You hear a lot about positive thinking these days. And not just from your self help books and speakers. Positive thinking can also be heard from the pulpit at many churches today. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with keeping a positive attitude towards life, but it in many cases it has been used to take the place of good sound doctrine. Omitting truth that needs to be taught about the Gospel of Christ. So I'm going to give my take on "Positive Thinking".
Let me start with; I am positive that I'm a sinner. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23. I am positive that there is a hell. "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Luke 19:22-24. I am positive that God loves me so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die in my place. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. I am positive that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and arose again on the third day. "...Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. I am positive that salvation is a free gift for all who will believe and put their faith in Jesus. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Ephesians 2:8. I am positive there is no other way to salvation except Jesus. " Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.
Whereas having a positive attitude may lift your spirits. Being positive about who God is and who Jesus is. Knowing what He has offered us through His Grace and Mercy and accepting His free gift of redemption. Being positive about these facts, brings unspeakable Joy.
Never forget what He has done for you. He bore the punishment for your sins so you can be righteous before the Father. Give Him your heart and trust if you haven't already.
Have you ever played with a magnifying glass as a child? Setting things on fire with the help of the sun? If not, you may have seen it in a cartoon that depicts a young boy with a magnifying glass, torturing an ant or some other bug, chasing him with the fiery heat of the magnified rays of the sun. The insect is not sure what is going on but understands that, if he stands still, it’s not going to end well for him.
This is kind of how it feels to be a gay Christian at times. Especially when you understand that being gay is not a choice, with this fact in mind and listening to the way strongly conservative religious people of today speak about homosexuals, I can’t help but feel like that tortured insect. But instead of a little mischievous boy, it is God himself depicted as holding the magnifying glass. I know and believe that God is the sole creator of all life, therefore, he created me as I am, a homosexual. But with this religious view, we are created only to be tormented by the Creator. Can you see the flaw in this scenario? God is the Creator, but God is also full of Love. I can’t believe that God would create millions of people for the purpose of torture with the destiny of eternal damnation. That only leaves the view that God has a plan for gay men and women as He created them for the good of God’s kingdom. But it's very hard to figure that out while some religious conservatives are so full of judgment without the willingness to seek out God's truth because of what they can't possibly understand.
Let me clarify that I'm not a liberal. I have always identified myself as a conservative, but have decided that I don't particularly care for labels anymore. Labels tend to put you in a box, even if you don't quite fit in that box. Jesus was the only perfect man to walk this earth, and, if we could walk exactly in his footsteps, we would be perfect too. However, that's just not possible. Imagine Jesus as walking in a straight line. And as mere mortal we can strive to become like Jesus, as we should, but due to the brokenness of this fallen world we tend to fall short and stray either to the right or to the left of that straight path. The closer we can stay to the center, the closer our walk will be inline with God's will. On the other hand, the farther we stray to the left or right, the farther our walk is from what God intended and the stronger the dislike or hatred toward anyone on the opposite side.
Most gays, (or at least the ones you hear about,) have a liberal view because the liberal view appears to be the most accepting and loving, and therefore, the most appealing view. And they view conservatives as being judgmental and in some cases full of hate. But I'm going to tell you that both are wrong. Neither view is helpful to a gay person in this life and especially in the eternal. Where the liberal view leads you to a place of acceptance, it leaves out the need for a Savior. The liberal view tells you that we are all God's children. Therefore we should love everyone,(except those who disagree with us,) and all go to heaven, regarding the bible as mere guidelines. Now the conservative view turns the word of God into a weapon, judging and condemning the gay community. Telling them that they must become straight or stay celibate. With no regard of what this does to a gay person. They claim that this is out of love and concern for their soul. But has the gospel gone void? Does Jesus's commandments still have meaning? it appears not with the conservative view towards the gay community. Where the liberal view negates a Savior, the conservative view excludes gays from Him. Where is Jesus in all of this?
Jesus said in Mark 16:15, "... Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." And in John 3:15-18, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Jesus never gave prerequisites' for believing in Him. There's no, "You must do this! or become that!" before you can come to Me. God meets us where we are. Salvation is for ALL who believe!
The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 3:22-26, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
I ask, does the above scripture go void if you're gay? Absolutely not! Even Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:15 "...that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Paul never said "I was a sinner." And isn't the penalty for all sin the same? So if being gay is a sin, which I declare it's not, would that sin be excluded from the blood of Christ? Does not Jesus's blood cover all sins? Absolutely it does. And what does Jesus tell us in Matthew 22:37-40 "....Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Does being gay violate these commands? I say "no!"
Now then, if a person, gay or straight, accepts Christ as his or her Lord and Savior. And as Paul tells us that we now have the righteousness of Christ and God no longer sees our unrighteousness. Aren't we therefor no longer gay nor straight but rather brothers and sisters with Christ and each other. With the same commission to spread the Gospel to all people. To love each other as Christ loves us and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Liberals want no laws and think God's plan for salvation is too complicated or contradicting, so they take what they like and discard the rest, whereas conservatives seek to add laws. They can't accept how simple God's plan for salvation is, so they begin looking for whatever else that must go with it. And they either forget or just don't care that the word "homosexual" was never in the bible until just over 50 years ago and that this word has NOTHING to do with sexual behavior but rather an attraction for the same sex. (And/or lack of attraction for the opposite sex.) God's plan is perfect and simple to those who trust in Him. So how do we stop being liberal or conservative and just start being more like Jesus!
God blessed me with a church family that is full of Grace but uncompromising with Truth. They love me just as I am and allow me to be a part of the church with an understanding that it's more about what's in a persons heart that God judges rather than their behavior. Our behavior doesn't, unfortunately, always reflect the God that created us. Only Jesus did that and He came down to earth from His heavenly throne to rescue us from the sin that separates us from the Father. Once I understood this truth I was freed from the burden that made me feel like that tortured ant. I now unashamedly live to serve my God and Creator and proclaim the truth of the Gospel of Jesus my Savior. The Savior of all who will believe on Him and admit they are a sinner and lost without Him. Sure I wanted God to do a miracle in me and make me straight, but He obviously had different plans, using me as I am reaching out to people hurting just like I was. Someone that can understand their pain and misery that's out of their control. I sometimes still have that thought because it would make my life much easier, but if this is where God wants me to be then I happily except His mission and ask daily for boldness in Christ, guidance to follow His will, and strength to endure the criticism by those who can't understand and refuse to even try.
I am no longer that ant, God is not my torturer, and I harbor no ill judgement toward those who criticize and call me, and all like me, an abomination. In the end we all stand before the righteous Judge and will be held accountable. I love, and pray for all to seek righteous truth. We are called to Love God, Love our neighbor, and proclaim the good news of the Gospel, and if what you are doing does not fulfill these commands, then maybe you should evaluate your life before you judge others. God Bless All...!