Tag Archives: grace

Embrace the Outcasts

I’m not entirely sure I understand the problem. Isn’t the Church supposed to be the epitomy of grace, love, and understanding? Then, why are there so “many”:http://scatteredwords.com/ who are so alienated from Christians, who “feel”:http://willfulgrace.blogspot.com/2005/10/my-blog.html as though they have to keep their struggles secret? Aren’t we supposed to be the _first_ ones to reach out to those in need so that we may provide support, aid, and comfort? Yet, one of the biggest areas of ministry is being ignored and overlooked in so many of our churches. Tim Wilkins, founder and CEO of “Cross Ministry”:http://www.crossministry.org/index.htm and a former homosexual has devoted his life to reaching out to the homosexual community. One of the most important pieces of wisdom he provides is that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but righteousness. The reason that this is so key is that most Christians seem to think that the way to bring a homosexual to God is by turning them into heterosexuals. Unfortunately, this approach has never worked, but apparently few ever realize this. This creates a certain level of pressure on the struggling homosexual, who is already wrestling with unwanted attractions to members of his or her own gender. Coupled with the discomfort of heterosexual Christians who are not sure how to relate to and interact with the homosexual, this generates a lot of tension, further alienating the homosexual who finds it easier to stay away than to continue interacting with ineffective Christians.

Most unbelievers are quick to “accuse”:http://btalbot.blogspot.com/2004/06/fear-and-self-loathing-in-dc-is-topic.html Christians who are wrestling to overcome homosexuality of being fakes, frauds, and pawns of the ex-gay movement. They simply “do not understand”:http://www.deeperwants.com/cul1/homeworlds/journal/archives/002784.html that homosexuality is wrong, that God has something better in mind, that it _is_ actually possible to overcome homosexuality and live a life of righteousness. Tim Wilkins is a prime example of what God’s power can do in a person’s life.

As a result of Christian impotency in ministry to the homosexual (as well as those who respond with “condemnation”:http://dyinginchrist.blogspot.com/2005/12/homosexual-agenda-most-americans-do.html and “anger”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/index.php/archives/64/) and the ridicule that originates from the unbelieving community, the struggling homosexual is left with no support group. He is rejected at every front, and so the only solace is to hide his ‘secret’ from everyone but God and himself. It is so refreshing and encouraging to “hear”:http://scatteredwords.com/d/2005/12/light_years.php about good groups of Christians who are willing to come alongside the struggling homosexual and embrace him — physically, as well as emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically — accepting him as he is and helping him to work through his struggle. So few Christians are able to overcome their own discomfort (a product, I believe, of the lackadaisical society in which we live) to reach out to the homosexual, and that is why I support and approve of organizations like Cross Ministry, who work to jostle people out of their complacency and provide teaching and encouragement and a summons to righteous living. They take a lot of flak from every side, sadly, and theirs is a difficult job, but they provide a model for us all by which we should live.

We as Christians need to make a concerted effort to ignore our discomfitures and model ourselves more after Christ by reaching out to those whom we may consider undesirable but who are in such a state of need and support and encouragement and to whom Christ has mandated we reach out. God loves them. Shouldn’t we also?

Relief

This will very likely be a shorter post than I would like, since it is late, my stomach is empty, and I have a good-sized headache — but I will see what I can do to stimulate some thinking.

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Tim Wilkins, former homosexual and founder of Cross Ministry, frequently points out that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but rather holiness. It follows in my mind that this can be said of everything, that the opposite of is not its logical opposite, but holiness.

I Peter 1:13 – 16 (NIV) — Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (emphasis added). Ephesians lays out further specifics of this principle.

I think we should be relieved. This, in some ways, makes it easier for us to live Christly. Instead of focusing on a list of do’s and don’ts, we can focus on what it means to be holy, what it means to be like Christ, our example of the Almighty. In the process, if we are striving to meet that goal of holiness, the do’s and don’ts have a way of taking care of themselves, via the work of the Holy Spirit.

Putz

I am such a putz. I’m being real open and vulnerable here, but basically, as a person, I suck!!! The past few days I’ve been having major problems with my computer. Basically a stupid virus (or set of viruses) has been ransacking my Internet Explorer, to the point where I had to uninstall it and replace it with Netscape Communicator. And do you think I responded with grace and patience and a general spirit of good Christianity? Of course not! I lost my temper, threw a tantrum, swore and yelled and screamed and acted really quite childish! So, basically, I’m a jerk and a loser who can’t control his temper, who lets rage drive him to points of madness. I SUCK!