Mackenzie in bold black.
Hannah in blue italics.
Pride is a safe and joy-filled space until the protesters show up and ruin the positive atmosphere. I knew pride protesters existed, but the fact that they ACTUALLY existed freaked me out.
This reminds me of going to the Gender and Sexuality Association at my college. It is also I place I know is safe and free from people's judgement. Having a community where there is acceptance like that is really important for LGBT people's welfare. This is the kind of community the church is meant to be for everyone and I am really sorry that so many churches have failed in providing that for so many years because of prejudice.
One of my pet peeves is when someone ruins a positive atmosphere. When at pride, it is a very positive atmosphere, until the protesters show up. They think everyone there needs to be saved, and they pity us.
If they look down on LGBT+ people that is arrogant and is disgusting to God.
No one is going to hell for being gay. And no one is going to heaven for being straight. That would be terribly unjust. But God is just.
God's justice means that everyone needs saving; the people in pews or Parliament or Pride. All of us have turned away from our Creator who deserves all honour and praise to serve our own selfish desires. All of us run to everything other than Him to find satisfaction and love when He is the only one who can really satisfy our hearts. We all look for the acceptance of other people and scorn His words about us. We all deserve to be separated from God forever as the natural conclusion of our actions. There is nothing good apart from Him so this is a terrible thing. Nothing we do could ever make us worthy to stand in His presence. He is perfect and we are hopelessly flawed.
But God isn't only Just. He is also kind and merciful and loving. You were right when you told the protesters that God loves everyone. He loved the world so much that he came down into it to die on a cross. He came into our broken world and experienced it as a human called Jesus. The all-powerful one let Himself be tortured to death for us. He took the punishment that was rightfully ours. We can exchange our death sentence for His unconditional acceptance. That is real love.
I've tried chasing feelings and the love of people but it is nothing like His love. He knows my every secret thought and hidden motive. Every aspect of messed up me is inescapably under His eye. Yet He loves me so much that none of that matters anymore. He clothes me in His perfection and remembers my past no more. I don't need to try to be good enough for Him. I'm not. But He is good enough for the both of us. It doesn't depend on me, so suddenly my failures are irrelevant.
This is the love that has healed my self hate.
The love that every good thing you've had is a tiny foretaste of.
I agree with your statement, I don't believe God could ever hate people. If he did hate people, that would be a hypocritical thing to do.
God doesn't break queer people's hearts, homophobia breaks our hearts.
Absolutely. God loves queer people. Homophobia from religious people has caused me a lot of pain too and it was a big cause of my mental health issues. God didn't want that but often people mis-represent Him. The things people were saying were breaking my heart so alone in my room I cried to the God I had known to be there for me before. I read the Bible for myself. Desperate for the truth, not just the "follow your heart" philosophy I saw at school which didn't seem to be making anyone really happy. If that book really did condemn me like some people said then I and God would be dead to each other. I could run around trying to distract myself from the emptiness inside by busying myself with meaningless things until death ended my misery. But instead I found a God who loves me so much he delt with everything between us. He called me to life.
I found a God who could be experienced. Who hears and answers my prayers. Who I am to have the constant caring ear of God to hear my cries?
I found Good News for me, the gospel in those ancient words whose truth is as unchanging as God. Good News because I knew I needed hope and meaning and worth. Which He gave me for free. Good News because I was desperate for love and acceptance and His was complete. Good News because I needed saving from myself.
But I know this won't be good news to everyone who reads this. Like those protesters, some people will call this negativity and hate.
It's not good news if you don't think you need saving. It's not good news if you'd rather pick and mix to get a comfortable idea of God which lets you do exactly as you please. It's not good news if you'd rather feel good now than find the Truth.
The gospel is offensive. But it isn't homophobic. It doesn't discriminate when it calls us all sinners and offers us all hope.
So this is my plea. Seek God. Chase Him with all you've got and you won't regret a moment of it. Ask Him to show you what He's like, trusting His abundant kindness to answer. And read the Bible. Start with John and then read the other three eye witness accounts of Jesus' life. See if you don't fall in love.
I can't really say much here, I'm not and most likely never will be religious. I go to church once a year, on Christmas Eve and as a 4-5 year old, I went to a Lutheran school. In my life I've been to Church about 20 times. I do like the concept of a religious gathering, with (hopefully) positivity and music (the Churches I went to have sing-alongs). Listening to what they say, I don't really believe in the Bible itself, and that could be because I never paid close attention when I did go to Church, but I do believe it is because I am too aware and I have too much of a guard up when it comes to hate and hypocritical ways some Churches can run on. Homophobic religions are the main reason for many LGBT+ people to become athiests or against religion all together.
I can only speak for Christianity. But yes, I know homophobia within the church has caused a lot of queer people to stay away from religion because they feel judged and rejected. This breaks my heart.
My God is not homophobic or transphobic. He loves us enough to save whoever accepts Him as Saviour.
It is interesting to me how you say 'my God', I believe that means that you portray him differently than other religious people. I do agree with you when you say God isn't homophobic or transphobic, because to me, God created everyone different so he could test people, and see how everyone would react to different things based on his Bible.
I use the expression 'my God' because He is the God who I know from personal experience. But yes it is also to be distinct from some religious people whose idea of God is different.
Thanks, Mackenzie for discussing with me. If readers would like to continue the conversation you can comment below or message either of us. (Remember to be respectful and sensitive)
Thank you, Hannah for coming up with this article concept, and being very open about your opinions.
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