A friend and I were reminiscing about churches from our past and their views on gay people. I guess some may be in awe of the changes that most churches have made in their "beliefs," however I am not convinced. The one constant mantra with most organized forms of Christianity is 'hate the sin, love the sinner.'
No matter how pretty the church is decorated with rainbow flags and white doves, the rules, the bible, still label being gay an abomination; punishable by death. So many churches have opened the doors to their gay friends and neighbors. Maybe it makes most modern Christian's feel better to know that their "hairdresser/florist" isn't really going to hell for his or her "lifestyle."
I remember that in the "House of Macy," my grandmother had many gay friends. Being gay was just another part of being human and Macy was attracted to humans. She saw everyone as a potential friend, and couldn't understand how you could turn away a potential "best friend" because of who they loved or who they were attracted to. Macy didn't see that her gay friends were committing crimes. I think this may have been another reason she didn't attend church services. Hypocrisy and religion didn't mix well in Macy's stomach.
How many of us have gone to church or temple, with a desire to connect with our higher power, only to be shunned and admonished by followers of "God loves everyone?" Mark 12:31 clearly defines how we are to treat one another, yet anti-gay churches and hate groups almost make a career out of punishing homosexuals and those who do not fit a "Christian Standard."
In Memphis a local non denominational charismatic church takes out a two page advertisement in the Commercial Appeal every year. The two page spread costs the church more than $40,000 and is an anti-gay diatribe that equates homosexuals to pedophiles and beastiality. That money is spent by a church out of hate. If the church was truly following a path set by Jesus, why then would they not spend the money helping homeless people or abused children?
I remember a Pentecostal minister and friend of mine, telling me that "anyone who claims to know what is in God's heart is a liar." So when you say you hate the sin but you love the sinner, are you really loving that sinner? And by the same measure who's to say that you are not committing sins that the bible also condemns. This is the simple truth that always rang in my grandmother's heart. There are so many who love to focus on the "sin" of being gay, but they often lead less than Christian lifestyles themselves.
When I became honest with my grandmother about my sexuality, she had an old idiom for me. "Oh baby that's a long row to hoe." Now Macy didn't mean that my life would be unfulfilled or empty because of my orientation, far from it. What she was concerned about were the "hate the sin" people. They have a tendency to make life very uncomfortable for those they fear. I was raised by my grandmother to fear no one. Macy told me to live by a simple rule. "Don't do anything that you would be ashamed to see on the six o'clock news." I have never been ashamed of my life, my character, or whom I loved.
Though she worried about my well-being at the hands of others, she did not fear for my soul. In the House of Macy your soul was in the hands of God and God alone.
Copyright©2013 Michael Einspanjer
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