The other day I inadvertently sent a link from my TransfiguredHearts.com website to a client of mine. About half an hour later I realized what I had just done, and after a several more moments of panic, she responded back that she admired my strength, courage and perseverance – she even liked my writing style (I call it uncultivated composition.)
Her acceptance of my history really warmed my heart (and slowed down my heart-rate,) but I was immediately disheartened to hear about her own father. Her father was a devout Irish Catholic and raised his children to attend church. She told me about how her sister is gay, and her father loved and accepted his gay daughter completely and unconditionally. She told me of one of her father’s favorite passages from Colossians 3:12-14 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” [English Standard Version] But the church wasn’t quite in the forgiving mood and eventually from conflict after conflict with the church, he felt he had no choice but to turn away from the church completely, and finally died a lonely and self-proclaimed agnostic.
This was a devout man who was truly living what Christ commanded in John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.” [New Heart English Bible] A devout man that left because the church could not find it within itself to love FIRST. Love was nowhere to be found, only dogma and doctrine. I’m sure the people within the church (who claim to represent Christ) slept just fine even though they pushed this man to the point of turning his back on God. When we forget what we’ve been called to do by our Savior and instead judge and condemn people regardless of the effect it may have, then we’ve gone from being Christians to merely being religious. And that doesn’t make us much better than other religions in the world that would just as soon kill those who may be LGBT. If people aren’t seeing Christ through us ESPECIALLY in difficult situations, then what does that tell them about our Lord and Savior?