I saw something interesting on Facebook that I would like to share with you. A message that was posted that really rang in my head with a lot of truth. And the thing is, I probably brought this subject up a number of times before– but perhaps it needs to be revisited in a different light.
“Stop using the Bible as a means of using God as your permission slip to persecute.”
When people use the Bible, Quran, Talmud, or any Holy Scripture to justify attacks on LGBTQ equality or to oppose same-sex marriage or inclusivity in the church, what is it that these so-called Christians or Muslims or Jews really doing? Aren’t they looking for God’s permission to judge, hate, persecute, and condemn? Are they asking God to justify acts of atrocity and violence against His creations?
They are asking an all-loving, most merciful God to turn away or to enable His followers to go against the teachings of the Ten Commandments, His prophets, and Jesus’ most holy two commandments to love thy God and to love they neighbor. They are trying to manage sins in the most vile and probably most blasphemous way possible– taking the power and justice of God into their own hands to inflict harm on people who only seek to love and be true to themselves and to God.
Sin management… this is a concept that came to me from a spiritual counselor friend of mine. The idea is that others are seeing your behaviors as sinful… but go beyond themselves to try and manage YOUR “sin” WITHOUT REGARD FOR THEIR OWN SINS. They apply themselves to see what they want to see rather than how God sees things, then try and apply corrections so that they can feel good about themselves and be satisfied in the knowledge that they somehow did something to make the world a better place… in compliance to their perspective and personal worldviews or theology.
Sin management can also take the form of finding excuses or reasons as to why natural behaviors become “un-natural” sin. For example, some may try and say that the reason I am a transgender girl is because I lacked a strong male role model. They are looking to create a cause and effect relationship for who I am and how I express myself. They figure if there is a “cause” for the “effect” of being transgender, or lesbian, or whatever… then clearly they just have to treat the cause to undermine or change the effect. If they can manage and control the roots, they think they can change the fruit.
They forget that God planted the seeds! We are who we are because God created us. And from the moment we are conceived in the womb, from the moment our souls are born, God knows us and has a plan for us. He would not create us just for the sake of hating us and wanting us dead. That makes no rational sense at all.
If however, we act in rebellion against God with rebellion in our hearts and a desire to commit to those acts of rebellion, then yes, we would expect consequences to be dire. We should know that free will and any kind of freedom comes with responsibilities and potential negative consequences. Any choice we make can have positive or negative outcomes. But to take away free will and our ability to discern for ourselves right from wrong is not what God intends.
It was intended that we not know or experience evil… but the Devil changed that situation pretty quickly in Genesis when he tempted Eve. It was intended that our world and environment be one where there would be no burden on our emotions or knowledge of suffering, hate, cruelty, pain, etc…. Satan saw things differently. Satan proposed that Humanity was not truly free unless they truly knew the bad as well as the good… and their love for God couldn’t be legitimized unless temped. If Humanity willingly chooses God over the temptations of sin…then that means the love is stronger than the love of someone ignorant of choices.
When people try and apply sin management upon you… what they are saying is, they don’t trust you to know right from wrong and that somehow their ideas of right and wrong are better than yours. They are claiming to have an understanding of your nature and being and intelligence and feel you are incapable of making the right choices for yourself. Now maybe sin management works for children under the age of 16 or so, but as grown adults, many of us should bear the responsibilities and consequences of our own actions!
If we can freely choose to follow Christ or any other faith or religion, then we should be able to freely choose how we handle ourselves in our relationships with others. And like adults, we should be able to face the good as well as the bad of our choices. But when the choices are taken from us and we are condemned or judged for not loving as others love or living as how others live… then what is happening is that the diversity of God’s creation is not being respected and God’s sense of judgment and God’s wisdom is not being respected either. Conformity at the expense of individuality is not the way to go. We can conform to believing in love, compassion, and trying to live in accordance with God’s will and try and follow the examples of Jesus, for instance… but the Holy Spirit works through us individually and God can choose to speak to us individually. God may also use us individually as well.
And more to the point, God will judge each of us as individuals as well. So why would we allow others to try and manage our souls and our characters and personalities for us and disregard us as individuals?