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veryone seems to "know" what Christianity is, but few can agree about how to live it. It's easy if you follow the original model, Jesus; it's easy to get off base if you take your focus off of Him. Much of what people think is Christianity is really religion. There is a difference. If you are not sure what the differences are, I suggest you read my article True Verses False Christianity, and then return to these pages to learn how to live a healthy and productive Christian Life.
o say one belongs to the family of humankind but refuse to identify with a specific family is as ridiculous as saying one belongs to the universal Body of Christ but refuse to identify with and commit to a local assembly of believers. Your faith is not dependent upon your participation or membership in a local church; but it can greatly bless you and you be a blessing to it. Heb. 10:25.
The Body of Christ is composed of many members just like your human body, each part needs the others, each part of value in its own right and in relationship to the whole, and together they all make the whole. A Gay Christian should not judge yourself less than others in talents, gifts, offices or ministries, you have your place and it is as valuable and purposeful as other people; don't compare, it is not Love, neither is looking down on others and their purposes. Be generous with yourself but temper yourself, not neglecting yourself and other duties in life. Rom. 12:4-6a.
Seek out a local church that shows Jesus and practices Love. If you search for a church that believes what you believe, please tell me where you are because I'd like to live in a utopian world, too. You won't find a church that does, says or represents all you think should be; your left hand is not exactly like your right, but both are hands. Try not to major in minors when shopping for a church.
Don't choose a church because of the beauty of its stained glass, its music ministry, because it openly accepts gays and lesbians, has some ministry or cause dear to your heart; do not choose a church by its activities, or because the priest, minister or pastor is nice and a good speaker. Don't choose a church because it ministers to you, meets your needs, has good instructive teachings, nor because it ministers to others, meets their needs, etc.
A church can have beautiful stained glass and a colorless soul, pretty music but a tone-deaf heart, accept gays and lesbians not because it seeks to serve all peoples but seeks the praises of people. A church can have a lot of members and activities and be spiritually dead or few members and activities and be spiritually alive and quality focused, have an eloquent speaker who says what you want to hear but not what the Spirit needs to say. A church can feed, cloth, challenge and help you but leave your spirit starved or an infant. A church can spend time and money ministering to the poor and others and it not be of God.
Jesus said people would minister and do good things in His name, yet He says He will, upon being asked, say He never knew them because they did not know Him. You can serve and do good but for the wrong reasons and motives. Look to the heart, determine and discern by the Spirit the church's motives, its foundation, and most of all, look to see if they know Jesus. If they know Jesus, you will see Jesus and the evidence of His Love. Ask yourself how much the people involved or reached are like Jesus, and so judge successfully. Matt. 7:15-29.
Belonging to a local church will give you, the Gay Christian, opportunities to praise, worship, pray, study the Word of God, fellowship with other believers, serve one another, grow and learn from each other, submit to each other, receive instruction and correction from each other. Just as prayer, praise and reading God's Word is an avenue for God to speak and minister to you, so being connected to other believers is another avenue for the same and for you to be such a vessel to others; don't cut yourself off from such a blessing.
Yes, you'll find people butting heads against each other, stress and difficulties within a church, they may even let you down sometimes. It's the "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" syndrome again. Just because the church doesn't agree with everything you believe or practice doesn't mean you shouldn't commit yourself to it, nor should you outright reject them because you've seen them stumble and act unChrist-like on occasion. Perhaps your participation and Christ-like attitude shall shine as an example to them and they shall grow and change.
Likewise, though it is important for you to be involved in church whereby you are spiritually fed, able to grow and mature, don't chose a church just for selfish purposes. Many times you will be fed not by being served but by serving, not by hearing the Word spoken through others but by you speaking and practicing the Word through your service to others.
Just because your community has a gay and lesbian affirming church doesn't mean you should go there, feeling comfortable and accepted should not be your sole motivation for choosing a church. Neither should you specifically shun or reject a church that doesn't accept gays and lesbians, nor seek them out to prove the point that you, a Gay Christian, exist, flaunting it in their faces, for this is not love. Though a church may seem accepting it could be accepting for all the wrong reasons, and though a church may reject your sexual orientation, it could one day learn and accept your sexual orientation.
Don't get in a hurry to find a church; neither put it off. Don't fall into the trap of making your whole life revolve around church and church activities, but don't miss out on important ones either. Don't hide in the church, reach out to other members, gay or straight, use your gifts and talents, and take the church home with you, to your place of employment and to your world, share the Good News of your faith and church home with those who yet wander and have no faith or spiritual home.
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