This week my wife showed me a picture of her nephew. He had his 13th birthday. He’s one of two boys born to my wife’s younger brother. She hasn’t seen them in a while. Her brother and his wife are involved in a nondenominational church.
Exclusion from Family
When the boys were little, they always got gifts for birthdays and Christmas from their auntie. Her brother and his wife would send pictures of what they had bought the kids with the money my wife sent. My wife would show me pictures and smile so bright. She loves those kids. I suppose a part of her knew, before she ever crossed over and came out of the gay closet, that she would never have children of her own.
Exclusion is Discriminatory
She’s faithful that way, my wife. I wish I had done the things for my nieces and nephews like she has done, or even had the money to send gifts. She’s responsible and that allows her to give. My beloved has one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever seen. She’s so sweet and gentle, my nurse wife. I love her heart.
Exclusion is a Thief
This morning she accompanied me to an appointment. She didn’t have to, but that is who she has always been. She likes keeping me company and being a support for me. My wife turned to me smiling and showed me a video from her nephews 13th birthday. She smiled as she wondered where the time has gone. Then she told me that they used to keep in touch with her. Her brother doesn’t talk to her much now.
Exclusion is Prejudicial
They came down to Florida and invited her to come, but excluded me. So now my wife can attend family functions where everyone gets to bring their spouses but her. They thought that by doing this, they were being faithful to their Christian commandments. They don’t like me because I am the one responsible for taking my wife’s soul and dragging it to Hell.
I remember being that way. Thinking that exclusion was something we needed to do as Christians. I thought if we excluded someone, they would somehow be forced to come to Jesus. Like our exclusion brought on the guilt and condemnation process. This would ultimately save their souls.
My wife, in a public place, began to tell me how they used to let her in on birthdays and Christmas. Now, she doesn’t even know if her gifts are ever given to her nephews. My wife began to cry. It hurts her beautiful, gentle heart.
Exclusion is Mean
But that’s what you get for “choosing” to be gay, right? Because you chose to marry the love of your life and be happy, and STILL keep your faith in Christ, you should suffer some way. That’s what exclusion is, punishment, excommunication, banishment with a promise “if you do what we want, you can come home”.
Exclusion brings Anger
I hate to see her cry, and it makes me angry for the erroneous teachings even I perpetuated while I was a pastor. Exclusion flies in the face of “all are welcome” and feels like being bullied when you are on the receiving end.
Exclusion is a Bully
It’s the asshole on the playground who thinks he owns the only ball in the world and doesn’t like something you did. He says you can’t play unless you do it his way. Just like Christian’s who eject their family members, you are ejected from the field. This has its roots in Catholicism as well. It’s the priest saying if you have sin that you keep doing, you no longer get absolution. You have to stop what he considers bad behavior and that allows you to be accepted in the beloved.
Exclusion is Antichrist
We would do good to remember that the prodigal son left of his own volition and the father CAME LOOKING for him. He didn’t say, “well, when he straightens up and flies right, he can come home”.
One stray sheep was enough to get Jesus the shepard out looking. “Come home, I love you” he cries. I remember when the ignorant teaching of a shepard breaking a sheep’s legs and carrying it on his shoulders so it wouldn’t stray again came into the church. What parent would wound their own child like that? How brutal and gullible can we be? That is not the nature of Christ.
Jesus was Inclusive, Christianity Begins Inclusive
The conversation Jesus had with the people the Jews called “sinners” wasn’t EVER pointing to their inadequacies or telling them to change their ways. I’m convinced it was all about how God loves and accepts them and calls them his children. Christianity starts out that way. It’s an open door policy that embraces the sinner. Yet once you get in the door, you better not talk about continuing to be the same person unless it’s in repentance at the altar every Sunday.
How Do People Become Exclusive?
Where did we become so self-righteous that we stopped acknowledging all of us have something we could repent for EVERY SINGLE DAY of our lives? Do we not understand the whole point of Christ was to realize that what we do does not separate us from God? Nothing can separate us from God’s love.
An Exclusion is a Rule Keeper
Do we not believe the gospel that says the law of the spirit of life has broken me free from the law of sin minding? We no longer have to keep score or slaughter a few goats to even the tally. It is not about what we do any longer. People who understand the gospel don’t run out and start robbing banks or shooting people. They simply understand that the policing of behavior is over. Love won.
Exclusion is Afraid of Freedom
As soon as you tell people it’s no longer about sin, the fear monger surfaces with talk of too much liberty. Have they not read the words, “whom the son sets free is completely free”? So, when it comes to putting family members in exclusion, you are not expressing the love of God in Christ that allows someone to have a personal relationship with their savior.
Exclusion is a Mediator
In excluding someone, you have become a mediator between them and God. You are saying that they must submit solely to your demands, your way of thinking according to what you THINK God wants. It’s noble, but humanity is subject to failure and that’s why God gave us EACH His indwelling spirit.
So we could stay out of each other’s business.
Available publications by PK Langley
PK’s Fine Art Store where you can find many of the Frustrated Grace Prints.
PK writes short stories about life. They are in the form of ebooks for $1.37 each. Get them here.
Religious Deconstruction, The Frustrated Grace Series is now available, with over two hundred comic images on Amazon. You can get a preview of every single one here.
All Things Equal, is an exposition for women and how God
sees them from a very “biblical” point of view. It was what I needed in my first push toward deconstruction. Get it here.
LangleyTown.com has a specific page for materials that will help you with your deconstruction. I recommend eighty books or more that you can read. Some I have read, others have come recommended by friends along the way. Find them here.
PK Langley’s most Popular Blog Posts!
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