I have been reading your writings for a year or two now. I recently read “Taking God at His word: The Bible and Homosexuality.” [Here.]
I appreciate your writings, as I most always agree with you completely. However, I am so frustrated with Christian leaders, because I cannot imagine that they don’t know in their hearts the truth as you and I see the issue of homosexuality. Yet they still teach the same old clobber verses. I really think they know better, but nonetheless continue to teach and perpetuate these untruths.
How can I justify having faith in Christianity, when I feel so strongly that these people of influence are committing these wrongs? I struggle with wondering how God could let Christians inflict so much pain for so long by behaving as these leaders do.
Yes, I want to be a Christian. But the Church has clobbered me for being gay to the point that I wonder if the Bible was the best choice to spread God’s word as it was written. I am becoming jaded and I don’t know how to stop. I have even decided that I don’t like the Bible.
Do you have any words of wisdom for me? Where would you direct me to find peace?
There’s only one place that you can find peace, and that is (cue Yoda!) inside of you.
Yoda-talk or not, there is no other way to find peace. There is no other place where peace exists. There never has been; there never will be. There can’t be.
When it comes to finding peace, we all have exactly one option.
But we must actually take that option. Knowing that peace is inside of you and experiencing that peace is the difference between looking at a picture of someone getting a massage and getting a message.
To desire peace is nothing; who doesn’t? But actually getting peace is … a real thing. You really have to (cue Nike!) do it.
You have to go inside of yourself. You have to sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes, start slowly breathing into the pit of your stomach, and really … wait there. Really be there. Otherwise, peace remains nothing more than a vague desire that never takes any real shape or substance in your life.
What’s inside of you, waiting for you only to listen to it, is what you and I, as Christians, call the Holy Spirit. Before I was a Christian, I called it the Godhead, or the Self (if I ever talked about it at all, which was rarely to never, since how often does that come up in conversation?). By whatever name it’s the same: it’s the Peace of the Truth.
It’s what Jesus spoke of in John 14:
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Go to that peace which God himself has left within you. Be with that peace. Trust in that peace. That really is, fully and wholly, God inside of you, just waiting for you to … show up and take some notes. (Speaking of which, I’ll bet you won’t find the Bible so unlikable after spending a little time meditating. The truth recognizes the truth. And there certainly is a universe of truth and wisdom in the Bible.)
And don’t make the mistake of confusing bullshit “Christian” leaders with Christianity. (Yes, I’m a Christian who curses.) Jesus Christ wouldn’t know most of Christianity today from a McDonald’s. Washington is packed with politicians so crooked they can’t take two steps in any one direction. But does that mean that democracy or the Constitution is invalid? Of course not.
When someone pees in the pool, you don’t blame the water.
Sure, there are lots of terrible Christians in the world. But that’s because there are lots of terrible people in the world—and a lot of people are Christian. The same percentage of Christians who are thoughtless wieners is the same percentage of any group who are thoughtless wieners.
And there will always be despicable leaders telling their soft-headed followers to do and say cruel and stupid things. But, again, that’s not religion. That’s people. That’s human nature. There’s no escaping that.
Forget what all the negative people of the world do and say. If you give them any of your peace, they’ll take all of it.
The good news (as they say!) is that you don’t have to tread the path of wisdom alone. God/the Holy Spirit is there to guide you, to inspire you, to help you be more than yourself, experience more than yourself, know more than yourself.
Tune out the world and listen to your heart. That’s my advice.
I’m the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question: