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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.
he Church is the Body of Christ, composed of many members, each part serving a different function, has different gifts and callings; no part of the Body can say to another part it is unneeded. Yet, sadly, this is what happens in many Churches and Church Denominations today. If you are striving to be Loved and accepted by your peers, family, co-workers and employer, or Church you need to let that go; you are not called to seek or gain the Love and acceptance of others, you already have that from God, you are rather called to Love and accept others. Granted, you would hope to find Love and acceptance from the Church, but this Body is not yet perfect, just as you are not yet perfect, often in conflict with itself, in understanding itself and its purpose, in knowing fully its Head, Jesus Christ. Romans 12:1-21; I Cor. 1:2, 11; 3:3; 12:28-31; II Cor. 5:9; Eph. 2:20-22; 4:11-16; Col. 1:18; 2:19.
In the Old Testament, there were three classes of persons whose access to the Temple, the Church, was restricted: Gentiles, women, and eunuchs. Gentiles and women were separated from the men, who were separated from the priests, and only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies; eunuchs were not permitted in the front door at all. All these served as symbols: Israel called to be a separate people, separate in its religion and lifestyle, of the holiness of God and the seriousness of sin. What they failed to observe was the physical construction of the Temple, including the furniture therein, if seen from above formed the shape of a "Cross," all a shadow of Him who would come. Christ tore away all barriers between God and people, the way now open, all classes and distinctions destroyed: between men and women, priests and laypeople, eunuchs and families, slaves and masters, races and creeds. Each have different gifts and callings, talents and responsibilities, yet all equal in Christ. Ex. 25; 26; 27; 37; 38; Deut. 23:1-2; I Sam. 2:22; I Kings 6; 7; 8; II Chr. 4; 5.
To the eunuchs was given the prophecy quoted by the Church, "unto them will I give in Mine house... a place... an everlasting name, that will not be cut off." To Phillip was given the challenge by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, sent to convert a eunuch who happened to travel to Jerusalem, seeking God. Eunuchs could now come in the front door. Isaiah 56:3-5; Matt. 19:8-12; Acts 8:26-40.
To the Gentiles was given the prophecy quoted by the Church, "...My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people." To Peter was given the challenge by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, sent to convert a household of Gentiles eager to hear about Jesus. Gentiles could be Christians, too. Gen 22:18; Ps. 22:27; Isaiah 9:2; 49:6; 56:6-7; 60:3; Hosea 2:23; Acts 10:1-48; 13:48; 15:7; 18:6; 28:28; Rom. 15:9-12; Eph. 2:11-12; 3:6.
But the Gentiles entered the Church with all kinds of rules placed on them by the Christians of that time, what they could or couldn't do or be. Placed on them because of fear, fear of difference, fear they would somehow corrupt the Body, fear they were not truly converted and would return to their old lives. Fear shows lack of trust, understanding, a lack of Love and understanding of the Author of Love. To Paul was given the challenge by the Holy Spirit, sent to proclaim the single Law of Christ, the Law of Love, abolishing cultural rules and the laws of men, even showing the equality of men and women. Acts 11:1-18; Rom. 13:8-10; I Cor. 8:1-13; Gal 2:1-21; 5:1-26.
Every now and then the Holy Spirit challenges the Church to come out from behind its furniture and rise above its walls and see the Cross. The Church is ever confronted with new Ages, with new cultures and values, beliefs and lifestyles, but the Law of Christ's Love is Universal, remains in force and applicable to every Age. The Holy Spirit is challenging the Church again, reminding it the Cross speaks not just of sin, sacrifice and the holiness of God, but of forgiveness, acceptance, healing, restoration and Love.
Jesus says, "Come," but many Churches today say, "Come, but not if you don't have the same color of skin, the same values, look the same, speak the same language, or have the same culture." Many Churches say the Scriptures teach homosexuality is sin, others argue it is permitted, both sides use Scripture to back their arguments, analyzing every word in their original languages, studying the cultures of the time the verses were written.
Those against homosexuality teach the Scriptures condemn all forms of homosexuality. But, a deeper belief lies behind their argument, believing all Scriptures, doctrines, prophecies and revelations must be in agreement with each other and applicable to all Ages. If this were the case, Phillip should have been scolded for witnessing to the eunuch, and Peter's revelation and work with Gentiles should have been rejected, for the written Word of God forbids these two classes from entrance into the Church; yet, the Church leaders accepted the revelations as from the Holy Spirit, for they saw the evidence of the Holy Spirit, and Love, within the new converts. Scriptures don't contradict themselves, but neither is God limited to the limited understandings of the limited minds of men. Those in favor of homosexuality teach the Scriptures condemn improper sex acts, such as pederasty (older men mentoring young boys, including sex), prostitution, rape, idol worship, and they say the knowledge of homosexuality as we know it today was rarely understood in those times. This falls close to the truth, many pagan sex acts common then were not expressions of Godly Love, rather they were fornication, idolatry, selfishness, lust; committed long term same sex relationships existed and were consecrated by the early Church.
The end of the arguments is this: Gay and Lesbian Christians, through the Ages and those walking around today, who show the evidence of the Holy Spirit, Love, in their hearts, proves God is living within them, accepted in the Body. The Word of God is not words, letters and commas, it is a Person, Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh; too many people on both sides of the argument can't see Jesus because of all the commas in the way. The Word of God was not written to bash others, to prove your agenda, to judge your neighbors, but as a Love Letter from your Parent, calling you Home. (See Scriptures Regarding Homosexuality in the Bible Found Listed in How To Be A Gay Christian, John 1:1-14; Rom. 5:4; I Cor. 2:13; II Cor 3:6.
In the prophecies of Isaiah, God says those outside now accepted are those who "take hold of My covenant... choose the things that please Me;" in other words, those who have accepted Christ and live the Life of Love, God's holiness. If you are in Christ, it matters not if you are male or female, Gentile or Jew, Italian or Scotch-Irish, slave or free, gay or straight. Walking in Christ gives you the freedom to be different, to be yourself, exercise your culture, values, gender, sexuality, talents, gifts and callings within the bounds of the Law of Love. Isaiah 56:3-7; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11.
So, today, many Churches try to place rules on gays and lesbians, telling you who you can or can't be or what you can or can't do. God will not be put in a box or closet, the Spirit will move on whom God wills. If God has moved upon your heart, if God counts you as Family, a member of the Body of Christ, who is anyone to tell you otherwise? The hand cannot tell the foot it is unneeded, superior. Rom. 8:16.
The facts are Gay and Lesbian Christians already exist in the Church, living their lives, trying to be themselves, serve and walk in Love. While many Churches are retreating to their closets, many Gay Christians are becoming visible, walking in the Light as God is in the Light, showing the fruit of Love in their open lives. Lesbians are teaching Sunday School, gays are taking up the offering, lesbians serve the Reception Dinners at their straight friends' weddings, gays adopt children who have no parents, lesbians witness to straight people, gays sing in the choir and lead worship, lesbians visit the sick, gays serve Communion to those who would forbid them Communion, lesbians comfort those oppressed by fellow believers, gays wash the feet of their unaccepting Church leaders.
A Church that refuses to permit its gay and lesbian members visibility is a Body wounded, out of balance, shackled by the Law and not freely moving in the Spirit of Love. Each Church has gays and lesbians eager to serve, to deny them the right to show Christ's Love, deny them the right to exercise their spiritual gifts, is to grieve the Holy Spirit. The Spirit asks each Church and Church Denomination to climb up to its roof and look, does it resemble a closet or a Cross? Eph 4:30.
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