It didn't go like that. Church was the environment in which I quickly (very quickly) became disillusioned with Christianity. As Jamie and I grew in faith and knowledge, we dubbed what we were seeing and experiencing Churchianity. So much of what was taught was absolute bullcrap, not found anywhere in Scripture. This bothered us greatly and we moved away from this sort of social group. It seemed every time we attended church it was more a briefing on who we should hate and why they were responsible for the moral demise of our country, rather than a gathering of the saints to worship our Lord together.
No thanks, dudes.
As I grew in my own faith, it nagged me and grated me and left me deflated that as a requirement of my faith, I had to hate ANYONE. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't be a part of it.
So while I kept my beliefs and my love for God, I've got to be honest. I started avoiding other Christians that regularly attended a church building. Every one of them was full of themselves, not the spirit. Hateful, mean, oh so quick to judge and yet not allowing anyone close enough to see their own flaws. I started feeling like my social circle would never include other Christians because they were in name only. They really didn't live it, just preached it and if you've known me any time at all, you know I can't be around dishonesty like that. I just can't.
So for awhile, I made my circle with non-believers because it appeared that they were more suited to what I believed, odd as that sounds. They were open, loving, striving to be better people and make the world a better place. My circle of these individuals was small, but excellent. They didn't question my faith at all. As a matter of fact, I was told on more than one occasion that if more Christians were like me, than the person wouldn't mind hanging around a few. Sadly, their experiences were more like mine.
And I have to admit, I sort of put these people up on a pedestal. Not just the PERSON, but the whole group of loving, accepting, caring individuals. I felt like they had it right and even though we didn't share the same faith, we shared a mission: Love. Love Everyone. No matter what.
But things have changed for me. I have seen, as I've grown up a little more, that every single group has its own rules and hatefulness. They believe that what THEY think is right trumps what anyone else believes and everything they dislike about the Christians, they feel is totally okay if THEY do it.
Want an example? Good, I have one.
Let's examine this shall we? Two straight guys vandalizing a property where a message they don't believe in is being preached. Funny right?
You see, the biggest problem people have with Christians is that we "force our beliefs down other people's throats." I concur. I've seen it in action. Not going to deny that one bit. And it's not right because as Christians we believe that any change that we experience comes from the saving grace of God. We can't take credit it for it, so the whole idea to 'get your crap together if you believe in God...and make laws so that everyone has to do what God says.." is really counter-Christian. It just is.
But, and the big but...is that everything the nay-sayers believe we do is being played out right before your very eyes. "We believe that what you believe in is wrong and because we feel it serves the greater good, this act of vandalism is accepted and necessary."
You following me here? The Christian camp believes they need to preach this message. Like it or not, the Bible says what it says (And I can tell in five seconds flat if someone has read it or has just read ABOUT it or has gathered third, fourth or more hand information about it. Try me. I will call you out right then, right there and it won't be pretty. If you haven't read it, shut it. Thank you.) I digress. Christians believe that for the greater good, they must speak out. And we are HATED for it. Hated.
And yet, this action above was applauded as righteous.
Because there's nothing more noble than defacing the property of your "enemies" and mocking their deeply held beliefs. This is funny, adorable, RIGHT ON MAN!!
All this love and acceptance we're vying for...means hating and showing non-acceptance? How does that even equate?
Just going by logic, what is this saying? It's saying that any person who believes that their actions will cause blessing to another person can act in the manner they feel best suits that (or those) individual(s). Believe it or not, those people who put up the original billboard felt that were doing just that. But it's more accepted and oh so funny when someone who does NOT believe in that defaces personal property to send a message.
Because we should fight intolerance....with more intolerance (and illegal intolerance at that.)
What am I saying here? Was it funny? A little bit. I get it. Ha ha. Cute word play, but bottom line for me is...there really is no love and tolerance in any circle. It's not a thing until you believe, for yourself, that you will love without qualification and treat EVERYONE...
With love, respect and decency. The action illustration does none of this. And so we're left with the reality that one does not practice what they preach. And that's truly sad.
So for all those Jesus lovers who love him, but nothing about his message (those who paint Jesus as a left leaning Woodstock attendee)...what about turning the other cheek did you NOT understand?
It's easy people. If you don't like gay marriage or gay anything don't be gay, but here's the thing...
If you don't like Christians or Christian anything, don't be one.
Let's leave the rest lie.
Otherwise, where are we? A part of the problem, not the solution.
Two wrongs have never once equaled a right. And repaying a message you don't agree with with an act of degradation...well...good luck with that.
Cause I certainly feel all warm and fuzzy now.