I know. I know. It seems like we’re all hopping around on one foot, permanently holding the other foot in our mouths. It seems like we’re best friends with hypocrisy and married to self-righteousness. It seems like we haven’t fully comprehended the concept of Grace, or Love for that matter. I know. And I’m so sorry.
You see, we’re kinda like that one guy in that one story [which you may or may not have read] who gets pissed off that his rogue baby brother gets a party thrown in his honor after he squanders the family fortune and takes a piss on the family name. We say we’re humbled by Grace, we claim to be undeserving of the beauty of it all. But really, we’re just entitled older brothers who think that we somehow deserve the Grace we’ve been given because we’re not as bad as you. We’re not romantically interested in people of our own sex, therefore, we have more of a right to Grace than you do.
We claim to model our lives after Jesus, we claim to be living this totally transformed life that embodies everything He stood for. Yet we stand in line for hours to buy a chicken sandwich just to prove a point. A point that leaves you feeling alienated and unloved. Good grief, we deserve every name you’ve called us.
I don’t know where we get it from, this theology that demands us to be right all the time. It’s certainly not from Jesus. He never said we should only love those who agree with everything we believe. He never said to love only when it was easy or felt good. If that were His policy, He wouldn’t love me still. He wouldn’t love any of us still. And the Jesus I know spent a lot of His time with people that the uptight, religious folk of His day avoided and on occasion, stoned to death. He didn’t constantly surround Himself with people who thought the exact same as He did. He did crazy things like completely disregard the Law and save a married woman caught having an affair from getting stoned to death. Or letting a known prostitute kiss his feet infront of everyone. I mean, seriously, do you know the DRAMA that would ensue as a result of that today? A prostitute and a preacher? But that’s the Jesus I love and follow.
So regardless of what we’ve told you and, more importantly, what we’ve shown you, He is crazy about you. Just like He’s crazy about me. Just like he’s crazy about this painfully broken world. And His message isn’t one of tolerance. It’s one of Love. He doesn’t ask us to tolerate people who disagree with us. He doesn’t ask us to tolerate you. He says, “Love, as if your life depends on it.” You know how crazy that is, a Christian loving you so fiercely that it preserves their life? Oh wait, that’s right, you probably don’t because you’ve never seen it modeled.
We are so desperate to be right that we don’t care who gets burned along the way. We want to beat Jesus’ love into people. What a shameful contradiction. What a sad way of living. We’re the ones closer to death – the ones who never left home, never rebelled, and never left the corner of the party He threw for you where we glared – pissed that you of all people, get to share in our Grace. What a sham.
And it’s really not about you at all. We still find ways to alienate each other within the so-called family of believers in the same God. We hold everyone to our own standard of perfection – friend, foe, pastor, blog writer. Once they do or say something we don’t agree with, we write them off. I could list all of my shortcomings on here, but I won’t. You know why? Because my Christian readers probably would judge me for all my sins. You see, it’s not you. It’s us and our inability to let go of our pride and entitlement and our need to be right. It’s us and our inability to let Jesus change us in the most selfish parts of our being. Because selfishness and Love can’t coexist. Neither can self-righteousness and Love. Neither can pride and Love.
I’m sorry that we put proving a point over loving you. I’m sorry that we choose to tell you how much God hates your lifestyle a million times more than we show you how much He is completely in love with you. Not the you that fits into our definition of a good, Christian, never-do-anything-wrong-ever type of person, but the person you are now. Because unlike most of us, God isn’t partial, prideful, or self-righteous. And if He can still love me on the days when I all but flip Him off and do whatever the heck I want, then no one can convince me that He doesn’t love you just as ferociously also.
We’re in desperate need of Grace and Love, because the only type of people who are comfortable enough to disagree with each other without turning it into hatred and alienation are those living deeply from a place of Love and Grace. If we accepted Grace more open-handedly, maybe we would give it more freely too. We say we love God, but the truth is, we love ourselves just a little bit more. Clearly.
And here’s the thing: you are more than your sexual orientation. I’m so deeply sorry that we’ve turned you into a one-faced enemy.
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone…” – Jesus