Thursday, May 03, 2007

Needing Approval

There’s a big difference between wanting approval from others and displaying your faith in God and telling them about your lifestyle. I’m not here for approval; I’ve already got that from God. I’m here to explain to the LGBT community and anyone else who’s interested my reasoning for having faith in God, even though I’m a lesbian.

Some people think I’m starting arguments. I assure you that I’m not. I’m just explaining to people who are going through the same trials I am, that I’m in the same boat too. I get persecuted on a daily basis for being a Christian lesbian, due to other different beliefs within the same religion. That’s okay if they bring forth their message in a tactful way, but when they come to me cursing and lashing out, there’s no need for it.

If I were insecure, inexperienced and immature in the word of God, I would feel responsible for other people’s emotional reactions. If people are offended by my message, that’s their problem, unless I allow it to become mine. Mature Christians understand the differences in the lifestyles of many people. They grasp the concept of having different crosses to bear- they emphasize and hear you out, instead of lashing out. When someone is weak in their faith, they ridicule and belittle you. They disregard your feelings and go straight for the jugular. Jesus teaches us to love one another and treat one another with respect. A lot of people don’t know what means to love one another. They think ‘loving one another’ is ‘judging one another’.

When people say, “Well, God says I can judge, because I judge righteously!”

Let’s take a look at what it means to ‘judge righteously…

We may not judge according to appearance (John 7:24). This means that we may not judge on the basis of insufficient, superficial information. Outward appearance is often deceptive. "Some men's sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden" (1 Timothy 5:24,25). Righteous judgment must be based on conclusive evidence. We may not judge on the basis of appearance, personal opinions or unsubstantiated suspicions.

Jesus said: "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck out of your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5).

We may not judge in matters of opinion. "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand" (Romans 14:1-4). "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way" (Romans 14:10-13).

We may not take God's place in judgment: "Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?" (James 4:11,12).

We may not condemn the guiltless by neglecting mercy: "But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless" (Matthew 12:7).

Here’s a bad example of what it’s like to judge someone wrongly:

*Condemning and Criticizing (Bad Judging)
*Using people’s sin as an excuse to lower or belittle them.
*Harsh punishment without encouragement to follow.
*Cursing a person or prophesying destruction into their lives. Note: it is ok to warn someone of possible consequences, but it is not ok to say things which may discourage the person or lead them to believe that the worst is the only outcome they will have.
*Sentencing with no mercy.
*Correcting someone when guilty of the same thing.

With all that being said, I truly appreciate those who tell me their thoughts and beliefs, without belittling me. The list above describes exactly what has transpired this week on my blog. If these people came to me in love, with mercy and with a heart, I would hear them out, as I did with Gary on this previous post. But, instead, they did all of the following things on that list.

How can you follow someone who curses you and makes jokes about your shortcomings? Are they credible Christians? Would you seek guidance from someone who makes fun of people that seek help for depression and anxiety, or would to seek guidance from those who spread the message of God—without the insults?

For the gay and lesbians who read me, please know that these types of Christians are sheep in wolves’ clothing. Don’t be fooled by them. Live your life with the person you love with no apologies. Don’t seek approval from mere humans. Seek approval from God. You don’t need anything else. God created you ‘as is’, He knew from when you were a baby into the very future of what you will become. Does God make mistakes? Of course not. People's judgments on you are not “the be-all and the end-all”... Remember, God has the final word!

“How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father and mother, “Why was I born? Why did you make me this way? ~Isaiah 45:10

“A Call to Trust the Lord”

The Lord has said to me in the strongest terms, “Do not think like everyone else does. Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe. ~Isaiah 8-14

I’ve learned that people will always disappoint me. I don’t have high expectations for humans----I have respect and love for them, however, they’re not God. My salvation comes from God, not from judgmental Christians who spew the word of God and curse you with the very same tongue.

Remember, no one can judge you. No one has the authority to ‘approve’ your lifestyle.