Monday, 20 February 2012
All these preconceived ideas are screaming at me no matter where I turn. I see them in other blogs, I see them on Facebook, I hear the people at school -- and it's all because of a few people who came before me and really messed up. Now I'm guilty of their same sins by association.
This is just another monster born of ignorance, just like racism, sexism, and many other prejudices. In my case, however, no one is demeaning me because of my sexual orientation or political view, but because of my faith.
I am a Christian.
And you know what folks? It's really, really tough. Just because of the pious and hypocritical generations which preceded me, I am constantly being misunderstood. All those horrid pictures you have in your head about how bad Christians are because of people who weren't living like Christians. The anger, hatred, closed mindedness that Christians are so well known for don't define me.
One of the ways I get attacked in the most is when people misunderstand how I view homosexuality. They don't get it because the previous generations who picketed and hated gay people have left their mark of bigotry in the world's eyes. Let me tell you, I have gay friends. I don't call them fags or run from them because they're so bad, I love them because Jesus loves them. But you know what? I disagree with their lifestyle choices. I don't endorse gay marriage, but I also don't endorse murder, lying, fornication, cheating, or bigotry.
One of the most basic principles of Christianity is that everyone's bad. That includes me, the most Godly people I know, and everyone else for that matter. We are born sinners. So for me to have some false sense of superiority over people who are gay is just wrong, and completely unChristian, no matter how you spin it. The second my beliefs are used to judge anyone's life except my own, the purpose is defeated.
Another important point is that no one sin is worse than the other. To look at a thief and say, "Well at least I'm only a liar", is completely unChristian. So, in turn, to say to a gay person, "At least I have different sin than you", is also blatantly against Christian theology.
To be Christian isn't to judge anyone and everyone, to be Christian is to recognize you're absolutely no better and that we all need the grace of Jesus. To be Christian is not to hate everyone who disagrees with your faith and ostracize them, it is, rather, to love people because Jesus does and welcome them and help them because Jesus says to.
So don't label people, because chances are, you really have no clue how that person works. You've just heard a story or had this one experience (or sadly, multiple experiences) with a certain group. It still doesn't mean that everyone is like that, or that you now know it all. Realize, you could really have no clue.
Do you feel like the actions of previous generations of Christians are defining the way people perceive you today? What are ways we can break the stereotypes?