The Exodus example.

You might have heard about it on Facebook. Or maybe you ran across Rachel Held Evans blogging about it.

Or maybe you read it here.

Or here.

It’s been lots of places, is what I’m trying to say.

When Brandi heard about this, she said, “This is it, Daniel. The people who lead by hate are going to lose.”

But that didn’t sound right to me.

“No, they’re not,” I replied. “They aren’t going to lose because it’s not about winning or losing. They’re going to be healed.”

I didn’t say that to mean that people only take a hard stance against homosexuality because they are broken – I am saying that we’re all broken. For some people, their hatred against the LGBT community was a defining character trait. For others, it was just a part of their human makeup, which by definition includes both the light of the Creator and the stagnant, filthy muck that we get from living in a war zone. I’m not saying that “affirming” churches are right but “biblical” churches are wrong. What I’m saying is that all of us our sometimes wrong, in ways big or small – and very few of us ever have the courage to repent, to apologize, to come clean, and to make ourselves vulnerable to those we have hurt.

In the Vineyard, they talk about the Kingdom of God in terms of the “now”, and the “not yet.” By that they mean that Jesus brought the Kingdom to earth, but that until he returns, it isn’t yet fully realized. This is an important stance to take if you want to teach people that they have a responsibility to help bring the Kingdom closer. It isn’t just that God is going to move the needle closer to the “now” position until, one day, there’s no where else for the needle to go – we are acting in partnership with the creator, with the duty to participate in the rebuilding of the world and the privilege of being part of something that God himself is directing.

Call me a sentimental fool with girly feelings, but I think we just helped move the needle. And today, I’m proud to call myself a Christian.


About Daniel Mitchell

50% of "What the Faith?!?!", a blog about two skeptics who turned to God for no apparent reason. View all posts by Daniel Mitchell

4 responses to “The Exodus example.

  • Veronica

    Ahhhh I love your response Dan – that was my first thought, how awesome that this hater dude is being healed of his hate, and how awesome to be proud to be a Christian! Sorry Brandi 🙂

  • Brandi Mitchell

    I don’t normally comment on posts I didn’t write, but I’d like to step in a minute and sort of explain myself. When I read this story about the Exodus peeps pulling the plug on their program for “healing gays” I was thrilled. Almost to tears and I took a second to thank God for being God instead of me. I would be terrible at it, all the smiting everywhere. . . it would be a mess. But God comes in and slowly shows people what’s right. He heals their pains and comforts their fears and shows them how to be the best them that they can be. I’m still working on this, and I’m very far from there, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen or experienced the merit of his methods.

    However, grateful as I was for him reaching down and healing people instead of smiting them, and happy as I was to see the needle move a little closer to the center, I make no mistake. This is a battle, and its one with high stakes.

    People in both sides of this argument are fighting for a world wide change/effect. Whether they want to maintain the status-quo or build bridges and equality, theyre fighting not for their churches, or their neighborhoods or their state, theyre fighting for the world. In this fight, people have lost, suffered and even died. To pretend there isnt a win/loss at stake is silly.

    It should be noted that “losing” to me, doesn’t mean “don’t get your way and stew in it asshole! you suck!” no more than “winning” to me means strutting around with our feathers all up showing everyone how awesome we are. We were right and they were wrong and they’re all dumb. That’s not it at all. Not everyone who stands for “biblical marriage” (whatever that means) is doing it out of hate, or disgust or a spirit of repression. Some of them love these people and are terrified that allowing them to continue unchecked in this lifestyle will send them to hell. This is especially terrifying if you believe theyre making a conscious decision to act a way that will lead them there. I feel a certain kind of way on the subject of hell in general, but that doesnt mean I cant see where their coming from. Its not all “hate vs love” or “tolerance vs prejudice” here. This is way too huge a subject.

    I do however think that ultimately the FORCES of hate and love are fighting here, that we’re soldiers in that battle, and that because God is the way he is, and rolls the way he rolls (like thunder, in case you were wondering) Love WILL win. I just happen to think that Love will win by changing hearts, changing minds, and building relationships that will inevitably result in TONS more articles like the Exodus one.

    And now that Ive left you a novel to read, I disappear back to the internets!!! *throws a smoke pellet and vanishes*

  • Veronica M. Surges (@jurisdoctorette)

    That does make a lot more sense. Way to totally twist your wife’s words, Dan! You should be a parole agent!

    I have more to say but I’m currently on the phone with my parolee…there’s only so much multi-tasking I can do here.

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