Monday, July 25, 2005

You've Got Something On Your Face

I went with the small group to Bolsa Chica for a bonfire tonight. I had alot of fun. I really like the group dynamic. Everyone is very friendly and I feel comfortable with them. I still think it's a shame that a typical person from a mainstream church wouldn't ever give them a chance to get to know them as fellow Christians because of their assumptions about "gay christians".

Right after sunset, we could see the silhouettes of the downtown buildings of Long Beach. As a group we prayed for the city. It was surprising to me to see them pray for the city and really care about it just like the other churches I've been connecting with that do the same thing. I also found out that they even prayer walk the city in much the same way that we led other churches in the city to do. Once again, I'm realizing, that these people are not simply "gay christians". They are christians who are gay. Sadly, many people in the Church will never see that distinction.

Being gay is just a non-issue for them. They worship Christ and study the Word and encourage each other without having to emphasize their "gayness" because it's just not an issue. They have resolved in their own minds that loving homosexual relationships is not what was referred to when the word "homosexual" is mentioned in Scripture, thus it's not a sin. Without that baggage, they feel free to approach God as they are.

The mainstream church seems preoccupied with what they view as the gay people's sin that they refuse to see them as brothers and sisters in Christ. Could the mainstream church's judgment of these gay believers be deemed as sin? Is their judgment just as condemnable? Couldn't they be judged by gay Christians as the snobs in the Family (of God)? Doesn't it seem pretty arrogant of the mainstream churches to presuppose that their interpretation of Scripture is completely right and anyone who interprets it differently is just twisting the Scriptures or are just plain wrong and going to hell?

Denominations disagree about whether or not a person is "once saved always saved". Denominations disagree about child baptism. Denominations disagree about the speaking of tongues. Denominations disagree about the day in which to worship. Denominations disagree about whether or not women can teach or be a senior pastor. All of these disagreements come from varying interpretations of Scripture. It's like the Church is full of Pharisees who just won't see the bigger picture regarding the authenticity of a person's profession of faith simply because they are gay.

Here's a distinction that i was noticing tonight at the bonfire. The other church that i'm a part of occassionally has bonfires at Bolsa Chica too - in fact, just a few weeks ago we were there. My "straight" church is so completely afraid of praying or teaching the Word at something like this - the idea being that this "outreach" time is not really "church" and so its safe to invite friends to it so as to trick them into being around other Christians. This "gay" church (i hate calling it that) is the opposite. They unashamedly pray regardless of who is around and what guests are there. They proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only Way to be saved - that one must be born again. They taught the Word out of Hebrews 10 and had open discussion about how each person as part of a family in this small group can really be an encouragement to each other as a church.

The mainstream church can be so clueless sometimes - hypocritical even. What makes them think that they are so much better than these other Jesus-proclaimers who are also gay? As if they don't have their own sin to confess and deal with before God? They focus so much on the speck in the gay believer's eye that they don't even notice the crap that's all over their own face! Stinks even. Here's one thing about these gay believers - they hold less "secrets" in their personal lives than straight believers. Straight believers can be pretty "closeted" about their sin.

I've been told that the pastor of The Tab is pretty approachable so i'm going to try to set an appointment with her just to get to know her a little and where she stands regarding core salvation doctrine. We'll see how it goes.

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