Annnnnnd unplugged till next Friday! (Celebrating 30th wedding anniversary.)

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • chris

    I am a born again Christian that has accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. I was trained in a Fundamental Babtist College to condemn everyone. My marriage ended when my wife abondoned me and the Christian Baptist Church defended her lying against me. Now, I once more have had a Fundemental Baptist College of “Christians” condend me because I cannot locate employment and they said I was lazy. There Baptist “Christians” I trusted in my church and they crucified me. I still believe in Christ but have been destroyed of systematic Baptist Theology throwing Bible verses around. They say I am not a Christian, and have committed me to Satin because I have not agreed with their Baptist Church teachings. I am thinking about suicide, there is no other way. I absolutely cannot get an Answer from Jesus Christ. Positively. I am forsaken. But I want it known that these Fundemental Baptist who judge others from their high positions from their arrogant and judgemental decisions comes from their own ignorance. May God through Jesus Christ forgive both them and myself. I am a sinner also.

    • DR

      Oh, Chris. I won’t imagine that I know exactly what you are feeling now but I have been in this place where I believed I was forsaken by God. It was so terrifying, I literally felt darkness all around me and I couldn’t get out.

      This is when you remember that people who don’t even know you can pray for you and those prayers work. This is the beginning of a very beautiful journey for you, the unhinging from these beliefs is SO difficult, you feel like you’re losing everything and everyone. But Jesus is not only with you in the dark, he’s actually leading you out of this. You’re being led out of a very horrifying place where it appears as though God is present but He is not. It feels all turned around. But you’re OK.

      • Soulmentor

        Oh Chris, hang on to Jesus. That will be enough. It was for me. I am gay and during the agonizing years, yes years when my marriage was collapsing and divorce and the later often lonely development of a new life, all the religious trappings and crutches fell away but I hung on to Jesus. And he never answered me either…..in a way I could consciously recognize anyway. But the deeper I went into my own heart and spirit, the more I found God inside myself and I came out the other side content and free and unburdened. I said, “This is who I am. If you do not approve, change me because I cannot do it anymore. Until then, I am going to be who I am.” Nothing happened to change me.

        I think there is a very real reason we so often feel like God is not answering us. It’s because he is not; because we need to find him within ourselves where he has been all along, he just got lost and covered up by all the man made trappings and crutches and pomposity of “religion”. I am reminded of a young man from my barracks when I was in the service 40 years ago. He was Pentacostal and desperately trying to hear God speak to him with answers to some struggles he had. He never heard it of course, not while I knew him anyway. It doesn’t happen that way.

        Jesus himself invited us to “be perfect” (Math 5:48). If he did not think it was within us to find some kind of spiritual perfection within us, why would he have suggested it? It suggest indeed, that we are baby gods. Not perfect but with the potential to be as long as we don’t quit trying. It’s when we quit trying that we are lost.

        And so I found that peace within. Yeah, I’m still quite gay and I’ve loved gay and felt god there too. For many “christians” that sounds impossible, deceived by Satan, but I know what I feel and it does NOT depend on their interpretations. The truth made me free of all that. MY TRUTH.

        You have YOUR TRUTH within you. It is not the same as mine. It is your own. Do not fear the silence. You will find it filled with YOUR TRUTH. You have found you cannot trust the man made gods. Trust humbly in the God that is in you.

        • Soulmentor

          I forgot to add, Chris, that, despite Perkins’ desperate lies, IT DOES GET BETTER!!

    • Don Rappe

      Chris, through baptism you have already died with Jesus so that you may also rise with him to newness of life. You are not forsaken as surely as you have been touched by those holy waters. You can ignore what is said against one who has been washed by God, but DR is surely correct, God is in the darkness as well as the light. He has created both and they are meant to serve you, not to destroy you. Remember, Elijah could not find God in the fire and the wind. Then came a still small voice. Can you start new? I believe God will reveal a way. You have my sympathy on the loss of your marriage. It must be like a loss to death. This is like a wintertime. But, there is a springtime yet to come. I think you may need to find a different expression of Christian faith than the Baptist church. I think many of them turn “belief” into a king of “righteous work” which is not very Biblical. See if you can find one where sinners get together to receive the grace of God and don’t meddle unnecessarily in each others business unless seriously asked.

      • Don Rappe

        I meant a “kind” of righteous work.

    • Diana A.

      Hi Chris,

      I agree with Don Rappe regarding getting away from the Baptists unless there is really support coming out of that quarter and it sounds to me as if there isn’t. There are some good Baptist congregations and theologians, don’t get me wrong, but it seems to me that you’re not finding them at this point and you’re in sufficiently a vulnerable state that being around negative people like that can only serve to drain your emotional and spiritual resources, which is the last thing that you need.

      I also agree with Don that it would be good to find some people who will support your attempts to rebuild your life instead of kicking you when you’re down. Not necessarily a church or even a specifically Christian group. Just people who respect you and are kind to you and listen to you when you talk.

      I’m going to paste a link here to a page that helped me when I was feeling suicidal. It’s not a miracle cure, but it did open my eyes to a different way of looking at my pain and it might do the same for you:

      http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ sdgalloway

      Chris,

      I am so sorry that you are going though this really difficult time. The suggestions offered already are sound ones, but let me add my own.

      I would sever communication with the people who have decided to judge and condemn you. Kicking a guy when he’s down is mean and heartless and about as far from the commandment of “love your neighbor” as one can get.

      Second, get yourself a good positive support system. It can be co-workers, it can be a bible study group, it can be family or friends. It can be about anything that you find that works. WHen I left my husband two groups were instrumental in getting me through those first months, my co-workers, and a internet group of which I am a member of which we all are crazy cat owners. They without question, offered support, guidance, a listening ear, encouragement and love. They were from a variety of faiths, ethnicity, income levels and ages. I know without a doubt, that my cat friends and my work friends were in place because God put them there for me.

      Lastly, allow yourself time to grieve, to get angry, to forgive and to heal. It won’t happen today, or next week, but it will. Give yourselves some mantras to remember that this time in your life is, believe it or not a blessing. Things like “Life is a gift, so cherish it.” or “This is the day that the Lord has made…” Or “God adores me, He has plans for me, I’m going to be ok, because He adores me and has plans for me.”

      Yeah they can sound silly, but those simple affirmations can be quite the emotional boost in ways we never imagine.

      Please let us know how things are going, and I offer an invite for you to visit http://thruwaychristians.com/forum/ Its a small group, but a good one, a group of people who’ve struggled, who understand pain, yet who know that God still works in our lives.

    • David J Martin

      Be at peace for you have forgiven and ask prayer for those who persecute and condemn you. Their words and actions can never be justified nor tolerated. They deceive themselves in calling their attitudes “Christian”…anything but for Christ never condemned nor rejected. He was intolerant of hypocrisy and called for change. The Holy Spirit speaks, lives in and guides you in your heart. Christ is with you and no power on earth or heaven can you cut you off from the love of Christ. Give them and their hatred over to God. Pax et Bene. Been there, done that. I am at peace with Christ as are you. Dave

  • Erin D.

    John, don’t stress. You don’t need to come up with a clever angle for every outrageous right-wing crapola-“Christian” thing that passes across your desk. You’d have to come up with an infinite number of clever angles every day, and…..that sounds really exhausting! Just stick to what inspires you. Even Jesus sought rest now and then!


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