In Protest of Protest

protest-signs

I don’t like protest. It’s just always bugged me.

This was overly apparent last year when I attended the OneThing conference in Kansas City. People on the street corner were protesting the conference because the Christians who attend the conference are friends with gays, and some of these gays were even Christian and attending the conference. GASP!

There was something stirring deep within me as we walked past the protesters–who called themselves Christian–into the conference to learn about God’s everlasting grace and mercy. And there weren’t only adults out there telling us how God H8tes Fags, but their children were there, too. My heart broke in so many ways, I couldn’t even figure out how to write this post until a whole year later.

Besides the obvious argument that these protesters were misguided in their knowledge of God’s heart for people, and regardless of whether I believe being homosexual is a sin or not, I just can’t help being irked by these protests. 

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, we could be totally wrong about God, in more ways than I originally explored. But I’ve read the Bible (particularly the New Testament), and I can’t find anywhere that notes God hating anything. I do, however, see many examples that show God loves it when we love Him.

Not only was I saddened by the messages these protesters were propagating, but I was really struck by the goal. When asked, most protesters will say that if they can get one person to turn away from their “wrong” behavior, it was a successful day. In this instance, I’m going to assume that if they helped one person realize the error of their ways and turn un-gay, it would be a successful protest.

I just wonder if there is something more fruitful these people could be doing rather than standing in the freezing cold on a street corner making people feel bad about themselves. Because I don’t think that’s how God wants us to help each other stay accountable.

*Please note, this post isn’t meant to argue that all protest is fruitless. I do think protest in certain instances can and has made an impact. 

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Slipping on the Stones

In a previous poSlippery Stonesst, I wrote about how old habits die hard.

I don’t often speak candidly about my past, in terms of providing details, but we’ll just say I’m not proud of a lot of the things in which I’ve partaken in my early twenties. I’m much older now, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But even though I’ve grown and transformed from the person I was, I can still easily slip off one of those moss covered stones and be right back where I was.

And I did, this weekend. But the thing is? I didn’t really. Because the whole concept of transformation is that we might momentarily return to some kind of unsavory behavior, but the way we handle it afterward is what really matters.

Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t give us an eternal hall pass to sin. But it does help us to understand grace a little better.

God doesn’t want us to sin, but He will always answer us when we ask for forgiveness, when we rebuke the behavior. And He will help us regain our balance when we slip. And ultimately, after the slip, He’ll help reveal to us our true identities now compared to our identities then.

Funny how sin can actually bring you closer to God instead of pull you away.