I woke up yesterday morning(June 26, 2015) to the decision made by the Supreme Court Of The United States(SCOTUS) to legalize same-sex marriage. Words cannot express the mixed emotions that I have about this. Many people celebrated what is now the new law of the land. #LoveWins was trending on social media. Of course, love wins and always will. However, amidst the jubilation of many LGBT members and allies, the reactions that ensued from many Christians were and are still nothing beyond appalling. It does not surprise me that we, Christians, still have a long way to go when it comes to reaching out to the lost and unsaved. Many Christian reactions revealed arrogance, ungodliness and hypocrisy. There are many out there who call themselves Christians, but will not inherit the kingdom. That is a fact! Does this surprise me? Definitely not! Christ himself said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.“(Matthew 7:21). Instead of many Christians striving to do the will of the Father, they would rather find themselves criticizing a decision that cannot be overturned any longer. Now, does this decision to legalize gay marriage make me happy? Yes, I am beyond thrilled and ecstatic. I am elated. The reason for this is that I am more hopeful than ever that Christ is definitely coming sooner than expected. Many Christians whine and criticize SCOTUS’ decision, but are doing nothing about the will of the Father. They are not telling the same people in need of a savior about the good news of the Savior.
Friends, I am a firm believer of freedom. I believe we’re free to make our own choices, but are never free from the consequences of our choices. Now you tell me, what difference would it make banning same-sex marriage under the guise of religion, bashing and lambasting gays when we, Christians, are not any better than them? What difference would it make banning gay marriage when there are people still living in the same same sin? Sin is a heart issue, and acting on it is rebellion against the Creator. Let us face it, banning gay marriage would not change the hearts of those who wish to get married or their attitudes towards it, but would mean having people putting on facades in front of the world when the heart is still deeply plunged in sin. We are all accountable for our own actions, and God knows every heart on this planet. If serving God is what you really strive for, He already knows. Banning gay marriage will not get every LGBT to heaven.
Besides, we each have our own struggles. For some, it is lust, others, pride, others, adultery and fornication, others, alcoholism, and others, pornography. No sin is better or bigger than the other. Many Christians use this to justify their love for the gay community. But deep down inside, some may not believe this, as they still view gay marriage as the greatest of all sins. That was what I perceived from the reaction of many “Christians”. These people have their own struggles which the world knows nothing about. They are not any different from the Pharisee and Scribes. They hide their struggles in their masks and jeer at those who choose to publicly acknowledge their own sin and struggle. They forget that Paul writes in James 2:10 that “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” They forget that by breaking a single law like alcoholism, pornography, idolatry, jealousy, pride and even lust( which is adultery, by the way), they have broken all the laws, including homosexuality. Yes, they are also guilty of homosexuality which is also a sin like all the other sins.
As a follower of Christ and same-sex attracted Christian, I know what it means to be gay and be Christian. I know the constant battle of not giving in to my earthly desires for something greater, better and sweeter. I know what it means to die to my old self and walk with Christ, being mindful of judging others because of my own sin. I know exactly what these people feel and even worse for being Christian, because that was where I used to be. Many Christians do not know what it feels like to be there. They do not fully know and understand how to reach out to the LGBT community. There are many LGBT friends who have deliberately chosen to give up their religious beliefs because of they see us, Christians, as insincere, and I can fathom the feeling. However, they’re responsible for this(leaving). Some Christians will tell you that they love you and will help you overcome your struggle every step of the way when you tell them you wrestle with this. Sadly, their deeds do not match up with their words. The church sometimes ignores that there are many same-sex attracted Christians in need of encouragement, and focuses more on heterosexual Christians, expecting gay Christians to easily reconcile their sexuality with Christianity. I think the church needs to acknowledge that there are also Christians who wrestle with this and try to help them out. I think the Church needs to help us carry our burdens to help ease the aches of the desire. I think the Southern Baptist Churches should do these besides shoving the “you know the truth”, “it is a sin” and “you are going to hell and will not be a member of the church if you live it out” down our throats. I think as a Church, it is our responsibility to look after each other, not remove the speck in another man’s eyes before taking out the plank in ours. We ought to be a reflection of Christ’s love and build each other up, not tear each other down. Some Christians will say to some of us that “Christ loves you and so do I”, but they are the same people who refuse to serve LGBT people-including Christians with same-sex attraction- when they show up in their stores. Lies and hypocrisy at its finest, right? How is refusing to serve a LGBT member because of “God’s will” a reflection of Christ’s love for one another? That is clearly man’s will, not God’s.
However, many “Christians” apparently do not know that they often come off as inconsiderate, rude and arrogant when addressing this issue. They give LGBT members reasons not to like them, and wonder why the world is turning out so badly, forgetting that they are part of the problem. When people refuse to talk about this, they imply it is okay and acceptable. This is the same message the church has swept under the rug for centuries and now that the effect is humongous, many Christians are trying to “deal” with it. Really? And the church expects to see a change with the blink of an eye!
I fully respect the decisions of SCOTUS. It is my duty as a Christian to be respectful and submissive to the Authorites. So, am I insinuating it is not a sin? Absolutely not! It is a sin. However, I will attend gay weddings when invited, for this is part of truly loving everyone even in their wrong choices. It does not mean I support or condone it. I will let each gay person like myself know the consequences of their actions. I will tell many about Jesus and let them make their decision to follow Him. Following Christ is a personal decision. In the same way, getting married to the same gender is a matter of choice, personal belief, and faith. It is now legal, but it does not imply every man who feels attracted to the same gender like me should give in to his sexual desire to marry the man he falls in love with. I know there will always be the temptation to get married, but I trust that God will always provide a way out for me to overcome it. Besides, Christ was tempted and overcame His temptations with scripture. I know that the only weapon that I have is scripture and prayer, and as a same-sex attracted Christian, knowledge of it is sufficient to help overcome my syruggle. I think part of the problem with the church is comparing my same-sex desire with lust. I often cringe when heterosexual Christians tell me they wrestle with lust and so, know what it feels like to fight this. Besides their sexual nature, there is no similarity between the two. Some of them think it is easier to overcome homosexual desire like lust, but they sometimes forget that it is the desire that gives rise to the lust itself and it aches, because they have no idea what it feels like being there. It is like a white man telling a black man he knows what it feels like to be discriminated for being black. No you don’t! And it is like a black man saying he knows what it feels like being white in America. Ha! Indeed! Please tell me more about it. It is always easier to cast/throw stones and rocks at people for what they do when one has not had the chance to live in their shoes.
Moreover, it will be pathetic to find the many who judge, criticize, and call themselves Christians not make it to Heaven. It will be heartbreaking to find Christian leaders not make it to Heaven because they simply ignored the will of the Father and did what they thought was right, not what God wanted from them. Now should not be a time to show our reactions or beliefs on social media. Let our lives speak for itself. I think now should be a time of reflection; a time to examine our relationship with God and where we stand. Instead of posting #JesusWins which we all know He wins and will definitely triumph in the end, what are you doing to foster the Kingdom of the Father? Is tweeting #JesusWins telling people about Jesus? Is tweeting, “God’s definition of marriage trumps SCOTUS'” the solution? Absolutely not! As Christians, we need to be thankful that we know this is a powerful sign that things will not get any better, and Christ is definitely coming sooner than we would expect. It is a time of hope. It should be a time to teach the unbelievers the Good News. Posting about our thoughts, feelings and emotions is not the answer. It is not fulfilling the will of the Father, but ours. Sharing posts on social media about Black Pastors and other rulers not supporting this decision is not telling people about the GOOD NEWS about Jesus. We should be reminding the world that we are all sinners like them and are not any different or better than them. The Good News to be told at this time is that there is hope for everybody and the gay community is not exempt. It is telling people about how much God loves them, regardless of their choices. It is being compassionate and Christlike in our speech and conduct. That is what should be done and if us, Christians, are not doing this, then we are failing in our responsibilities.
There are many people out there shunning others for being gay. These people call themselves Christians, but do not even live for God on a daily basis. These same people claim anyone who experiences same-sex attraction will go to hell. They claim it is in the Bible. Lies, lies, and lies!!! This is very not even biblical. These people forget that temptation is not a sin, but yielding to it is. They forget experiencing this attraction is not living it. They forget that if being tempted is a sin, then it means Jesus sinned. And that is blasphemy! These people are the very ones who scare me and are also the problem.
- In conclusion, I gave my life to Christ last year and got baptized on October 12. The only reason I live for Christ now is that I love Him. I know what it means to be truly loved and forgiven by a loving and merciful God. It is His grace and forgiveness that move and drive me each day to keep serving Him, loving Him and knowing Him more. It is His infinite compassion for me when I fail that draws me to a life of chastity and celibacy. Living a celibate life is not always easy. It is hard and sometimes, there is a desire for companionship in loneliness. But I know the end is worth it. I believe that because Christ is my husband, I don’t need to find fulfillment, love and intimacy in other men, since I will be with Him forever. This unbreakable hope is what binds me to Him. Many of my gay friends who are not believers think I am sick and crazy when I tell them about it. However, it is my love for Him that makes me see sin for what it really is, not man’s distorted view of sin. That is what everyone needs to hear and see; our hope in Him. We need to remember that our identity is first and foremost in Christ. We also need to store our riches in Heaven by focusing more on the kingdom, not the ruling. As Christians, we need to show more compassion like we have never done. That is what Christ would do. People need to hear the message of repentance, reconciliation, hope, love and forgiveness, and how we do this matters. If someone walked up to me before and told me that Jesus Wins, but did not tell me about Jesus and the kingdom, then that person has not told me the Good News. It would be baloney to me. You are telling me about a deity I neither care about nor believe in and expect a positive response, like really? I would not mind having as many boyfriends as I want, because that person has not told me about the hope in Christ. I wish Christians would follow Paul’s teachings to Timothy when he urged him to remain steadfast in the faith and continue to spread the Good News when men turn away from the truth(II Timothy 3:3-5). We cannot tell the world God’s definition of marriage trumps that of the Supreme Court when many don’t even believe in a God. That is garbage to an unbeliever and I would not even care if it were me. Our mission here is to “love God and our neighbor as ourselves” and to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”(Matthew 28:7). This means telling the worl about the Good News. We have to trust that God is in control and understand He lets things happen, so that the prophecies would come to pass. Let nothing deter us from our goal. It is true that Jesus wins and always will, but we must first do what He commands us to do.
I know it’s been long since I last posted, like, literally over four months now and I’m sorry. Lately, I’ve been busy trying to figure out a bunch of stuffs for myself and the good news is, I have four more posts still pending or on my draft list. Isn’t that amazing? Yeah, don’t worry… You don’t need to tell me, I already know it’s gonna be amazing as always and believe me when I type you will love it ’cause I’m lovin’ it thus far. What’s up, family? what’s up y’all? I’m gonna be very informal and relaxed today, but it’s just gonna be temporary(Just for this paragraph) though. LOL! That said, back to what’s up.
Friends, I sometimes ask myself how often do we mean the words we say… I wonder how much love we hold in our hearts that can set the world ablaze. We live in an era filled with so much hate and violence that we easily lose touch with who we are, our true identity, if we aren’t careful. How do we respond to hate occasionally thrown at us? Do we respond with hate? Think about a world where hate is responded with more hate… Do we remain silent about it like we don’t care? Remember Martin Luther’s quote, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” How much more hate do we harbor in us, and how long are we going to keep storing it inside us that we’re gonna use it to destroy our very own beautiful world right before our eyes? Why destroy our beautiful soul, that’s meant to love everyone, with evil? There are so many broken souls around us, and it doesn’t take much to love someone, for we don’t even have to even look very much further to find them; they’re just right beside us, in our backyard, and in front of us. There are many out there who are hurting and in dire need of love, but we can’t channel this love to those in need simply because the spirit of loving and caring for our neighbors is absent. How sad it is! I have a story to share with you.
Last night(Friday, August 09), I came across a Southern Caucasian male who was filled with so much hate that the hate itself was so vile. He also made several posts on vine(and other social media apps) that attracted too much attention to minorities who then left mean and hateful comments in return. Have it in mind that one of the things I detest with all my heart, body, soul and passion, and don’t even like talking about is racism or anything that pertains to skin color. There is nothing I abhor so much more than racism. This dude kept making mean and derogatory comments that got me heartbroken, to know certain things that prevailed in the twentieth century still live on in the twenty-first century, in this present day and age. He repeatedly insisted he was different from Hitler and an anti-Nazi, but kept on saying if he had the chance, he would burn, kill or destroy all African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Jews and Native-Americans. He reiterated he was a pro-KKK and firmly advocates their actions. Many of his friends and followers on social media reproached him, and fired back mean and distasteful comments at him. Friends, if there were words in the dictionary that could fathom my thought and express my emotions at that time, I would use them because broken and bruised are just understatement. They can’t give you a complete picture of what I felt. At first, I was filled with so much anger and strife that I was tempted to reply with hate, but then I thought about The Greatest Commandment in Mark 12:31 we, Christians, ought to live by, “Love your neighbor as yourself”, and Leviticus 19:18, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Then, I thought about the legacy I want to leave behind when God calls me home, one of unconditional love and affection to all people I come across on this journey of life. Besides, I felt it was my chance to give love to my enemies even if I don’t get it back in return. In response to these statements, I just said to him, “But who taught you how to have so much hate towards people of skin color different from yours? What reason do you have for the intense hate, harsh and cruel words? What do you gain by repeatedly spewing vile and offensive statements, later expecting to be loved by those around you.” Furthermore, I went on to say, “God loves everybody regardless of skin color, and will not judge us based on it. You can hate me for being black and for being who I am, but no matter what, I love you so much with all my heart, brother, and will always do. I’ll be praying for you.” As I gently and softly uttered these words at him, I never knew they had the power to melt his heart. He replied back the following morning, saying, “You sir, are a strong person, no hate on you. You’re a good man.” I was very happy to get those words from him. To my greatest surprise, he took a step further and took down the posts he had made concerning race and killing all blacks, and apologized for hurting those around him too. I was very impressed, for I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I’m not saying this to bring glory to myself, but to Him who sent me here on earth and deserves it most, God.
Friends, love is for the strong. It’s hard to love those who don’t love you, but we have to. Christ loved everybody with no exception: the brokenhearted, the rejected, the sinners and all who weren’t considered worthy of being loved. Each and every day, I pray always that God would give me the grace to love unconditionally without expecting love. In a revolution of love we want to bring here on earth, we’re already doing it. We don’t need bombs, we don’t need warfare, we don’t need guns… Our only weapon is… LOVE. I can’t conclude without this quote from MLK, “Hate is too great a burden to bear, I stick to love.”
“The truth shall set you free and don’t ever deny it. It’s an amazing feeling.”- Ben Hundley.
It’s an undeniable fact that the truth can never be denied. It manifests itself in mysterious ways we don’t understand. I will never forget the time my brother, Ben made this statement. The words are so powerful that they make someone reflect on what honesty truly is, and every single thing about truth. It is sometimes hard to give a complete picture about truth, or how it feels. There’ve been times when I have really wanted to be brutally honest, but then I feel I’ll hurt the feelings of those around me. We often don’t want to be told the truth especially if we would be emotionally broken. As Christians, we need each other. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 calls for encouragement. We have to encourage each other in the faith, and one of the ways we can help encourage and strengthen ourselves is via honesty. If we are not honest, then we are not helping each other out for this is one of our primary duties. I think we have to cultivate a spirit of being unapologetically outspoken about the things that matter most to our neighbors. Once, I met a Nicaraguan exchange student who felt so insecure about himself, reason that he had an accent and worse, worked at the campus caffetariat. These feelings and thoughts of inferiority complex were engraved on his mind that he felt bad talking about where he worked, and more often than not, would associate negativities with his job. Whenever I talked to him and his job was mentioned, he would cringe and say, “yeah, my mean job… It’s bad, I know… No girl would love me for that.” At first, I bore the sigh comments, but later I felt I had to let him know he wasn’t suppose to think that way. He’s suppose to be thankful for everything because there’re millions of jobless citizens around us.It was hard for me, for I had no idea about his background and the struggles he goes through being a foreign exchange student in The United States. As time went by, these feelings kept bubbling inside. I kept maintaining a positive attitude and assumed all was fine till one day, I couldn’t hold it any longer. When he brought it up this time, I became very honest with him and tried persuading him there’s nothing wrong with working at a caff. When I finally released the tension within me, I felt a heavy burden lifted off my shoulders. From then on, things became different and he learned to appreciate the little things he had, and cherished his job. That said, imagine what his life would have been if he continued to live in fear of rejection…
By being honest, he understood there’s no reason for him to think the way he did. The good thing about honesty is the fact that it unites us irrespective of what or who we are. Beyonce once said,“Honesty is the glue that ties us together.”
When we are honest with one another, we tend to build even better relationships, and above all, let love and peace surround us. Honesty, to me, is therefore the key to most friendships and relationships.
Have you ever felt like you’re drowning in the middle of the ocean, screaming for help and nobody’s coming? Well, I have felt that way so many times in my life, especially after deserting God for worldly pleasures. I’ve fallen so many times and have felt deserted because of my sins. There are so many things I have taken delight in, especially worldly things. I often thought I knew Christ and The Bible, and could never be challenged but I have been challenged so many times. My challenges came from my life as a Christian; proving myself as the true disciple of Christ that I claim to be. Living life as a follower of Christ isn’t as easy as it seems. It comes at a price. There are so many times when I have had to sacrifice my resting time, my study time, my party time and all the precious moments I really love. You see, it’s one of those prices I pay for loving Christ. It’s true I am not perfect. I fall short of His glory: I sin, I curse, and do all sorts of evil things, yet He still loves me and cherishes me. He accepts me just as I am. I wonder if I’d ever have a friend who’ll accept me for my faults, and my wrongs. I understand I’m human, but does that mean I’m going to keep falling short of His glory? Sometimes when I’m lonely, I just sit in my little room, by the corner and ask myself if I’m right for the kingdom of God. If God came to the world today, would I be among the chosen ones? I dread being in hell. I don’t want to think of myself being with the fiend. It sucks!!! I won’t deny that sin is really pleasurable. There’s much pleasure in sin, but the saddest part of it is it leads to doom. It’s not easy to stay clear off temptation. I’ve been tempted so many times in my life and I have fell in some while I haven’t in others. For me, falling isn’t the most important thing here. It’s rising again. I often repeat to myself I won’t fall again, I won’t give the devil a chance, but it’s not been easy. Some days have really been a struggle for me. I’ve had to wrestle with so many things: selfish desires, worldly pleasures, material things, and evil thoughts. It’s been a hard time to sometimes acknowledge that my true freedom comes from Christ. I don’t know about you friends, but honestly, listening to Christian music helps in so many ways. I think there are amazing artists like Nicole C. Mullen, Cece Winnans, and Ron Kenoly, who greatly inspire me to know that this earthly journey is temporal and the right time will come when I’ll enjoy life in all its fullness with God, in paradise. Thanks to these people, I strive everyday to live the life that Christ lived, knowing and believing that on that day, I’ll join Him with the angels to praise God for eternity.
In conclusion, I’d say one of my main motivators to living a sin-free life is this phrase that I keep repeating to myself, “The time will come when we will all stand together in unity, with our sins atoned, worshipping our glorious and merciful God… Never forget that day for it definitely will come.” Always remember brothers and sisters, that we are living this earthly life for the glory of someone else, God our loving and merciful father. So, it’s always best to think well and make sure we act in accordance to His will in order to acquire greater wisdom.
So many people have different ways of defining addiction as well as viewing it. To me, it’s simply the reliance or dependence on something. Some people view addiction as a bad thing, others as good, while the rest have indifferent attitudes toward it. I think it’s good if it is either God-driven, for a common good, or for growth. In other circumstances, it could be bad if it goes against our moral values, goes contrary to God’s will or hurts us and our neighbors. There are so many forms of addiction. It could be to alcohol, marijuana, sex, money, pornography, the internet, social media, reading The Bible, studies, loving people, and so on. Whatever the negative addiction may be, it’s always best to hand everything to God and reach out for help.
I know it’s really hard for some people to quit their various addiction(s), but it’s always worth-noting that God is in control. Friends, I’ve got a very sad story to share with y’all. When I was five, I was abducted and abused by my neighbor while he was still alive. I will never forget those awful days!!! As young and innocent as I was, I couldn’t talk to somebody about it, and his wife barely knew what was going on because everything happened during her absence. I had nobody to talk to, and I started to feel lonely. No one knew about the ordeal I was facing and back then, I thought I could face my fears alone, without realizing how fragile my little heart was. A couple of months later, I heard the guy died and his family moved away from the neighborhood. For 14 years, I forgot about those days till I was assaulted again at 17 by another man. This was the most horrible experience of my life. I felt broken, and my spirit was crushed for ages. After the incidence, I dialed 911, but unfortunately,they could do nothing to help me since I was drugged and failed to provide details. It was then I became a porn and masturbation addict. I was tormented. As I turned 18, all these incidences kept flashing on my mind and sadly, depression set in. I felt that was the only way I could get rid of those memories. I became more depressed as time went by, and my life was no longer the same. I’ve been fighting depression, masturbation and pornography. No matter how hard I tried, I kept falling. This year, I set my resolutions among which avoiding lust and sexual impurity are a priority. I went through it in January successfully and failed in February. I’m learning not to give up because I would like to wear my crown on that day, knowing I fought the battle of my life. You see, those were my scars, and are now my battle wounds. Honestly, some days have been a struggle and I remain thankful to God for making me go through it all successfully. Though I fell, I’m trusting God for being in Christ doesn’t make me perfect. I believe He sees and knows all my struggles and He’s making me the better person I want to be. I’ve went through the hurdles and puddles. I can tell you how debilitating being assaulted is and worst still depression. Despite all these, I feel happy God is safely guiding me, leading me to that point where I want to be. I always feel blessed and relieved talking about my situation to my friends and family.
In all, dearest family, it’s always best to reach out for help when we feel we have to. It’s quite unfortunate I’ve talked to some people who couldn’t help me, but bashed me for my weakness and my past. I felt much better knowing and understanding there’re people who’ve been through the raging storms like me, and know and understand what I feel. I’ve been blessed with people who keep encouraging me and make my life glow like never before. In love, I’ve felt elated and heartbroken and every emotion in between, thanks to what I went through. Now, I feel stronger, way better, and more comfortable to talk about it. When I look back at my past, I weep, but at the same I’m thankful I went through it because I know it’s God’s will, not mine. I’m thankful for some of the amazing people who’ve helped encourage me from Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma, Kansas, and other places I failed to mention. Do you know anybody struggling with addiction or you feel is still struggling? Don’t be shy or afraid to talk to the person. Give the person a chance to open up to you. You may not realize the good you’re doing by saving that single soul, and restoring the joy and freedom once lost, till you do it. Please just reach out to that person and be the difference in that soul, in our community, in the world, and in the universe.