Sunday, December 12, 2004

Called to Love

Last night as I was having a bowl of easy mac with stormy, and a friend of ours named Thom Jolly came to sit with us and chat. The conversation was very interesting and I was both intrigued and motivated by what was said. It's almost like my life has been put into perspective.

I apologize if I offend anyone, i don't mean to.

Jolly, as we call him, grew up going to church out of rebellion. yeah, his parents were not christians, but to rebel he went to church. But then something happened to him that really spoke to me. He decided that he was gay, and when he told the church, he was basically not welcome there. He said he went through a stage where he hated religion, hated christians and everything about them.

Now tell me, is this something Jesus would have done? Have we become so caught up in rules and regulations, has the church become so rigid in structure that we do something like this? Now its not just about gays. Its a host of other things too. Something as simple as an unusual body piercing can turn people off. You don't like it? ok, thats fine. no one said you had to. but can we not love these people for who they are? Correct me if i'm wrong, but Jesus hung out with the outcasts of society. Why should we treat these people any different than your best friend?

Even if these things are spelled out in the Bible to be wrong, we're still called to Love them. We all have problems, and no sin is bigger than another. I'm not even gonna make an active effort to fix these problems. I'm not capable to do these things, only God himself is, and only God himself can judge people.

My stomach churned when Jolly told me these stories. I also know of a guy here who has the same church background as me. he's gay, and hasn't told his parents. and you know what?? I feel for him, because that won't be easy. I don't approve of his choices, but i'm gonna love him the same anyhow, and I pray that his parents do the same.

I know this is kinda jumbled and all over the place, but i'm just kind of tired of the "corporitization", if thats even a word, of church. My experiences in New York and now here have taught me and prepared me for so much, and i've just boiled it down to the greatest command: Love one another. No matter how much we all screw up, and we all DO screw up, be accepting of people. Let God turn the hearts of people, let God do the healing. We're all just messengers here. and our message is Love. (wow, thats quite possibly the cheesiest line i've ever ever written)

-JJ

4 comments:

jch said...

The cheesiest thing you have ever said? Not quite, my brother. What you just said was the Gospel Truth. And that's not cheesy at all.

I wish there were more Christians like you in the world! Preach on! It just may be your "cheesy" words and encouragement that brings someone like Jolly back into conversation with God.

Anonymous said...

Jerm,
As one of the, I guess, "Corporate Officers" of the Church, all I can say is "Amen and Amen". I am counting on young people like you to encourage the rest of us to live like Jesus both inside and outside the church building.
Mr. A.

Chris Ewing said...

Amen. We are called to love even the worst of sinners. And even the worst of our enemies. It seems to me that we are ok with loving everyone until it comes at a personal expense to us. If loving others causes us any physical/emotional pain to us or to loved ones, then we "fold" our hand and ask for a new deal. So yes lets love unconditionally, but lets not set limits to our love for all who are created in the image of God.

J-Wild said...

Speak the truth brother! We cannot let our fear of being "contaminated by the sinful" keep us from embracing, reaching out, and loving. True transformation begins and ends with the heart, and sometimes that takes a while to see outwardly. I know that I am not done, so we shouldn't write off people who are enveloped in a difficult sin. Good post!