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“Love” has been used to oppress me. “Love” has been the hand pushing me away. “Love” has been the voice telling me I’m going to hell unless I change. “Love” has been the reason for my broken heart. “Love” tells me I must sacrifice my love. “Love” tells me it’s only trying to care for my soul. “Love” sees me as second class. “Love” sees me as broken. “Love” tells me I’m being selfish. “Love” tells me whats “Biblical”. And my beliefs certainly aren’t “Biblical”.
“Love” quietly stands on the side as a bystander. “Love” says “Love the sinner, hate the sin”. “Love” tells me I’m “Welcomed, but not Affirmed”. “Love” tells me they can’t accept my relationships. “Love” tells me I’m living in sin.
The thing is…
I do need repentance. I need healing. I need to see myself as broken. I am selfish. My beliefs aren’t “Biblical”. I’m not “OK”. I need Jesus.
But not because my sexuality is sinful.
But because I’m human.
My relationships are a sacred, holy, and beautiful thing to God.
And this is why I don’t trust “love” in the context of Christians.
Rachel Held Evans puts it beautifully:
“…When Christians are told that God is love, but that “love” looks and feels like the opposite of what we know love to be (it’s angry, it’s emotionally unstable, it’s violent), it’s not a far journey to make for some leaders in churches to ALSO claim that their angry, unstable, and violent actions are “loving”. This is how abuse happens.”
I had a very vivid dream last night, and I had this long conversation with an imaginary preacher. I asked him:
"Why is it that we base our supernatural beliefs so strongly off a physical book? Is God nothing more than physical words? Is he no more than just verses and scripture? Also, what’s with the whole "he" thing anyway? We can assume Jesus identified as "he" since he refers to himself as such, but God only says "I am." Somehow I don’t think it’s accurate to assume that God is a man, or has a penis, because the only reason our society refers to someone/something as "he" is if they are a man or have a penis and from what I understand, God doesn’t reproduce, God creates. Why is it that we’re constantly limiting teachings and references to only the Bible? Can we not look around and see all the many blessings that are around us and learn from our experiences? Can we not learn from small acts of kindness, good deeds, or love? I don’t think the Bible is complete fallacy, but it is not right to say that we believe in a supreme being and yet only base the teachings of that being off a physical book that has been changed by man over thousands of years. If we are to truly believe in the word of God then we should have enough faith to believe that the Bible is not the only way of preaching and teaching God’s love. I honestly wasn’t brought to the Lord though the Bible, I was brought to the Lord through the love of my family and the love I experienced around me. I was very young when I accepted Christ, so it’s safe to say I wasn’t looking for an explanation, or answers to some bigger question about life. I wasn’t looking for salvation from Hell (which I probably didn’t even know what that was at the time). I simply wanted to find love, and a place of belonging. How have we gotten to this point? How have we as a people resorted to scare tactics and hate? Love is of God. Why can’t people see it?"
I don’t remember him ever having an answer for me, but a few minutes later, I woke up.
The leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, has posted the address of a gay couple on his Twitter account with a warning that a “British justice team” would turn up to give them “a bit of drama.”
The couple were brought to the attention of the political leader when they won damages against a hotel owner after she refused to give them a room with a double bed because it conflicted with her religious beliefs. They were awarded £3,600 in compensation after their claim of unlawful discrimination.
Mr Griffin responded to claims that his Tweets were “disgusting and he should hang his head in shame” (Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron) and that he is “an odious hypocrite” (Labour MP Chris Bryant) by Tweeting “Why don’t left & gay activists confront Muslims instead of picking on meek & forgiving Christians? Bullies are always cowards!”
I have always struggled with myself. In Islam, the idea of jihad was entirely internal—it was a struggle between the holy parts of us and the wicked. Similarly, we in Christianity note an internal war: one between the Flesh and the New Creation. Jesus tells us, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41).
Yet, at the same time, Saint Paul tells us to “count [ourselves] dead to sin but alive in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). I realize there is a lot of commentary about Romans, but I have always personally struggled with this passage. How are we count ourselves dead to sin if we still sin? How do I take part of the New Creation if I am plagued with sick fruits? We are ransomed from Death in sin, yes, but death to sin has not severed its power. Why is the war between the Old Self and the New Self still going on? I am not going to lie—I feel enslaved by my sin. The chains are hard to break.
What are these chains? We often make the mistake of confusing our gifts as sin itself. Why? Because they are hated by the world, and therefore perpetuated as vile creatures of the self. In the past, my thoughts about sexuality emprisoned me. I understood sex as a dirty thing, especially within a gay context. As a result, the fruit grew, but they were choked by these vines. The fruits were rotten. I thought to myself, “this is because of my sexuality. If I were not gay, these fruits would be fresh”.
What a lie.
It was not my sexuality, but the depricating thoughts that I applied to it. I did not see the chain; I was blinded by the Adversary. The beauty of my sexuality could not shine until the chains were ripped from their roots. How did I know?
I cannot say for sure. It was a gentle, small voice that told me, “be free”. It was a voice that did not destroy me, but built me up. It was a deep-hearted whisper that I thought maybe, just maybe, could be true.
The Holy Spirit is not as forward and loud as sometimes we put Him. He can be found in the silence just as much as he may be discovered with Tongues of Fire. The Holy Spirit is the one that inscribes the Law on our Heart. And this law is always lifegiving—not destructive.
And I trusted it. I pulled with struggle the chains that I felt were present. It was by no means an easy task; I struggled, quarreled, lost hope, found hope, gave up, tried and tried. Once I pulled it out, though, I felt free. Free in Christ. Dead to the Flesh, and alive in the New Creation. Moving closer to who I am meant to be.
We all have chains, and not just ones pertaining to our sexuality. Sin still ties us up. But we are the New Creation. We will not die. However chained we may be, our bodies have changed. We are the New Creation. However tired we may become, we will not fall asleep. We are the New Creation. And the New Creation is grounded in Jesus. The New Creation is grounded in Love.
So, whenever you struggle, look for the good fruits. Trust that gentle whisper in your heart. God has made you new. The Old Self is dead, and the New Self has been born. Break the chains, one at a time.
Everyday, we will get a little closer to liberating who you are. Your beauty has been transformed; it has become immortal. Love it and free yourself