Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Let's hear it for the boys...

or girls or whoever you may be attracted to.  I know right, you're thinking what are you talking about, where are you going with this.  Well hold on to your seats, because I might just be headed in a direction that you might not be prepared for, especially if you are gay, bi, or unsure of your sexuality.  Or if your whole life you've been taught that Jesus, a man who loves greater than humanly possible, hates gays or anyone for that matter.  Maybe you have been taught that God is an angry, vengeful God and you must do things to please him.  Then I'm about to blow your mind.
What if I told you that God loves you even if you're gay?
What if I told you that God loves you even if you're bisexual?
What if I told you that God loves you even if you aren't sure if you're straight or gay?
What if I told you that God loves you even if you have hurt someone?
What if I told you that God loves you even if you murdered someone?
What if I told you that God loves you even if you think you did something unforgivable?
Would you believe me?  Would you think no way?  He can't possibly love me because that one "Christian" told me that if I don't change God is going to cast me into the pit of hell for eternity.  
Well that god, is not the God I serve.  My God, loves you and you don't have to change to earn his love.  He gives it away freely.  You don't even have to ask for it.  He loves you.
So you might be wondering what prompted this particular topic.  A friend on Facebook posted that a gay couple he knows got engaged. I don't remember the exact wording, but the post said something about Jesus being angry now because another gay couple is getting married.  It broke my heart that someone would think that the Jesus I know and love, would be angry about this.  But it also opened my eyes to a sad reality: Many of us who us the name "Christian" preach hate and hell and damnation.  But God has put it on my heart to let you know that this is not who he is.
Three years ago my friends and I attended an event called "Rock the River."  It was 10 Christian bands and Billy Graham's son was the speaker (sorry I can not remember his name at the moment).  There were Christians outside the gates with signs saying we were going to hell for attending this event.  Their signs said that rock music is of the devil.  I remember thinking, yeah that's one way to do it.  But isn't there a better way?  Yeah, there is a much better way.  Why not love people to Christ?  It's what my church believes and I hope it's what others believe as well.
I have to tell you, I don't think Jesus was at all angry about that gay couple getting engaged.  I think he loves them very much.  I think his heart aches when people tell the gay community that Jesus hates them.  
Jesus made the greatest sacrifice of all...he died for us.  And who are we to pick and choose who he can and will love.  I don't believe for one minute that Jesus died for a particular group of people.  He died for people that don't believe he ever existed.  Jesus died for people that steal, murder, molest children.  Jesus died, so he gets to decide who to love.  And because he died such a cruel death for all mankind, I believe with every fiber of my being that he loves all mankind.  
Why?  Because I wouldn't sacrifice my son for anyone, but God did.  God loves us so much that before we were born he paid for our sins by giving his son a death sentence.  That is intense love.  But Jesus could have walked away, did you know that?  He did not have to die.  He could have said, Dad you know I think this is a great idea, but what about that Matthew guy?  Wouldn't his death work?  But Jesus didn't do that.  He did however spend a night praying asking God to remove this charge.  He prayed so hard that night he was sweating blood.  But he also told God, not my will, but yours. God did not release him from this death sentence.  God knew how important it would be that people know that he sacrificed his only son, and that his son did not run.  When the guards came that night, Jesus asked who they were looking for.  When they said Jesus of Nazareth, he said I am Jesus.  He knowingly walked into his death sentence. Why?  Why would he do this for people that don't deserve to be saved from an eternity in hell?  Because he loves unconditionally.  You do not have to earn his love.  You don't have to change in order to please him.  He loves you so much.  
Do you get it yet?  Has it sunk in?  I hope that it has.  I pray that it has.  I pray that you can feel Jesus hug you as you read this and know what I know about him.  I also hope that after you read this, you will pass it along to someone you know who might need to hear that they are loved.  I know that I mostly focused on the gay community being loved by Jesus, but he loves everyone. You, me, your neighbor, my neighbor who is mean to my son, my son, my friends who claim there is no God, my church family, my blood family...I know it's a lot to take in.  How can he love everyone?  I don't know how he does it because it is damn near impossible to love some people, but he does.  I hope you can feel how much he loves you.