated-by-gays/

I just wonder where these people have been? After all these years of study and learning, the major Psychiatric organisations of the word have come to the conclusion that homosexuality is not treatable, you can’t just “give up” being straight, can you? Likewise you can’t just “Give up” being Gay.

However, some people do give up looking for a partner, but that doesn’t mean their orientation has changed, simply they have chosen to be alone. (or may be not chosen but are forced by circumstance).

The Natural/UnNatural view of homosexuality I find so amusing, saying that homosexuality is unnatural is like saying the sun rising in the morning is unnatural. It’s seen in all kinds of animals and birds, beings who as far as we know do not understand morality or good and evil.

The police, in my view were right to arrest this preacher, he was breaking the law. He may see it as persecution. But Jesus didn’t say you would be persecuted for persecuting other people, his take was “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in the heavens.” 

I don’t think actually the Jesus of the Bible would ever be seen attacking LGBT people (after all, he didn’t did he?). However he did have a lot to say about the Pharisees and the religious leaders who “were like whitewashed graves“, who “slammed the kingdom of heavens doors in mens faces“.

The problem with Christianity, Atheism and any other religious faith by which people are motivated is that they can use that as an excuse to forward their own bigotry, to deal with their own insecurities. But even a cursory reading of Jesus life shows that this is not the way we are to live.

That is a bit of an oxymoron actually.

I was wondering around my email this morning when I came across this shocking report, “Christian” parents sending their children BY FORCE to a christian school so they can be made straight.

It’s barbaric and nothing to do with the Christian faith. The faith where there is “no Jew, Greek, Male or Female because we are all one in Christ”. Children and teens taken in the night to these places, it must be terrifying for the children. I know that the loving parents think they are doing the best for their children but they forget one immutable fact, you cannot change a persons sexual orientation, no amount of singing choruses, screaming Jesus Loves me at the top of your voice will do it.

The correct response is to allow the LGBT person to work through their faith with support and love.

http://www.kidnappedforchrist.com

This is there blog.

http://www.kidnappedforchrist.com/apps/blog

This bothered me…

“So, if two people who practiced witchcraft turned up at the Church of England church and wanted to get married, would you have to do it?”

“Yes, provided they met all the legal requirements, but they would not be able to change the official wording”.

“…and if two people who were gay wanted to make a lifelong commitment to each other, these two have served in the church for 25 years, they would not be able to”

“Yes, that’s right”

…. need I say more.

Last night I got to speak on the Christian Faith and LGBT at fantastic Youth organisation called Mosaic Youth, their website is www.mosaicyouth.org.uk , they are based in Kilburn and Ealing (United Kingdom). The group was quite lively! With very differing opinions on Faith, but the questions were intelligent and to be honest, a lot more intelligent than some Christian groups I have spoken for on these topics!

Anyway – I’ve added a link so if you know any LGBT teens in the London area who need help or would benefit from an LGBT youth group, please put them in touch.

 

clicky (new window)

I think for me this summarises what happens when God touches someone who is caught in the Evangelical mistake of making people into something they are not.

Jesus said that he sought worshippers that worship him in spirit and in truth. You can’t worship God in truth if, in fact, you are lying. Our sexuality is part of who we are and you  know, God can cope with it, he can cope with the fact that not all of us are straight, or comfortable with our gender identity. Because we are free to be ourselves before God, in his presence, because, that is how he sees us. As we are. Just as I am, without one plea.

As I reflect on the people who over the years tried to help me “be straight”, with advice that if I got married I would become straight, are sadly mistaken, but ofcourse, PaulK will tell you, this is their journey. Sadly I expect PaulK and myself share the regrets of not living our lives to the full before God because we were caught up in a strange kind of legalism that takes odd verses out of the Bible and creates a false theology.

A simple application of logic shows that you cannot expect everyone to conform to the straight sexuality model often put out by churches and other religions, some people are simply not straight.

I often had many unanswered questions as I grew up as a Christian. I didn’t understand why we ignored one part of the Bible, but majored on another like it was more important.

I hope that Paulk does manage to find a partner and not spend his life alone. Being alone is hard. I know why God said “it is not good for a man to be alone” in Genesis. But we all need the best helper for us.