Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Christians...we truly need to know our Christianity better...transgenderism, overeating, and a whole lot more...

Dear Christians:

As a Christian I am attempting to write to you as brothers and sisters.  It is not about arrogance, but out of love that I write.  We need to know our Christianity better than we do.  Our failure to truly understand our Christianity is hurting countless people in the trajectory of our lives.  If you are able, please read this blog.  It is long, but I really believe it is important. 

This blog contains two main points that at the surface all Christians accept and know; and yet I am so saddened that we fail to apply these principles to our daily lives and apply it to the lives we deal with every single day.  These two principles should help us understand ourselves and the world we live in and the people we deal with.  Here are the principles:

*  I am a sinner from conception to death. 

*  Jesus Christ died and rose again to save sinners.

I know, I know.  You know this.  I know this.  We say it all the time with phrases like, "we're all sinners." or, "we all need some Jesus!"  Yet, I am convinced we fail to take these two principles and apply them in a meaningful depth in our lives. 

Let me write about me first.  I have struggled with my appetite my entire life.  I am not kidding.  It is a life-long struggle.  I have yoyo'd in diets since I can remember.  My goodness, my mom tells me the story as an infant I was simply insatiable and that I would not shut up unless I got that, "2nd bottle."  As long as I can remember, I have always desired more food than my body needs. 

When I write this, people without this problem really do not understand.  It would be impossible.  I know many people who eat because they are hungry.  When they are no longer hungry, they stop eating.  They are, what I would consider, mentally and psychologically healthy as it comes to the topic of food and food consumption.  Their, "food desire" is within a healthy range.

Yet, my desires are not right.  I know this.  I know that I ought to restrain my desire for food.  This is called, "self-control."  I have an unhealthy relationship with food.  People have asked me, "well, do you have a strong desire eat to find comfort?  Do you eat food when you are sad?  Happy?  Bored?  Depressed?  Stressed?  Relaxed?"  My answer to these questions are, "yes."  I am done with breakfast and I think about what I am going to have for lunch.  I am done for lunch and I think about dinner.  I am done with dinner and I think about making it until breakfast.  My thought patterns concerning food are unhealthy and wrong.  Tada - I am a sinner.  You see, sin is not simply, "the wrong stuff I do" but it is a core psychological, physical, and spiritual disease whereby many of my desires are not right, good, or holy.  The Apostle Paul admitted the same when he says in Romans 7:15-17, "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." 

Sin is real.  I was infected with this spiritual disease at conception.  Like I inherited my hairline and my cool looking stubby toes from my parents, I also inherited my spiritual disease called sin.  Sin is the desire to do that which is wrong, bad, and harmful. 

To get a better handle on this, I want to make myself perfectly clear.  If I allowed my desire for food to have its full course, I would easily be housebound within a year or two.  Easily.  If food is presented to me, even after I have eaten, I still want the food.  It takes effort  to say, "no."  I do not believe this is the same for healthy eaters.  [And by healthy here I do not mean the types of food chosen, I mean healthy as in their relationship with food]. 

So what am I to do?  I will tell you what I do.  I fight.  Daily.  I know that nothing good lives in my sinful nature; therefore I know that my gluttonous desires are not good.  I repent daily about them - and then I apply the 2nd principle, "Jesus Christ died for sinners."  Jesus died for my unhealthy eating desires - all of them.  He died for all my unhealthy desires - every last one of them.  And I receive that forgiveness.  I rejoice in that forgiveness.  I am holy in God's sight through that forgiveness. And then I try again to eat correctly.  Every. Single. Day. 

Now, how does this relate to other things?  Well, I recently read a post on facebook from a young lady that desired to, "come out" as transgendered.  In the post she lamented about the judgmental Christians that would reject her [she is heavily involved in church related activities].  [I also want to say, to stop the gossip train, I am not here writing about anyone in the congregation I serve.] 

Now, in the post she wrote that she was no longer going to, "reject the way God made me.  He made me this way.  I am a boy."  Yet, a few sentences later she admitted she was taking hormone therapy and was looking forward to, "cutting off the milk machines" that she has.  Do we see the sad disconnect here?  If God, "made you" with the desires and attendant feelings of a boy...did God not also make you with the hormones you have and the milk machines?  Are you attempting to say that God made the internal you but not the biological you?  [Do not read judgment or sarcasm here - it is not present.  I am asking a legitimate question]  She is not applying the first principle to herself; and therefore cannot avail herself of the 2nd principle. 

As a reminder, the first principle is simple - we are sinners from conception to death.  Your chromosomes are the chromosomes of a female.  You are biologically a female.  You. are. a. Female.  Yet, and this is important, I totally believe you that you are super-uncomfortable with that reality.  I totally believe you that you feel like, "a boy."  I do not deny this at all.  I affirm this is how you feel and I affirm that you have a legitimate desire to be seen as a boy.  I simply know beyond a doubt that these desires are sinful. Just as sinful as a ton of my desires.

I have a ton of lustful, angry, hateful, prideful, boastful, desires that are not good.  They come naturally.  I don't want them but they're there.  All the time.  And I repent every single day for having them.  Every day. 

One of the biggest problems we as Christians are having is this - apply the principle that we are sinners to our everyday lives.  We. All.  Suck.  That is why we need a Savior.  This is what Paul said when he writes in Romans 7:24-25, "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."

We need Jesus to make a, "new us" and redeem us through His death and resurrection.  Praise God He has given me Jesus to make me new. 

Yet, while still in this realm I struggle with the old me; and that old me needs to be constantly drowned through repentance and forgiveness. 

I cannot help but wonder the damage we are doing to people.  We are telling them, "your sin isn't sin - it's perfectly good" when it is not.  Or we are telling them, "ooohhh...you're so gross and your desires are sooooo much worse than mine" when they aren't.  You stink too. 

To put this in perspective, let me apply this to me again.  What friend, being a good friend, would ever say to me, "dude...your desire and relationship with food is fine.  Just eat whatever the heck you want and you'll be good.  God made you with those desires - eat away!  We'll just keep re-tailoring those pants!"  No good friend would do this.  A good friend asks if they can help - they don't nag me - but they don't affirm bad habits either. 

We are doing no one any favors when we affirm sin.  Ever.  We are also doing no one any favors by totem poling their sin, as if our crap did not stink. 

The two principles at work here are important

*  I am a sinner from conception to death

*  Jesus Christ died and rose again to save sinners

So, final question.  If I am a sinner, how can I know what desires are good and what desires are broken?  Ah, I am glad you asked.  God wrote it down for us.  It is all found in His Holy Word.  The Word of God is the means by which the Holy Spirit reveals to us truth.  Those that say, "yeah...but it can be interpreted so many ways!" have never really read it.  Most of the people using that argument are simply regurgitating what they heard someone else say.  Sin is clear.  Righteousness is clear.  We are simply uncomfortable with the first principle.

Beloved, let us apply these two principles to our life.  Let us admit we are sinners and then rejoice in being forgiven by the blood of Jesus.  It will help us - and others - a lot.

Your Friend,


1 comment:

  1. You are so awesome and I'm so blessed and proud that you are my pastor!