Most Americans believe in heaven and hell.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that only 4% of the people surveyed in the United States are atheist (one who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings) or agnostic (a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, is unknown.)
I’ll flat-out admit that there are good men and women in this world and there are despicable people. There are good church leaders that preach the “so-called” word of God, the Bible, but preach love, and there are those that preach the same “so-called” word of God, the Bible, but spew hate and intolerance.
For those filled with hate, fire, and brimstone, let’s just strike James 4:12 from the Bible: “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” Why leave the judging to God? It’s easier for you to condemn man on Earth instead of letting God deal with his own children.
If you’re one of those that believes that you can’t have a relationship with God if you’re gay or if you don’t go to church, then I’m not sure why you’re friends with me and reading this now. I have a wonderful relationship with God. We talk every night. Well, I talk and I know he listens. He had blessed me with many wonderful things: a beautiful family, loved ones, health, and prosperity.
Why am I so philosophical today? No, it’s not the weather again.
It’s because of a so-called man of the church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Berean Baptist Church senior pastor Sean Harris forgot about preaching about love this past Sunday. Harris began screaming like a crazy person and telling his followers how they should handle their kids if they show any signs of acting outside the gender norms. He didn’t talk of love and compassion, but physical violence.
Here is a transcript of Harris’ tirade:
“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, “Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,” you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.
Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.
And when your daughter starts acting to butch, you reign her in. And you say, “Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.”
How did people in the church respond? He did get a few chuckles and some yelled “Amen!,” and “Yes!” However, there were some that were appalled. Harris admits, “the response was, ‘Pastor, we know you didn’t mean that.'”
What saddens me the most is not that people think this way. I know they do. I don’t expect all people to embrace me or people like me. You know, “that way”. However, more people think for themselves and are leaders and not followers, they are progressive and open-minded and they know that God loves and doesn’t hate.
Here is what disturbs me the most about Harris’ disgusting display. Think of that little kid sitting in the congregation that feels he or she is different from other boys and girls and doesn’t know why. Think of a gay tween or teenager sitting there listening to this man of the church and his “Amen” followers ranting about how disgusting they are and that violence is the answer. Does this make you wonder why we’re hearing about more gay teen suicides?
It was my childhood church’s obsession with the book of Revelations that sent me away from the Church forever as a teenager. And, I’ve been a better man for it even since. I know my relationship with God is solid and it’s based on love. I don’t need an appointed church leader to guide me to salvation.
Harris has issued a half-ass apology by saying he doesn’t advocate striking your children, but “If I had to say it again, I would say it differently, no doubt. Those weren’t planned words, but what I do stand by is that the word of God makes it clear that effeminate behavior is ungodly. I’m not going to compromise on that.”
Politics probably has something to do with his un-christianlike tirade. Voters in North Carolina will be heading to the polls next Tuesday to decide the fate of a constitutional amendment that will make marriage between a man and a woman, which many politicians and churches are speaking out against.