Thursday, June 08, 2006

What Am I Being Accused Of?

So I’ve recently been called an antichrist. No, not “the” Anti-Christ, just “an” antichrist. Not actually in those words but that’s pretty much the implication. The kicker is that two apparently separate and independent people were told this “by God”. Yeah, I had all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings about that one.

I know, I could probably just blow it off as the Church just bickering with itself again. But then again, how can I not take it personally when someone implies that I’m not actually a part of the Church? How can I not take it personally when someone says that they view me as an enemy of God? Wouldn’t that also imply that I am an enemy of the ones accusing me?

I think that people are missing the point when they see this “gay debate” as a “war over truth”. In this debate within the Church, people take sides and disagree (sometimes vehemently), and before they realize it they are spiritually disowning the same people they embraced as brothers and sisters in Christ before the debate even began . . . .

Was I just suddenly gay? Was I not gay before they found out that I was gay? Was I not a sincere believer in the one true God, His Son Jesus Christ, before they identified an issue in which we disagreed? Perhaps I’m anti-their-position-on-this-issue but to say that I’m anti-Christ is absurd!

What is it that they think I’m doing out here? Because they know I’m working within the gay community, their accusations make me wonder if they think I’m going around promoting orgies, debauchery, and lasciviousness. Well maybe that could make sense if they categorize gay-ness in that list of raunchy anti-christian behavior. It makes me wonder if that’s what lingers in their imaginations when they say I’m living a “homosexual lifestyle”. All my regular blog readers here at TWC all know that I promote these kinds of things all the time, right? I mean, I never talk about things like “living a lifestyle of faith” or “listening to God’s voice and simply following it” or anything like that, right? Instead, I encourage people to ignore the Spirit? How ridiculous is that?!

If there was ever an example of how my motives and heart have been misunderstood because of preconceived notions, it is now. My contention is that they have never actually seen what I do. They have never actually met the people I’m talking to. They have never actually heard what I’m saying to people. They have never actually read ALL of what I’ve written. I am judged by their own assumptions and hearsay and they call it heresy. There is no room in the box they’ve placed their God in to consider the possibility that God can and is moving in ways they deem impossible. Their God doesn’t function outside their boundaries. They talk about the sovereignty of God but they neglect the possibility that God would actually (and physically) go to the very ones He loves and wants to connect with. Their God follows their rules of conduct. He would never go to Nineveh. He would never talk to a Samaritan woman. He would never go to a tax collector’s house. He would never touch a prostitute. He would never enter the home of a Gentile (much less send someone to Cornelius). And if He did, imagine what they’d accuse Him of!

I suppose I’m actually kind of grateful. My life verse has always been Philippians 3:10, which says, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” To “know” Christ is more than simply “knowing of” Him, but the word more accurately describes an experiential kind of knowing. I want to experience Christ and to experience His power and to experience His sufferings and to experience His resurrection. My Christ was persecuted by the religious leaders of the day and accused of doing the work of Beelzebub perhaps because He drew attention away from them. The religious leaders wanted to be the source to where people got their truth but instead Jesus went to the people directly and healed the sick, cast out the (real) demons, and taught about what He personally knew about – the Kingdom of God.

God has not called me to condemn anyone. Apparently, some people feel like that’s what they’ve been called to do.

My accusers may continue to say whatever they will – even attributing their words to God (now who’s blaspheming?) – but I will continue to do what I personally know about. I will continue to do what I see Jesus doing in the gay community. I’ll do my best to be salt and light in this community – to encourage people when they are sad, to connect with the outcasts and socially awkward, to ask people to serve and give back to their community, and to inspire people to search for God. I will introduce people to the peace that I have and will freely talk about my Jesus who loves them. I will befriend people because they are loved by God instead of befriending people to get them to love God. Simply, I will love God, love “my” neighbors, and inspire us all to do the same.

Accuse me of that.

3 comments:

Jason said...

Eric,
I don't know what to say except that I feel you. You are a light and your words, your honesty, have touched the hurting and the broken in ways you may never know.

Your blog attests to the fact that you seek God and his will above all else. In the end, that is all that really matters.

Peterson Toscano said...

It hurts when our brothers and sisters build the wall in hopes of keeping us (the other) at a distance. It's easier for them to make the assumptions about us, our "lifestyles".

When they do this, they avoid the hard work of witnessing the fruit of the Spirit at work in us. If they did see the fruit, then they would have to begin to question, to search, to dismantle the boxes they've constructed, the boxes that limit the love and scope of God.

Angel said...

Whaaaaaat?????

It sickens me that someone would use God to spread hate. All I know is that because of awesome people like *you*, God changed my heart.

So my God is better than their god (lowercase g on purpose) because MY God is about love.

I really don't know how anyone could meet you and know you, and not see God working in your life.

((((((((Giant hugs))))))) Want me to come there and give them giant spiritual wedgies? ;) (My pathetic attempt to make you smile)