Sunday, December 31, 2017

Have Hope

In the episode, Informed Consent, of Chicago Hope one of the male characters was in a relationship with one of the female characters. As the relationship progressed they started to have feelings for each other and eventually took their relationship to the next level. Knowing where the relationship was headed the woman had to tell the man that she used to be a man, not just any man, but his friend from school.

The male character acted with revolt and disgust. He felt betrayed and lied to. No matter what his feelings may have been prior to that point he now wanted nothing to do with this person.

How many of us would be willing to court someone who is transgendered? For those too young to have heard that word before, to court means to date with intention to marry. It is not dating hoping to hook-up. It is not dating to have someone to hang out with and do stuff with. Marriage is the end goal of a courtship. I don’t know the numbers but, I would guess that very few people, including many of the most vocal supporters, would be open to courting someone of the same sex who believes they are the opposite sex and have gone as far as to modify their body as to look the gender they long to be.

But this blog isn’t about being transgendered, although it is as equally provoking. Using the same principle as courting a transgendered person, would you consider being part of a church that someone other than Jesus created? The main stream Protestant churches look like the Church Jesus started. They act mostly like the Church Jesus started. They believe and teach many of the same things as the Church Jesus started. The more you get away from mainstream Protestantism the less and less the church looks, acts, or teaches the way that the Church Jesus created does.

Doctors altered the woman character in that episode of Chicago Hope, so convincingly in fact, that her male partner couldn’t tell even during the most intimate of times. The founding fathers of the Protestant Reformation did the same thing to the Church Jesus founded to create new churches that taught, not what Christ taught, but what their opinions were instead. They did such a convincing job that millions through the ages have preferred these churches over the one that Holy Scripture tells us is the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Are you willing to give your life and die if necessary for an opinion of someone other than that of Jesus? Martin Luther and John Calvin may have been fine men with good hearts but I am not willing to be martyred for their beliefs. I do not have this problem when it comes to Jesus and his Church.

I am against neither the transgendered nor the Protestant. I can disagree with both and still love and respect them. Spirituality and sexuality are both journeys we have to make individually. There is truth, partial truth, and lies. God is truth and can only be truth. The father of lies, on the other hand, can present partial truth. These partial truths can be very strong and persuasive, but partial truth always leads away from real truth. I pray that everyone’s individual journeys lead them back to the full truth of God’s love even though I know that far too many will believe the partial truths so strongly that neither heaven nor earth will convince them otherwise. For those I have a great deal of pity.

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