Has Anyone Said to You: “I Don’t Think You’re Really A Christian?”

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“Well I don’t know if she’s really a Christian. She says she is, but I don’t see any evidence.”

Has anyone said that to you (or someone you love) because you are gay, or because of your LGBTQ stand? …or anything else in your life?

That kind of assessment is completely out-of-bounds.

One man put it this way:

“He is a glutton and drunkard – look at the people he hangs out with.”

Of course, that man is a religious leader talking about Jesus.

I think we’re safe to say other people’s assessment of our spirituality is not something to get worked up about. Even if it’s a religious leader…  maybe ESPECIALLY if it’s a religious leader?

If someone close to you thinks you are not “behaving like a Christian,” let’s just do a side-by-side comparison:

Religious leaders in the Bible:

  • Held exceedingly high standards
  • Followed the rules to a T
  • Used the Bible to correct others
  • Expelled those who didn’t measure up
  • Focused on behavior

Jesus:

  • His standard was love and compassion for others
  • The rules were always secondary to caring for someone
  • Never used Bible to correct anyone, except religious leaders and satan. Referring to scripture, he often said, “You read this, but I tell you this…”
  • Welcomed everybody, especially the down and out, oppressed and marginalized
  • Focused on relationship

Conclusion:

Jesus was exceedingly appealing to the everyday person, the nonreligious, the outsider, the brokenhearted. Religious leaders were appealing only to other religious leaders.

Don’t let anybody make you doubt yourself or your relationship to God.

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About Susan Cottrell

SUSAN COTTRELL, the prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQI children, was recently featured on ABC's 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America. She is an international speaker, author and spiritual director. Through her nonprofit organization—FreedHearts—Susan champions the LGBTQI community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that love—of God and others—is the foundation of faith. She spent 25 years in the nonaffirming Evangelical church, is the Founder and President of FreedHearts, has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and served as the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin (Texas). Her books “Mom, I’m Gay”—Loving Your LGBTQ Child and Strengthening Your Faith (published by Westminster John Knox Press), and True Colors - Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You, are endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG, The Gay Christian Network and many others. She and her husband Rob have been married for 30 years, have five children, two of whom are in the LGBTQI community, and live in Austin, Texas.