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Christianity and spiritual conflicts. Would Jesus turn his back on gays and lesbians?

I started to answer questions asked by my readers recently and some of these conversations turn out to be great topics to share with others. This is one of them that I take to heart.

Many people these days struggle with Christianity and I was one of them. It took me a while to finding my sanity in my heart as I failed to understand the many conflicts I had with Jesus’ message and the Church’s.

I realize that the topic of Christianity, gays, lesbians, faith and the bible can be a heated amongst people and in no way do I mean to portray any disrespect for anyone’s view on life.

Please note that prior to posting any of our conversations I will ask you for your permission to do so prior to posting anything word for word that you send me otherwise if I decide to post anything I will generalize the entire text and questions. Any asked questions of a very personal nature will not be posted at all.

Here was John’s question.

John:

Neil, I recently made the decision to turn my life to the Lord Jesus, like you I believe that this man lived to show love and truth. I’ve started to attend a Methodist church which is very friendly and doesn’t seem to be bogged down with thou shall and thou shall not’s!
I believe in live and let live and that all religions should be honored and respected, in your opinion can you still incorporate the spiritual practices that you yourself share with a Christian based faith. For example the bible tells us that man should not lie with man, I believe that it is the individuals rite to decide which gender they choose, gay or lesbian. If this was followed through to the letter of the bible then there would be no gay or lesbian Christian’s. I cannot imagine that Jesus would turn his back on a homosexual man or women.

Any thoughts,

John.

 

Neil:

Hi John. I hope my answer is not long winded… :) I’m glad you wrote about this as this is the problem I faced with Christianity as its practices today. I have had many issues growing up where I had problems with conflicting ideas that the church brought in especially in regards to loving everyone and everything at all times without any judgement.

The following text might seem like a rambling going off in different directions. These are just my thoughts :)

Growing up, I was fortunate that my parents were not too heavy into the church even though their parents were. This allowed me to explore, examine and determine for myself what values were important. I became a non practicing Christian. I believe in Jesus and his message not the churches. His message was simple. Love. Love with all your heart and don’t judge because pure love cannot exist with judgement. Both Loving everything and not judging everything is the hardest thing anyone can do but takes you straight to God. Straight to heaven right here right now.

Many people see heaven as a place somewhere else but heaven is really at hand and you actually can glimpse into it. It’s here but we can’t see it because individually we make ourselves blind to it without holding only love in our hearts. Love is the way and the light.

We cannot be free ourselves if we can’t Live and let Live. Who am I to judge what is right or wrong? If I devoted myself to just Loving and not Judging I can do no wrong. I view wrong as being unloving and wrong is not bad, it’s just going the other way… Away from heaven.

Jesus accepted everybody. Why doesn’t the church? I know that the church is different everywhere around the world but in my corner, I can’t send my child to a Catholic school because she was not baptized. Catholic schools are better than public ones here. Since when is Jesus a members only club?

Being apart from the church led me to open my eyes and see the jewels that other spiritual practices offered.  There is so much more to learn and discover about who we are. I had to lose Jesus a few times in order to find him again. Each time I lost him was because of ideas that I had that came from the church. Simply because that is where I learned about him. Saying this can be difficult to swallow for some but it’s just like the issue of gays and lesbians…Why? If they are happy and Love what does it matter?

It’s so easy to get lost in a doctrine and lose sight of the negative impacts that the doctrine does. In the name of Christianity many people have died… In the hundreds of millions. Where is the Love? Right now, the Christian church is one of the wealthiest organizations of the world. Jesus would give it all away in faith. If all the priests followed Jesus’ path of just Love and no judgement (which means questioning the doctrine) this world would be in a much better place. Unfortunately the doctrine impedes love and loving to happen.

Follow your heart. Be perfect (which is loving in thought, word and deed). Love thy God with all your heart. This is the greatest of commandments. Forgive your enemies. Judge not lest ye be judged.

Many talk about righteousness. That word became the biggest excuse to judge and create separation between people and the idea that someone can be righteous created all the conflict in the church and the world. I see only a loving act as righteous. It’s amazing to see inside how many times we think we are better than others. Not being someone’s equal takes away from a purer form of love.

Today I see Jesus as a spiritual master, a child of all that is just as I am and you are. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these” And “faith in me” is faith in what he’s teaching not to make him a god above you. If he was then how could you do greater things than he did?

Many people these days are questioning the value of the church and it’s exactly what would have happened anyway being the way it is. I don’t feel “guilty” anymore for being a Christian that doesn’t follow any doctrine. And I had a lot of guilt about it. The church positioned its survival well…

To get back to your question “in your opinion can you still incorporate the spiritual practices that you yourself share with a Christian based faith”, I say yes only because I hold Christ closely in my heart. There are many lessons in the bible that point to spiritual truths but many of them are not understood by many. And many of these lessons I could not have learned if I didn’t see what Buddha and other masters taught. But, I had to divorce myself from the doctrine otherwise I would have lots of conflict. I went my way because it didn’t feel right. Each spiritual text or religion I have read offered some elements that are incredibly insightful and some that I feet was off base completely. Seeking the truth means that you have to let go of all your ideas especially ones that you didn’t come to your conclusions on.

There is one thing Abraham-Hicks said that really hit home. “Trust the way you feel and if something feels off, it’s off.” It’s in this great video about Satan and Santa.

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I hope that my response doesn’t offend you and if it does, then there is a part of you that is questioning your faith. And if it does, look at this as a way to strengthen it or re-evaluate how you see your beliefs.

I always liked “What would Jesus do?” which is the same as “What would Love do?” Part of me always follows that. This is my internal compass :)

Your thoughts?

Neil

John:

Neil,
I would like to thank you very much for your comments, they are really powerful and have given me a real dogma!

Like you I have always liked to look at other material from the Zen masters, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Hinduism, Islam etc. What I find very confusing about the bible is that it seems to contradict itself, the old testament seems to me sometimes very violent, god to squash this nation and that nation, god’s wrath, the fear of god, this to me doesn’t seem like a god of love or, is this just the opinions and interpretations of the so called scholars of the time out to increase their own ego’s. The New Testament seems to be much more forgiving and based on unconditional love a far cry from the Old Testament. But another questions raises its head, Jesus did claim to be the son of god or, god himself? If this was god in human form then did he have a change of mind and begin a new start with the New Testament? Jesus also made references to the prophecies about his own coming so that being the case was he in fact god?  My mum has a very good way of putting “religion”, if you believe, then you believe, start questioning it and you’ve lost it!

I think I’m starting to answer my own questions, I would be very grateful if you could give me your views.

Kind thoughts,

John.

 

Neil:

John,
your mum is right. :) I myself got lost in it simply because I didn’t want to blindly believe. So I questioned it and took what made sense for me and discarded the rest. The best thing anyone can do is follow their own instinct. The hardest part is that we want to make sense of it all in our minds. So we rationalise and create new ideas that represent our truth. Ideas and thoughts are just that; something that represents something else. For me, I have found that life is known in your experience of it not in the idea of it. So any idea is really an empty counterfeit of life’s reality.

The further I went down the rabbit hole the more I had to give up my beliefs and ideas. Even the hard ones such as did Jesus ever exist or was he God or the son of God. I wrestled with those ones for a long time and came up with my own conclusions. You see… I had even put Jesus up on a pedestal and all I kept hearing in my heart was; we are all equal and in our equality is life fully shared.

How would you feel if I told you that Jesus never existed and that it was a complete fabrication? I had to face that one and I’m glad I did because I had to lose one of my highest ideals only to find him again. Someone who has faith would not flinch at this question as they would “know” otherwise without question. Those who feel upset or angry hearing this, are confused in their faith. The truth does not need any defence.

Starting to answer your own questions is great and the way to go as they are your own conclusions and your ideas not someone else’s. This puts the authority of truth in your hands and not others. This is the only way can you discover it. It’s to see its evidence or proof for yourself.

And yes it’s again a dogma! :) Words and ideas are just that if you believe in them blindly. It not dogma if you have discovered its truth on your own. We all have faith in what we “know” to be true. I live my truth until something comes along and makes me question it. Allowing myself to question it gives me the opportunity to discover something new and it’s usually a deeper truth.

Neil

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