Friday, September 23, 2005

Evil Spirits---Be Gone!

WARNING!
Before you read this post, please keep an opened mind. I’m of Christian faith, and this post holds many beliefs of mine that I am sharing. If you are of another religion, please take this with a grain of salt, or you may want to skip this post.


“Honey, where’s my cream colored blouse that I just got out of the drycleaners?”
“It should be in the pile of the clothes that you brought back, Deb.”

No… Nothing.” I said, fumbling through garments wrapped up in bags.
“Well when did you last see it?” Madelene asks.
I hated when my mother used to ask me that very same question when I was interrogating her for a lost item. That question alone has to be more absurd than, ‘Are you sleeping?’
“Never mind, I’ll just wear this.” I replied, avoiding all arguments regarding that stupid question. I wasn’t about to reply, ‘Well if I knew where I last saw it…………” (You know the drill)

At the age of twenty-three, I thought I would have a little more tolerance for life. I was agitated and way too combative for my own good. Yes, even worse than I am at the age of thirty-one. Plus, how can I start an argument right before going to church? I’ll wait until tonight. I’ll feel much better then.

Madelene and I are both Christians. We wanted to find the perfect church to go to. We didn’t expect to be 100% accepted as a homosexual couple; we just wanted to seek God more, and be surrounded by other believers. We both have our own relationship with God, so it was important that we attend church, in case there was a message that we were supposed to hear that day. We started going on a regular basis, and enjoyed it.

I was a bit taken back when I first started going. I was used to the mundane and monotone voice of my priest at Sacred Heart—which is a Catholic church. I wanted to go to a church where they had enthusiasm for God. I didn’t want to sing the “Our Father” in one single note. It reminded me much like those horror movies, when those Satan worshipers would gather around a circle and sing monotone evil tunes. It gave me the creeps to sit in a Catholic church to hear this very same song, but in different words. The whole church would sing together, like one big evil chant. Ew. If I were God, would I want to be worshipped like this? Give me some music! Give me some dancing! Let’s have a good time here! Of course, bring out the wine!

I recall the first day of attending service at the Trinity Assembly of God. It was a born again Christian church. People were greeting us at the door as if they knew us all our lives.
“Hello! Welcome! How are you?” One elderly gentleman says, holding our hands in his.
This was a bit ‘too welcoming’, but it was much better than Sister Rose snarling at us, because she saw a wrinkle in one of our skirts. These people at the Catholic church were so strict and rigid, that it made the whole ‘going to church’ such a drag.

Each Sunday, we would return. We would all sing, dance and worship for the first half hour, and then for the remaining hour and a half, there would be a sermon from the pastor. He spoke of everyday life, and his topics were very down to earth. Sometimes he would go on a rant that was quite garrulous; however we hung on every word. He was mentioning that next Sunday was a special day for the gay & lesbian community. I looked at Madelene sitting besides me in the pew like, ‘You gotta be kidding!” I was thrilled. A church that finally accepted gays and lesbians?

All week I was anticipated their dedication to our community. I was thrilled that they acknowledged us. We’re not bad people. We’re just people who ‘love’. How can that be a sin? Promiscuity is another thing. In my belief, that’s merely ‘lust’, which is one of the deadly sins. Then again, what makes one sin so much deadlier than another? I always wondered that. What about the Ten Commandments? If homosexuality is an ‘abomination’, then why isn’t it listed on the ‘top ten list’ of commandments? Why isn’t it listed in the seven deadly sins? It confuses me. In the bible, in clearly states that no sin is greater than another. What gives?

Sunday approaches, and we are headed off to church. We sat closer than usual that day. There was a woman speaker about to do this dedication for our community. I was thrilled. As she was speaking so eloquently, she said some really nice things. She went on about how we shouldn’t miss the bus. It’s like coming home, and everyone is gone. You run to the kitchen, and there’s a pot still cooking, bringing aromas throughout the house—so someone must still be home, right? Basically saying, you missed your ticket into heaven. You can't ride on the coattails of other believers.

“Huh?”

She was giving an analogy about missing an opportunity to get into heaven.
“I’m a former lesbian. I suffered for many years living a life full of sin. I knew it was wrong, and a direction that only led to a dead end. I changed my ways, and went into the ministry.”
Okay, now I was fuming. I was actually upset and angry, watching this woman walk into the aisles spewing out words that were unpleasant to my ears. She offended me. Hypocrite! They got you! The ministry has brainwashed you.

“Evil spirits! Be gone! I rebuke you Satan and your homosexual ways!” I can just hear it in my head, all the priests and pastors laying hands on her, trying to get these ‘gay demons’ out of her system. Certainly none of those ‘priests’ were gay. To even commit some sort of malfeasance in their hometown would be a disgrace to the whole community. It’s quite ironic that they call themselves, ‘former homosexuals’. Former? Okay. Isn’t it quite the same as calling an alcoholic, a ‘former alcoholic’? They make it quite clear that you are an alcoholic, even if it has been twenty years since your lips wrapped around a bottle of beer.

These priests, pastors and speakers never sin, right? They never have an impure thought, or partake in any gossip. They’re perfect. They can cast the first stone, due to their righteousness.

Wrong.

We are all human. We’re all inadequate. We all fall short of God’s will. He expects us to be imperfect. Now, if God came down to earth today, and said,
“Each and everyone of you who lied, committed adultery and spread gossip about another, please stand here.”
Now there’s 70% of everyone in the world.
“Each and everyone of you who has had premarital sex, please stand here.”
Okay, there’s the other 30%. Are we all going to hell? Did God put us on earth, to just chuck us down to hell? Our carnal and physical nature weighs out our spiritual side in most cases. If you are a tough cookie and could withstand the test of sin, I commend you; however, not all of us are that strong.

For instance, did you know that eating shellfish is a detestable sin? (Quoted in the Old Testament) So, no shrimp, clams, mussels, lobster or scallops. Forget about it. They’ll serve that in hell for you. Come on!

Read this scripture:

Leviticus 11:9-12 As for marine animals, you may eat whatever has both fins and scales, whether taken from fresh water or salt water. You may not, however, eat marine animals that do not have both fins and scales. (shellfish) You are to detest them, and they will always be forbidden to you. You must never eat their meat or even touch their dead bodies. I repeat, any marine animal that does not have both fins and scales is strictly forbidden to you.

Now, here’s a thought you an ponder on. If you sit next to a woman on the same couch while she is menstruating, you will be defiled.

Read this:

Leviticus 15:19-29 Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. If you touch her during that time, you will be defiled until evening. Anything on which she lies or sits during that time will be defiled If you touch her bed, you must wash your clothes and bathe in water, and you will remain defiled until evening. The same applies if you touch an object on which she sits, whether it is her bedding or any piece of furniture. If a man has
sexual intercourse with her during this time, her menstrual impurity will be transmitted to him. He will remain defiled for seven days, and any bed on which he lies will be defiled.
If the menstrual flow of blood continues for many days beyond the normal period, or if she discharges blood unrelated to her menstruation, the woman will be ceremonially unclean as long as the discharge continues. Anything on which she lies or sits during that time will be defiled, just as it would be during her normal menstrual period. If you touch her bed or anything on which she sits, you will be defiled. You will be required to wash your clothes and bathe in water, and you will remain defiled until evening.
When the woman’s menstrual discharge stops, she must count off a period of seven days. After that she will be ceremonially clean. On the eighth day, she must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons and present them to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

Interesting, huh? Now all of this is taken from the Old Testament which mainly has a lot of scriptures regarding homosexuality.

Old Testament
Leviticus 20:30 The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties. They have committed a detestable act and are guilty of a capital offense.

vs.

New Testament
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times. And he is entirely fair and just in this present time when he declares sinners to be right in his sight because they believe in Jesus.

I no longer go to that church. I watched two women give a speech. They were together for twenty years. They are ‘former lesbians’ in the church’s lesbian ministry. I watched one lady get up to the podium, and cry her eyes out, as she said she was no longer a lesbian. Her love for her partner was evident. They still resided in the same household. To watch this lady suffer, and be tortured, to not be with her partner in a romantic way was killing her spiritually. She loved God, and she also loved her partner. You can involve God in your relationship—it’s possible.

Madelene and I decided that we will not be tortured like that; however, we will include God in everything we do. He comes first, above all. Without God, we are nothing. I’m just thankful that all the guilt that I had in the past, is gone. Being in love with Madelene with all my heart gives me happiness; having a personal relationship with God, means the world to me.

Remember, whatever it is you’re struggling with, God loves you regardless—and He loves you more than anyone can ever possibly love another human being.
That's huge!