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I LOVE God, I have been married for 5 years to a wonderful woman, I am a recent college graduate of Lakeland college with a degree in Religious Studies,I have currently foregone going to Seminary, but feel called to work with teens and young adults and do so at my local church, Vineyard CC, in Grafton, WI.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the OUtcast, the Mistfit, the Marginalized, and the Broken = Punk

So, I was having trouble coming up with what to blog about the other day, as a result of not being used to taking all of my random thoughts and putting them into one coherent piece impactful enough for your consumption. What I did was make a list of topic ideas that I have been toying around with, but have not written about to help with the creative process. Although I have plenty of ideas that I cannot wait to write about, there have been somethings going on in the news that I cannot avoid writing about, even if they have been touched on by a million other bloggers (an over-exaggeration I am sure).

As a huge supporter of the LGBT community, I cannot avoid writing about the attacks on the our GLBT brothers and sisters as of late. If you watch the news, are from the mid-west, and are a Christian there are at least three issues that are note worthy. In West Bend, WI the local high school GSA has been denied official organizational standing by the school board. For more information on their fight: http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/121738394.html Likewise, recently, Sojourners magazine declined to run an add by a pro-homosexuality Christian organization named "Believe out Loud." YOu can check out this link for the response from Sojourners. http://blog.sojo.net/2011/05/09/a-statement-on-sojourners-mission-and-lgbtq-issues/ If you would like to see the add that they passed up, you can view it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0buh-1quVs&feature=youtube_gdata_player Finally, Uganda is pursuing an onslaught of homophobic legislation. This legislation is being pursued in the name of God and in a genocidal fashion, making penalties for homosexual offenders gravely severe, up to the point of death. For more information please read here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Anti-Homosexuality_Bill

I look at these issues and wonder to myself, why? Why do we continue to ignore the fact that we do more harm then good by doing things like this? Why do we tip toe around issues that should be confronted? In this day and age, we would never stand for racism being committed in our schools, so why is it ok to deny these children the right to a safe school because they were born differently or support those born differently? Just a note, I am aware that racism still exists, but my point is that we, as a society, are not tolerant of it and crimes committed in the name of racism are punished much more sever then if they were committed for other reasons. We need to stand up for our LGBT brothers and sisters, not push them down or to the side just to avoid angering the less tolerant.

The Punk community is filled with outcasts, misfits, marginalized, and broken people who are just looking for a home and people to understand them and fight for them. Interestingly enough, if you read the New Testament, particularly the words of Jesus, you will find that his ministry calls us to stand by just those people. Take for instance the Beatitudes.

1 And seeing the multitudes, aHe went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and btaught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For fthey shall inherit the 1earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Luke 5:1 - 12 (TNKJV)

These words of Jesus call for us to stand by just those people. In other words, when you include and love our GLBT community, you are doing the work of God. When you stand by them, when they are being discriminated against, you are doing the work of God. Our brothers and sisters were created this way and are tossed to the side, treated like second class citizens, and even killed because of that fact. This means the punk community acts more in the way of Jesus then some churches do, if held up to this standard. So, why can these normally secular group of people follow the way of Christ more then Christ's bride?

As a punk Christian, although they truly are not mutually exclusive, I feel doubly compelled to stand up for my neighbor and love them and welcome them into God's family, or stand by them when they are hurting. I encourage you to do the same. Take a stand. Speak up to your church leaders and remind them of what their call is and that you truly feel that being born LGBT does not exclude you from God's love or service of the church. Write a letter to your politicians urging them to stand up for our LGBT brothers and sisters both locally and globally! We have the numbers, http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700137150/Gallup-Poll-Majority-of-Americans-support-gay-marriage.html , shows that the majority of Americans believe that same-sex marriage should be allowed. So why are we not pushing for this recognition within our church walls, the place where the outcast should first be welcomed and loved?
I write this, not to anger, but because I love my neighbor and I cannot sit idly by and watch our church communities continue to push my loved ones to the side. In my understanding of all of Jesus' teachings the commandment to Love your neighbor as yourself trumps anything else that may be written by anyone else in the Bible.

In peace and Love, God's blessings upon you!

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