This is certainly a blog that I’ve put off writing for several reasons. One, because it’s difficult to convey my thoughts properly in an essay. Two, because I know it’ll be taken totally out of context by lots of people.
And three, because many of our friends will be offended and instead of respecting my opinion and my thoughts, as I do theirs, they’ll simply choose to be mad, and offended, and say then we’re not friends anymore because you’re wrong (and they’re right).
It’s a scary step to take, but the longer this festers inside of me, the more I know I have to get it out.
I am entitled to my opinions as everyone else is to theirs. Whether we agree or not.
So to all of my friends…before you get mad and say we can’t be friends any more, just read and think about what I say. It’s not aimed at any one in particular. Just because we don’t agree on certain points doesn’t mean I don’t love you as my friend. And if you think I’m talking about someone specific, well, as I’ve heard said before, “if this gets your goat, then you had a goat to get!”
Deep breath…..here it comes…
Over the past months I’ve seen and heard so much on social media, and in conversations about how God told me to do this. God told me you have to do this (or stop doing this). God said He made sure this or that happened to teach people a lesson.
God caused the destruction in the Caribbean from the hurricane because the people were being punished for being nonbelievers.
God allowed the massacre at the Pulse nightclub because He hates gay people.
God hand-picked the president we have now and made sure he got elected because he was chosen to be there. I didn’t know God was that active in our politics. And if He’s that active in our country’s politics, why not the other countries? Why just ours?
God allowed this or that because we aren’t praying enough.
And the one that really gets me, God hates a collective of certain individuals because of certain beliefs or lifestyles. So that means I do, too!
Really? When did God start hating people? My God is a God of love. He may not always agree with things we do, but I can guarantee he doesn’t HATE anyone. He may be disappointed in choices we all make, but turn our backs on us? No.
Then there’s the exact opposite of others putting down people for their religious views, making fun of them, publicly calling for resignations or boycotts because that person professes a certain faith. That person has that right to believe, just as you do.
What’s happened to us?
Why is it so important to put others down, to dissolve friendships, even families, because you don’t agree with the other person’s faith? And please don’t tell me God told you to, because my God doesn’t do that. Yes, He wants us to love Him as well as each other, which is sometimes hard to do. But as a Christian that’s what we’re called to do.
I’m also getting tired of being continually barraged with the “look how wonderful I am” type of posts from others bragging about what they did for the Lord today. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing stories of redemption and miracles, but there are ways to say it to glorify the Lord rather than themselves. It’s getting a lot more prevalent these days. Why do so many believers feel they have to impress others with their own self worth in order to make their point?
How about “God told me to move to California, or Texas, or Florida, but we don’t have the money, so give me a contribution so we can be obedient?” I’m sorry. If God tells you to go, He’s going to make a way. Missionaries do it all the time through support of churches and other donors. If you’re supposed to do that, look into church sponsorship and fundraising by donor letters. Not constant begging.
“I need a car. God said someone was going to give me one so I can use my money for other things and superbly bless whoever does it. Who’s going to be the one who gets blessed by giving me one?” My God doesn’t make those type of deals.
There are those who adamantly preach against something…how wrong something is. (I’m not talking about anything dangerous or illegal, by the way…just every day life.) And then suddenly they want to do the same thing, and decide to research scripture and…oh my…they were wrong and that thing is suddenly ok now. Then why were you so adamantly against it before? You only researched what YOU wanted to believe?
There are those who preach about the evils of reading books by certain authors who write about sorcery, vampires, so-called horror and fantasy writers. That seeing certain movies will condemn you and your family because you saw something you shouldn’t…says “them”.
Harry Potter is an idea from the author’s imagination and reading the books and/or seeing the movies won’t condemn you to hell. By the way, I’ve never read the series nor seen the movies but it’s not a genre that appeals to me. But one of my favorite authors is Stephen King. And you know the types of novels he writes. They’re excellent, well written, and some of them really make you think about personal interaction.
Let’s not forget about all those who have a fit over Halloween. That you can’t “celebrate” it. Well we don’t “celebrate” it but we enjoy giving our candy to the dressed up kids, and going trick or treating with our granddaughter. We carved jack o’lanterns with our daughter for many years. Once in awhile we even dressed up for Halloween, and now we dress our dogs in costumesas well. And the Lord still loves us.
And then there are those who make a point to tell people who’ve just lost loved ones that because they didn’t “know the Lord”, they’ll never see them in heaven. Now yes, I know the teachings of Jesus and how He told us we need to believe in Him to be in heaven. However…how do we know what happens in those last few seconds of life? The God I know loves everyone, He loves them so much I truly believe He’s there waiting as each of us are departing this life, with His hand outstretched saying “Come to Me.” Who wouldn’t go with Him? Are they saying the Jews who were slaughtered during the Holocaust, the Jews who were massacred in Pittsburgh, were turned away from heaven? I’m sure my God welcomed each and every one into His kingdom.
And yes, now I’m getting ready to go somewhere that will really upset some people. But I have to…
There are many evangelicals, pastors as well as believers, who are quick to condemn those who are gay. Those people may be their friends, close friends even, but when it’s discovered they’re gay, suddenly that person is condemned, ostracized, ignored, and told they’re going straight to hell! From being a close friend to persona non grata in a matter of minutes. Yes, I know what the book of Leviticus states. But I also know that Jesus told us when He came we were no longer under the Law, but under grace. And that we are told to love each other as God loves the Church. Why is this command not being followed? Why do I hear pastors in particular going around and saying how much they can’t stand gay people? Yes. I’ve heard it. Obviously “love thy neighbor” only applies in certain situations.
And along those same lines, what happens if one of their family members suddenly announces he or she is gay? Will scriptures be researched again only to discover, “Oh my, I was wrong!” ?
Please don’t get me wrong. I am a believer. I love the Lord. But I have just had enough of religious hypocrisy and intolerance. When people are chastised and sometimes asked to leave their church or employment for drinking wine. That WAS the first miracle, right? Turning water into wine? When women are reminded that marriage is forever and in many cases even leaving a husband for domestic abuse or infidelity is wrong and it should’ve instead been dealt with by praying for him. Had I followed that guideline, I may not have lived through my short and disastrous second marriage. Leaving him wasn’t wrong. And I’ve been blessed with a long and happy marriage after that one.
I could go on but I’ve said enough for now. I’m sure I’ve made many people mad, but it’s time for us all to stop putting each other down, and care about others, even if we have different beliefs. I may not agree with all of my friends’ beliefs, or even my husband’s, but it’s my right to disagree as it is their right. I’m doesn’t mean I don’t still love them.
And I love my Lord, and He loves me. Just as I am. Yes I’m flawed. I’m not perfect. But I am who I am. And these are my thoughts. You’re entitled to yours as well.