...a friend of mine recently shared the following testimony:
"I am so very hurt right now! I have lost many friends and family members from my life due to the fact that I am a lesbian and it seems I might have lost one more because of this fact.
Although I appreciate your concern for my eternal salvation, I need everyone to know this is not a lifestyle choice; it is a part of who I am! When I was younger I did so much damage to myself and others around me desperately trying to ignore who I am. It finally came to the point to where I had to be honest with myself and everyone around me or die, and I came very, very close to dying.
I chose to live. That was many years ago and I have never and will never regret that decision.
Being gay is not something you can just pray away, nor is it something that you can go to therapy for to get rid of and there is not a pill you can take to make it go away! It is not something I can laser off like a tattoo, Botox away like a wrinkle or put makeup over to conceal! It is simply a part of my person. You can choose to continue to love and accept me for who I am or you can delete me from your life. Either way I will continue to be a much happier person being who I am and loving myself just the way I am. I have several flaws but being a lesbian is not one of them!"
My perspective and response on this topic were of course lengthy and blunt: (What else is new?)
"Your message above was inspiring and a blessing!
Some folks are a muse for love and acceptance, while others are a muzzle for truth and grace. You are truly a muse!
As for your self-professed, "ex-friend"; they are undoubtedly in a very sad place. A place that designs and depends on false persecutions and fear; so that they might mistakenly imagine, some deeper love from God (and perhaps, new, "Christian" friends,) will be bestowed on them.
As if, due to their own imaginative diligence and bravery, they have earned reverence and respect. Unfortunately, they have very little understanding for the God they so desperately seek to impress.
It is their own life and "religion", which will continue to be a harsh struggle; due to the shallow, sad, version of lacking love, depth and understanding they possess. While on the contrary, your own life has found depth and liberation; though the acceptance and survival of the confusion, pain, circumstances and misunderstandings your own past has dealt you.
As your own life was faced with extreme hardships and confusion at times; you honored it with wisdom and grace. And while your confused friend sought salvation, and "Christian community"; they in turn, insulted their God with narrow-minded thinking and a complete perversion of any meaning Christ's sacrificial death represented. They have lost all perspective, (assuming they ever had it?) for what the cross so painfully represents and what purpose His unconditional atonement served.
It is often incredible, how poorly interpreted life can be at times. We live in a place so entirely full of irony. Just astounding! ...but I do still believe it all has purpose!
Your strength and honesty are both, an inspiration to all of us who understand. Hopefully, a revelation to any of those who live in a world of lies and fear. ...not to mention those who encourage, completely contorted and reckless methods of worship, religion and/or bad theology.
It is a sad state of affairs when people close to us seek or discover a faith, based on grace; and yet manage to ignore or avoid its' clear messages in order to feed their own insecure version of purpose and belonging!
Only the smallest-minded of Christians override the message of God in order to undermine the hearts of others!!!
Simply put, they use religion to find fault in others, so that they might feel further sanctified and special. It is a distortion, abuse and sickness the Bible speaks of a great deal. Your friend is neither alone, nor original in their ignorance.
Along their own journey, such weak Christians create (or are taught) a "religion"; rather than bother to learn, sound theology. Any religion, blatantly missing the messages of Christ's teachings, typically uses false persecutions and fear to inspire reasons to judge others.
Whether conscious or not; such mislead, wretched actions are usually fueled by the most basic desires to feel special, loved, exclusive, betrothed, "saved"; within an insecure life, which has let them down many times. They now find purpose, (perhaps they even interpret life as having more secure or safe fellowship,) while disposing of certain relationships in order to shore up their previously, and unfortunately persistent, insecure place in this world.
Whenever possible, try to fight the urge to dwell on such judgments; nor allow such ignorance to rob you of even one day of happiness. Their lost causes are simply not worth it! And unfortunately, it would take more years than you or I have, to help them through their ignorance and often intentionally, misinterpreted faith.
Such shallow faiths are hardly a source for the very salvation they claim to seek; and far, FAR, from any message Christ shared with all of us. Nor are their judgments about your own salvation in keeping with anything Christ death represented. Other than the ironic fact, that lucky for them, He also atoned for their ignorance and pathetic, insulting ways of abusing his message and His repeated definitions of love and grace.
It has been a pleasure to know you, since we were small children! Sorry I was not in the area or around, during those times in your life when things were their hardest! Our own early memories together were mainly that of playing around and goofing off! Here's to many more years like those! :-D"
If you ever have some spare time one day; and your not totally sick of my rants at this point?
...I was inspired in January to Blog on some of these same conclusions: http://goo.gl/3yxDK
Additionally, my own humbling journey has also lead to much personal growth; I summarized some of this here: http://goo.gl/wJScr
I have also witnessed my share of men, "dropping the ball", and causing plenty of greif. Some of those lessons I summarized here: http://goo.gl/2abmM