16 July, 2013

My response to the Westboro Baptist Church

As most of you know, Cory Monteith was found dead in his hotel room a few days ago.  As a Glee fan myself, I was really saddened by the news.  He was one of my favorite characters, and he was a Canucks fan.  He truly died too soon.
What really upset me, however, was Westboro Baptist Church.  How do they relate? you ask.  Well, they're planning on protesting at Cory's funeral because of his promotion of equality and anti-discrimination.  This really makes me sick of my stomach.  My faith is a large part of who I am and is a huge factor in what I believe on social issues.  Now, whether or not the Bible really says that homosexuality is wrong, I do not believe that being gay means you will "burn in Hell".  If so, then so will lying to your parents, drinking underage,  having sex outside of marriage, etc.  Jesus came to this Earth to die for our sins, not all of them except the few that are really bad.  All sins are forgivable.  My church once told a story of a murderer who felt the need to ask his victim's mother for forgiveness.  They are now neighbors and are extremely close.  I believe in Jesus because He gives me hope, because he sees past my flaws and my bad qualities.  I live my life to be more like Him.  That being said, Jesus doesn't hate.  The Bible says that God is love, so any saying that says "God hates ______", whether it be "fags*", soldiers, or anything else because God doesn't hate anyone.  He loves us.  All of us.  If we, as Christians, are going to try to be like Jesus, the first thing we need to stop doing is hating.  We do not have to approve of certain actions, but that doesn't mean we are to judge others for partaking in them.  We have all sinned in one way or another, no one is perfect.  The only one who has ever been perfect was Jesus, so saying you do not sin is calling yourself Jesus, and we have a whole new problem there.  When an adulteress was about to be stoned to death for cheating on her husband, Jesus himself said, "let he without sin throw the first stone" (John 8:7).
Now, I'm not trying to write a preachy post to make you non-Christians turn to Jesus or anything like that.  I'm more trying to say that I am saddened that I share a label with the Westboro Baptist Church.  It truly saddens me that we share the same Bible and read the same teachings and still they think that these hateful actions and sayings are what God wants us to share.  They make people think that I have some of the same ideas in my head, though  maybe not quite as strong.  The truth of what Christianity comes from probably the most well-known Bible verse in the world: 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16

*Please note that I do not approve of the use of the word fag at all, I was only using it as an example because it is WBC's choice of word.
**Also, please know that these are my views and opinions, and do not necessarily correlate to other Christians' thoughts, nor my church's.  I am not one to speak for others.

01 July, 2013

My Faith Story.

Hello!  It's been awhile since my last post.  I apologize, this is mostly due to the fact that the wifi doesn't always work on my laptop, and I'm much more comfortable writing my posts on my laptop rather than my family's computer.  Anyway.  I'm going on a mission trip NEXT MONTH (holy crap that snuck up on me), and I need to write my faith story for it.  So, here we go:

I grew up in a C&E Catholic family with extremely religious grandmothers.  Meaning, to those of you who aren't familiar, that I basically only went to church on Christmas and Easter.  I have always had a Bible, and I distinctively remember reading my Children's Bible, so I always had this innate belief that God created the world and He sent His one and only Son to die for our sins.  So, I was, in essence, a Christian without a relationship with God.
Everything changed one day in 7th grade when I came home from school to a family meeting.  My parents announced to us that what we had thought was bronchitis or pneumonia in my father was actually lung cancer.  He was going to start treatment as soon as possible.  My family gathered together on our living room floor and cried together.  I, on the other hand, went up to my room.  I have always liked to write, and my first instinct was to write about my feelings.  I didn't write a normal journal entry, though, this time I wrote a letter to God.  I prayed for my father to get better, for my father to be able to see me graduate high school, go to college, get married.  This was my first time ever reaching out for God, and it began my relationship with Him.
God became my refuge over those terrible four months as my father continued to get sicker and sicker.  I was at my friend Brittany's house when my mother called to say that my father was back in the hospital, this time he had been put in a coma.  Though it was never directly said, I knew that the end was near.  Brittany's grandmother sat me on her lap, rocked me, and prayed for me and my family as I cried.
After my father died in February of that year, my family stopped going to church.  My mom couldn't stand the sight of the church after his funeral, and she began to hate God for taking him away from us.  I, on the other hand, was gifted with comfort.  I knew that my dad was in Heaven, and that I would see him again someday.  I had been going to Ground Zero with some friends, and it just stuck.  After a few years, my mother decided to give God another chance, and now we go to church together almost every weekend.