I was originally going to post today about a different topic but God really showed me an important truth that I feel called to share.
This morning, like every Sunday morning, I attend church with my family. In service, the new head of Missions gave a PowerPoint presentation about missions and his vision for the future. Our previous pastor, who was called into missions, also spoke on what he was currently doing in his ministry/missions outreach. Also, all this week, I have been watching Andy Stanley’s series entitled “Big Church”. One of the main points that he addresses is that Christianity is a movement and not just people and church buildings. People and churches can become inwardly focused on themselves when they should strive to continue impacting the world around them and bringing people in who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. All of this to say, I do not believe that we need churches to make an impact for Jesus Christ. God has called us to be good stewards with our money and to use our money to further His Kingdom. We do not have to give it to our local churches if we do not agree with the direction they are going. It is a wonderful opportunity for God to be able to provide for us a way to gain wealth so that we can decide what we do with that wealth He has so graciously given us. Do not feel like you have to give to your local church if you do not feel called to do that. Give to something that you are passionate about, that God has given you a passion for that furthers His Kingdom. For me personally, I support some well known pastors and an organization that helps gay Christians with their sexuality and faith. Another point that Andy Stanley has made, I do not remember what message of his it was in, is that when we give our money to some cause, we have more connection to it and are more involved with it because we are putting something into it that we have worked hard for. Many people say that we need the local church and I agree with that. We need places where people can go, connect with God, and grow deeper in their faith. But churches can also become corrupt just like anything else. Being a gay Christian man in a conservative community church, I am not accepted for who I am. I attend there because my parents want their family to all go to the same church. I am torn because I have talked with the pastor and he supports me though he does not support acting out my attractions and feelings. I support him but not the church that he leads. I have not given anything financially to the church I attend because I am torn and do not feel a peace about it . I do not want to support a place where people hurt others over their sexual orientation. There has been enough hurt and pain, I will not support any more. I encourage Christians to support whatever is helping them to grow spiritually. Whether it be a pastor online or a Christian book or anything else.
With church the way it is in the 21st century, I do not think being a part of a church body is mandatory for a Christian. For some, it is necessary for them to grow spiritually, be encouraged, and be discipled by other Christians. With technology, we are able to do many things we could not do before. The most important thing is that a person surrounds themselves with Christians that they can learn from and gain wisdom from. At the right time, they should also be passing down their wisdom and guidance to one that is younger.
I am not saying that being a part of a church is wrong. With so many options available to us in this day and age, take advantage of them. We do not have to live in a mold just because it has been done this way for a long time. Find something that helps you grow and connect with God and stick with it. Everyone is different and everyone has a different way of connecting with God. I would not want someone to go to church and go through the motions every Sunday just because that is what they had always done and get nothing out of it. The point is not what you do, it is that you are growing deeper in faith and in Christ.
I feel God has called me to further His Movement, to continue to spread the love of Christ to gay Christian men. This blog is only the first step in accomplishing that goal. God has given me many more ideas that, if He allows, I will be able to be a part of and reach gay Christian men with His love. If you feel so lead, please pray that God would continue to work in me and that He would give me the strength and the resources to fulfill His will for me in my part of His Movement.
May God continue to bless you beyond more than you could ever imagine,