Today was the first day I was ashamed to call myself a Christian.
During a Sabbath school lesson, that had absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality, a person made a comment about homosexuals and how they are sinners. This would be the second time this person has focused on people who are Gay. Another person replied that as Christians we should embrace homosexuals and minister to them so they can turn away from that life and come into the church as ministers and pastors. A third person replied that there is no way a homosexual should ever be allowed to be in the pulpit. A fourth person replied that while he doesn’t support homosexuality, he doesn’t support bigotry either.
I was disheartened.
Today was the first day I had to ask myself, “As Christians are we spreading a message of love or a message of hate when we constantly talk about homosexuals and how sinful we think they are?” It sounded an awful lot like hate mongering to me. I am so sick and tired of going to church and hearing people berate homosexuals as wrong, evil, sinners but ignore the man sitting in the pulpit who is cheating on his wife. A sin, is a sin, is a sin. No one person’s sins carry more or less weight. Yet, as Christians, we seem to want to classify sins. Homosexuality, drugs, prostitution, infidelity, alcoholism are sins that people are supposed to be openly scolded for. Yet, self-righteousness, pride, envy, gossip, judgement are sins that should be given a blind eye?
How quickly we seem to forget that we were all born in iniquity. We are all sinners. You can say what you want about homosexuals, but I will take that person who happens to be homosexual but caring and nonjudgemental over a Christian who judges and criticizes any day of the week. Speaking as someone who took so long to embrace religion, this was exactly why it took so long. Everyone knows that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. I have had it pounded into my brain since childhood and have read about it repeatedly. I still have yet to find the passage in the Bible that says it is okay to demean, criticize, judge, and turn away from homosexuals.
Maybe this bothers me and has always bothered me so much because my brother is an openly Gay man. He is the absolute best brother in the world. He is kind, generous, loyal, and extremely loving. He works hard to keep technology working and I am so very proud of him. I would never pass judgement on him or anyone else because of what the Bible says. I am not God. It is not man’s place to judge another man for his imperfections. Did Jesus die on the cross solely for Christians? Of course not. He died on the cross for all of us.
To my fellow Christians, I say let us stop perpetuating a message of hate because this is what has and will continue to keep people out of our churches and away from Christ. Let us follow the example of Jesus and bring people to him with messages of love, hope, and faith.
So, what does it mean to call yourself a Christian?
Perhaps we need to think a little longer and a little harder about what the word “Christian” means to those of us who use this term to label ourselves.