Now that I have your attention this post has very little to do with overweight people. I have many friends whom I love dearly, myself included, who could lose a pound or two. I initially struggled with the title and decided to go with it because the message, in my opinion, transcends the word selection.
I’ve heard this statement a time or two, “Jess, I LOVE your transparency on the blog, but I could never do it. I don’t know how you put it all out there for the world.”
I’ve been admonished to tone it down a bit.
I’m sure I’ve caused blushes among my family and friends.
Honestly, the thought of my family and friends reading some of what I write is much more difficult than the thought of random strangers reading it.
I often wish I wrote anonymously because then I wouldn’t be so scared of backlash.
Yes, I’m pretty sure I do. I want to be transparent in my life and that can include some strong opinions on how twisted our theological thinking can get sometimes. This is my mission field. No one is ever truly changed with lies. NEVER. A person may be deceived for a moment, they may look up to a perception of holiness for a time, but when the darkness is brought to light, that whole façade comes tumbling down and at the end of the day, there is always more harm done than good.
I’ve been pressed to pick a side on many issues that I write about, lately, in particular, the homosexual issue in light of certain events surrounding World Vision, a charitable organization that has recently found itself in a sticky situation. As I seek to understand the dilemma, (which is not a new topic by any means) I believe the heart of the issue boils down to this:
Can homosexuals be Christians in light of what scripture has to say about this lifestyle? This question then leading into the more prevalent issues of, can we have homosexuals in our pews? in church leadership? passing the offering plate? I’ve written a bit on this before with the post Rob Bell, You Stinker...
Now let’s turn our attention to other lifestyles scripture has a few choice words on including that of gluttony, drunkards, and the use of our tongues.
Can a morbidly obese person go to Heaven? Can an obese person be a pastor? Can an obese person pass the offering plate? How many times does a gossiper have a “get out of hell free” card? How many drinks constitute a drunkard? Once a drunkard, never a saint? The Bible is extremely clear on these lifestyle choices, way, way clearer than it is on homosexual behavior.
So again, there is no answer to that question for me.
I am not perfect. I drink too much wine on occasion (the rule is one glass per child, correct?) I have a mouth that can run. I have a mouth that can cuss when it gets running. I am way more just than I am merciful. But above all of that I love the Lord with all my heart. He is slowly but surely working out his plan and purpose in my life, and I have faith in that plan. I beseech his wisdom and mercy often in the wake of trials, hardships, tribulations, or simply the child I cannot stand parenting in a particular moment.
What I don’t understand are the trivial games we each play to appear holy, to appear spiritual to one another, to appear better than the homosexuals. What’s confusing to me is the man who is adamantly opposed to drinking but doesn’t have a problem gambling. The teenager who will not lose his virginity before marriage yet engages in every other form of sexual activity. The HR director for a major Christian charity organization who gorges herself on McDonalds every day to the point of being morbidly obese yet won’t hire a homosexual…
Our desire to appear holy should absolutely never trump our need to love others as ourselves. For some unknown reason in Christianity (certainly our sinful nature coming forth in all its glory) we have constructed these tiers of holiness for one another. Gluttony, in our spiritual superiority, does not seem to be something that keeps a person out of Heaven, neither does gossip, but my goodness, if you struggle with homosexual tendencies you for sure aren’t getting in those pearly, white gates.
So in regards to what side I’m on, I didn’t realize there was more than one side. My Bible says “all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God” so I guess I’m on that side, the side with the best of the sinners, the gluttons, the drunkards, gossipers, teenagers who go way too far, and even the homosexuals. But my side has the added bonus of the ultimate “get out of jail free” card, a Redeemer who has held back nothing for me, even sacrificing his own life to pull me out of the muck and then even going so far as to seat me in Heavenly places. My redeemer's name is Jesus Christ, and thankfully there is no condemnation, no names, no tiers of holiness, no nothing, just straight up grace and mercy for those who put their faith in him. That’s the side I’m on.