Christians, fairies, tranvestites, and more…REALLY???

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By Kenneth Justice

~ I was hanging out at a record store over the weekend looking for some old school Bob Marley (with Summer right around the corner here in the Midwest, Bob Marley and the Beach Boys go hand in hand in my mind as the perfect Summer music) when I realized the person standing next to me in the store was an old acquaintance of mine from many years ago.

Dude, how are you!” he asked as he broke out into laughter, “Kenneth, I’ve only just gotten off of the Greyhound Bus no less than 10 minutes ago and wandered into this record store….and you’re the first person I run into!

So how have you been?” I asked

Better than ever! I’m living on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, in a commune with a bunch of Pagan transvestites, I go by the name of ‘Rooster’ now” he said

With many people a statement like that might sound like a farfetched story, but with this old acquaintance of mine, living on the side of a mountain in a commune of transvestites is something that I very much would expect, “But you’re not a transvestite?” I said

Yea, well it’s mainly a queer community and since I’m bi-sexual they make an exception for me” he said, “The majority of the people living in the commune are like me; ex-evangelicals. They have all been burned out psychologically and emotionally and we’ve all fled to this commune on the side of the mountain to try and find spiritual healing

To understand this old acquaintance of mine who is now in his early fifties, weighs less than 140 pounds when wet, and is a master guitar player, you have to understand that back in the 1980’s he and his wife were hardcore Evangelical Christians. At one point they sold everything and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in the hopes of him making it big in the Evangelical Christian music scene. He played alongside well known Christian singers like Amy Grant but like so many other singer/songwriters, he was never able to make it as a full time musician.

At some point along his journey he began to grapple with past trauma from his childhood and unfortunately the Evangelical church he was a part of didn’t know how to cope with him explaining to them that he had feelings of bisexuality. Like with other elements of religion, the leaders above him merely said, “Don’t do it” and “Suppress these feelings” yet try as he did; the feelings didn’t go away.

It’s difficult to summarize fifty years of a man’s life into one short article. The pain and agony of his wife divorcing him was a major setback in his spiritual life. The disconnect that began to set in between he and his children was difficult for him to stomach. The alienation he experienced between he and his fellow Christians began to make him feel upset and disconnected from God.

Was everything in his life that went wrong connected to his bisexuality? Most likely not. His story is so multi-dimensional that I wouldn’t begin to know where to start in truly giving his tale justice and properly delving into all of the ins-and-outs of how it all began and where it all went wrong.

The fascinating thing to me is that for the past two years he has run away from Western Culture to a commune in the middle of nowhere. So deep are the wounds from his childhood and older years that he felt that the only way to begin finding a level of solace was to escape from it all.

I play the guitar everyday still and rarely an hour goes by that I’m not involved in a conversation about spirituality at the commune in which I’m grappling with healing and the pursuit of truth” he told me.

The Radical Fairies can actually be found on Wikipedia. They are a LGBT pagan group that began in the 70’s and sprung up various communes around the United States. I looked them up after I ran into my friend and am reserving my opinion…..I had no idea groups like this even existed, and until I ran into this old acquaintance of mine I had no idea he has been living at one of their communes for the past two years.

C.S. Lewis said, that while he was an atheist the biggest hurdle for him in coming to a belief in God was that he felt the majority of Christians he knew, tended to be worse individuals than the non-Christians he knew. Why is it that these Christians seemed to gossip more, slander more, be filled with more arrogance, and were altogether meaner than non-Christians Lewis pondered?

It’s an interesting dilemma Lewis faced and it wasn’t until he properly solved this riddle that he was able to finally begin coming to a belief in God.

One of the great evangelical philosophers of the 20th century, Francis Schaeffer, came to the same crisis after having been a pastor for many years. He left the ministry for a year and slept in a barn has he grappled with a singular problem, “How can all of this stuff about God be true if the Christians all around me are such awful people?

My writing and blog has never been devoted wholly to Christianity or God; I write about a lot of different things. Yet a central problem I have grappled with in my own life for many years is the difficulty I have faced growing up in an Evangelical Christian community. Like Lewis and Schaeffer, I’ve struggled in my faith in the face of fellow Christians who have treated me poorly.

—) As I watched wealthy Christians at churches I attended go on leisure Vacations around the world that cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, it confused me to no end when they would return smiling and showing pictures of their trips to fellow congregants who were working three jobs merely to pay rent and keep their electricity on.

—) As Christian relatives of mine gossiped about me and slandered my name, it confused me as to how these people could call themselves ‘Christians’ yet treat me so poorly.

—) As the economy tanked in 2008 and people all around me were losing their houses, their jobs, and their life savings, it confused me as to why the church leaders weren’t raising money for my fellow congregants who merely needed money to keep their house from being foreclosed on.

I’ve never really understood why churches are more concerned with raising money for building programs and mission trips to Africa when there is so much need sitting right before them in their pews each week. I’ve never really understood why church leaders spend so much time preaching the bible and so little time stepping outside of their church and into the streets where homeless people are sleeping.

I’ve taken extra time off this summer to meditate. I’ve stepped back to reevaluate my own life and what the hell is going wrong here in my country. And while my faith has wavered at times…..I still believe that God is there.

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,

Kenneth



Categories: Culture & Society

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96 replies

  1. Kenneth, this hits at the heart of what I grapple with everyday. I am Pagan and I see all the Christians hurting, judging and turning a blind eye to people who have need. It causes me to step away from them and yet I do not want to judge them, lest I be like them…let me know where this leads you…Phyl

    • I could be wrong, but I believe the original connotation of the word ‘judge’ as Jesus used it contained elements of condemnation. It is absolutely necessary to judge someone or something in order to develop a plan of action to remedy it! A diagnosis is a judgement of what the problem is, no more and no less. The idea that we should be nonjudgmental is politically correct CRAP, if you ask me. We should be non-condemnatory in our judgement, not nonjudgmental. After all, what judgements are people (rightly or wrongly) making about us, and how can we improve as well? We should be judging ourselves every day by whatever metric we use in our spiritual practices. BTW I’m not christian, I’m a henotheistic Pagan who walked away from the christian community in absolute disgust many years ago because of exactly what this writer’s blog post is about. Well, that and the obvious and serious continuity issues with the bible, as well as the capricious nature of the christian/judaic god.

    • Great comments dude and a ton to think about!

  2. AMEN Brother!!
    but seriously…I feel the same way you do, I grew up in a very religious home. I was taught that if you weren’t Catholic you were going to hell….well I guess I going to hell, but I already signed my one way ticket when I had a child out of wedlock. ..oops.

    I would often question the religious teachings to the nuns or my parents but of course I was a child and children are to be seen and not heard. That didn’t go over very well. I would question their hypocrisy and they hated it….and like you, I feel as though one should practice what he preaches and not be an evil s.o.b once church is over.

    Great post

  3. AMEN Brother!!
    but seriously…I feel the same way you do, I grew up in a very religious home. I was taught that if you weren’t Catholic you were going to hell….well I guess I going to hell, but I already signed my one way ticket when I had a child out of wedlock. ..oops.

    I would often question the religious teachings to the nuns or my parents but of course I was a child and children are to be seen and not heard. That didn’t go over very well. I would question their hypocrisy and they hated it….and like you, I feel as though one should practice what he preaches and not be an evil s.o.b once church is over.

    Great post

  4. Ah, how religion would not be so bad if it were not for the religious. Great post.

  5. Wow. So much good food for thought Kenneth. I guess my own heart comes back to the life of Jesus – he experienced all these things, and more, from “God followers.” I choose to keep my eyes on his life, his actions and reactions. He walked this path before me. The Christian church is full of sinners, some love God, some don’t – all are imperfect. If our faith (or lack thereof) is based on the lives and actions of the people around us, I think a lot more of us would be running to mountain communes.:)

  6. Stepping back. The change in gear seems to suit your engine. Thank you for “a balanced” and thought provoking piece. Me likee very much!

  7. My faith is stronger than it has ever, ever been and it’s had everything to do with turning inward and then sharing outward. I haven’t been to a church in I don’t know how long because it was hard for me to get centered there. That’s just me.

    What’s interesting is, I know that pulsing force of God so deeply now that I let it bubble forth in ways I never saw coming. And in some ways, I think some people close to me don’t quite know how to relate or react. They go to church but don’t want to talk about their expereinces of faith and God in their own lives. I was never comfortable with “God” being a certain way, in a certain place, or a certain book. Love is just too expansive for that. We could never hope to pin it down, and I don’t see why we would want to.

    Spirit is the grooviest most beautiful experience there is or can ever be. I want to share that in a free and kind and loving way, not feel ashamed of it.

    I wish you peace and some wicked good sparks of inspiration, Kenny, along your way. 🙂

    Allison

  8. How did Lewis solve his riddle?

  9. Keep thinking, Kenneth. It’s the only way.

  10. This is an extremely insightful piece, with a completely fabulous title. I think you nailed it with this passage: “C.S. Lewis said, that while he was an atheist the biggest hurdle for him in coming to a belief in God was that he felt the majority of Christians he knew, tended to be worse individuals than the non-Christians he knew. Why is it that these Christians seemed to gossip more, slander more, be filled with more arrogance, and were altogether meaner than non-Christians Lewis pondered?” Right or wrong, the church gives an impression to those of us on the outside that it’s one big clique that only wants certain types. The cool table at lunch in high school. It seems to be so far field of core tenants of faith that it leaves most of us running for the hills. In this case quite literally.
    >

  11. I keep reading about people’s “faith” being “strong.” I’m curious. Is it only a retrenchment, a more adamant refusal to deal with the contradictions? For me personally, strong faith means only that my emotional attachment to an idea is so important to me that I refuse to consider it rigorously. Rationalizations take the place of reason, and a defensiveness sets in that is surely the root of all that awful Christian behavior you’re talking about.

  12. When I was younger, I loved religious debates with the local evangelicals – dinosaurs were a hoax, everyone is going to hell, etc. But as I’ve gotten older, I’m absolutely loathe to get in to any type of discussion; too much the opposite way, yes, but it’s a work in progress. I finally have come to the follow summation of my progression. The older I get, I find I know less and understand more. Words just simply aren’t enough to compass all that a spiritual or religious experience entails. Even Mary was at a loss for words when Christ was born; she “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

  13. I think one of the biggest problems with the church is that it has failed to defend the cause of the poor and uphold justice for the oppressed like the Bible clearly commands us to do. Somewhere along the way, the theology of Christ got replaced with the theology of individualistic capitalism.

  14. I’m glad to read you still believe that God is there, Kenneth. I was worried throughout this post that you have lost faith. I still get that feeling from you a little. Take care of yourself. People like you, with a heart for good, will convience others to rise to the occasion. We can turn this country around. I love that I see real change as a member of a church that goes beyond its walls to serve others in our community. My church is a community on a mission…I love that!

  15. First. What is an Evangelical Christian? Second. Even though my regular contact with church going was centered in early childhood I did manage, like you, to grasp that churches are supposed to take care of congregants in their tine of need. I. am not quite sure how this belief came about since one of my earliest memories also involves a conscious decision not to make “offerings” in Sunday school since it obviously went to the pastor’s bigger, prettier house. And you are right some of the craziest, salacious people I know are in the church every week and spewing quotes from the Bible at every turn. I don’t understand any of it. I hope there is a God otherwise I have to ask myself ‘who have I been talking to all this time’. And who have been answering my prayers. But these are things that I struggle with. Nice post Kenneth.

  16. “Why is it that these Christians seemed to gossip more, slander more, be filled with more arrogance, and were altogether meaner than non-Christians Lewis pondered?”

    This comes from thinking we’re suppose to play God instead of letting God be God in our lives. When He’s free to be God, we’re free to love others instead of judge them. As you know from what I’ve written about, I think the problem is systemic in Western Christianity–how we relate to God and what it means to represent Christ to the world around us.

    And as Jesus found out in His day with the Pharisees, there’s nothing meaner or more judgmental than a religious spirit, which is not the same thing as being led by the Spirit of Christ. Paul dealt with this with the Corinthian church. They were religious, hypocritical, arrogant and self-absorbed instead being fashioned by God’s love. Paul told them, without abiding in God’s love we are nothing but clanging cymbals. We drive people away from Christ instead of revealing Him. It’s tragic and is very far from authentic Christianity.

    Very provocative and important subject for our culture, Kenneth. Especially for people who call themselves Christians. It gets to the heart of the issue about how we will relate to those we seem to want to judge that Jesus dearly loves and even died for.

    • 100% agree Mel, and what people might be surprised to find out is that I believe we do have a right to speak our minds on a subject; but only once we’ve effectively been given a platform to do so. What bothers me is the people who believe their first and foremost responsibility is to tell other people their opinion at all times…… in Jesus I see someone who first met people’s needs; healing the sick, feeding the hungry, (Isaiah 61:1 which he read in the temple) and then once he had an open door he was able to connect with the people

  17. As a Christian I can tell you that I am really struggling with this also. However, lately I have begun to encounter other Christians who are struggling with this same thing. They are striving to help those around them and truly be a servant. I will not abandon the faith because others are hypocrites (in a way we all are) but instead I am learning to surround myself with only the few who are truly trying to be imitators of Christ.

    • There’s a small movement within Christendom of Christians who are tired of the status quo and want to refocus on the mission in Isaiah 61:1 that Jesus read in the temple… thanks for the great comments 🙂

  18. And ignore the fact it says my blog is goatgirlgazette. I have two. One that chronicles my life in farming. The other that chronicles mine, and eight others, as we strive to do God’s will here and in Africa. carryingthegospel.wordpress.com

  19. I’m with you Kenneth. Other “Christians” drive me crazy, too, especially the blindness to need, when they have a bankroll. But these people are probably more cultural Christians with a religion, than a true faith, as the Jewish leaders in Jesus’ day – “Not all Israel is Israel”. And really if this is true, I feel sorry for them because someday there’s going to be a reckoning. What they are doing or not doing is no excuse for me being hypocritical, too. The question is where do I not walk the talk? We can only be responsible for ourselves. Right!?

  20. The most spiritually beautiful people I know are pagan, agnostic, anything but Christian. At nearly sixty, I am finally done with going from one church to another looking for a community of people who like and respect other people and do something useful based on what they claim, at least by their presence, to believe.

  21. One of the great things about this country is its history of people meeting and deciding to form their own community to ‘try it out’. I love that spirit and opportunity. (Even though I don’t take much advantage of it.) I think a history of this (with pictures!) would make a good coffee table book.

    • There are various history books that touch on some of these themes with regard to communities, I’m not sure if one book could ever cover all of them because there is so much to write about.

  22. I smiled at his story. as he has come back. found reason to live and keep moving forward.
    It is weird how we objectify people when they turn out to be a little different. Like they can be tossed to the side of the road and forgotten they ever existed.

    May those men, women and children find a helping hand in any of us who believe we are all equal

  23. “I still believe that God is there”. . . .

    yeah but . . . the moment you begin to allow others to tell you what god is and what god does don’t you lose contact with the ONE you already know?

  24. You’re always on point, my friend. 😉 I have often wondered about that myself, how Christians can be so…selfish, judgmental, rude, etc., and claim to be following Christ (loving, caring, selfless, etc.). But, I think it’s sort of the same dynamic that happens in families sometimes; people are harder on those they’re more familiar with. Your family is supposed to be understanding, but many times they can be critical and unforgiving. Dancers judge other dancers way more harshly than non dancers. So, it stands to reason, in a way, that Christians who are focused on the laws of christianity, would judge others for not adhering to those rules much more harshly, than people would who are not aware of or not following the laws. Does that make sense? Not that I’m saying that makes it right, it’s just one explanation for that behavior that doesn’t match up. Great article Kenny!

    • Thank you Kristina,

      There is a tendency to focus on laws because I think it is somehow engrained in our humanity; its easier for us to force a law on someone than to simply demonstrate them grace.

      Take for instance children; for some reason parents are more likely to give them a list of rules rather than to spend all the time building a relationship with the children and demonstrating grace to them.

  25. A intriguing post Kenneth…and worthy of praise!

    I headed for the mountains years ago to breathe the fresh air of God’s grace after being smothered for years in religious nonsense.
    Alas, and sadly, the hideous boil of religion has placed itself on the judgment seat and called itself Christianity…something Christians were never mandated to do. There is only condemnation when incapable people set themselves up as judge. Sadly, the “namesake” of the very people who were meant to carry the message of hope and reconciliation are viewed as the ones who cause many to run away from God grace, instead of leading them into God’s grace.

    Love vs Judgment, Grace vs Law…its not hard to see why people head for the hills. Thank goodness not all are pharisees…but you will know God’s people by their love.

    ~ Dave

  26. I know for me, some of the issues I’ve grappled with since becoming a Christian about 20 years ago have brought me to a new understanding. That I have to put my faith in God and Him ALONE. I’ve put too much of it into people–true Christians who are just fallible and fake Christians who are just, well, fake. I found myself focusing more and more on what I saw in other Christians than in God Himself. I’m learning that I can’t let the actions (or inactions) of others determine my own spiritual journey. It hasn’t been easy and I have nowhere “arrived.” But it’s just some of my own thoughts that I’d share. 🙂

  27. Love this.
    “And while my faith has wavered at times…..I still believe that God is there.”
    Oh how I can totally relate.
    🙂

  28. I’m an imperfect disciple of Jesus Christ. It’s OK to ask whether I’m living up to the worldview that I profess, but the more important questions are (1) Is the worldview I profess true and real? (2) What worldview do you believe, how do you know it’s true, and how well do you live up to it?

  29. Great post, the general state of western Christianity should be of concern to all believers. The inability or lack if desire to truly help people is alarming.
    Yet every time I read of churches failing their congregations, I have to remember to look at the ones that do get it right. No church will ever be perfect, they are too full of people 😉
    Check this out from back in 2009, I knew that day that I was going to church in the right place.
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/05/18/texas.church.collection/

  30. This article – FUN! The commune reminds me of the places Jesus would go visit when the higher ups – the Pharisees – would give him a hard time. I believe the people Jesus would go visit were not so much sinners as they were survivors. When I think of Mary Magdalene, she was a survivor. Here was a woman born into one of many eras when women had no rights. Mary understood the power of the V and what it could get her. Was it the best solution? Probably not, but we still see the role of Mary Magdalene being played out in today’s economy. When people are pushed to the brink, they use any means necessary to survive. Jesus’s message for me is: shit gets really real here on Earth and when it does, dress up like Beyonce and sing: I’m a Survivor!!

  31. I think it’s pretty simple actually. ALL PATHS LEAD TO GOD. I’m not here to judge whether some paths are better than others or which path is the best. All I know is that eventually, one way or another, we all find God… even if only in death. Religion is simply a path. Where people get confused and problems arise is when we equate religion with God. People find religion and think that they have found God. Or people are raised with religion and so believe that they are raised with God. That’s not how it works.

  32. God is there and he made the rain to fall on the just and unjust for a reason.
    Hope your time off helps and fills your needs and happiness 🙂

  33. Your post has a Tolstoy-ian feel to it, I think. Have you read his My Confession? He criticizes christian culture but remains steadfast to the idea that faith is the meaning to life.

    Good to see your blog again! Cheers.

  34. There was a bumper sticker I saw back when I was in college and it really struck a chord with me. It said: “God…save us from your followers.” (or something very close to it). I was just having a talk with a friend of mine about this topic and what I said was that it’s not religion that’s the issue…it’s people. People have warped religion and used it to fit their purpose and that’s NOT how it’s supposed to go at all. Some people will or have become Atheist over this and I don’t get that either. It’s not God’s fault that people are jerks. God gave us free will for a reason – we’re supposed to be responsible for ourselves but we choose not to and then blame God. In my experience people frequently love to blame everyone else but themselves – they can always see the fault in others but never themselves – it’s sickening. Even though those people are super frustrating; even those folks who anger me through their hypocrisy, hate and prejudice, I refuse to let them win by questioning my faith. I refuse to falter on my belief simply because they are jerks.

  35. Jesus told us it would not be easy to walk in his footsteps.

    God gave us free will with the statement that he wanted us to come to him willingly. He did not want syncophants. We must question our faith everyday. Only then can we find the true path.

    When we follow just to follow we lose who the leader of our hearts should be.

  36. Kenneth, I beg to differ. Your posts are about God. Your posts tend to come back (in the oddest of ways sometimes) to people loving one another. That’s what God commands that we do. You may not preach from the alter but your message moves among the people, many of whom feel alienated from “church.”

    You are approachable and don’t mind meeting people and sincerely “listening” to them. That is an unselfish act of love that you underestimate. The time you spend to listen and then share with others can mean all the world to the person on the receiving end. Peace. Lilka

  37. Namasté and blessings on your journey. You will find where you fit in the Christian world but your contemplation and willingness to sit with the deeper questions, identifies you as a leader. Blessing, Namasté and love to you, Lydia

  38. FascInating. That’s all I can say…

  39. Thanks, Kenneth. It would be so much better if people who claim to be Christians actually did what Christ tells them to do.

  40. Kenneth this post was very thought provoking! Not saying I don’t enjoy what you write but this post has been your best post ever! You do know I’m just having a bit of fun, right! 😉 Because I always enjoy reading your thoughts. Have a grand day!

  41. Reblogged this on Black Women Have It Going On and commented:
    Today I thought I would stop a visit a blogger friend. As usual he has penned another thought provoking message. But what made me sit back and think upon his words was his friend admitting to the people in his circle that he is bi-sexual. For many of you that know me and are friends with me on FB, you know I struggle with men being bi-sexual. I really do struggle with that particular subject. And I know people won’t understand how I feel about the issue because I don’t understand how men can be bi-sexual. I just feel you are either gay or straight. Your thoughts?

  42. Kenneth – just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your posts. As an evangelical Christian and a pastor, I know that there are many areas where we as the church need to improve upon, and I want to see us become more like Jesus was in the world: a center of love, designed for the healing of broken people. Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians, because they are so unlike your Christ.” If Christians today could learn to become more like Jesus – loving, accepting, forgiving and healing – I think more people would sit up and give Christianity a second look. Anyway, keep up the good writing – I may not always comment every day, but I do enjoy reading all of your posts! God bless you on your journey my friend…

  43. “And while my faith has wavered at times…..I still believe that God is there.” As I continue to walk through this dark valley, I feel the same way.

  44. So this is what you were talking about. I haven’t researched anything on Radical Fairies, but I love them just because of that name. Have they seen Maleficent yet?

    But on a serious note, you make me think about my uncle a bit. He happens to be a Catholic priest, but I remember when he left the practice for about a year. I’m not sure I buy the story my parents told me about why he made that decision. Eventually, he decided to return to being a priest, attended some kind of religious retreat for a few weeks, and have been an active priest for years. I wonder if he grappled with his own doubts about how he thought Christians should act and how they really do act.

    • It seems like a lot of people who are deeply spiritual end up coming to a place in life where they rethink things like their uncle…. its probably a good thing to be so reflective 🙂

  45. Really great article. More and more Christians are coming to the realization that the church is letting people down. It is a slow progressive (I am hopeful) process. Love is needing to be on the forefront not judgementalism or fear of the unknown. I feel sorry for your friend’s experience. If the Christian community he was a part of it could have just admitted that his problems were something they didn’t know how to handle and loved (verb) him and recommended that he and his wife got some good solid counselling, he may not be in the spiritual crisis he is in today. I hope he gets wholly healed. Playing his guitar every day is one good start I think. It is hopeful that he is trying to keep a hold of his spiritual side. Maybe he’s in a place that is currently right for him.

  46. Awesome, awesome article. Love and sexuality: two of the 8iggest questions the world is asking nowadays.

  47. Oddly, all I see in this article and in the posts are a bunch of gossips slandering Christians.

  48. When you get back to your coffeehouse tour, I hope you make it to NYC. (I don’t think you made it here yet…I’ve been off the grid for a few months so sorry if you were here and I missed it) I have some amazing Christians I would love you to meet. Christians who would blow your mind. Christians who have helped me believe in Christianity again…the Christianity of Jesus. Take care and hope to see you in my neck of the woods sometime 🙂

  49. Amazing post Kenneth! Seems too many people are trying to BE loved rather than to love. And sometimes when we try too hard to BE loved, we make poor behavioral choices to put ourselves in a better light.

  50. I agree w/ much of what you have said. That Christians — of which I happen to be one — at times exhibit hypocrisy, self-righteousness, materialism, and worse is a terrible failure on our part. We, of all people, should realize that human beings (all human beings) have an innate tendency to sin. Wars, crime, prejudice in every generation attest to that fact. It’s the very reason we need a Savior, Christians and non-Christians alike. Christ, you may remember, criticized the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and self-righteousness. We’re saved through God’s grace. It’s a free gift. But the “label” Christian by itself does not mean anything. Either we live out our faith, or we’re not really Christian (whatever we may call ourselves). Don’t believe me, however. Check it out in the Bible for yourself. “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1John 4: 21). It sounds as if your friend could have used alot more love from his fellow Christians. Sexuality is a complicated thing, even under ideal circumstances. Abuse can leave deep and permanent scars. I say that as an abuse survivor (and, by the way, former atheist). Not all counselors — Christian or non — are knowledgeable about abuse and its after effects. Sorry to go on at such length. It’s a character flaw…one of many (LOL). Thanks for listening. And, of course, for your blog!

  51. Kenneth,
    I enjoyed reading your thought provoking post. I am sure it resulted in a lot of self-reflection (myself included). Keep ’em coming. 🙂

  52. I get it – totally… I think we are all struggling. There is often a long period of enjoying spiritual superiority and the high of self-righteous indignation before hitting the wall – it’s part of the process of spiritual awakening. Then you have to go back and apologize to all the people you harmed and then you have to behave differently. Or not. Some people just are not “there” on the path. I guess I have to believe that I am one of the people who create the tipping point for the rest who are not, so that maybe we can survive as a people. Looking at others defects takes the weight off of me looking at ME. My job is to do the best I can with others – and trust God. I need the willingness to allow the things I cannot effect, the ability to have a good attitude and be polite even in the worst circumstances, and the wisdom to know when to apply what. God?

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