Are You SURE You’re a Christian??

finger-pointing

“Are you sure you’re a Christian? Because I don’t really think so–even though you say you are–and my ideas on your spiritually are more important than YOUR ideas on your spiritually…”

Well, I think I’ve entered into some kind of Hall of Fame:

I got my first, face-to-face, questioning of whether I know Christ.

Yesterday, my close relative told me she is praying I will become a Christian in case I’m not.

My mouth dropped. Perhaps you can relate. This girl has known my relationship with Jesus, without question, and she has sought counsel from me as a spiritually mature “sister.”

Now, because of my blog – my love and support for my daughter and the LGBTQ community – she is concerned about me.

You may be in that Hall of Fame. Perhaps you recognize the conversation. You may have been told you are not really a Christian, because you are lesbian, gay or transgender, and are no longer willing to hate yourself for it.

You may have had hell thrown in your face. A lesbian friend emailed me yesterday about that very thing—her sister said she’s going to hell because she is marrying a woman.

So apparently this saved-by-grace thing doesn’t really mean saved by grace. Apparently we “sinners” missed the fine print, because if you do something other Christians consider dealbreakers—and being LGBTQ or condoning same is that dealbreaker—then you are in some real danger. (This relative did not wear a head covering and I think her salad had bacon on it, but perhaps I’m quibbling??)

Her denomination believes that once you “truly” accept Christ, that will not be revoked from you. But that “truly” is their asterisk. I’ll explain by way of a story.

Growing up we had a neighbor named “Pam,” a mother of four. She was divorced.

No wait, not divorced. She was a Catholic, married in the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church does not recognize divorce. So she could not get a divorce. Instead, her marriage was annulled. Yeah. “Annulled” means “declared invalid, made nothing.” After raising four children in their home together for some 35 years, their marriage was made nothing.

It never happened, people. This marriage never happened.

So, apparently she’s never been married, and her four kids never had a father.

It’s like going back in time, and you have to be careful not to disturb anything or the whole future will be different! I wonder as they signed those “annulment” papers, whether they watched for their kids to fade out and disappear because they never happened either??

Cue Wayne’s World flashback sequence here:

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The mind is capable of all kinds of gymnastics to accommodate our own belief system.

So my experience of God, through Jesus Christ, which my family member had no reason to doubt, is now in question. Because her Southern Baptist tradition does not believe that you can lose your place with God, she is now wondering if my faith was REAL in the first place! Seriously?? It’s the Baptist’s version of annulment!

Well, she can rest her pretty little head, because I know Jesus, I love Jesus, I abide in Jesus. He has grown and matured me as no person could have. She just might not recognize it, because I’m one of the rare ones who actually just does what Jesus told us to do… love God and love others, knowing all the other stuff (laws, rules) will line up right under that. I’m taking Jesus for his word on that. Like the Good Samaritan Jesus extolled, I’m not judging the condition of my neighbor before I show God’s love.

But since she raised the question, I am now kinda concerned about HER faith! She accepted Christ as her Savior… but does she know him?? Because, to be honest, she don’t seem to be hearing his main message, to love God and love others, abide in him, and let him take care of everything else. She is a very committed worker bee, but honestly, it seems that she don’t really trust him much at all.

Jesus passionately warned religious leaders: “What sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.”

To my family member… Sweetheart, that sounds like you!

She knows practically nothing about the LBGTQ community, and yet she has answers for them! 

I’m glad I met with her. Now I know. I’m going to pray for her to come to know Jesus–not the law, but the real Jesus, who supersedes the law.

If this chinks into that rulebook in her head, that would be wonderful. She could pray to know Christ more fully as he means to be known.

If not, then it’s okay. She can just tell herself:

This conversation never happened…

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31 thoughts on “Are You SURE You’re a Christian??

  1. Thank you for this. I had a relative unfriend me and tried to contact my pastor because I couldn’t possibly be a Christian and believe the way I do. “So you’re questioning my faith?” I asked. “Um, well I can’t say whether you’re a Christian, that’s between you and God.” “So you can’t question my faith?” Bam, click! No more Facebook”friends.” This must be a tiny sample of what Jesus went through.

  2. Well said and this sentence sums it up well: “The mind is capable of all kinds of gymnastics to accommodate our own belief system.” It also doesn’t stop with the gay community. Often I’ve encountered Christians who seem to make a lot of foregone conclusions about other people simply because they’re a Christian. But let it be revealed that said Christian holds to a certain belief or practice that another Christian holds as being incompatible with the faith, and that person’s status is immediately called into question. But Christians come in all shapes, sizes and flavors, not to mention doctrinal beliefs. We do ourselves a disservice to think being Christian only applies to a narrowly held few beliefs. By opening our minds to what others believe, we may find ourselves stretching our own belief system and giving consideration to things we normally wouldn’t have had we not ventured to get to know others outside of our stream.

  3. Beautifully written. I struggled for the longest time with my gender identity and my salvation for several years before coming out. I remember questioning constantly if I truly was saved. I felt like if I were, I would be able to accept that I was born male and stop feeling like I was born in the wrong body. It’s interesting that you mentioned the Good Samaritan since that story is the one that first helped me to realize that God cares more about how I treat others than if I said a sinner’s prayer and was saved.

  4. I will say again to you dear Susan, you are so full of God’s grace that to have a family member question your salvation would be laughable, if it was not so sad. A quote here from our friend in common, “Not a Choice, Not a Sin”. If God made them male and female and also made them LGBT, then who are we to call them unworthy of the Good News of the Gospel and not able to receive the good news unless they denouce the very core of who they are. God help those that expect that to see that it is fear driven, not love driven taught to them while earnestly worshiping in Evangelical Churches

    • And what about those God made male AND female, or neither male nor female — intersex — one in 150 people God made that way. GOD MADE THOSE PEOPLE NOT CLEARLY MALE OR FEMALE. And these Christian detractors are so smart, they can figure out which ones of these people are worthy of God’s love and which ones aren’t. Uncanny ability God granted these people to condone or condemn [judge] others, isn’t it? … No. I agree with our mutual friend: “Not a Choice, Not a Sin.” Thank you, Miriam.

  5. I had a ‘debate’ the other day with a high school friend that attended theology school and who’s husband is a preacher. I’ve had other similar debates in the past. Each time, their ‘ammo’ is always scripture..not necessarily the ‘clobber’ passages…but always scripture. Mine is always about the person and current research and science. They CANNOT let themselves think of these topics in terms of actual people and their emotional well-being.

    And, interestingly enough, I get no response when I ask, “what if we are BOTH wrong?”

    • I have to say I agree with you. I always see the person. People. Human beings. I try and read and stay educated about current research, science, and religion. I have had the same conversations with a friend of mine who was a southern Baptist and is now an atheist. No one really knows the answers until one dies. It is best to be well rounded and agree to disagree if you will, and just respect each other and try and work together to figure all of this out. Sigh. 🙂 🙂 Eventually, I have to back away and let God work. If one is a different religion, that person has to seek their religion and see where they land in it. If no religion, probably a lot easier to deal with all of this. 🙂 🙂 As a medical professional. I always encourage counseling for those that may be struggling. A healthy psyche is needed for sure. Suicide, cutting, drinking, depression etc. are not the answers. Go talk to some one, we ALL have “stuff.” I pray for us all. 🙂 🙂

  6. When I think of you, Susan, I think of YOU as a missionary, because you received a special call from God to put yourself on the front lines for HIM. Anyone who would cross the boundaries you’ve crossed, and anyone who would willingly subject herself to ostracism and hatred from members of her own clan for the sake of her oppressed brothers and sisters is doing so at God’s call, God’s will.

    Let me say this: Jesus sure looks good on you, sister! 🙂

  7. I’m there too now, unfortunately….or, FORTUNATELY?! Sometimes “rocking the boat” of mainstream religion is a FANTASTIC thing, a much NEEDED thing, and a very FREEING thing. (Look at history folks!!) Sure, it comes with a lot of heavy and not-so-fun stuff too, but man, I’d rather be on this road and have some naysayers (and hell-threateners) than continue on a road that gets lots of religious approval and yet robs my spirit of peace.

    Please keep up the GOOD and very NECESSARY work Susan!!!

  8. Well, I am encouraged with how many followers of Jesus are open to the possibility that God can accept and even bless same sex relationships. It has been such a bloody battle. There are so many wounded and dying from the conflict of God vs Gay. I am one of the bloody, but fighting for my life. I am distressed by the fact that if people knew I was “lesbian”, I would be immediately shunned and considered having been deceived by the “enemy”. I could no longer be trusted. My ministry would not be trusted, or my walk with God. There is a price to pay for this kind of honesty, and sometimes I don’t know if I could survive it.
    Can we be restored to “wholeness” after the woundedness? I hope so.

    • I hope so, Sister. I sure do. A very high price indeed is extracted. Not Jesus’ way. Sometimes the cost of discipleship is high, but it is not Jesus’ way for people to extract a high price from others for following. I wish you the best, Wounded Soldier.

  9. I will choose to err on the side of love, knowing He has all my sins covered and He knows my heart and is full of such amazing forgiveness and mercy. Luke 18:12-13 comes to my mind when people pull out the “You’re not a very good Christian” line. No, no I’m not. God have mercy on me, a sinner.

    Hang in there, Susan. It stings a little, but we all know in our hearts to love like Jesus loved is the right way.

  10. We have all seen those humorous books about Christian behavior and laughed.

    Between all of us. We need to start a file on line of “crazies” responds words to our words.

    I have had a few unbelievable responses myself.

    We could create a book with them all. Give Christians and non- Christians a good laugh.

    Just need a file place or email address to leave them at.
    Then after cost of publishing. The profit from purchases. We could use money to offer help in other nations gay individuals. Here too. But also a mission field.

    Have had some interesting responses myself

    JoAnn

  11. Mr. Mohler says, “We do not want some one who is unrepentant of their sin into membership of the church- because unless they are repentant of their sin, we cannot in good conscience publicly proclaim to the world that they are followers of Jesus.” (SBC)

    I get out of the above statement, that if Baptist church goers are not “appearing right, appearing Christian, appearing to be walking the walk””, then they cannot be members of that church, they are not following Jesus. Wow. How many times do we get to sin and repent? No wait, we DO get to sin and repent, sin and repent, sin and repent? I am a sinner and fall short, I repent, but I keep falling short. Sigh. I am not perfect. I am trying to be good, I am trying to be a non sinning Christian. Can I be a member? How many Christians will be left in the pews if they all honestly were picked out by the Pastors as sinning, repenting Christians, and now they SIN NO MORE? Will they lose their membership if they have sinned again? Can they repent and be forgiven again? Just asking. 🙂 (Yes, sarcasm is in there too to get the point across.) I am so confused. Now wonder Some Baptist are too and we have So many churches…. WWJD?

    As per the LGBT community and the SBC, they can SEE you as LGBT. They can SEE your relationships, thus, they SEE your so called sin. I ask the SBC can you SEE the married couple whose spouse is cheating? Can you SEE the single person having pre-marital sex? Can you SEE the liar? What if one is a celibate LGBT? Do they get a chance to be a member of your church? Oh, no, I have heard some say that the person is a sin themselves. How can you repent against yourself? OMgoodness, how ignorant. God is so frowning. I could go on and on listing un-seen sins. Trust me my brothers and sisters in Christ, God SEES ALL. 😦 Walk away from this hate and judgment and form your own relationship with Christ. There are other churches who will welcome you if it is a church family you seek. I personally have issues with some organized religion just due to these very views. (hypocritical views) I encourage you to be strong and seek God on your own or in a small group. I am not LGBT, but I am trying to be a Jesus follower. I love all people. Period. I want people to see Jesus in me. Jesus loves all of you too. You must find your way, let God work. It can take years……..be patient.

    This is from Pastors.com
    “Of COURSE the church makes mistakes and is full of and sinners like me. That’s the point! It’s a house of grace, a rescue mission for sinners desperately in need of life-saving truth, and we’re looking for more sinners to come join us because there’s an infinite amount of grace to go around… Stop looking around. I’m talking to you!”

    So which is it, SBC view or Pastors.com? Guess the answer depends and changes due to the question and issue surrounding it???

    Christ didn’t call us into religion but into relationship, relationship with Him and with one another.” – Rice Broocks, #GodsNotDead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty.

    Get your Bible and begin your relationship with Christ. Seek him yourself.

    It is a simple, narrow road, if you just stay on that, you will be fine. 🙂
    In regards to all the different churches, “The Christ In Me Will Never Argue With The Christ In You.”
    The question is, Is Christ In You?

    • For the record, I am not a Baptist, Christian yes, raised in a Lutheran Church. 🙂 I always just say I am a Christian. Period. I recommend professional counseling for some dealing with this and just coming out or coming to terms with them selves. Families too. (PhD psychologist.) Christian counselors can be helpful as well, if they are open minded about the topic. Keep praying and it takes a lot of time!!!! A Christian PhD psychologist covers all the basis. 🙂 🙂 Science does lean towards being born this way, so keep praying for science to come on. I do believe people are born this way and have spoken to several PhD endocrinologist about this very thing. You will come to a place of peace, if you just give it time. 🙂 🙂

  12. That lady sounds just like my mom and all the other ones like her. I’m starting to think that Christianity is just another religion and cult. A true follower of God was never called a Christian in the Bible. They were called that by others but Jesus never called His disciples Christians. Selah.

  13. Yep, I am pretty sure I am in that category… Was initially confronted over my teaching a class about Islam while down range with the AF… And then again when I supported the Constitutional right to freely exercise faith for the pagan community at two assignments AND now for support of the LGBTQ community… But the neat thing about being in the margins like this? Meeting some really cool Christ followers like you and Rob!! And, most importantly, meeting Chrisr in some unusual places 🙂

  14. I too am in the Hall of Fame … the heretic Hall of Fame … Put here by “well-meaning” people who strangely ask me to pray for them and seek my counsel on a regular basis. But some how the more people I meet like you … the less that bothers me. Some will say I am simply aligning with like minded people to make myself feel better. But I say I am aligning with compassionate people who have a heart for Jesus and like Jesus.

    • Congratulations! I’ll go in front and take the bullet. No worries: I’ve got a bulletproof vest. In my observation, those “well-meaning” people align themselves with other legalists to feel better. I don’t think they could sustain the abuse they deal others if they didn’t have like minded-people in agreement.

  15. Good one. What is your opinion as to whether a person can be healed from their same sex attraction.

    Sent from my iPad

  16. Wow – this was so deja vu, considering what happened to us last Sunday. Amazing. Thank you for your words of affirmation!

  17. Unfortunately, I recognize the conversation all too well, and I’m not LGBT. If you even hint at affirming LGBT, the question of whether you’re a Christian is raised, followed swiftly by accusations of heresy and apostasy

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