Confessions of a straight Baptist woman.
My butt is so drawed up right now I have an honest to goodness teepee in the leather of my couch. This is gonna be a rough ride because I’m jumping out of the drivers seat and throwing myself under the bus. I’m going into uncharted territory here and the only way I know how to navigate is to talk real plain about it. I am a straight, Baptist woman, and this is my confession.
Sitting in a crowded sanctuary, the subject of homosexuality comes up. The words spoken are indeed truth. What usually is a pretty quite group of people become very charismatic in their agreement and are clapping wildly with enthusiasm, some of them even getting to their feet. Clapping…. Clapping…. I’m clapping too. Still clapping, my mind goes back to the previous week…. (ya’ll might need to bite down on a stick for this)The past week I indulged in a Netflix marathon. That’s the only kind of marathon I will ever do. My pick…. Orange is the New Black….I will openly confess, and it was more than one episode. I’m still clapping, almost in a trance and beginning to feel a little sick to my stomach. I begin to think about all of the garbage that we ALL have not only embraced into our lives, but we have embraced it openly, and proudly. I’m still clapping. There is no shame in reading Fifty Shades of Grey, in fact we race to watch it with our church friends as soon as the movie is released. I’m still clapping. After all, it is all about the story line, right? I’m still clapping. My favorite book series is Game of Thrones. I will recommend them shamelessly to any one looking for a good read but I’ll give them a sweet Southern Christian disclosure, “Honey, just skim through them dirty parts.” I’m still clapping, but now I’m sweating. I ordered HBO just so I could watch the series. It is dirty. I haven’t missed an episode. I’m wondering if I would be clapping if the truth were to be spoken about pornography? Or premarital sex? Do we think one sexual sin is cleaner that the other? I don’t recall anyone clapping or jumping to their feet when the preaching is about divorce. I stop clapping. My hands are stinging and my heart is broken.
When I was a kid we always had chickens. I can remember if one of the chickens was injured, the other chickens would peck at it, sometimes pecking it to death. I’ve been thinking maybe that sometimes we put all our eggs in the gay basket. We will get loud and clear on that particular sin, and peck the injured chicken to death. We have Christian support groups and classes for every hurt, habit and hang up you can imagine, but when it comes to homosexuality, we get down right angry and show no mercy in any capacity. The message seems to be, come as you are, except for you, homosexual. You get straight, then come.
Everyone knows 1 Corinthians 13. It may have been used in your wedding or even be embroidered on a hand towel in your bathroom. “If I speak in tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but I do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I posses to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers. Love never fails.” These scriptures are really clear on what love is and what love ain’t.
No matter how many scriptures we have memorized, or how many mission trips or camps we go to, we are missing the mark if we don’t have love. I think there are several issues that the we could address more effectively if we pursued it with kindness, patience and perseverance. Now this door swings both ways. Listen up. Love rejoices in truth. TRUTH. The bible is the word of God and it is TRUTH. Whether you are a homosexual, a liar, a thief, or an adulteress, when you go to church you are going to get the truth, and it’s gonna hurt. I’ve got a list of things I struggle with. Shoot, I get my grits cooked many a Sunday mornings. I can feel the back of my neck get red and my butt stings from the spiritual whipping I get. But that is a good thing! That means that the Holy Spirit is alive and dwelling with in me, and He is working on me. The word of God is sharper than any double edged sword. It can cut deep. It needs to be spoken in love. Remember that love always protects.
I’ve gotten a snoot full of hate, whether it be over the flag, gay marriage or racism. Ya’ll, we ALL need Jesus. The devil is trying to keep our attention on issues that keep us from winning souls. Flags, and laws, even the government will all pass away. Soul winning needs to be the priority. Nothing else really matters. We get emotional and angry because we are troubled in our spirits, and rightly so. Good gracious, the chaos going on all around us is overwhelming. Maybe we are reacting all wrong. Remember, love is not easily angered. We can’t force someone to be straight, or sober, or faithful, or honest or anything else. Those things are the result of holiness. The goal for EVERY Christian is holiness. In John 13, the crap hit the fan. Jesus had a troubled spirit. In the midst of the chaos He says this, “A new command I give to you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Seriously ya’ll, He said love four times. He means business. This is not a suggestion it is a command. It’s not optional.
Love. It’s the greatest. Without it we are nothing. It does not fail. My goal is to remain focused on love.