It’s hard for me to write this post because the very premise of it feels conflicting in my mind, but the only thing that truly angers me is when I try with all my might to understand something and simply cannot.
I consider myself a Christian, and for that reason I strongly believe in being accepting and loving of others, no matter what, because that is what Jesus did and does for all of us. And if we are to live our lives to the best of our ability in line with what Jesus taught, then the cliche of “What Would Jesus Do?” should be ever-present in our minds.
I attend a weekly small group through my church. One night, among other things, we talked about what it means in Phillippians 3 where Paul says “beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the concision…” And to my surprise, one girl explained that to her, this means that some people may sound like they are trying to be good people, but can still be going against what the Bible says. And her example was gay marriage. That people can defend gay marriage thinking they are doing it for the greater good, that they should be accepting of it, when the truth is that biblically it is wrong.
I’m going to be completely honest here, I was close to getting up and walking to my car. But, I tell myself every day when I encounter different beliefs than my own to LISTEN. So I listened, and I stayed. No one else spoke up, no one argued, and no one agreed. And the fire in my heart burned so bright for the gay community. All I could think was this must be their enemy. Christians sitting in a circle and saying that even though good people are telling them to accept and love everyone including gay people, the Bible says it is wrong (Leviticus 20:13). And although in that very same book (Leviticus 19:28) the Bible says not to mark yourself with tattoos, the girl and her husband sat next to me with tattoos on each of their arms.
My point here is that we all interpret every situation, every interaction, every sentence differently, so I understand that my interpretation of the Bible is different from the next person’s. What I CAN NOT bring myself to understand is how any Christian can argue that whether they agree with homosexuality or not, that a person arguing for gay marriage can be labeled as an “evil worker.” I vie for gay marriage and LGBTQ rights for these fundamental reasons – not in any particular order:
1) It is of no relevance to me.
2) Everyone is entitled to their own version of happiness.
3) Everyone’s beliefs are unique and their own.
4) God commands me to love my neighbor as myself.
My view of Christianity is similar. While I don’t sit and literally dissect every verse in the Bible (see: tattoos and gay marriage), my beliefs rest on several very similar building blocks of my own personal interpretation or version, if you will, of Christianity:
1) Love your neighbor as yourself. (This could really be the only one.)
2) Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding, as God has a plan and a calling for every child he creates.
3) Because Jesus died for my sins, I have been granted eternal life by believing in and dedicating my life to God.
Obviously there is much, much more to Christianity than these three points, but this is what I base majority of my thoughts and actions around. And because I definitely do not believe any of these points to be arguable from a Christian standpoint, I will never be able to fully wrap my brain or heart around alienating a person or a group of people in spite of their beliefs or individual identity.
This weighed so heavily on my heart tonight that I could not push it out of my mind. If I do one thing with this life I hope that it is to convince you to go love others the way Jesus loves you.