Monday, August 22, 2005

5. Driving

I was driving around doing some errands today when I found myself behind a big, red van. The back of the van was plastered with Christian paraphernalia – a Jesus fish (complete with “Jesus” written in the centre, in case people were not sure what the fish represented), a dove, etc… and I had the thought, “The person driving that van would hate me.”

I admit, I’m in a bit of a mood today, so things are a bit darker and hitting me harder than normal, but I have thought that sort of thing before. When I see someone wearing a Christian t-shirt, or carrying a large and obvious Bible around the mall, I make the assumption that these people would reject me outright.

Normally this thought passes through my mind without my noticing it, but I guess writing this blog is making me more aware of my thoughts. I heard myself think that this person would hate me and it suddenly occurred to me how awful that was – not that I thought it, but that I am probably right, that these people who want everyone to be aware of their faith are more likely to hate gay people.

Seeing “Jesus Saves” on the back of someone’s shirt should make me think that the person wearing it is a safe person, that they would love unconditionally, like the Jesus they are advertising would, and yet I have the exact opposite reaction. I grew up in the church and I have seen some of the wonderful and compassionate things that people like that have done, and I’m scared of them. How much more scared must someone be who hasn’t seen any of the good things that Christians are capable of…who have only seen Pat Robertson saying that gay people are responsible for September 11th, or Jerry Falwell say that gay people are a threat to children…Christians must terrify them, they often terrify me.


Ron said...

Hello JJ,

Saw your blog reading Eric's. I would like to ask you a question - Does God look upon me when I am in the midst of sin? For example, if I were to lie to another person, would God look down and smile upon me while I am in the act of lying? I believe that God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. The woman caught in adultery, for example, should have been stoned to death because of her sin. Jesus never excused her sin - in fact, He told her to go and sin no more - but it was her life that was worth saving. The hardest part about coming to Christ is that He made the rules about what is sin and what is not. I cannot judge in my own mind what is acceptable and what is not. As difficult as it is, I had to come to the realization that unconditional love is not a license to continue the practice of sin. Now, do not get me wrong. I know when I am sinning, and it makes me feel sick to my stomach when I allow it to occur. I know all too well what Paul was saying when he said that sin dwelled in him. It dwells in all of us. Yet, it is Christ that we celebrate, not the sin. The goal for all Christians should be to allow others to see Christ through them. So, the question becomes, can others see Christ through me if I am practicing sin?

JJ said...

Ron, I'm not sure if you have actually read any of my or Eric's blog, because I'm not sure what your comment could possibly be in response to. Neither of us is asking God to condone our sin or give us a pass, we are trying to determine God's will for our lives... we are seeking to honour God in our journey.

Ron said...

Good morning JJ,

My response was to your blog entry, and the question that I am asking you is do you think that God will look upon me or any other person while that person is in the midst of sin?

Yes, I have read some of the entries in your blog as well as Eric's. It was in reading Eric's blog that I discovered yours. Interestingly, my journey is no different than yours. I am still seeking answers. And what better way to get answers than to communicate with one another?

I look forward to your response!

Hepcat said...

Hi JJ,

I just came accross your blog a few days ago and am trying to get caught up. For that reason, I am going to hold off saying anything other that I plan on continuing to read and learn from you about things I cannot experience as a christian, heterosexual, 20 something, single male. The reason I chose to respond after this post is the irony of what you said about the 'Jesus fish' and other such paraphinalia. It is heartbreaking that it makes you (and much of the world, myself included at times) feel like they would not love us where we are at in our lives. The irony lies in the history of the fish symbol. This symbol was used as a sign to other christians in the first century that a person, family, etc. were followers of christ and were safe.