Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Throwing Stones: Kimberly Bowman

More often than not, many of my readers saw the bitterness and rage that went into religion, mostly due to the many Christian debates regarding homosexuality vs. religion. Some would email me on the side or make public comments asking me “why” I would defend myself against people who were so very hateful and had words to only tear down somebody’s spirit, not to edify or encourage them as true Christians would. They would call it “righteous judgment” and explain that since I was living such a sinful life by having a loving partner of many years, that I was going straight to hell and that I should give up this “filthy lifestyle” and repent. While focusing very closely on my life, I started to realize that it wasn’t me who was hurting and feeling all sorts of guilt and shame, but it was the very ones who attacked me so viciously. Even when they threw scriptures at me, I’d show them scriptures to counteract it. The Bible is very complex, misinterpreted and also, misunderstood most of the time. Each and every scripture was not talking about the act of homosexuality, but the immorality of all people. And of course, Jesus says nothing in the New Testament about homosexuality ---at all. I remember my battles with Dani Kekoa. She once said to me, “Either stop being a lesbian or stop being Christian. You can’t be both.” If she was going to tell people to stop being Christian because of their “so called sin” - or even if it was a sin - then she is turning people away from God which is the biggest sin of all. However, luckily she realized this...or has she?

Curtis and Dani Kekoa were apart of the Denver Bible Church, to which Bob Enyart, a convicted child beater is the pastor for that congregation. All three of them bashed me so viciously on their radio show and called me such awful and hateful things. Why not focus on murderers, rapists or pedophiles? The thing is: they all compared me to a murderer, a rapist and a pedophile. I was “just as bad” in their eyes. I was asked by Dani to take down my book, A Prayer Away From Healing, and in turn, she would take me into her home and let me meet “a nice boy from the church.” I thanked her and then declined the generous offer, as she made it to another girl across the globe who did just that. Thing is, Dani and I got along well when we weren’t arguing about homosexuality. We spoke over the phone and I felt the human element; I heard a really nice person and not the angry Christian rebuking me 24/7. She had a wonderful sense of humor, she’s obviously very intelligent (on paper as well as verbally) and very pleasant to talk to. And I think she got to see another side of me too - a less defensive side to which she couldn’t “fight” with. I’ll never forget hanging up the phone, looking at my wife and saying, “Wow, she’s so not what I expected. She’s really a nice woman.” I don’t mean any disrespect by that, but sometimes when we get so caught up in misconstrued text, we can elevate it to a higher level of tension.

In a public apology made to me by Dani Kekoa, on February 9th, after finding out The Denver Bible Church was indeed a cult, she states on her blog:

“To begin, it would only be right to *set the record straight* (no pun intended), by publicly confessing my wrongdoings and openly apologizing to many bloggers whom I offended in Christ’s Name, but particularly, I want to apologize to Deb for how I mistreated her. If you once followed our blogs back in the day, you are all too aware of the "Constant Controversy" surrounding our posts as we became cyber enemies for years in a fierce battle of “Who's Truth?” as I tried to pound it into her soul and convince her that all “Sexual Immorality” is a sin according to God, while she battled right back and asked, “Is Homosexuality a Perversion?” While I may have been Biblically correct in moral principal, without wholesome words or sincere brotherly love, the message of Truth I delivered was tainted because of my quarrelsome conduct much of the time.

Over the past five years as I slowly vanished from the bloggerville to switch gears in life and refocus my priorities on family, Deb would frequently enter my mind as she always held a special place in my heart, and I knew deep-down that our paths would cross again one day. Well, that day has come much sooner than expected, which is a good thing. As I have grown and matured in the Lord, and distanced myself from Enyart’s ill-ethics, I have come to realize that my harsh approach and haughty spirit aimed high at not being “Nicer than God,” quickly degraded down to the low level of being way “Meaner than God” would ever dream to be. There was a lot of computer courage and cyber-bullying going on back then, but that's not who I am as a person, thanks to the Lord for changing my mind and softening my heart towards "sinners." And a special thanks in part to Deb, for the prayer she offered up to God on my behalf way back then in this post: "Love Your Enemies". (Of course, I do not consider Deb my enemy, never really did, and I would have her over for dinner & drinks any day of the week before I ever let an Enyart step foot in my house again.)

As recent unbelievable events manifested in my life, I was convicted that the way I treated Deb was mean, hurtful, and not pleasing to the Lord at all, so I decided to take a moment to send her a quick email as a sister in Christ to formally apologize for my “Holier than Thou” overly critical, confrontational and “Spiritually Dead Christianity” which did not produce the fruit of righteousness because I was often not “Walking in Love,” as she rightly pointed out. After she received my email message, as the gracious woman she is, Deb also offered her own apology to me for how she reacted, then we quickly reconciled our differences and forgave one another as Christ would want us to do. (We even spoke on the phone as friends discussing a recent tragedy in her family, which was nice.) While Deb and I still disagree on homosexuality, we can agree on the love of God, and that I was wrong in my witness for Christ because of my narrow focus on her particular "sin" as though I were completely blameless. It should also be noted that Deb was right about Bob Enyart all along, especially when she alerted me to the unforeseen dangers in this post called, Child Abuse X-Pose, which has now come full circle in a twisted since of irony.”

After she had written this piece, we spoke on the phone about many things. She apologized verbally as well, and I apologized for being so defensive. Back then, I was a new writer and really didn’t have much experience with being attacked on a religious level. I just thought my book as well as my blog would help people who love God - those who feel guilty about their lifestyle, to realize that God accepts them as they are. I didn’t expect all vile and hateful responses I received. I told Dani, “Water under the bridge” - even if she still feels the same about homosexuality - that’s okay. That’s her right and her belief to which I respect. I would never try to convince someone that homosexuality is or isn’t a sin, but if someone is going to beat me down telling me that I’m going to hell, etc., etc., you bet I’m going to throw a few scriptures their way as well. It’s just a knee jerk reaction that I feel I need to give since I am here to support my LGBT friends and family to cope with their possible struggle over their lifestyle vs. religion. Yes you can be Christian and be gay too. But then again, this is my belief, this is what I have found in the bible that speaks of every sin is a sin; that all of us fall short but all in all - God loves all of us because He knows our hearts.

As Dani continued to battle with her former pastor, Bob Enyart, she has publicly apologized to me, receiving a lot of flack from her old church friends, as well as other people online who were frequent readers asking that she would "rebuke homos" and not accept them. A blogger named Kimberly Bowman, who went by the name, "Kimberly Kay", wrote this on her blog (which has now been deleted), “Deb, please don't call your union a marriage, for God created marriage, between a man and a woman. You were married by a person claiming to be christian, not by a christian in Gods eyes. To be a christian, is to live for God, not for yourself. Acting on homosexuality is self gratification, not pleasing to God. One more thing Deb, if you are so convinced that your lifestyle is not an abomination, why do you continue this argument with people that know it is an ungodly act?" She also goes on to say that homosexuals are the only ones spreading AIDS. As the ignorance starts flowing even more, I reminded her that there are many heterosexuals who are spreading AIDS as well. She fails to see that fact. As I continued to read more of her blog updates, she started including me in her posts due to my commentary (which I shouldn’t have wasted my time), but I found something very interesting as well. She seemed so focused on Dani's life, practically begging her to not accept these "homos" and go back to a life of "righteousness". She took the time to write this post for Dani as well as throwing many scriptures to "prove" homosexuality is an abomination.

"I do not lack love for homosexuals, I lack tolerance! I lost a family member to AIDS and yes, he contracted it from his homosexual partner/s. I loved him, we grew up together. I hate to think that he may not be in Heaven. I know that if he didn't repent before he died, he was not forgiven. I loved him, I miss him, I wish he would have been able to turn and repent of his sin. I wish I would have offered him the Golden Ticket, but I didn't. If I can help just one homosexual to see the Truth, then my intolerance for their acts will be worth it! I wrote this back in April 2011. I get criticized by family and friends because I speak out against the life style homosexuals "choose". I am not perfect, no man is, however to continue to live and justify a sin, is not being a Christian. Anyone can claim to be a Christian, but your actions speak louder than your words. To say that you will sit and eat dinner with a homosexual, do it, break bread.

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Romans 12:3

I just don't understand how this can be confusing Deb. Biblical passages such as the following do not permit any other interpretation but that which is obvious.

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination … (Leviticus 20:13)

For this reason (i.e. their refusal to acknowledge, thank and glorify God) God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

(Romans 1:26-27)
Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral (or fornicators), nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals (or sodomites; literally those who have coitus, or who sleep, with men), nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

If you want to live in an UNGODLY lifestyle, go for it! Don't expect Christians to except your choice out of Love. I, has a Christian, love Deb, but that does not require me to accept her sin.

Deb, please don't call your union a marriage, for God created marriage, between a man and a woman. You were married by a person claiming to be christian, not by a christian in Gods eyes. To be a christian, is to live for God, not for yourself. Acting on homosexuality is self gratification, not pleasing to God. One more thing Deb, if you are so convinced that your lifestyle is not an abomination, why do you continue this argument with people that know it is an ungodly act?

Danielle, I am glad that you have decided to love ALL people, what disturbs me is the fact that you have turned against people that supported you and your family. You have now turned your hate and anger unjustly towards others, much like you did with Deb "back in the day". Seems as though you don't have an complete understanding what love means. Hypocrisy is simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches. The homosexuals have been the most comforting because they are telling you what you want to hear. If they show love and concern towards your situation, you will except and tolerate their sin. That give them ammunition in their argument. I have been excepted by a recovering extremist Christian. You know this Dani! If you every feel compelled to share why Scott and I were booted from your circle, I would love to know! Your action towards me are worse then the action displayed against me from DBC. I was a friend!"
--Kimberly Bowman

In response, I wrote a comment to her after Kimberly advertised her website on my blog, to which Dani asked me to just ignore...but I just couldn't resist.

"Thank you for advertising your website on my blog. First of all, I just wanted to point out that many heterosexual people have passed on due to AIDS. Let's not forget that. It's not just a "gay" disease. If you go by Leviticus, you will also know that eating shellfish such as shrimp, lobster or clams is an abomination as well. But in Galatians it clearly states that since Jesus died for us on the cross, the old law is abolished. The mentioning of homosexuals in Romans is about fornication---period. It's about promiscuity and immorality of all heterosexuals and homosexuals. Corinthians speaks the same. It's for all... I'm sorry that you feel the need to not tolerate any sin. We all fall short. Homosexuality, or better yet, my loving marriage with my wife of 16 years is not a sin. Perhaps other things in my life that I struggle with is a sin, but don't we all? It's a hard life to focus on what other people do or don't do. Isn't that a heavy burden to keep in your heart? Give it all to God. He knows what to do with everyone in the world who struggles with sin and hardships. Trust Him enough to tolerate, or not tolerate as He sees fit. Let's focus more on loving one another and loving God with all our heart - that's the biggest commandment in the bible.

I pray that you will one day put yourself in the shoes of those you judge and see their life from their perspective. I pray that you soften your hardened heart and that you not just accept your brothers and sisters in Christ, but you love them, just as God commanded.

Hope you have a wonderful day.
God bless...."

As she continued to use my name for her mindless blathering, she then told me to "butt out of this".

So, with all of Kimberly's scripture referencing, I will return the favor and add a few of my own...

“Yes, Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life. Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God’s sight. God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful kindness became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~Romans 5:18-21

So basically it’s saying that the sins of the past, even back into Leviticus was washed away so that we can have right standing with God. The Old Testament tells us that eating crustaceans of the sea (shellfish), being a homosexual, a man shaving his beard and sitting on the same couch with a woman who is menstruating were all seen as an abomination. But when Jesus came to the world, He died on the cross to take away those sins. Once He died, the law was abolished. This scripture validates that.

“But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! Rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one for those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. **For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.”**

That one sentence says it all: {“For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.”}

Then you have this passage:

“You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. And yet we Jewish Christians know that we become right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ-and not because we have obeyed the law. ***For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law.***” ~Galatians 2:15-16

“For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law.” Huh. Isn’t that interesting? So then, what’s the most important commandment - the most important thing for a Christian person to do?

Then Jesus says this:

The Most Important Commandment--
“One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the discussion. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ Jesus replied, ‘The most important commandment is this: Here, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.’" ~Matthew 22:34-40

Maybe one day Kimberly & others alike will see what God truly wants for them - how God wants us all to treat one another with love and not bitterness - to edify, not to tear down. There is no such things as "righteous judgment" unless you are living a life with absolutely no sin. So I ask Kimberly Kay, can you throw the first stone my friend?

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