Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Invitation to Repentance

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chron 7:14

I am going to do something on this blog that I have been considering for awhile now. For those who read this, I invite you to join me in corporate repentance on behalf of the Church and the nation.

Father, I need to confess and repent of my actions, and my complicity with the actions of others. I also bring this confession before the homosexual community. On behalf of my nation, my church, and myself:

I have harbored evil thoughts and opinions of homosexual people. I have gossiped, disparaged, vulgarly joked, condescended to, and committed violence against gay people. I have ridiculed who they are, and considered myself better than them, often with unsubtly veiled references to "sin," "unnatural behavior," "impurity," "Sodom," and "abomination," not to mention a number of degrading slurs. This though you have said "consider others better than yourself."

I have believed the worst about the motives and heart dispositions of homosexuals. I have attacked their "agenda" as if they were merely and primarily a political entity seeking to usurp my personal moral stake in the way this nation governs itself. I have used slander, hatemongering, and righteous disapproval to gain political ground and the moral approval of my church and political constituents. I have contributed to the building of a worldly principality within the church that is set against homosexuals and even bent on their destruction, with hatred and rejection as its method. Together, we have made unholy use of the name of God to justify our own socio-political agenda.

I have insisted that homosexuals can and should change their behavior, though I routinely refuse to change my own. I have not allowed gay people to be who they are. I have identified them chiefly as a lifestyle instead of as humans. I have insisted that they change themselves in order to earn my friendship. I have canonized my beliefs about homosexual acts and put myself in the place of you, Father, with respect to moral judgement of their behavior. I have made the assumption that it is a matter of simple choice for them to do things my way, and that all should conform to my opinion, as if it were the word of God. Furthermore, I have placed on a pedestal those who have abandoned the homosexual lifestyle, and paraded them around as if it were the norm, and that all someone needs to do in order to change is to get into the right program, say the right prayer, start going to church, or any of a number of other superficial acts. I have also expected that it be taken for granted, and without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, that this lifestyle even should be changed. I have tried to show people a "correct lifestyle" and a set of laws instead of showing them the Living God. By confusing these two, I have committed idolatry.

I have refused to allow homosexuals the same legal rights I expect for myself. I have denied them housing, jobs, equal treatment under the law, and a number of other luxuries that I enjoy. I have felt entitled to these things because my life is "cleaned up," and I am "right with God," or because I am "walking with the Lord," or "holy." By concerning myself with the likes of gay marriage bans and sodomy laws, and I have merged my understanding of God's law with my demands for the law of the land, which is idolatry, and thus have sought to impose a moral standard on others that we do not agree upon. I have blamed them unjustly for the moral, political, economic, spiritual disaster that this nation has succumbed to. I have made a golden calf out of this nation, its laws, its moral center, its political/spiritual roots, and the church that is closely linked with its governance.

Father forgive me. I bring these confessions to you, and to the gay community everywhere, and humbly ask forgiveness. By your grace I commit to renouncing this Godless ideology, and I will throw away the righteousness that is gained through moral behavior in exchange for the righteousness you give me as a gift, and I want to view homosexuals in light of this righteousness. I want to change my lifestyle. I would rather have you near than be morally upright.

Father, help me commit to revealing Jesus to homosexuals by extending kindness whenever possible, declaring your love and favor upon them, opening my home and my church to them, speaking out in defense of them when they are unjustly attacked and degraded, doing away with political principalities that threaten their safety and freedom, and to serving them without qualification or expectation. But I will need your help, Father, for your ways are not my ways.

For you said if the church does away with the yoke of oppression, the pointing of the finger, and malicious talk, then her light will rise in the darkness, and her desert will turn into a well-watered garden.

Return to us, oh God.

6 comments:

NaNcY said...

thank you for writing this and sharing it with me and others. praise God.

Bob said...

Nate, I am especially convicted by these words: "I have insisted that homosexuals can and should change their behavior, though I routinely refuse to change my own. I have not allowed gay people to be who they are. I have identified them chiefly as a lifestyle instead of as humans. I have insisted that they change themselves in order to earn my friendship. I have canonized my beliefs about homosexual acts and put myself in the place of you, Father, with respect to moral judgement of their behavior."

Father, I have thought to be subtle in my sin, so that I might indulge it when I choose, and still be perceived as moral and even sensitive by others. I too have often thought the worst of homosexual men and women. I have masqueraded as a man of high sensitivity and love, while within I have often (often) been a man of judgement, condescension, and even hatred. I have considered homosexual people especially immoral, as if I myself was especially moral. I have not considered them better than myself. I have not treated them with uninhibited grace and welcome. For this I ask you you not only for your forgiveness, but also for your transforming presence to work in these areas to make me more like Jesus, who welcomed all without condition.

NaNcY said...

i just have to comment again, i would like to join you, join you in well, being humble and not accepting the judgment of others, that can quickly enter my mind, that comes from a place of fear, other's fear, self righteousness, ignorance, anger, hurt or hatred. and to accept the commandment of Jesus Christ to Love God and to Love one another. to want God to be able to show His Love through this body that He has given to me. i want to repent of all of the ways that i have judged others in this way.

NaNcY said...

hey there, brother nate. God bless you in your day.

NaNcY said...

by the way...how was your trip that you took this summer?

NaNcY said...

sorry if i am becoming a bother, but, i really enjoy your posts, and wondering if ...well, how are you?