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Where is the Love?

I am married to a transgender female. We’ve been married for 30 years but she only realized she was a woman 8 years ago. Until that time, she was a stereotypical male: Republican, hunter, NRA member. She was so homophobic she couldn’t be in the room if “Will and Grace” was on the TV. Our family was divided, our views split down the middle: my side were liberal democrats and her side were conservative republicans. As long as politics didn’t come up, we were fine.

I was raised United Methodist – a mainline denomination – while she wasn’t religious at all. I won’t go into detail except to say I’ve studied a lot of books on religion and the one thing I don’t understand is why those that profess faith in God and don’t want to accept homosexuality, or women in leadership, as if God was against these things. Those that use their faith as a weapon point to the bible as their source. The interesting thing to me is that Jesus did not come to earth, line up the Pharisees and Sadducees, (these were the ones that put obeying every Judaic law there was above all else) pat them on the back and say, “Way to go! Good Job! Keep up the good work!” On the contrary, He condemned them, going instead to the people they were against: prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers. He preached forgiveness not condemnation.

God came to bear our sins, free us from condemnation, and restore us in fellowship to Him and to others. If you have trouble with another group, before you act, ask if this shows love for God and love for others. If not, it’s wrong, plain and simple. Does this mean people can do anything they want? No, if something is hurtful or harmful then it is not from love and shouldn’t be done. But if we are really following the two commandments: love God, love others, we will be surrounded by love and the theological debates will be mental exercises rather than destructive arguments.

These people who, for example, choose to refuse service to homosexuals condemn themselves. They are the ones not acting out of love but instead out of judgement – which God vehemently condemns. Whenever you wonder if something is wrong or right follow the two commands: Love God, love others. If you’re wanting to judge, then realize you are the one sinning in that moment. We all have sin which God has paid for so concentrate on facing personal sins you need to overcome. If you concentrate on your own life, living a life of love, the rest will all fall into place.

Matthew 22:35-40 New International Version (NIV)

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

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