by Kenneth Justice
~For a good portion of my life I was going through the motions.
Wake up go to school. Wake up go to work. Eat breakfast. Eat lunch. Eat Dinner.
Every now and then take a vacation.
Go to sleep. Wake up. Do it all over again.
Much of my life seemed like it was on cruise control; but what was the point of it all and where was I going?
When I hit the age of 30 a couple years ago, for the first time in my life I realized I would eventually die…..its a pretty rude awakening.
You go most of your young life with this feeling of being impervious; “nothing can stop me from moving forward” is what I used to believe. But then I woke up one morning completely reticent of my own mortality; “I’m not going to be on this earth forever”.
It’s funny how such a simple thought can change the entire course of our lives.
All of a sudden I couldn’t stop thinking about dying. I was even dreaming about death… practically every-other-night. To make matters worse it didn’t help that my dad died that same year; my thirtieth year.
When I was younger I was taught about death via the lens of Evangelical Christianity. “Hell fire” & “brimstone” were terms I heard on Sunday mornings. Yet with all the death being preached every week at the church(s) I attended, it wasn’t death that the preachers were trying to make me fear; it was not believing in their version of the bible that they were trying to make me fear, they wanted me to conform to their ideologies and in their religion; non-conformists were of the devil.
After the death of my father, the realization of my mortality began to sink in even more and at times I wondered if I would be obsessed with death until the day I died……
But then, I found out that when I set up goals for my life it helped me to think about death a little bit less; “sure I’m going to die but I want to have a plan for my life in the meantime….I want to live life“.
It’s funny how such a simple thing as a goal can bring such a great measure of peace to our lives.
Among my various goals was to get back into writing…..I love to write.
Another goal of mine was to tell people, ‘hey I’m a Christian, but I’m not a grumpy in-your-face a** h***. I’d been thinking for a long time that the story of Christianity was being written by men and women who have only one mindset;
‘we are right about everything and everyone else is wrong about everything’ —-> That is what so many of my evangelical friends and family members believe(d)
I have felt the brunt of holier-than-thou Christianity throughout much of my life; my relatives, friends, and fellow parishioners knew how to hurl stones of slander and gossip with the best of them; and so I wanted to start writing about the injurious nature of holier-than-thou Christianity.
When a relative of mine came out of the closet a few years back, my relatives crucified him mercilessly behind his back and to his face; they gave him hell for being gay.
Prior to writing my blog I had been skating by as quietly as possible; I kept my opinions to myself for the most part. I didn’t want to get into arguments with my evangelical friends and family because I knew the level of hostility I would receive if it came out that I didn’t agree with their brand of Christianity…..and then I started writing articles about what I believed
Speaking our minds is a precarious subject; yesterday I talked about the bad way to speak our minds <article>. If we are not careful when speaking our minds we can end up hurting another person; just as the customer hurt the cashier in my story and ended up hurling verbal abuse at her.
And so everyday that I blog, I walk a delicate line; the tightrope between telling people what is on my mind and not going to far….
–>Telling people what I think about life without injuring people in the process
This morning I woke up to a media frenzy; the most anti-gay Evangelical organization in the U.S. is reversing course after 37 years and closing up shop because they finally believe they have been doing harm to the gay community.
Exodus International and its current President Alan Chambers, has apologized to the homosexual community for spending nearly 40 years practicing ‘gay reversion therapy’ <Alan Chambers apology>
Here is an excerpt from Chambers public apology,
“It is strange to be someone who has both been hurt by the church’s treatment of the LGBT community, and also to be someone who must apologize for being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated that hurt. Today it is as if I’ve just woken up to a greater sense of how painful it is to be a sinner in the hands of an angry church“
I cannot imagine how much guts it took Chambers and Exodus International to reverse course and apologize.
Exodus International has been front and center in the nastiness and ignorance that has plagued the Evangelical community that I grew up in…..
I am just a small player……a blip on the screen in the Evangelical community, Alan Chambers is a big player…..
Where I used to have no hope that the Evangelical community would never learn what true grace, love, and peace are…….I wake up this morning and wonder if I was wrong.
Maybe these people who I have accused of being the worst of the lot when it comes to the holier-than-thou attitude can change…….
Blogging is both a blessing and a danger; when we hit ‘publish’ our words go out to thousands….even millions…..and what we say can either hurt or help…..
Exodus International was hurting people for a long time…….now they want to help.
another cup of coffee sounds good right about now,