A Change of Focus

That moment when someone says something to you that changes your focus. Ever have one of those?

I bet you have. I know I have.

Recently I have had a couple conversations that have shifted my focus on the way I am going to be handling the crazy ass, hateful, ridiculous things being said by people who think they are serving Jesus by cheering for kids who are taught to parrot hateful songs, or calling for the extermination or legal prosecution of our homosexual brothers and sisters. Rather than focusing on these negative and hateful messages that do not bring life or hope, from here on I am choosing to focus on the people who are living in the light and bringing a message of hope and love to the world.This does not mean that I will stop standing up for people and standing up against injustice. On the contrary, I intend to fight it with the only weapons that work.

My focus was becoming increasingly negative and I was allowing the hate they have been spewing to become my focus which only brings hopelessness.  I had become increasingly frustrated, especially since the passage of Prop 1 in North Carolina, because these things are going on in churches. In a recent poll 91% of people 16-29 choose “anti-gay” to describe Christians. Heck, even 80% of church going people in that age group described the church as “anti-gay”.  I am hurt and distressed that people are taught that God can’t possibly love gay people. For crying out loud people even if you believe it is a sin, Jesus died for sinful people and the cheering for such a horrible song this week made me want to do something. Say something. Maybe because I didn’t know better when I was young and listening to people like like the leader of my former community saying homosexuals should be lined up and shot and producing songs like Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Homos”.

Well, this is where hope breaks in. While I do think it is important that people realize just how pervasive this kind of thinking is and while I do feel that people need to be informed, I also think that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr . had the right idea. Whenever he spoke about injustice he always cast it in the light of the truth. That side loses. Love wins. Dr. King called us to be our best selves, he called us to overcome, he called us to love. He set a vision for the dreamers. He invited us to hope that things could change; that God’s will could truly be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In Romans 12:14-21 it says,
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Not that this is easy. It isn’t. Individually we must love, even when someone is hateful towards us. This week on Primetime: What Would You Do? the scenario was that a young white woman was introducing her black boyfriend to her dad for the first time. He was not happy, to say the least, about their interracial relationship. There was an elderly woman who (after the young couple left) expressed support for the father and her extreme distaste for interracial relationships. At the end of the segment after it had all been revealed for the social experiment it was, this beautiful young black man hugged that ignorant old woman and do you know what he said when asked why? He said I have been taught all my life that people like her exist, I wanted her to know what kind of person I am.
Dr. King said,
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
That is my plan. Let us drive out the darkness with the light. Let us drive out the hate with love. Let us overcome evil with good. Starting today, whenever I am feeling hopeless about the state of this or like the darkness might be winning. Instead of focusing on that I am going to feature a person or organization who are bringing light, hope and love. I am going to start today with Minnesota Pastor Oliver White.  According to the Independent, Southeastern Minnesota‘s daily newspaper, Pastor White is

A black leader at the helm of a predominantly black church, White — who marched for racial equality during the Civil Rights era — faced pushback from his own community after he stood up for gay rights in 2005.

During a national synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, he joined a majority of delegates from across the country in voting to adopt a resolution supporting gay marriage.

He returned to his congregation the following Sunday and explained his decision. Almost immediately he saw church membership plummet. Within weeks he lost two-thirds of his followers, and now a Sunday sermon draws at most about 20 people.

He now stands to lose his church for good as their balloon payment of 200k came due yesterday. Even though Pastor White, 69, stands to lose everything he stated in a recent interview,

“If we are not successful, I am not going to feel that we are defeated,” White said. “I’ve often said if one person has been turned around, if their thinking has been turned around, and they are no longer homophobic, and they can reach out and love their brothers and their sisters as they love themselves, unconditionally, without labeling them in any way, then losing the church will not be in vain.”

Here’s to you Pastor White. You are my hero of the day and the champion of those who Christ loves. Your reward sir is in heaven.

Grace Community United Church of Christ
You can email your word of encouragement here: mystory42@hotmail.com

5 thoughts on “A Change of Focus

  1. Michelle you are one of MY HEROS! This so BEAUTIFUL! I have tears.Tears of the joy that you bring forth from THE KING, JESUS CHRIST. You have shown me, once again, the true love of God. I love this blog! I am so proud of who you are and you are a true example of a spiritual leader and a WOMAN OF VALOR!! I LOVE YOU!

  2. Christianity is not as complicated as most professing Christians and their pastors believe. Christianity according to Jesus Christ is very simple, if you love him you will deny yourself, you will take up your cross, and you will follow him by obeying all of his commandments.

    As stated by Jesus in John 14, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”

    And how do we keep Jesus commandments? The answer is found in Mark 12, “One of the teachers of the law came and asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

    Which means that we can’t follow our feelings or our good intentions or some smooth talking preacher or some silver-tongued politician or homosexuals or lesbians or bisexual or transgender for the sake of getting along, but we must test the spirits as commanded in 1 John 4:1, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    The problem nowadays is that most churches are nothing more than Business Enterprises Incorporated with the US Government under the IRS 501c3 Tax-Exempt Code being led by wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus says in Matthew 7: 15, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

    Therefore, in order to attract the greatest number of parishioners, which translates into larger revenues these wolves in sheep’s clothing must focus their worship on self rather than focus it on God, that is why they include homosexuals, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender in complete opposition to the Bible, which is the written word of God stating in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    The Bible is very clear that unrepentant practicing homosexuals, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and the wicked must be expelled from the body of Christ as stated in 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13, “I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people, not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

    One perfect example is the desire of homosexual to normalize their unnatural sexual behavior as civil rights, but in reality what they are asking is preferential treatment under the law. In other words homosexuals wants legal protection for having sexual intercourse with people of the same sex, which is an abomination unto God as stated in Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” and if that wasn’t enough, homosexuals want their agenda promoted in schools and throughout the culture by means of the mainstream media.

    Jesus says that man is inherently evil as He stated it in Matthew 15: 19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality or lust, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, pedophilia, and bestiality, theft, false testimony, and slander.

    Therefore, homosexuals hate to hear the truth. Just think, how else could they sodomize each other if they didn’t lie first to themselves by saying that sodomy is OK, but those temporary pleasures they enjoy in this lifetime are not worth the ETERNAL torment in hell that awaits them and all their supporters.

    God is Lord, Master, Creator, and Judge of the Universe, including sodomites, lesbians, transgender, and unbelievers, weather they acknowledge it or not. They will have more than enough proof after they die and meet Him personally and their unrepentant souls are condemned to perpetual agony and torment in hell for all eternity, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched for not obeying God’s beloved son Jesus Christ.

    Sodomites, lesbians, and unbelievers, have the God given right to reject Him and His plan of salvation through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross, but now they have no more excuses since they have been warned.

  3. Henry says:

    The reason homosexuals equate truth with hate is due to the fact they must force themselves to believe in the name of love that is perfectly normal for a penis to invade the anal cavity created specifically by God for the sole purpose of evacuating excrement out of the body, and lesbians believe in the name of love that is perfectly normal to rub their vaginas together specifically designed by God for the sole purpose of procreation, and that is why their ability to reason is completely skewed.

    TRUTH is what homosexuals hate the most in all creation, how else could they sodomize each other if they didn’t lie first to themselves by saying that sodomy is OK.

    Homosexuals also justify their perversion by twisting the words of the Bible as result of lacking a conscience or the urge to prefer right over wrong. Consequently, there is nothing to prevent them from prostrating in worship to the god of buggery, yet they ostentatiously revile, malign, and disobey the God of Heaven.

    There is no question that homosexuals are born weeds or psychopaths lacking the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, empathy and remorse with perverted, criminal, and amoral tendencies.

    Men calls them psychopaths, but Jesus calls them weeds in Matthew 13, “Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” Jesus answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

    Jesus Christ says the unrighteous, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. If the idea doesn’t phase you then you can safely assume that you are a hell bound weed, but if the thought scares the life out of you, then get on your knees and ask God to forgive you, and He will forgive through the shed blood of His beloved son Jesus Christ.

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