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Positive side of Christianity for LGBTs

Discussion in 'Questioning & General LGBT' started by Jianghu, Jul 3, 2019.  |  Print Topic

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  1. Jianghu
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    To all friends,

    I'm gonna take a risk and NOT put a trigger warning – because I think this is actually kinda upbeat. (Me ? Seriously ?)

    As a non-Christian, I've noticed alot of comments here describing the fear and pain that certain versions of Christianity impose on our community.

    Many people ask if Christianity can ever be compatible with LGBT acceptance. That's a deep level of despair. Sometimes my own comments have not helped, either.

    I live in a small American town with many houses of worship. The most beautiful one, across the street from my home, is a progressive church that hangs a rainbow-flag plaque outside the front door. It calls itself an "Open and Affirming Congregation."

    Not only do they actively welcome LGBTs, they also speak out against racism, anti-immigrant prejudice, and other forms of inequality and oppression.

    True, I live in a more liberal area of the USA... Places like this are definitely harder to find in the "bible belt".

    But I just wanted to remind Christians and non-Christians alike ... in most religions there is a WIDE RANGE of views toward people like us. LGBT Christians shouldn't give up on their faith - and nor should the rest of us give up on it.
     
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    #1 Jianghu, Jul 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  2. Kahlan

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    I was raised in a christian home, for better or worse. So I do know a fair bit about christianity, and a fair bit about the various denominations and their acceptance/rejection of lgbtq people. It sounds like the one you describe is non-denominational, which is where you will probably get the "one offs" here and there with acceptance of lgbtq. The two major denominations that I am aware of which also accept and welcome lgbtq people are United Methodist, and Universal Unitarian. The latter will go as far as displaying lgbtq flags, and having studies and ministries that specifically interest lgbtq people. There may be others that I am not aware of, but beyond these, it is hit and miss with what they think and believe about lgbtq. I was raised in what I consider a middle ground church as far as this goes. I won't go into details as this post, and this thread, seem to be more about being a public service announcement than a debate about religious views.
     
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  3. Butterfly88
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  4. Jo A
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    I am an atheist of religion and blessed to have found the Love of God again.

    I will avoid details but man's religion hated me and destroyed my first fiancé's life.

    My father continues the rant on me that I belong in hell.

    My angel and my first fiancé both love God and the church and because of their love, I will hold God near and dear to me.
     
  5. Bornunderabadsign
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    Bornunderabadsign Transfeminine Natural Disaster
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    Of all the Christian denominations that I have had the most positive experiences in was the Episcopal Church. I have a weakness for high church. I was raised in mostly Pentecostal Churches and they have historically been anti-LGBTQ+.

    I find value in not just Christianity but 99% of world religions but what drove me away from organized religion was how it often hampers free thought and has made a habit of mistranslating texts or applying semantics to manipulate religious works to the point that they could be used to say anything is right or wrong. I am a firm believer in using rationality to discover what is right or wrong for ourselves even though I am not the best rationalist.

    I'm more at home in pagan traditions but consider myself more an agnostic than anything.
     
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  6. BiBiLife
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    I believe that many Christian denominations of today are far removed from the teachings of Christ. They seek to keep immigrants out and reject loving marriages that happen to involve two people of the same sex. Christ welcomed everyone. The only people He condemned were the self-righteous Pharisees -- much like the self-righteous religious figures of today.
     
  7. Jianghu
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    It's a Congregationalist church. Does this mean they have the freedom to be more independent ? They do act like it.
     
  8. Kahlan

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    The slaves he referred to were actually bond servants. They worked off a debt, etc., for a set period and then were free. In many cases it was even voluntary. Much different than the "savages are property," type. Ancient cultures are hard to understand in our 'woke' mindsets. Jesus blessed them for their selfless acts of servitude, not because he endorsed slavery. His whole purpose was about changing how we thought, and our motives behind our actions. The church has jumped off those rails a bit, but I won't go into all that. It's amazing this thread has made it this far without bloodshed. :-P
     
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  9. ConfusedButHappy
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    I don't think I'd take it that far but cultural differences definitely influence our interpretation of what Jesus said. I believe what Jesus said will always be valid, but due to cultural differences my interpretation of it may not be.

    Slavery was extremely common during the times of Jesus and before. Ironically, most people of that time thought that the true son of God would come to free them from the Romans by force (and end slavery). Now we have a problem, because Jesus doesn't seem opposed to slavery?!?

    Time to focus on the core of Christianity - Jesus came to earth to spiritually set us free. If Jesus liberated Israel through warfare, they'd just end up enslaving others or being inslaved later. The only true way to set the people free was to free them spiritually. Christianity gave slaves incredible power and value, without having to own anything. As long as they had love they were unstoppable and immortal (from their perspective).

    In conclusion, do I think Jesus was opposed to slavery? Yes. Why? Because he led one of the greatest slave revolts in the history of mankind. In my opinion that's what Christianity is all about, true freedom. Freedom that does not depend on anything and cannot be taken.
     
  10. Kahlan

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    My comment was just a general (mostly tongue in cheek) statement about the subject matter being dangerous, and not aimed at you personally. But I can see how it might have seemed like it could be taken as such since the rest of the comment was in response to your post. Sorry.
     
  11. Jianghu
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    MANY THANKS for this. I can be one of those polemicists who quotes the "horrors of the Bible in 100 verses", and slavery is always an easy choice. I'd still like to know if "slavery" had other meanings in the Old Testament. But in any case, we have to remember that "it's complicated."

    You're right about wokeness, too.

    And yet, given the way that scripture is USED in actual life - I wonder how much historical consciousness and attention to details really matters. Most people just aren't theologically inclined. They have a hard enough time following the broad outlines - never mind the footnotes.

    Refusal, or inability, to look at CONTEXT is also why some Christians (Muslims, Hindus, etc) use their scriptures against LGBTs.

    I think it's a losing battle in the end. LGBT rights (and all human rights) aren't won from textual debates.

    They're won because people see their relatives, neighbors, loved ones, and realize - THAT COULD BE ME.*

    * I think somebody said this recently on this forum ? I forget who you are.
     
    #11 Jianghu, Jul 4, 2019
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  12. Jianghu
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    Exactly. Very well put. No surprise that the most natalist regions of the US with the lowest life-expectancies (particularly in the south) are also the most anti-LGBT. No surprise that industralized countries with the lowest birth rates tend to be the most LGBT-friendly. Taiwan is just the most recent addition to the list.

    My point was somewhat different : that LGBT rights - regardless of how you define them, or how much historical context you wish to delve into - will always be captive to polemics.

    Particularly superficial, tribalist, cater-to-the-base polemics, in which shallow scriptural quotation plays a major role.

    If people in, say, Mississippi, understood that abortion rights and family planning go hand in hand with higher levels of medical care, education and occupational outlooks, they would have better lives.

    But why process all that policy discussion, when you can just come to Jesus and hope for better luck the next time around ?

    So sadly, it doesn't matter, for our purposes, "what was happening" at the time any scriptures were written. Most believers, devout or casual, don't care. They will interpret the scriptures in THEIR OWN context, because the laundry is piling up and the kids have to be fed and they're late on their rent - and the scripture is telling them that there's a better life to come.
     
    #12 Jianghu, Jul 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  13. Kay Quintero
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    I'm Christian & am a very proud believer of The Lord, & for one believe that The Lord does not care what I look like on the outside, though what's in my heart & soul. If I treat individuals with love, kindness, compassion, gentleness, & with the utmost caring manner I possibly can. I'm not perfect, though I truly believe that that is very true.
    What most religious individuals forget to realize in The Bible, is that it states very clearly that The Lord loves everyone of us unconditionally...that means that there's nothing you can do, if you firmly believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord & saviour, that there's nothing that will separate you from his love & from his side.
    He forgives all...even the horrible & ignorant.
    & as I am Trangender (mtf), I firmly believe that I was made to be exactly what I am today.
    & for that I'm truly grateful & thankful to be blessed to be so much myself, through the eyes of my Lord, who loves me unconditionally.

    Sent from my SM-S727VL using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Jianghu
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    Thanks for your positive words. That's the message of all religious traditions and great teachers - when we strip away the tribal politics and the ignorant hatred. DO UNTO OTHERS.

    (Note to self !)
     
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  15. Kay Quintero
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    I believe, we could all learn from that message.


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  16. Jo A
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    I believe that God is in all of us and if we are willing, shares their Love with us.

    It is when we forget this Love that we are lost and alone.

    ― Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World --“I believe there is something of the divine mystery in everything that exists. We can see it sparkle in a sunflower or a poppy. We sense more of the unfathomable mystery in a butterfly that flutters from a twig--or in a goldfish swimming in a bowl. But we are closest to God in our own soul. Only there can we become one with the greatest mystery of life. In truth, at very rare moments we can experience that we ourselves are that divine mystery.”​

    I have two people who remind me that Queer Me is very much a part of God's Love, as God is part of me.

    *****************

    Thank you - needed this tonight - Jo A
     
  17. Kahlan

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    It sounds like you have a religious phobia. Many people here probably do. There are churches, some mentioned in this thread, that do not believe that LGBTQ lifestyles are a sin. Now we can go round and round all day about whether or not that's actually a "Biblical" view, but it is what it is. So, yes, there are churches who will accept you, wave flags and such, and won't ever try to then make you repent. This thread is for those here who want to find a positive outlet to exercise their faith in a social environment.

    Also, as a side note. What churches, or religions that are not classified as cults, do is not technically "brainwashing," but rather "conditioning." There is a difference. We get conditioning when we go to university or the military as well. Many of the professors in college have the same "sway" over the young impressionable mind as a pastor/priest of a church might, and thus many of us come out of college with a different world view, or belief system than when we went in. Conditioning. In the end we are all free to do our own homework and educate ourselves on our own belief systems and come to terms with it however we wish. There is a statistic about those who enter the military post high school vs. post college. I am too lazy to look it up, but the gist is that those who wait till they are older are far less susceptible to the conditioning that superiors place upon them. They come out of it less impacted by the experience than those who went in at a younger age. The same is true for college graduates.
     
  18. Jo A
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    Doc,

    I am sorry for how you feel and they are your feelings and that is how you live in your world (no right no wrong - your life and wish you well).

    I do wish that in your life time you have a feeling of unconditional love and you hold that dear in your heart.

    Kahlan,

    You know I respect you deeply and love your view of the world around you.

    As my dear friend and soul mate showed me, the church is made of those in power. God's Love is from the soul in all of us. We just need to be willing to see it and let it in.

    Peace to both of you - Jo
     
  19. tdil35
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    This is how Ireland passed our Marriage Equality and Abortion referendums. Talking to relatives about how the old legislation effected people in so many different ways and asking for compassion. And it meant that the older generations, could see how their own family or their neighbours family was affected.
     

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