Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I was completely inspired by Glee last night. It tackled the thorny subject of religion in such a lighthearted yet serious manner, exploring various points of view on faith. Years ago I would have been horrified by someone praying to "Grilled Cheesus" and snapped the TV off in a fury.

I've come so far down my own road of faith that none of that stuff bothers me anymore, and I can barely remember why it ever did. Instead, I love that the discussion is even happening in the first place on a popular TV show aimed at people much younger than I am.

An honest, open discussion about any subject is much more interesting to me now than something cut and dried. Life is not that neat and simple. It's messy, and filled with shades of grey, and all that really matters anyway is that we love other people without restraint or judgement. I wish it hadn't taken me so long in my life to truly understand this one simple truth.

The episode last night focused on Kurt, the gay glee club member and one of my favourite characters on TV, as he struggled through a health crisis with his father. I shed a lot of tears watching Glee last year, particularly as they explored how Kurt's conservative blue-collar dad came to terms with his son's sexual orientation. It was so honest and real and true, and I was inspired by his character's journey because I had already walked that road. I spent time laying each of my fears to rest about accepting those who are different from me, and recognizing that it's no big deal to God or to me how other people live their lives. I am only responsible for myself, and I want to love instead of hate and judge.

It's hard to work these things out of our system. From the time I was little, I was taught things that I have had to unlearn in order to become personally closer to Jesus. I had to search for a new value system, one that makes more sense to me than the rigid set of rules I grew up with.

I want to accept and not condemn; to love and not serve as judge and jury. I didn't want to pay lip service to it - I wanted to change from the inside and walk a new road, relating to people in a completely different way than how I was originally taught to. And I was moved and amazed last night to discover how far I have come from what I used to be like, and how deeply the change has taken root in my heart.

I'm so grateful, because I could never go back, and hopefully my kids will not have to untie these kinds of knots in their soul. They will start so much further ahead on the road to love and acceptance, and even though they will have other struggles of their own in their faith and world view, I'm so glad that in accepting others without judgement, I have worked on my own prejudices so that they could begin life in a better place.


  1. I don't like Glee, mainly because of the blonde phys ed teacher, but once in a while they do tackle some interesting topics. You're about the need for open discussion - talking AND listening - rather than just judging.

  2. Do you mean Sue Sylvester, the cheerleading coach? She is a hysterical villain, and it's fun to see her human side with her older sister.

    I love Glee because it's relevant and interesting and doesn't once shy from the hard topics. I don't have to agree with every point of view, and I don't, but I like to be challenged to think of things in a new way.

  3. it's no big deal to God how other people live their lives?
    I think you're misinformed.

  4. I believe that God loves every person, regardless of their behaviour, and that it's not up to me to judge and condemn. You are more than entitled to your opinion of God, just as I have mine. We won't agree on this subject, and that's okay with me.

  5. I said nothing about God not loving every person, you don't have to approve of someone's behavior to love them. You're right when you say it's not up to us to judge or condemn anyone but it is up to God who is a loving and just judge (unless you disagree with scripture). Christians should love homosexuals as they should love anyone else, but if you believe what Jesus laid out in the bible concerning any kind of sin you would know that he does care about how people live their lives because sin separates us from God.

  6. I grew up believing that God judged everyone, including me, quite harshly for all behaviours and attitudes. I no longer hold that view. I believe now that love wins out over judgement, every single time. I understand that others may interpret the Bible differently, and we all have to build our own relationship with God based on our understanding of him.

  7. I think you are misunderstanding the word judgement.
    When judgement comes from God, it's out of love so he
    can help people on their paths. It's to correct and aid out of love and concern, not out of condemnation and superiority. You don't decide who and what God is and what he does, that's laid out in the bible that he gave us so that we could see who he is. You don't personalize him to make him fit into your view of the kind of ruler you would like to have. He doesn't change according to what we understand of him. Jesus is the same today yesterday and always. He's the same God he always has been. He doesn't change for anyone. He does judge us, but it's for a loving reason. It's so we can love and follow him and do what he tells us because he knows best. Not us.
    It isn't for Christians to judge those who aren't believers. Paul talks about that in Chorinthians 5, but it is for Christians to judge people in the church who claim to be believers and live openly in sin without repentance and a progression towards bettering themselves. Judgement doesn't mean hating someone or condemning them, it means telling someone to stop doing something they shouldn't be doing, and not approving of their behavior when you know it's wrong. You do it out of love.
    God does it out of love.

  8. I've been where you are in your belief system, and now I have a different perspective with my faith. You are not going to convince me of your position because I've already made a choice to approach my relationship with God differently, and I'm not going back to where I used to be.

    I don't want to argue this point anymore because we aren't going to agree on it, and as I already stated, that's perfectly fine with me. I know exactly what you are saying, and I see things differently.

  9. Marisa,

    People once believed that Blacks were wrong; that they were sinners and not to be mingled with. Would you now stand to say that this was wrong? Do you not have people in your lives with dark skin?

    Your opinions of homosexual people not having the love and acceptance of God is no different than those that thought that black people were less human than those with white skin.

    Or in Hitler's regime, when people were told that Jews were the wrong "type" of person; that they were to be condemned. You would be hard pressed now to find anyone that would boldly declare their agreement on this issue.

    I sincerely believe that in 10, 20, maybe 30 years, our children and grandchildren will look back on this hatred and judgement of homosexuals and shake their heads, much the same as we do now when we think about slavery or Hitler's rule.

    One's personal relationship with God is just that- personal. It is not up to any other person to determine that another's relationship with their Holy Father is incorrect, simply because it is not the same as your relationship with Him.

    Your statement: "but it is for Christians to judge people in the church" completely and utterly blows me away. So, it is alright to judge your brothers and sisters in faith if they are acting in a way that YOU deem inappropriate? What happened to lifting them up during times of trouble? And who are you to judge whether another's actions are pure or sinful? ONLY GOD KNOWS WHAT IS IN YOUR (or anyone else's) HEART, ONLY GOD CAN DETERMINE WHETHER YOU HAVE SINNED.

    It is extremist views like these that turn people away from church. Hypocritical, judgemental, holier than thou attitudes. Trust me, it was this exact type of behaviour in people that led me to dig deep into my own faith and come to the core of what I believe in- loving God, loving others.

    Because really, when you take away all the other "stuff" that denominations argue about and differ on, that is what remains.


    God IS Love. Period.

  10. Well I would like to remind you that I quoted that statement that really bothers you directly out of Chorinthians 5. If you are upset with me for believing what I said, then you must equally be upset with scripture.
    Chorinthians 5 v 1-13 are exactly what I was talking about.

    "9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

    12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

    Also in Hebrews 12 it says
    “ My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
    Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
    6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
    And scourges every son whom He receives.”

    THis is telling us that God disciplines us out of love. I feel like you need to rethink you're views of judgement. It is done out of love and care.

    I believe that scripture is God breathed because, well that is what scripture says. If I don't believe what God tells me in the bible then I don't believe that God is truth and I would not be able to call myself a believer. I'm sorry if you think I'm wrong but all of my opinions are biblically based. So, if you believe that scripture is wrong then I think that there is a problem with that in itself.

    I do not hate homosexuals. I never stated that at all. I know many gay people and I know them to be wonderful people, however I don't have to believe that it is okay according to God because he clearly says it is not. If you disagree I can show you in scripture where it says it is. If I decide to pick and choose what I believe in scripture according to what society believes and according to how I may be persecuted for what I think, I wouldn't be completely trusting the Lord and what he says.

    I'm sorry that you chose to look at what I said the way you did, but I of course will choose to believe what Christ says over what you say.

    God Bless.

  11. I am not interested in convincing anyone to believe as I do. Each person has their own beliefs and interpretations of Scripture (you say, "All of my opinions are biblically based", but John MacArthur's theology is diametrically opposed to the theologians I read, and it all comes from the same Bible).

    As I said before, you will not agree with me on these points, and that is fine with me. It doesn't change my relationship with you, or with anyone else, as I don't mind hearing different viewpoints. Thanks for sharing, Marisa.

  12. What does John MacArthur have to do with anything?
    I have never listened to John MacArthur speak at all before.
    Thank you for assuming though.

  13. I didn't think it was a wild assumption, since most of your family members listen to his sermons and read his theology books/study Bible. My point was that our theology is developed from what we hear and learn about the Bible, and that differs radically from denomination to denomination, and from person to person, but it all comes from the same Bible.

  14. I attend a different church from my family and my family isn't the source of my faith in any way. If that were so I would be hopeless in my walk with Christ.

    Julie, I say all of this to you because I consider you a part of my family from all the time you have spent around me growing up and I'm just concerned that you seem to have turned away from the God you've known and the God that loves you and instead turned to a God that you've made up to accommodate your lifestyle and your popularity among people who may persecute you for believing otherwise.

    Of course it's easy to believe in something that will never tell you that you're wrong or give you a consequence. Every non-believer believes that. The truth is that the path is straight and narrow and few will come become it's a hard path to walk. You're constantly having to progress and better yourself and stand corrected. It's difficult but worth it. Don't do what's easy because you're afraid of the hardships... and I hope you aren't believing something to rebel against those you have harsh feelings toward.

    You have a bible that God has given you to know him better. I'm not saying any of this to condemn or hurt or act as your superior. I struggle like everyone else on their walk. I would just challenge you to be studying it and if you come across anything that contradicts what I'm saying, I'm completely open to you pointing that out. That's how we all learn. I just want you to really know the true God that loves you and cares for you and helps you. Not the God that tells you that you are doing everything right and to keep living however you want. You know where that comes from.
    Live above that.