Monday, October 18, 2010

A Follower of Christ Writes to Assure Me I Am Hellbound, and I Reply

A contemporary conversation, illustrating the divided mind (and heart) of people of faith today, as they try to cope with the fact that some of their brothers and sisters are gay and will not apologize for being made by God to be gay: this is an email exchange I have had in the last three days.

Out of the blue, several days ago, I received an email from someone I don't know, and of whom I have never heard.  He appears to live in the U.K., and his email comes with his full name attached.  He invites me to repent of my hellbound homosexual life.  The following his his unsolicited email to me (I've preserved the spelling, punctuation, and grammar intact):

Dear freind, You and your partner are deluded to believe that God would just some how  overlook your sin.  please don't go to Hell, Please. Repent turn from your wicked ways, and Yahoshua will attone for your sins.  Sodomites, efeminates, Liers ect will not enter the kingdom of God. But I hope you do. Mark

And so I reply:

Thanks for your kind message and your assurance that I'm deluded, Mr. N.  As well as for your invitation to repent.  I'll certainly take the message to heart.

And since it appears to be an act of kindness in your view of the gospels to invite people you don't even know to repent, I'll return the favor and ask that you turn from your wicked ways and seek the Lord, too.

And he responds:

Thanks for your reply, I did turn from my wicked ways to follow the Lord Jesus. I am redeemed, bornagain of the spirit of God.

Unless a man is born of water and of spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3: 5. Like Paul said, I am the vilest offender. Before I had the scales lifted from my eyes, I would have told you that I was a good person because I was decieved by my own heart. As it is writen, the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperatly wicked.

I was deluded into believing I was good. As for repenting, I fall short of the glory of God most days, so repentance is an on going thing for me, and most christians.  Jesus said unless you repent, you shall likewise perish. My intention is not to come across as condemnatory, but to lead people who are willing to the truth, so the truth can set you free.

The fact is that a lot of theologians are destined for Hell. Why? Because they have head knowledge of the word but not relationship.  Why? Because they don't have a spiritual relationship with the Lord. Isaiah 59 :1 The Lords hand is not short that He cannot save, but your sins have seperated YOU from your God. Romans 3.23 for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Rom's 6 : 23 For the wages of sin are death; but the Gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.

Sodomy is an abomnination to God, but you have convinced yourself that God won't condem all unrepentant sinners to Hell.  If you or me break just one commandment, that is sufficient justification for God to condem any of us.  I E If you have ever told a lie, what does that make you?  If you have ever stolen anything what does that make you?  But as Jesus said I have not come to condem but to SAVE. Satan has blinded the minds of all the world.  Mark 16 He who believes and is baptised will be saved.  Yes I don't know you, but Jesus does.

yours Mark N, a voice in the wilderness.

And I respond:

I'm glad you have turned from your wicked ways.

I keep listening to the call to do so, on a daily basis.  Discipleship is an ongoing response to an ongoing call.  It requires daily rising and falling.

And any of us who imagines that his salvation depends on accusing a brother or sister of wrong-doing is somehow missing the point.  The point is to listen and respond in one's own life, without judging others.

The judgment we will all face will occur at the end of our lives, as we face a Lord who will ask us if we have fed the hungry, healed the sick, visited the prisoner, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked--not how we responded to someone who was gay.

Jesus never once refers to homosexuality.  He was totally disinterested in it.  He does, however, constantly talk about love, mercy, and justice.

It behooves us who are his followers to go and do likewise.  Please do not email me again.

And, of course, Mark N. absolutely does email me again, despite my request that he not do so, to say,

Your blood is not on my hands Ezekiel 33

Isn't it interesting that for some people of faith, it always comes down to blood--to threats of blood, where their gay brothers and sisters are involved?  And that some followers of Jesus feel astonishing entitlement to look up gay brothers and sisters across the world and inform them that they are bound for hell, when they don't even know those they are consigning to blood and perdition?

And isn't it interesting that those who are gay have become dark icons of sin, par excellence, for many of their brothers and sisters in the Lord, who expend enormous amounts of energy making sure that their gay brothers and sisters know that we are uniquely sordid and sinful, while they never spend similar amounts of energy trying to contact other egregious sinners around the world?  Who inflict misery on untold millions of their brothers and sisters in the human community by promoting and supporting unjust wars, destroying the environment, robbing the poor and grabbing the good things of the earth to themselves?

What feeds this desire to attack those who are gay and lesbian and call it holy, I wonder?  It seems anything but holy to me.  The rapacious need to attack those who are gay while claiming one is doing God's work seems to come from some place inside the hearts and minds of those on the attack that is the opposite of holy.

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