Hostile Takeover

Christina Engela's picture
Not all Christians behave like totalitarian maniacs bent on "transforming" the world into a Christianist society, with no room for diversity, no room for the other people who believe differently, or live differently. Not all Christians act like literal "God's gifts" to human kind. Not all Christians preach hatred and prejudice and hypocrisy in the name of a God who claims to be a creator-god of love. Not all of them behave like they are judge, jury and executioner - and as though blood could never stain their fair hands.

Some of them, I hope a large (and apparently silent) majority, are in fact good people - standing on the sidelines, while a more vocal minority with acid for blood, jump up and down - hijacking the wagon on the trail, like modern day criminals stealing from the poor to furnish themselves with the illusion of righteousness, authority and affirmation.

There comes a time when this large and silent minority stops being silent, and starts to make a noise, beginning with a low rumble, rising gradually to a roar of outrage and objections. I hope that this time has now finally come.

A time of objections against the injustices committed by those who have been running the show, outrage at the suffering caused by the hypocrisy of those who speak on their behalf - and on behalf of their religion - and their God, as if they have somehow come to own the entire franchise - as though the middle-men have now cut God out of the church and taken it over - and is running it like their own private exclusive club.

With the recent outcome of the Ecclesia de Lange trial, in which a Methodist minister was fired for marrying her long time girlfriend, I - like many others - felt a deep sense of betrayal at the hands of the Methodist Church of SA. As with most churches, and other organisations where the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, it seems that many parts of the body do not necessarily always agree with the head, and may indeed wonder what has got into it.

There are individual churches and congregations which are part of the MCSA and which disagree with the finding of the trial and appeal - and which feel that Ecclesia - and the rest of the pink community, have been wronged by the Church. There are churches in the MCSA group, which strongly feel the MCSA owes Ecclesia - and the pink community - an apology and a message of welcome.

There are churches in this group, which have reached resolutions to take this matter up with church leadership and the Bishop responsible for this injustice, and asked for a reversal of this decision and an apology from the MCSA. One I know of, recently sent a letter to this effect to the MCSA leadership about it, with overwhelming support - something like 455 in favor, with 2 abstentions and 3 against. That to me is indeed encouraging news.

For years I have heard many gay Christians whining about their churches rejecting them or expecting them to endure tirades and lectures about their "sinful lifestyle choices" or to crawl on all fours apologizing for how they were born. For years I have heard them crying for change to come to their churches - or for a welcoming friendly church in this city, where they can be themselves before their God as other people are - honestly and without shame or fear or favor. And for more than ten years, I have consistently referred them to this same Church.

And yet tonight, the church was all but empty - if there were 40 people there, it was a lot. Yes, there were about 5 gay people there, those that I recognized - the regulars - but where are all those others? There is at least one church in this city, amongst all the others, of all denominations, that cares about and welcomes GLBTI people among them - that does not expect them to be silent or invisible or to be lesser than straight people - nor tries to "cure" them by laying on of hands or delivering other insults. There is a minister who is trying so hard to support us and our cry for equality and equal treatment, and yet week after week, he stands there pouring out the affirmation and love they all seek, to a church full of half-empty pews.

It's true, a minister can make or break a church. And Rod may not be Barry. Barry was special, he was unique and he had a style of his own. Barry loved us all and included us all. He fought to include us, he faced censure and pressure from his superiors and from other churches in this city, from other ministers who excluded him and this church from their plans and activities in the city because he did so and because he refused to compromise or give in and exclude us. Barry's death was a tragic loss for us all in Port Elizabeth. Rod may not be Barry, in fact he isn't - he is Rod. He has a different style, and a different feel - but he cares about our community just as Barry did - and he is also fighting for our community. That church is fighting for us in its own way. That one church is a light for our community and others in this city.

Where I come from, when somebody shows you support or supports your cause, you return the favor and support them back. Where I come from, one good turn deserves another, and you live out this and other principles which these days are made out to be corny and inconsequential. In point of fact, what I am trying to say is - while I may not believe quite as other people believe, and call myself not even a Christian, but an agnostic - there are things I most definitely do believe in. You want to know what they are?

Love. Loyalty. Honor. Justice. Fairness. Equality.

I hope they stop being invisible. I hope they stop being silent.
 
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Comments

its only right...

its only right that she step down as a minister. gay and lesbians are welcomed into church as any of us other that are sinners but you cant willingly live in sin and hold a leadership position. remember that single hetro sexual people need to be celibate if they remain single, its a matter of self control.


 


the churches perspective is that the issue isnt with the person or their sexual preference but their sexual practice. not their orientation but their action.

@bodyamjza: Since when are

@bodyamjza:

Since when are churches above the law? Why should they get to discriminate and be patted on the back for it? Many would say that "the church" has far too much to say for itself. I would agree.

To be so harsh, you would a) cast judgment b) imply that church leaders are without blemish or sin themselves, when logic implies that NO-ONE is without sin, because ALL have sinned, and continue to do so all their lives. What makes a heterosexual "sinner" somehow elevated above anyone else?

c) There is no true indication in any scripture to show that being gay or bi or trans is in any way shape or form, a "sin". This is simply the misinformed and biased opinion of people who have no idea where their own religion comes from, or the times in which their scriptures were written, or by whom - and who delight in having someone to persecute and look down upon.

And lastly, this attitude of aspiring towards elite 'Christianity" would indicate nothing less than hypocrisy and the polar opposite of everything Christ taught. Perhaps those who persecute others in the name of Christ while clinging to useless old texts from the OT should call themselves "Leviticans" instead?

You can google it ;)

 

No, its new testament as

No, its new testament as well. yes, everyone sins but the issues is willingly living in sin, the same repetitive sin thats the problem. remember adultery is wrong, pre martial sex is wrong.


Lev 18:22-23 "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." Lev 20:13 "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death." 1 Cor 6:9 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals" 1 Tim 1:9-10 "realizing the fact that (civil) law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers" Rom 1:26-27 "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."


the church may seem above the law, the law is man made and is falliable, apartheid was the law but that didnt make it right. it may allow homosexuality but it is not morally correct. if you wish to lead a life that is pleasing to God and not man the bible tells you how, no ones perfect but we should strive to be.

 Allow me to sum up my

 Allow me to sum up my argument in two words: Who cares?

Is prejudice, persecution and hate "morally correct". Seriously. "no one's perfect" - yet you sit there in judgement over others, having no standing whatever to do so - and worse, you abuse your own god in doing so - for if you believe that god created you as you are, and all people as they are, then you have to admit he or she created us too, just as we are. I would love for you to explain that in a logical fashion, without resorting to religious scriptures that were written by desert-dwelling primitives who knew even less about the world than you do, which explain nothing, and signify even less.

Is your faith in your soul, your heart - or is that written down somewhere by a desert nomad as well? Did Christ commission a "New Testament"? Or did Christ come as the "New Covenant" himself, replacing the ritual laws of the Old Testament? Did Christ leave instructions to make war? 

Christ taught love and tolerance and acceptance and inclusiveness - not punishment, retribution, hatred and this elitist attitude we see in the Christian church today, which is all about being an army of conquest and destruction, declaring war on anyone who is seen as an outsider or a "threat".

Life is ours to live. We are, all of us, given free will - it is not up to "the church", or anyone to deprive us of that. 

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Clearly you are no Christian, but a Levitican, as you live your life (or rather you try to live other's lives for them) by a set of strict inflexible and outdated ritual laws.

I advise you to educate yourself, and to see where you have been misled.

 http://www.bilerico.com/2010/08/an_open_letter_to_my_fellow_straight_christians_ab.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+BilericoProject+(The+Bilerico+Project)&utm_content=FaceBook

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and a few others that should answer any more questions you may have:

 

http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/six_bible_passages.html

http://gayandlesbianbible.com/index.php?pr=Excerpt

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html 

http://www.whosoever.org/I2sodom.html

http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/index.html Steps to recovery from bible abuse. A response to the abusive use of the bible against gays and lesbians.

http://www.godmademegay.com/ A Letter to Louise

who cares? it was in direct

who cares? it was in direct response to your questions!


no one said that prejuidice and persecution were right but what does that have to do with the gay lesbian debate?


im not judging anyone, im telling you what the bible says! thats exactly what im trying to explain to you, everyone should be included and acceped, tolerated etc BUT not their sin!!!


yes Christ was the new coveneant, so instead of us dying for our sins he died for us, that doesnt mean we hsould continue to live in sin!


This might help you: http://www.jesusdevotionals.org/2007/08/where-sin-abounds-grace-abounds-even-more-romans-520.html


with free will comes responsibility, we chose heaven or hell by our actions and belief or disbelief in God.

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