It’s A Matter of Life or Death

It’s A Matter of Life or Death January 21, 2015


Leelah Alcorn. Ryan Robertson. Tyler Clementi.

“The message prohibiting LGBTQ relationships is a message of death,” Danny Cortez, a Southern Baptist pastor, said at the Gay Christian Network Conference in Portland, as he described his journey from nonaffirming pastor to affirming pastor and dad. If you’ve been in these circles you’ve probably heard Danny’s story.

Death. Shame. Rejection. Conditional love. Limits to God’s acceptance.

There is no life in any of that.

If it brings shame, it’s outside our parameter as human beings. We are wrong to impart shame. Always.

Let me tell you the difference between shame and guilt.

If it’s guilt, remorse around a specific thing done wrong, something that can be changed, made amends, apologized for, then you’ve got something to work with. Then the person can make a change, make amends, apologize. There is life in that (though it is still that person’s job to choose it, and no one else’s job to push it).

If it is about who someone is, something that can’t be changed, then it’s shame– and it’s an anathema to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If someone comes to you for advice and they leave in shame, you’re not being Biblical or Christ-like, and you’ve done severe damage.

You can tell the difference between false teaching and good teaching by its fruit. Is it bringing  life or death?

Jesus always interpreted the scripture to give life. He often set aside scripture to impart life. He said, “You read this, but I tell you this…”

If our interpretation of scripture leads us to reject, condemn, shun and shame another person, then our interpretation of scripture is wrong. We just don’t get it. “You read this, but I tell you this…”

To impart life is to live in the fullness of your humanity, the fullness of your divinity, and to live true to the truth and heart of God.

Danny Cortez. Annie & Hannah Cottrell. Vicky Beeching.

Go and choose life. The world has enough death, shame, rejection, conditional love, limits to God’s acceptance.

What the world needs, what we need, is love and life. Go and impart life!

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