Joy In San Antonio

DISCRIM-articleLarge

I spoke at San Antonio PFLAG Thursday, the day City Council voted to include LGBTQ in their non-discrimination ordinance. I have to tell you – what an evening. Happiness, of course, no longer to be rejected for orientation, but confusion even to have to fight for this. Why should equal access to jobs and housing not be a given?

Worse was to learn of the hateful attack of the opposition. Christians (of course, being the main ones stuck on this) brought out the usual attack of LGBTQ, and a council member called gays “disgusting.” Seriously. The PFLAG members wrestled through this animosity from people who don’t even know them for something they didn’t even want or choose. As I listen, I wonder how to tell them about the love of Christ.

That’s what I’m here for, to tell them how much Jesus loves them, that He welcomes ALL who are tired of carrying their own burdens, that He doesn’t reject anyone.

I know these attacks will not help Jesus’ message of love. Even the words I might use – like Jesus or bible – trigger bad associations from years of spiritual abuse from parents/grandparents/pastors/priests. Christians have no excuse to resist renting an apartment to a gay couple, even if they think it’s wrong. (They rent to cohabiting, obese and other people they disagree with.) But to turn Christ’s generous gift into a limited offer is unconscionable.

I’m looking at how to wade through this much just to begin. I just want to say, “This does not represent Jesus! He never said any of that!”

Tragically, this astounding news of the gospel has become subject to peer review.

If I did not have a profoundly intimate loving relationship with Jesus, if I had not experienced him saving me from hell on earth, I would want no part of this. Based on what I see, I would say, “Count me out.” The deepening chasm between Christ and those who need Him is what’s abominable.

Fortunately, Jesus is bigger than all those who speak these things “in His name.” Thank God.

15 thoughts on “Joy In San Antonio

  1. Wow! I was in San Antonio on Thursday also! It’s strange that you and I keep ending up in cities where neither of us live on the same day. Is the Universe trying to tell us something? haha

  2. Another GREAT message Susan!! In my small group a few weeks ago , everybody started in about how sick and tired they are of “tolerance” and how Christians don’t have the freedoms they once had. I actually spoke up and said, “Sometimes I think it’s Christians who are killing Christianity, ” after a few sputters and chest clutches, there were crickets—We decided after much prayer to send a note telling them we were moving on—Praying that God will bring us to a place of worship for ALL people—Thanks again for all that you do!!

    • Whoa. That’s great, Carol. So good. Yes, I have no doubt that God is doing something in the culture — and it’s not “getting rid of the debauchery” the church is afraid of; I believe He’s shaking up the church to take down the self-righteousness (Pharisaism) and turn our hearts back to Him. Best to you in finding that place, Carol. We have actually just found a church we think is a PERFECT FIT for us. So, so, so, excited. But they seem few and far between. I pray God will lead you! xoxo

      • I don’t know why Christians keep insisting that we are under attack by popular culture. I grew up in the church, too, and for as long as I could remember, we were taught to GO AGAINST THE GRAIN. As far as I can see, it is the church who decided to go on the offensive…or at the very least, to segregate.

        When I was a kid, our youth leaders kept telling us that it was “the wrong choice” if we go to our friends’ parties because they play worldly music, and that there will be drugs and alcohol and goodness knows what else. Never mind the fact that to this day, as an adult, I’ve never done drugs in my life! But just our mere presence there would be an approval of the lifestyle. So my best friend and I (who also went to the same church) always felt bad going to our friends’ parties when we did go, and felt crummy when we didn’t go. I can’t tell you how many times we said, “Man it’s hard being saved! How come they can go to parties and we couldn’t??” We would even joke about getting saved too young. Of course we went anyway, then went to church on Sundays feeling so dirty, all because we hung out with our friends, most of whom by the way went on to Ivy League schools. We were good kids who thought we were bad.

        Now I turn on the news and come across “conservatives” who keep selling that Christians are under attack, when I know for a fact (because I come from the church culture) that it was the Christians who started to go against culture. Christianity is inherently counter-cultural. So it annoys me to see these pontificating bobbleheads on TV telling church people that they better vote for such and such so that they will continue to have their freedoms. No one’s taking freedom from Christians! Yet, the church fights so hard to take away freedom from others. *smh*

        Then there’s the fake war against Christianity through war against Christmas. Now if a store says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” suddenly that store is declaring war against Christmas – Christmas is not even in the bible! Never mind the fact that there are other cultures celebrating holidays around the same time, and that it makes sense to just include them, too. Heaven help those businesses that include them. Oi!

        I still go to my local church and still have discussions about these things. Sometimes I think that my agnostic and atheist friends who think that Christians are stupid may have a reason to think so. It’s like we stop using critical thinking once we start studying the bible.

        Is it just me who think that there’s far too much playing-the-victim happening at church?

    • Carol, I so commend you for having the courage to speak up to your small group and then having the courage to leave. A college friend has been posting videos on Facebook about how Christians in this country are being “persecuted” when in my mind, *they* are the ones doing the persecuting…or at least showing hatred, against gays and Muslims both.

      Here in the Northwest, there has been quite the firestorm over a bakery who has had to shut it’s doors after refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple last February. A state investigation has been opened and their storefront business has gone under. They left a sign in the shop saying that “their religious freedoms are under attack.” I wrote them a letter pointing out how much more positive things might have turned out for all concerned if they had decided to show love toward the couple and bake their cake for them.

      Then last night I read an article about how Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is encouraging people to boycott Betty Crocker because they donated wedding cakes for some gay couples.

      In other words, the essence of Christianity in this country is breaking down over such trivial matters as cakes! All because Christians are so fearful and prideful, and playing victim. The people in your small group are just a small representation of how the Church has totally lost sight of what I sometimes wish Jesus would just swoop down and show these folks how much like the Pharisees they truly are.

      • We lose touch with how RADICAL Jesus’ love is. WAY outside the box.

        The Jews were totally oppressed. Those Roman oppressors could throw them in jail for no reason, could charge them exorbitant tax for no reason, could call them out of their house and say, “Here, carry my gear on foot for a mile while I comfortably ride this horse.” And there’s not a thing they could do but grumble along for a mile. Talk about oppression. Then Jesus comes along and says, “Walk with them TWO miles.” What??

        We really do lose sight of that, and we feel ill-used if we have to make a cake for someone when we disagree with their marriage. Didn’t the Jews disagree from their law with their oppressors who smacked them across the face, and what did Jesus say? “Give them your other cheek as well.” We are not meant to seek out our rights, make things equal, fight in the courts for our own liberties. We are meant to be the aroma of Christ – so that people say, “What the heck?? Who is that Jesus they claim? I want some of that!”

        Thanks so much for sharing, Debbie.

  3. Pingback: Joy In San Antonio | A Few Figs From Thistles

  4. Exactly the way I feel! It is getting harder and harder for people to see the real Jesus from the ones that are yelling the loudest and often saying very hurtful things. I am so glad there are people like you, leading the way. Keep it up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s