#LoveWins, #GodWins: From a Christian who celebrates with you

rainbow cross

#LoveWins. You’ve seen the hashtag everywhere lately, and for such a joyous reason. With my heart returning to Jesus, where do I stand on this issue? I’ve read one too many blog posts titled something like “Open Letter to the Homosexual Community from a Christian.” They all start off the same way—they suck you in with an apology for how Christians have wronged gay people. It’s true…we do owe gay people an apology. The problem with these blog posts is that they’re apologizing for the wrong thing. They apologize for hating gay people instead of just hating their “sin,” and they try to cultivate comaraderie by saying they’re just like them with sins of their own. What they fail to understand is that gay people would probably rather be hated than told, “I love you, but…” What they fail to understand is that comparing another person’s sexuality to their own lust, pride, greed, anger—is not loving them at all.

I’ve seen other posts reprimanding so-called Christians who put the rainbow filter over their facebook profile pictures or Christians who have congratulated their gay loved ones on social media. They quote Romans 1:32 and tell these believers that they are succumbing to worldly pressures—or that they are even following a road to apostasy. #GodWins is their hashtag of choice.

So how will my post be different? Will I love the “sinner” and hate the “sin”? Will I warn fellow Christians who might be blinded by the schemes of the devil? Will I be for gay marriage, or will I be for God?

I will be for both. I’m sure such a blog post is out there, but I haven’t seen it—I don’t have friends like me on facebook, so these kinds of posts aren’t shared. I will love gay people the same way I love people who aren’t gay, and I won’t call their sexual orientation a sin. I will warn fellow Christians of losing sight of God, but not in the way you think.

Love brought me back. I just spent fifty-four minutes on the phone with a brother I hadn’t spoken to since childhood until the past few weeks. At the end of the conversation, he said “I’m sorry I’ve told you that I love you no less than fifteen times in the past hour—I guess I’m just making up for lost time.” Oh, my heart has ached for that. Love softened my heart and my brothers’ hearts toward me. Love came on a Wednesday three weeks ago and changed everything. Love came in the least expected situation to the least deserving people. I’m not satisfied with neurochemistry as an explanation for it, although I’ve tried to convince myself that I was for a while.

And that love is really what my faith is all about—it’s the thesis of scripture. Love came down in the most unexpected way so we could see just how far it could reach. It came in the least expected situation to the least deserving people—and yet, we forget that God IS love. We dilute the thesis of scripture with our own interpretations of the details, even when our interpretations contradict the love of God. I treasure so much of scripture—but it does not have authority in my life. It is useful and inspired, but there is more to my God than ancient words and cultures, and his love is bigger than anything human writers with biases are capable of. If you’re not a believer, you disagree. If you are a believer, you probably disagree. My world is still lonely.

When I see Christians rage against the rainbow with the words #GodWins, I see a lot of noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. I see a lot of claims to understanding and knowledge and faith, but I don’t see love. I see a lot of nothing. But when I see the celebration of an elderly gay couple who have spent a lifetime together, I see love that is patient and kind, not arrogant or rude. I see love that does not insist on its own way and is not irritable or resentful—love that rejoices with the truth. I see love that hopes. I see love that endures. Love is not defined by its object, but by these qualities.

We always stop reading 1 Corinthians 13 at “Love never fails.” But there’s more. Prophecies and knowledge will pass away. Tongues will cease. We only know in part, like children. In other words, we might be wrong. Someday we will see more clearly—and I think we’ll find that love indeed wins. These words are not a threat—they are the very foundation that my faith rests upon.

What if we stopped filtering the world around us through our own interpretations of scripture? What if we filtered it instead through a love that knows no boundaries? If God is love, would we be that far off from truth? If God is love, then #LoveWins and #GodWins are one and the same.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12

It is so ordered.

[image © Majivecka | Dreamstime.com – Vector Silhouette Of A Cross. Photo]

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61 thoughts on “#LoveWins, #GodWins: From a Christian who celebrates with you

    • Thanks so much for the reblog and your kind words, Seth! Don’t worry—I’m not sure there’s anyone in the world who stands with me on doctrine. Stick around anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I find the fundamental issue comes from associating love with sexuality. God is love and God is spiritual, equating love/God with fleshly appetites is Satan’s attempt to defile the true nature of love. To say love wins! because homosexuals can finally get married is a complete distortion of what love really is. You can be a homosexual and still love, but sexuality is not love.

    “But when I see the celebration of an elderly gay couple who have spent a lifetime together, I see love that is patient and kind, not arrogant or rude.”

    It’s not the loving part that we reject, there are many individuals of the same gender that I love, but when we start feeling the need to express this love through a sexual relationship then we are succumbing to Satan’s distortion. This is why so many heterosexual relationships end in divorce these days, because people are redefining love and sex to be the same thing, thus when they no longer are attracted to one another then we just move on. Homosexuality is focused on sexual relationship and not on the Spirit of God that is love.

    We need to love people in truth, and Jesus is the truth. Love is not a humanitarian effort where we just act friendly to people, God is love, but love is not God, meaning that we can’t just acquiesce and throw up the peace sign and promote ‘free-love’. We need to make sure we are loving people by bringing them to the cross, by bringing them to the Father who is Love. Let us love in truth and in spirit.

    God bless

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    • I disagree, although I do appreciate your thoughtful comment. For me, sex is so much more than a “fleshly appetite.” It is the ultimate act of love. Love and sex will always be associated—if I could separate them, I would just have sex with anyone instead of reserving the ultimate act of love for my ultimate lover. Some people do that, but that’s not the way it’s meant to be.

      You said “when we start feeling the need to express this love through a sexual relationship then we are succumbing to Satan’s distortion.” Why? Why is a monogamous sexual relationship with a life-long partner a distortion? Why is that any different from me expressing the exact same kind of love to my husband in an intimate way? Why the double standard? I almost feel like you’re arguing that a married man and woman shouldn’t act out their love with sex.

      You said, “This is why so many heterosexual relationships end in divorce these days, because people are redefining love and sex to be the same thing, thus when they no longer are attracted to one another then we just move on.”
      Sure…if sex is about attraction. If sex comes out of a deeply-rooted love as it does for me and for many heterosexual couples and many gay couples, then it will last as long as our love is strong and our bodies are capable. In fact, I think it becomes more and more precious as we grow up and eventually grow old together—the love that physical intimacy is born of gets stronger as we learn each other’s hearts. I would not deprive anyone of that, regardless of who their heart is drawn to.

      By what authority do you say that gay relationships are focused on sexuality and not on love? Every gay person in a committed relationship would disagree with you. Their sexuality is just an expression of their love, just like mine is—whether or not it’s directed toward someone of the same sex is irrelevant.

      Free love? Is that what you think this is? Love always, always costs us something. It costs time and thought and opportunities, and it demands vulnerability. In fact, I would argue that the most costly kind of love might be a love that so much of the world still rejects—love between gay couples. There is nothing free about that.

      I’m sorry to disagree so strongly. I’m glad that you found my blog and offered your thoughts—without being malicious toward gay people. You are welcome here. I just don’t see the difference between committed love and intimacy between gay people and committed love and intimacy between myself and my husband. I have found joy untold, and I want my gay friends to feel accepted as they seek and find the same.

      God is love…Love is love.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your response. I appreciate your viewpoint, I have no desire to patronize you or anything like that, I only wish to get some feedback from you on a couple more thoughts.

        When you say “It is the ultimate act of love. Love and sex will always be associated” I’m curious how do you reconcile this with God’s love for us? A deductive analysis could interpret you’r sentence to mean something like God and sex will always be associated.

        “I almost feel like you’re arguing that a married man and woman shouldn’t act out their love with sex.” The scriptures tell us what love is patient, kind, gentle, selfless etc etc. What do you draw from to formulate this idea that God made sex as an expression or attribute of love? I acknowledge that it builds emotional ties, but is it possible that sex is more restricted to reproduction? After all it wasn’t until the advent of contraceptives that sex could be employed recreationally.

        Like I said I have no desire to patronize you, I appreciate your thoughts. My only desire is to have an open dialogue where potentially we can both take something positive away.

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        • I don’t really see it as God and sex being specifically associated. I just feel like sexual intimacy is the closest we can get to another human being—our deepest expression of love if we revere it as such (of course, to some it is empty). I meant that sex and love are associated, not equal. They are usually intertwined when we speak of the deepest human relationships—those with our partners for life.

          If God truly is love, I have hope for an unfathomably deep intimacy. I’d like to think that the depth of a physically intimate human relationship is a mere shadow of something much more grand in an eternal setting with God. In my mind, it wouldn’t be sexual—but it would involve unity and vulnerability and complete obsession on a larger scale. It would be a thing of the heart, not of a mortal body.

          You asked, “What do you draw from to formulate this idea that God made sex as an expression or attribute of love?”

          Scripture. What Bible are you reading? 😉

          Sex restricted to reproduction? What about post-menopausal women? Or infertile couples? Or pregnant women? Or women currently somewhere in the roughly 80% of the month during which they cannot conceive? What about variations of sexual intimacy that couldn’t possibly lead to conception? I think sex has been “recreational” since the beginning of time. At 28 years old, I have conceived five children, and I’m done. I never again plan to use sex for reproduction…but by no means is it no longer a part of my marriage. Not restricted to reproduction at all.

          Does any of this make sense? I deeply appreciate your respectful tone, even if we disagree.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yeah I can totally appreciate what your saying and I tend to agree with some of it. I’m merely trying to separate bone from marrow by making the distinction that love clearly does not equate directly to sex. God is love, but God is completely immaterial and purely spiritual.

            Romans 1:27 “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

            We can see that God equates homosexuality with lust and not with love. Thus I would urge people to be careful when referring to sex in general as an element of God/Love. I’m completely open to the parameters of sex within a heterosexual relationship, but I think the scriptures make it clear enough that it was created as a special covenant before God between man and women.

            Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts openly, I appreciate your honesty 🙂

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            • You said “God is completely immaterial and purely spiritual.”

              I’m not sure. What do you believe about Jesus? Fully God and fully man? That’s what I grew up believing. And beyond that—I think a spiritual God could show us his love in tangible ways. In human ways. Through embraces and through glances that say more than words and through gifts and through sacrifices of time—the things we share with those around us. If I didn’t see God in those things, I wouldn’t have returned to faith.

              You quoted Romans 1. I think this is where we differ in a fundamental way—I don’t give scripture the ultimate authority in details like these. I see those words as the opinion of a man, specific to homosexuality as it was practiced and perceived in a specific culture in an ancient time.

              I encourage you to watch the documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So” on Netflix—it helped me a lot.

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  2. If this is your return to Jesus, I say “Yippeee!” :0)

    Seriously, though, if this level of maturity were the norm within the Christian church when it comes to discussing this (and many other topics), then we might find ourselves in a completely different ballgame. We talk too much about things being “Bad!”, and spend relatively little time thinking about why we feel that way, or whether the feeling’s justified. So, way to think it through!

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    • Thanks, Vance. If I filter things by asking “Is this love?” instead of “Is this consistent with my congregation’s mission statement?” I find faith a lot more palatable. And I find my own character a lot more palatable. It actually requires surprisingly little “thinking it through.”

      I appreciate your support of where I am in my journey 🙂

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  3. This is such a fine discussion, and I enjoyed your post. I may disagree with you on the authority of scripture, but I see a lot of good, thought provoking stuff here.

    I am struggling through where I stand on all things “gay” myself, but I hate the vitriol of some of my brothers and sisters in Christ, against homosexuality and homosexual people (I have friends and relatives I love and care about deeply who have chosen this in life), and I prefer to remember the grace, forgiveness and love of God extended to “whosoever will” come to Him. 🙂

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  4. You seem to be writing as a Christian, while your banner is “THE COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIAN” – and your tag line is “pretending to love a God I don’t believe in”. If you are not a Christian, why are you writing on our behalf (calling us – “fellow Christians”)? But your writing is true to your blog name, i.e. you are a counterfeit Christian! But should not Christians have the right to their own view, rather than your distorted version?
    Let’s suppose, for argument’s sake, since you don’t seem to understand or believe it, that biblically being a homosexual (i.e. living the lifestyle) is a sin, how else a Christian is meant to address it other than the manner – which you have ridiculed. You are presuming that you are right in making the condemnation that strong Christian views are wrong! Don’t you see the hypocrisy of your position! If you condemn judging, why are you judging?
    Don’t you know that not to address sin, or to tolerate it, is itself a sin? It’s one thing to commit a sin, promoting it is a whole different level of sinfulness. What loving parent, even if they themselves sin, turn a blind eye to the sins of their children – and do you call those parents hypocrites, unloving, double standard? Parent who want what’s best for their children are loving parents – as are friends who try to show the sins of homosexuality to their homosexual friends!!!
    The bible tells us not only to hate other’s sins, but all sins, including our own. Paul calls himself wretched man in Romans 7:24 – for doing the things that he ought not to do! That’s when a Christian comes in confession – repenting and hating their own sin and praying for forgiveness and strength to overcome it by the power of the Spirit. Loving correction is an expression of true love! Keeping silent, tolerating, condoling or promoting sin is an expression of hatred.
    Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses
    People like you are not asking us Christians to love homosexuals, you are not asking us (Christians) to leave them alone, you are asking us to love what they do; not just behind closed doors but openly now. I tell you, as a Christian, their behaviour disgusts me and I have the right to be disgusted by what God calls sin – as I am disgusted by my own behaviour when I fall in sin.
    Your opinion and pro-homosexual emotional rhetoric confuses what true love is meant to be! Love does not wallow is pretension, it does not thrive in lies, Love triumphs in Truth! The Word of God is the absolute truth. When the Bible tells me that homosexuality is a sin, to do anything other than condemn it as a sinful act, would be denying the Words of my saviour and that I am not willing to do.
    You wrote, “We only know in part, like children. In other words, we might be wrong.” How did you make that interpretation about that verse? Does it say that the part that we know could be wrong? If we are wrong about homosexuality being a sin, it’s not us that are wrong, it’d the very Word of God that you are using to argue your case (distorted and futile as it might be).
    You ended with a verse and quoted: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
    I guess your point is that we must imitate Christ in the manner He loved us, and I agree but do you actually read the verse for what it says, we are to love just the way God loved us! Did Christ overlook sin? No, He condemned it in the strongest possible language, have to read what Christ said to Peter or what Christ said to the Pharisees? If Christ openly condemned sin and use strong language, as you say, should we not do the same? The entirety of the bible is Christ’s Word – everything… so if Christ’s Words condemn homosexuality, should we do any lesser or call what God’s Word says, a lie??? – as you have done. God forbid, I rather die than deny my Lord and what you’ve asked us Christians is to do just that!
    You are not trying to make love win, you are trying to make sin win and the Lord judge you for trying to confuse Christians in your blog.

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    • Regarding your first paragraph, you might understand my position better (despite my name and tag-line) if you read recent posts. Things have changed for me.

      Regarding your second paragraph…I condemn no one. You are the one condemning—especially with the last line of your comment in which you wish judgment on me.

      Your words are extraordinarily hurtful, especially as a follower of one who said you would be identified as His by your love for others.

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    • Can you tell me where in the Bible I can read that long-term committed homosexual relationships are sinful? You, and Christians like you, are taking condemnation of promiscuous homosexual activity and imagining it stretches to the union of two consenting adults in love. Do you think your god is stupid or evil? What possible objection would a loving god have to two people he created to love each other to spend their lives together?

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      • 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.”

        Some acts or behaviors are sin in themselves. The verse above clearly shows that God openly categorizes the act of homosexuality as a sin. I’m not sure if people have been telling you that because you love someone or something, it becomes legitimate non sinful act. If a sick evil pedophile “loved” a little girl and be truly committed to her, does that “love” justify the act of pedophilia? Absolutely not, right? In the same manner, a person can love an animal or a thing and do lewd things with it, if they are committed to the animal/thing, is the act no longer immoral? It does not become alright because two men (or women) are committed to each other, if they are living a homosexual lifestyle and are performing the act. It’s still sin in whatever condition or situation they perform the act. You may obviously choose to reject this clear teaching of the bible, and many do, but please don’t go calling yourself a Christian… because even if Christians fall in sin, they should not be justifying sin or distorting God’s Word to accommodate it – because if they do, that reveals their absolute commitment is to themselves (or the sin) which replaces God and takes the role of an Idol in their life. Sexual sins can easily become an Idol, and that’s why true Christians are always battling it as a grave sin in every possible way.

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        • I am a Christian whether you like it or not, and I do not need your validation.

          Pedophilia and beastiality are mental illnesses and crimes against those who are vulnerable and incapable of true consent. We were discussing two consenting adults (or at least “equals” if under 18).

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  5. Really well communicated! I have just finished reading a book by Franciscan priest and author Richard Rohr called ‘Things Hidden’. It’s nothing about Homosexuality in it but basically a book about how to read and interpret the bible. One of the points he makes pertaining to the cross is that God wanted us to have a visual image of what sin is. That image is the people who surrounded the cross condemning an innocent man while pointing fingers and jeering…that sin can be referred to as the sin of judging others. That is the sin that God wants us to turn from. It is the sin that opposes love. It is the sin that says, ‘I’m ok but you are not.’ It seems to me that it is also the sin that is most practiced by Christian Fundamentalists. The very sin that started in the garden of Eden with the eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the very sin that Jesus died on the cross to save us from. Love on the other hand is best taught by example and learned by abiding in Him. Thanks for being courageous enough to write about this issue!

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    • Home and Spirit. What good is it if its well communicated if the message is not accurate?
      That would be like me commenting how good your spelling and punctuation is, yet ignoring all the mistakes in your message.

      Next you seem to be chastising Berean for hypocrisy, without backing it up with evidence.
      Have you failed to read or just ignore these comments?

      “The bible tells us not only to hate other’s sins, but all sins, including our own. Paul calls himself wretched man in Romans 7:24 – for doing the things that he ought not to do! That’s when a Christian comes in confession – repenting and hating their own sin and praying for forgiveness and strength to overcome it by the power of the Spirit. Loving correction is an expression of true love! Keeping silent, tolerating, condoling or promoting sin is an expression of hatred.”

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      • I’m not seeing anywhere where Home and Spirit chastised Berean.

        I did comment on the fact that he was the only one here “condemning” anyone else, and perhaps that’s what you are referring to.

        Have I not read these comments? Am I choosing to ignore them? THAT is also hypocritical. Quite honestly, I’m getting so frustrated with the people who are barely skimming one blog post of mine and not looking deeper. In the first lines of this post, I write about a recent return to Jesus. In the entire post before this one, I talk about that return and why it happened in greater depth. If you look at my “About” page, you’ll see why I chose my blog name in the first place. I shouldn’t have to spoon-feed this to you. A person who cared to know me and converse with me would have done it on their own. Someone who thinks they know enough about me to comment in a judgmental way (as Berean did above) probably isn’t worth conversing with. Wounds from a friend can be trusted…and Berean is not my friend.

        To those who are using scripture to correct me…did you read the part where I said that scripture does not have the authority in my life that it has for you? I do not worship Paul. I worship Jesus. Sometimes Paul’s words help me in that—and sometimes they do not.

        I am a Christian. No opinion of anyone else’s will change that—only God can say if my love for Him and my dependence on Him alone for whatever salvation requires is enough. If it requires my total dependence on scripture, I am insufficient. If it requires me to be completely certain at all times that God is true and worthy of worship, I am insufficient. If it requires me to evangelize and to give up all of my passions and all of my possessions to make Him known, then I am insufficient.

        I am insufficient—but I think that’s the point. He is enough, and I love Him.

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        • “Sometimes Paul’s words help me in that—and sometimes they do not.”
          What do you mean by help me?
          Are you just cherry picking the verses you like, and ignoring the ones you dont like?
          Jesus not condemning homosexuality does not follow by default that he supports it. We could justify a number of sins this way. I will put it to you bluntly, you cannot be in willful sin, like homosexuality and be a christian.
          Those who support you in this are not your true friends.
          The only true friend on this blog i see is Berean. He has told you the truth in love, the rest just made you feel better.
          The Bible is very clear, love speaks the truth. The Bible is also very clear there will be no greedy, sexually immoral or homosexual… in heaven. There is just no way around this.

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          • I don’t cherry pick the verses I like…I filter everything through the Spirit within me and through my belief that our God is loving and good—and through my belief that the Bible was written by people who are just as flawed as I am. Do you really think a God that would condemn any person to hell based solely on their sexual orientation is loving and good? I couldn’t worship such a God. I don’t think God has given any of us the authority to know how far his reach goes and to condemn others or decide for ourselves that our interpretation of who will be in heaven is correct.

            Along the same lines, you have absolutely no authority to tell me who my friends are. It is offensive to think of someone who called down God’s judgment on me as a friend, and I refuse to do it. I do have many friends I disagree with—friends with more traditional interpretations of scripture. Pascal (who you’ve seen here if you’ve read much of anything other than this post) is the prime example. The difference between Pascal and Berean? If Pascal thought I were going to hell for my authentic questions and my compassion for all, his heart would break. Berean would rejoice at God’s justice being served.

            You are welcome here…but don’t talk about my friends.

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    • My apologies Home and Spirit, i misunderstood these words ” That image is the people who surrounded the cross condemning an innocent man while pointing fingers and jeering be challenging…”

      It sounded like you were correcting Berean, what i can see is Bereans position is very sound. His biblical exigeses is also spot on.

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  6. I’m sure less than a month ago you said you were an atheist. As someone else says, this is confusing. But anyway, for a post from a Christian on gay marriage, it’s not too bad. 😀
    Seriously though, I think your understanding is the most logical for anyone who believes in a loving god.

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    • If you read previous posts, such as “When Dead Things Live Again,” it might help things be less confusing. My blog is more of a linear journey that can’t be fully understood in snapshots. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

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      • Still, it’s unusual to go from Christian to Counterfeit Christian to atheist to Christian in such a short space of time. Must be emotionally draining. I’d like to keep up but I tend to have a post reading limit of 500 words – only so many hours in the day!

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        • Haha—I totally understand. Really just Christian to counterfeit Christian (that was when I was an atheist) to Christian who sees things differently. It was over a period of four years, and it has felt like a lifetime.

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  7. CC, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Im a little confused though. The word counterfeit, means fake. So i do not misrepresent your position, could you please explain your faith position? Do you see yourself as a christian or a non christian?

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    • Read above under your comment to Home & Spirit. I am a Christian—when I started this blog and named it, I was an atheist. I am aware of the definition of “counterfeit.” Please see my About page for why I chose that word to describe myself.

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  8. CC, you’re right that I wasn’t chastising Berean. I don’t have an abundance of time so I tend to usually only read blog posts and then only occasionally skim read comments when I’m curious.

    Billy, as for hating sin…my soul aches and mourns toward that which separates us from God and keeps us from our full spiritual potential. Any attitude or action that is not birthed from the standpoint of love toward all involved is sin. An affair that exists outside of an already existing relationship for instance is a sin because it hurts others…probably more so the soul of the one committing the sin. This can exists within heterosexual and homosexual relationships alike. However, when I read the words of Jesus, I see a savior who was concerned about the hearts of mankind. Because the sin, which takes place first in the heart, hurts us. Jesus wasn’t about hating people but wanting us all to have a relationship with the father and none of us are without sin. What we are called to do is to examine our own hearts not the actions of others. For me, I choose to hate the sins within myself, to mourn for those who are in sin and are hurting and to pray for them and to the best of my limited (but hopefully growing) ability to love above all else.

    CC, your journey is uniquely yours but not as highly unusual as one commentator suggested. Like St. John of the Cross, you went through your own ‘dark night of the soul’. I went through mine and I hear about more and more Christians going through similar circumstances. Coming back to Christ does not mean re-accepting the old beliefs you had but to tune in to the voice of God foremost. You will recognize it as the voice of love.

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    • I refuse to watch anything about “reforming” gay people…sorry. It’s not that I’m turning a blind eye; it’s just that I’ve seen countless of these videos and used to promote this myself. That is not love, and my heart is still broken about my attitude before. To honor my gay friends, I won’t even entertain anything hinting that they can and should change. Some people do, and if they are happy then I am happy for them. But homosexuality is a continuum, and for many, the thought of being with someone of the opposite sex is as uncomfortable as the thought of you being with the same sex.

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      • And in honoring your friend and keeping them above what God’s Word says, you have dishonored God. If you loved them enough to care about their eternity, you would not worry so much about a slightly uncomfortable conversation, which could save them from an eternity of pain.

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        • Keep in mind that I don’t believe these friends are destined for an eternity of pain. If I did, I would risk the greatest discomfort.

          Do you believe that other “sins” are an automatic ticket to hell? Or just homosexuality? Would a heterosexual Christian who continually gives in to temptation to have sex outside of marriage be faced with the same eternity in your eyes?

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          • “Would a heterosexual Christian who continually gives in to temptation to have sex outside of marriage be faced with the same eternity in your eyes?”

            Yes! A true christian cannot willfully live in sin.
            God singled out homosexuality, therfore He finds this sin far greater than most others. But in the grand scheme of things, when it comes to salvation, we are all born sinners, and that sin separates us from God. But once a person, believes in God, repents and accepts Christ, the next step is to submit to him. By living everyday in the same sin, proves God is powerless to save or that person never repented. If you are open minded? I would encourage you to watch the video.

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            • What about pride or envy? What if someone is truly seeking Christ but misses the mark continually? What if someone gets it right most of the time, but still fails daily? Or what if they happen to fail one time in one of these sins—but it happens to be in the moment of their death or the moment Christ returns? What eternity waits for such a person? Should we even assume that we can know?

              I don’t think homosexuality by itself is sin, so we’ll go with the other one that you believe will damn someone to hell—promiscuous heterosexual sex. It’s a sin like any other. And the one who commits it is a sinner like any other. We try to do the right thing, but even if we know the grace of God we fail time and time again. I don’t think that means that God never saved us or that we are damned to hell. I think it means that we’re still human and still broken. Our sin breaks our hearts time and time again, and grace is enough time and time again. Does that mean we sin defiantly and shake our fist at God? No—although I personally believe that grace is enough even then. Even a heart that loves and follows him is ever prone to sin—be it sex, pride, envy, anger, greed. I will fail in many ways every day. Yes, it breaks my heart. Yes, I am repentant. But I still fail, and I don’t think that means that God is powerless to save or that my repentant heart is false. It just means that I need him to save me from myself every day, and sometimes every moment. It means that greater things are to come. It shows us just how far that grace is willing to go—and I believe it’s farther than you think.

              As far as homosexuality, which I do NOT classify as sin, can’t we at least agree to disagree? Can’t we rejoice in what we have in common?

              If I have an open mind? I’m sorry, but I had to laugh at that. If you have an open mind, watch the Netflix documentary (or find it on YouTube) “For the Bible Tells Me So.” Then I’ll watch your video (that I’ve probably seen before).

              Like

          • Billy has answered your question, in that ‘yes’, adulterous “Christians” living unrepentant of their sins are condemned in it.
            My friend, the crux of the Christian narrative is the cross. Without it, the message might just be another story with a good moral. The Christian narrative tells us that we are all sinners, who in our sinful fallen state cannot attain the standard of holiness that God has set. Since God (Jesus Christ – in the Gospel of John) created us and loves us, He took the punishment on our behalf and dies on a cross so that we through His sacrifice may be saved. All that Christ asks us to do is to confess with our mouths and believe in our Heart that He is Lord and pick up our cross and follow Him daily. If we consider the attributes of God, we have to logically come to the conclusion that a perfect being i.e. needs to have perfect qualities… or in biblical language, we know God to be a perfectly Holy, Just, and Loving God. Aside from God’s other attributes and qualities these three gives us a clear understanding of the Christian narrative. God created humans to be perfect (without sin), when sin entered in the garden of Eden, man could no longer commune with a perfectly Holy and Just God… The rebellious act of Adam, warranted punishment from a perfectly Just and Holy God. This gap could never be bridged by man, so Christ provided that means to salvation. Since God is good, the pronouncements of God in calling an act sin, can be trusted. Without this basis, we cannot accept the concept of the sovereignty of God; so when God says that homosexuality is sin, He did not qualify it and say that it’s ok if two are committed to each other. The Act of homosexuality is in itself a sin – just like lying or stealing. It’s not a time restrained or duty bounded violation, that makes it a sin – such is in the case of a sex before or outside of marriage.

            You may disagree with this teaching of the bible, but I assure you that the one who loses out from the deal will not be God. Of course God hurts when we choose to do the wrong things, but it’s us who lose when we rebel against God. And a perfect being, since He has said that He will punish such acts, we can be certain that He will. Telling friends about a loving and Just God and what He says in his book in order to safe them from the Judgement of a perfectly Holy God, is the most loving act you can do for that friend. I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes and help you see the Truth in God’s Word.

            Like

            • My heart goes out to you because I used to be like you. My prayer is that your eyes will be opened to the LOVE in God’s word and that you will rest in the completed work of the cross, spreading that message instead of warnings of God’s impending judgment. It’s okay if we disagree. It’s not okay if we fail to humbly trust God with each other’s souls, rather than making personal judgments. Peace, Berean.

              Like

  9. This article is fine and dandy, but ignoring the fact that homosexuality is definately looked down upon in christianity, and the fact that “hate the sin, love the sinner” is directly from the bible, I’ve got to point out that this is an example of picking and choosing scripture to believe in.

    Like

    • I’ve already told you that I don’t accept the entire authority of scripture if it contradicts the very nature of a loving God. When scripture talks about gay sex, it’s usually talking about promiscuous sex. Scripture doesn’t mention the long-term committed gay relationships I’m talking about that are no different from your relationships with your spouses or my relationship with mine.

      Sure, call it picking and choosing. But know I’m not doing it for myself—I’m not gay. I still abide by scripture that condemns the sins I actually DO struggle with, so this isn’t about having a life that is easier or more enjoyable. This is about needing to believe that God is good and worthy of my worship.

      People left me alone when I was an atheist. Now that I confess belief, instead of joy and encouragement, several of you have only brought condemnation—and one of you even brought judgment (or at least called on God to bring it). Yet I’m supposed to recognize Jesus by your love. There are better ways to disagree.

      Like

  10. “I’ve already told you that I don’t accept the entire authority of scripture if it contradicts the very nature of a loving God.”

    So what do you make of 2 Timothy 3:16-17?

    16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    If you don’t accept some parts of Gods word, then you are standing in judgement of it. You are really back to square one, what I mean by this is, truth has become subjective to you. And if truth is subjective, then who is right? And who is wrong? If we all get to decide, pick bits here and there and ignore bits we don’t like, where does this end?

    You have basically broken the first commandment, not to make a god in your own image. Who are you to rewrite who God is? Let me ask you a question, do you believe in the trinity?

    Like

    • I love 2 Timothy 3:16-17. I think our differences are less about the words of scripture and more about our interpretations of it. I don’t think 2 Timothy says that my human interpretation of all of scripture is directly from God. I don’t believe it says that every letter of scripture is without error that we would expect from human authors, however inspired they may be. I do believe it says scripture is useful, and with that I wholeheartedly agree.

      I believe in right and wrong, and in so many places it is clear in the Bible which is which. I do not determine truth by my own standards, but through scripture, prayer, and the conviction of the spirit within me. My standard is the love of Christ. Perhaps this answers your last question—I believe in a God who created, a God who dwelled among us as Jesus and provided a way for us to know Him, and a God who dwells within us now in the form of the Spirit He promised. I won’t strictly proclaim the doctrine of “trinity”—the word isn’t in the Bible to my knowledge, and there could be other manifestations of God that I have failed to recognize.

      Very few of my beliefs are non-negotiables, and I believe and hope that others who never even know the name of Jesus will still be included in an eternity with Him—even thieves and murderers and child molesters—that they will be given another chance when all chances are gone.

      God in my own image? There would be no hope for the world.

      Like

      • CC you have just described the Trinity. Ofcourse the word is not there, but the same God us there, jesus said “before Abraham I Am” or “i and the father are one” and there are many more passages that describe the trinity. My point from all this is when God says homosexuality is a sin punishable by death, Jesus is no separate from this, but one with the father, part of the triune God.
        In Old Testament times the punishment was immediate and physical, now will live in a time of Grace, but when Christ returns the second death with be eternal separation from God, a place called Hell.

        And the Bible is so clear that homosexuals are going there, unless they repent.
        But your view of a homosexual is one that can live with his sin and still be a christian.
        The Bible nowhere supports this position.

        By making homosexuals comfortable, you are helping to build in a brick wall in that persons life, between them and God. God disturbs through hardships, pain and suffering to awaken the sinner, through his conscience, with the purpose of repentance that will grant salvation, through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Resulting in eternal life. Yes words from a friend can be trusted, but a enemy (fake friend) only multiplies kisses.
        To finish up, it is a grave sin to make sinners feel comfortable in their sins.

        Like

        • We disagree in our interpretations of scripture and its application to whether or not committed, monogamous gay relationships (not described in the Bible that I’ve seen) are “sin”—and we will likely continue to disagree. Someone has to have the last word, and I will let it be you. Thank you for the discussion.

          Like

  11. Hello J,

    I’ll start a new stream because I although I read and liked the post soon after you wrote it, I did not return to see that the comments had polarized so deeply. You might feel attacked. Remember that people read for different reasons. Some are drawn to posts about skepticism, others to those of scriptural authority, some to contemporary issues that they find either liberating or frustrating. There are, however, some who are drawn to you. Several have written already in support and have followed your journey with interest, perhaps even hope.

    One commenter above said that the Berean was the only true friend that you have on this blog. Thankfully, Home and Spirit, belied that claim. Although I visit with words here infrequently, I read every post and pray sincerely for you on almost every run for the past three years. At the outset I remember telling you that I thought you were not a Counterfeit Christian, but rather an authentic doubter. I remember telling you that I was confident you would come back and be stronger because of your doubt. I also remember telling my friend Russell, your husband, that I didn’t have the same confidence for him but that you and I would love him forever and that I trusted God for him. Still do.

    I don’t wish to re-engage an argument here, but to thank you for the way you’ve challenged my thinking. I can attest to treating gay people with respect and without vilification, but also without understanding. I didn’t ask the questions that I should have and my heart was not open. I only knew that it was incorrect to view the theme of Romans 1 as homosexuality. It has always been about worship.

    If Christ could not change my heart, then I’ve never really followed him.

    A friend on this blog,
    Pascal

    Liked by 1 person

    • A friend indeed.

      Thank you for your words tonight, and for challenging my thinking over the past few years. And thank you especially for the prayers. More than ever before, I need to know that those prayers are being said (or thought, or written). You’re right—this is hard, and attacking voices are so much louder and linger much longer than the voices of my friends, even when my friends are greater in number.

      I want to honor God, but some who strive to do the same tell me that I deserve His judgment and am making myself God in His place. I pray for conviction if I’m wrong, and I do feel it—but my conviction is about my impatience with those I disagree with here, not about the arguments themselves. Regarding those, God is silent.

      I love what God has done in your heart, Pascal. I pray for you too. I’m not running much these days, but I always take the stairs. I am so deep in thought and prayer descending those stairs that I use the bright yellow piece of gum on the ground between the first and second floors as my signal that I’m nearing my first-floor exit and need to snap out of it. I still need a landmark for my 6th floor exit on ascent. If you ever see that piece of gum, let it be a reminder that I often pray for you on the stairs.

      Always your friend (and the sister you never would have survived),

      J

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Keep in mind that I don’t believe these friends are destined for an eternity of pain. If I did, I would risk the greatest discomfort.
    Do you believe that other “sins” are an automatic ticket to hell? Or just homosexuality? Would a heterosexual Christian who continually gives in to temptation to have sex outside of marriage be faced with the same eternity in your eyes?

    Billy has answered question, in that ‘yes’, adulterous “Christians” living unrepentant of their sins are condemned in it. My friend, the crux of the Christian narrative is the cross. Without it, the message might just be another story with a good moral. The Christian narrative tells us that we are all sinners, who in our sinful fallen state cannot attain the standard of holiness that God has set. Since God (Jesus Christ – in the Gospel of John) created us and loves us, He took the punishment on our behalf and dies on a cross so that we through His sacrifice may be saved. All that Christ asks us to do is to confess with our mouths and believe in our Heart that He is Lord and pick up our cross and follow Him daily. If we consider the attributes of God, we have to logically come to the conclusion that a perfect being i.e. needs to have perfect qualities… or in biblical language, we know God to be a perfectly Holy, Just, and Loving God. Aside from God’s other attributes and qualities these three gives us a clear understanding of the Christian narrative. God created humans to be perfect (without sin), when sin entered in the garden of Eden, man could no longer commune with a perfectly Holy and Just God… The rebellious act of Adam, warranted punishment from a perfectly Just and Holy God. This gap could never be bridged by man, so Christ provided that means to salvation. Since God is good, the pronouncements of God in calling an act sin, can be trusted. Without this basis, we cannot accept the concept of the sovereignty of God; so when God says that homosexuality is sin, He did not qualify it and say that it’s ok if two are committed to each other. The Act of homosexuality is in itself a sin – just like lying or stealing. It’s not a time restrained or duty bounded violation, that makes it a sin – such is in the case of a sex before or outside of marriage.
    You may disagree with this teaching of the bible, but I assure you that the one who loses out from the deal will not be God. Of course God hurts when we choose to do the wrong things, but it’s us who lose when we rebel against God. And a perfect being, since He has said that He will punish such acts, we can be certain that He will. Telling friends about a loving and Just God and what He says in his book in order to safe them from the Judgement of a perfectly Holy God, is the most loving act you can do for that friend. I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes and help you see the Truth in God’s Word.

    https://exposingerror.wordpress.com/wp-comments-post.php

    Residential and commercial Window Cleaning

    1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.”
    Some acts or behaviours are sin in themselves. The verse above clearly shows that God openly categorises the act of homosexuality as a sin. I’m not sure if people have been telling you that because you love someone or something, it becomes legitimate non sinful act. If a sick evil paedophile “loved” a little girl and be truly committed to her, does that “love” justify the act of paedophilia? Absolutely not, right? In the same manner, a person can love an animal or a thing and do lewd things with it, if they are committed to the animal/thing, is the act no longer immoral? It does not become alright because two men (or women) are committed to each other, if they are living a homosexual lifestyle and are performing the act. It’s still sin in whatever condition or situation they perform the act. You may obviously choose to reject this clear teaching of the bible, and many do, but please don’t go calling yourself a Christian… because even if Christians fall in sin, they should not be justifying sin or distorting God’s Word to accommodate it – because if they do, that reveals their absolute commitment is to themselves (or the sin) which replaces God and takes the role of an Idol in their life. Sexual sins can easily become an Idol, and that’s why true Christians are always battling it as a grave sin in every possible way.

    Hi There CC,
    Many (including you, CC) have come out here accusing me of attacking you. But I can assure you, as God is my witness that I am not attacking you; I feel that you are attacking God’s Word to say what you desperately want God’s Word to say. While God does not need me to defend Him or His Words, I am merely standing up for my convictions and my Lord who died in my place. The western world is in a convoluted state and has completely forgotten that believing in Christ is meant to bring them persecution in this life; some so called Christians have themselves become the persecutors while carrying on the language of a victim, and pretending that they are coming under persecution. I feel sad for those who are fighting against God but think they are fighting for Him; I believe you are one of them. I’m not from your comfortable western world, for whom an example of a harsh persecution is that someone called him or her a ‘bigot’! I’ve risk my life for the Lord on multiple occasions because I want to spread it… my immediate family risk their lives on a daily basis because they want to proclaim the Good News that there is hope of forgiveness and salvation in Christ. If people like me have to take your reasoning and attitude to spreading God’s Word, we can never spread God’s Word without offending someone’s beliefs. When we tell someone that the god they believe in is not the true God, it is infinitely more insulting than telling someone that their homosexual act offends God, but both acts of telling someone that they are worshiping a false god or that they are worshiping sexuality, is still telling them the truth. It is this truth, the Truth that people are sinful, and that they are worshiping the false God, and accepting the sacrifice of Christ on the cross which set people free… homosexuality and idolatry are the same in many respects… without confronting people when they are sinning, you are allowing them to continue in their bondage of sin. You are stating that you use to be like me, by which you mean that you use to be judgemental and condemned people who are sinning, but there are many issues with your claim to having reached new heights in spirituality when you are using it to defend homosexuality. In fact most new Christians start out like you, i.e. not understanding the gravity of sin, how much it offends God, and the Christian duty of sharing the Good News which implicitly condemns sin. As a Christians grows in their spiritual walk, their aversion to sin, grows and the opposite of what you are going through takes place – in that the more one grows in their faith, the more they will condemn sin… be it in a gentle manner. The parable of the Sower talks about people like yourself, for whom the cares of this world chokes out the Word of God. I feel sorry for you, as your commitment to “not offending people” seems to have taken precedence over God’s Word (thereby throwing God’s Word over the wayside). I had hoped that the Word of God will convict and convert you from your deadly position, but the more I share from God’s Word, the more it reveals of your commitment to homosexuality. I don’t know if someone very close to you is a homosexual and so the hurt is very real for you, but I have a close friend as well who is a homosexual, I don’t compromise God’s Word for the sake of my friendship. God’s Word tells us in clear but brutal language that we are meant to hate our closest relationships (in comparison to God and His Word) if they are offending the Word of God.
    Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.
    If you are convinced that loving homosexuals or living a good life/being an example to them is all what God calls you to do, and that you don’t have to say a word to show them that their sinful life will take them to hell and judgement, you are completely wrong. No man or woman ever came to the Lord without Words (God’s Word), yes words of Judgement but coupled with the forgiveness that is in the finished act of the Cross.
    I’ll remind you of the story of Jonah – the people of Nineveh repented and were saved because of Jonah’s harsh word of Judgement from the Lord. The people of Sodom, learnt nothing from Lot’s example (even though he was anguished by their sinfulness) and they (the sodomites) were condemn in judgement. At best you are a ‘Lot’ (if you are a real Christian) and you are allowing your close friends to come under judgement!
    Your symbol of putting the Cross in front of the gay pride flag is very offensive and hurtful to Christians.

    Like

  13. Hi There CC,
    Many (including you, CC) have come out here accusing me of attacking you. But I can assure you, as God is my witness that I am not attacking you; I feel that you are attacking God’s Word to say what you desperately want God’s Word to say. While God does not need me to defend Him or His Words, I am merely standing up for my convictions and my Lord who died in my place. The western world is in a convoluted state and has completely forgotten that believing in Christ is meant to bring them persecution in this life; some so called Christians have themselves become the persecutors while carrying on the language of a victim, and pretending that they are coming under persecution. I feel sad for those who are fighting against God but think they are fighting for Him; I believe you are one of them. I’m not from your comfortable western world, for whom an example of a harsh persecution is that someone called him or her a ‘bigot’! I’ve risk my life for the Lord on multiple occasions because I want to spread it… my immediate family risk their lives on a daily basis because they want to proclaim the Good News that there is hope of forgiveness and salvation in Christ. If people like me have to take your reasoning and attitude to spreading God’s Word, we can never spread God’s Word without offending someone’s beliefs. When we tell someone that the god they believe in is not the true God, it is infinitely more insulting than telling someone that their homosexual act offends God, but both acts of telling someone that they are worshiping a false god or that they are worshiping sexuality, is still telling them the truth. It is this truth, the Truth that people are sinful, and that they are worshiping the false God, and accepting the sacrifice of Christ on the cross which set people free… homosexuality and idolatry are the same in many respects… without confronting people when they are sinning, you are allowing them to continue in their bondage of sin. You are stating that you use to be like me, by which you mean that you use to be judgemental and condemned people who are sinning, but there are many issues with your claim to having reached new heights in spirituality when you are using it to defend homosexuality. In fact most new Christians start out like you, i.e. not understanding the gravity of sin, how much it offends God, and the Christian duty of sharing the Good News which implicitly condemns sin. As a Christians grows in their spiritual walk, their aversion to sin, grows and the opposite of what you are going through takes place – in that the more one grows in their faith, the more they will condemn sin… be it in a gentle manner. The parable of the Sower talks about people like yourself, for whom the cares of this world chokes out the Word of God. I feel sorry for you, as your commitment to “not offending people” seems to have taken precedence over God’s Word (thereby throwing God’s Word over the wayside). I had hoped that the Word of God will convict and convert you from your deadly position, but the more I share from God’s Word, the more it reveals of your commitment to homosexuality. I don’t know if someone very close to you is a homosexual and so the hurt is very real for you, but I have a close friend as well who is a homosexual, I don’t compromise God’s Word for the sake of my friendship. God’s Word tells us in clear but brutal language that we are meant to hate our closest relationships (in comparison to God and His Word) if they are offending the Word of God.
    Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.
    If you are convinced that loving homosexuals or living a good life/being an example to them is all what God calls you to do, and that you don’t have to say a word to show them that their sinful life will take them to hell and judgement, you are completely wrong. No man or woman ever came to the Lord without Words (God’s Word), yes words of Judgement but coupled with the forgiveness that is in the finished act of the Cross.
    I’ll remind you of the story of Jonah – the people of Nineveh repented and were saved because of Jonah’s harsh word of Judgement from the Lord. The people of Sodom, learnt nothing from Lot’s example (even though he was anguished by their sinfulness) and they (the sodomites) were condemn in judgement. At best you are a ‘Lot’ (if you are a real Christian) and you are allowing your close friends to come under judgement!
    Your symbol of putting the Cross in front of the gay pride flag is very offensive and hurtful to Christians.

    Berean

    Like

  14. Hi There CC,

    Could you please delete the comment with the video link? It was a mistake and not meant to be approved, which I sent rightaway. Not sure why you would be keen to publish something not right. that video was screened by a Pastor in the service and was posted as a link on a blog.
    I request you to take in down as it is not relevant to your blog.

    Thanks,
    Berean

    Like

  15. I do not have capabilities to delete it from my phone. I work 80-100 hours per week and will likely not be accessing my computer for several more hours. I assure you that my failure to respond to you is by no means malicious and is actually because of my commitment to be focused on my patients. I am still at work (currently climbing stairs) and cannot address this now, but I will look at it if I get a chance later on.

    I can also assure you that my blog yields very little traffic and that my followers left this conversation long ago. It is unlikely that anyone will see it before it is removed.

    Please calm down. All of my comments from previous commenters are automatically approved, so use caution when you post.

    Like

    • Thank you Pascal. I am blessed to know who my friends are and truly grateful.

      These are difficult days for me. There are types of difficult days when writing is therapeutic and helps me through them. Then there are days when I fear what I would write. These are the latter. Don’t worry—I’m probably just lonely and tired.

      So yes—thankful for friends and needing them now—but too weary to engage them.

      Like

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