Many ‘Christians’ Celebrate Easter Who Don’t Understand Christian Love

By Dr. Jerry Stephenson

Lately, I have been watching a lot of YouTube and looking at show segments on the “ex-gay” industry. What quickly becomes evident is how conversion practices have caused enormous damage to LGBTQ Christians who have attempted to “change”.  Truth Wins Out, and every credible medical and mental health association, have made it clear that conversion groups are harmful and very dangerous.  Over a number of years, Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out, has uncovered key leaders of “ex-gay” organizations that have repeatedly “fallen from Grace”. Today, many of them have left the organizations they once worked with and are happily in relationships with someone of the same gender.

As I look at the YouTube footage I see former “ex-gay” leaders wracked by shame and guilt for their part in leading people down the wrong path. As we come upon the highest holy day of the calendar year of Christianity in celebrating the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the very foundation of our faith, we must remember that He came to show us God’s love, hope, and grace.

I wonder what God thinks of so-called Christian churches that claim to preach the love of Christ, but instead become judge and jury of people’s lives and think nothing of feeling they are justified in kicking people out of their churches? Such behavior was seen in Jesus’ day too, as he would rebuke the religious leaders for being hypocrites. Jesus rejected their gigantic egos and chastised them for being holier-than-thou.

Wow does that sound familiar in today’s radical fundamentalist churches? They feel justified to be judge and jury when, in fact, God is the only judge and Jesus stands in as the lawyer and jury to plead our innocence.

Jesus himself in Matthew 7:1 said we are not the judge and why do we look at the speck in our brothers eye when we have a log in ours?  In the Book of Romans Paul says the same thing.  When I taught this course to my Seminary students I would put a subtitle:  “If Not For the Grace of God There Go I.”  Paul called himself the chief of all sinners.

There are those churches who fail to understand the Easter message of God’s love, hope and grace.  Jesus himself spent time with those whom the religious leaders of his day would not dare fellowship with.  How sad, but true, that so many so-called Christian churches of today do the same.  It is my prayer that we will reflect upon the Easter Message and realize that we have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and only God is the one who is our judge. Our job is simply to share the message of Jesus Christ and his love for mankind.  AMEN!

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