Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Gospel vs. The Church

I'm a conservative Christian. I guess you could call that a label that is applied to a select group of people in this country. The "conservative" part of that label comes from other people who know what I believe and have labeled such beliefs as conservative. For example, I believe the Bible is the inspired, authorized Word of God; that there is actual, physical evil in the world authored and instigated by the creature known as the devil (Satan); that our God is a God of love (along with other attributes) who offers His love and care to those who willingly accept it; and that the job of the church is to carry out what is known as the Great Commission.

Now the Great Commission states that the church is to go out into the entire world and tell everyone about the Gospel story and of God's love (which is portrayed throughout the Gospel). Now this is a pretty big task. We are to take the Gospel everywhere -- throughout all the continents, all the countries in those continents, all the states and provinces and prefectures in those countries, all the cities and towns in those states and provinces and prefectures, and every last square inch of territory that we can get too. Why? Because the Gospel is good news and love. Everyone needs to hear about that. It is designed for our good and benefit.

So if the Gospel is to be spread everywhere to everyone, then that means it is to be presented to all the transgenders, transvestites, transexuals, she-males, trannies, lesbians, gays, bi's, gender non-comformists, gender queers, etc. on the planet. It is presented to everyone as an offer. It's important and everyone needs to know about it. What you do about the Gospel of Christ is your business.

All of what I have just written is clearly expressed in the Bible, which, as I said, I believe to be the Word of God. Unfortunately, I know far too many people (one person is too many in my book) who have met with a person who called themselves "Christian" whot didn't hold such a view as to the universality of the Gospel. They might say something like You can't crossdress and call yourself a Christian. You are a sinner because of your crossdressing and God won't have anything to do with you. Such a person is entirely wrong.

First, as I have written since the early days of this little blog, crossdressing in and of itself is not a sin. Secondly, the Gospel message is to be offered to sinners. Thirdly, since we are still mortal after receiving God's gift of love and salvation, we will still sin. Salvation doesn't mean you don't sin -- it means your sins are forgiven by God.

I could very easily throw things back in the faces of folks who treat Christian crossdressers in this manner. Don't they know that bigotry is a sin. Don't they know that racism is a sin? Don't they know that withholding the Gospel message from anyone is a sin? Don't they know that causing a brother or sister in Christ to stray from their faith is a sin? Fortunately, I don't believe in "in your face" type of encounters, especially as they relate to a church setting. Bottom line is that when I step back and look at the entire situation, I see that I am in the right and justified by Christ. They are in the wrong, and I am to pray and to minister for their good and correction.

I reTweeted this morning a blurb about how a prominent atheist is urging gays, lesbians, bi"s, and transgenders to not have anything to do with organized religion as many forms of organized religion attack these groups. Those folks at the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas immediately come to mind. The folks at that particular church are wrong in their actions, Their movement never snowballed or grew to any extent. Why? God is our strength and our salvation. Those folks were never operating under God's "marching orders". If they were, you would have seen lots of other churches join them. There may be one or two out there, but I have yet to hear of any organized religious denomination support the actions of that group.

The church is not perfect. It's members are instructed, urged, and encouraged to always act in a way that points the church to perfection. I would rather do that than to tear down a God sanctioned institution whose only prescribed purpose is good and right.



  1. I agree with much of what you said. The Gospel is good news.

    But part of the good news of the Gospel is turning away from sin. Sin is destructive and not good for us. Receiving the Gospel and salvation transforms us. That's part of the good news. Of course we won't turn away from sin perfectly in this life. But we try hard to resist it out of gratitude for the salvation we have received. Part of accepting the good news is repenting from our sins and turning from them. Any Gospel which does not include repentance or rejection of sin is a false gospel.

    So if a Christian did think that crossdressing was a sin (which could be debated), but if they did think it was a sin, then they can still preach the good news of the Gospel of forgiveness through Jesus while at the same time telling a person to repent of that sin. How is that wrong? (assuming crossdressing was sinful). It would be no different than telling a person to stop committing adultery after they came to know Jesus.

    I understand your viewpoint that maybe crossdressing is not sinful. But I don't see why it makes you angry that some Christians disagree with you.

    I'd definitely agree that there is a lot wrong with the Westboro church. But I don't see how it is bigotry to claim that a certain action is sinful. Yes, we should worry about our own sins more than others, but we are still allowed to make biblical judgments about which things are sinful and which aren't. That shouldn't be considered sinful judging.

    You said, "You can't crossdress and call yourself a Christian. You are a sinner because of your crossdressing and God won't have anything to do with you."

    I agree that those are stupid statements. We still sin. I've been a Christian my whole life and much of that had crossdressing in it. But I think a true Christian does at least try to fight sin and repent of it. I also think it's dumb to say that God won't have anything to do with you because you are crossdressing. God has everything to do with sinners. If he didn't, he would have no interaction with anyone.

    So I agree with you about such statements, yet I've rarely heard any Christians utter such statements. Are you thinking of any Christian in particular besides the Westboro group?

  2. Thanks for the comments, and just for clarity, I promise I never get mad with people that disagree with me. You and I seem to be mostly in agreement anyway.

    To clarify one point, when I wrote "you can't crossdress and call yourself a Christian..." I was refering to a false notion held by many people both in and out of the church that Christians are above sin. To quote a popular bumpersticker, Christian aren't perfect, just forgiven.

    Now, as to the fine folks at Westboro Church, I've read many of their press releases in which they praise God for the killing of American servicemen in Afghanistan. They believe that America has sinned greatly as a nation, especially concerning the sin of homosexuality, and God is extracting His justice on our country by having these military personel killed.

    This goes against my view of God on so many different levels. Let me just say that I believe we do answer to God for our sins, either in this life and/or in the next, and that we are responsible for our personal sins -- not the willful sins of others. Saying that God allowed an American soldier to be killed because someone in the U.S. was engaging in gay sex makes about as much sense as the police arresting my family doctor because I have unpaid parking tickets. The folks at this church are a stumbling block to the many who are seeking God's love and mercy, and that is a sin.


  3. Unfortunately for Christians and for the universal Church around the world, Westboro gets a lot of attention in the news. There are very few churches like them in their harshness and judgmentalism. But those harsh churches get all the attention, whereas the vast majority of the universal church, (who also think homosexual practices are sinful), treat homosexuals with mercy and grace and love. But that largely goes unnoticed, hence why so many people in the US hate the Church right now.

    Thanks for good discussion

  4. I hope you don't ind I ave referenced this post on my blog Paula's Place. This is very interesting I have come across far too many people who have been put off christianity by churches

  5. I am a Christian conservative. Christian by birth and based on a core belief in the divinity of Christ and the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

    I am a conservative by being a thinking person who finds merit in accomplishments and joy in doing things. If I create something I do not need a politician demeaning my effort or creation.

    I believe in a fair and good and just God who loves us regardless of our attire. I also believe that while the Lord works in mysterious ways he does not make mistakes.