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My Current Beliefs About God and The Christian Religion
by Gary Lynn
I'm going to treat this page sort of like a blog, with my comments changing from time to time as I think of better ways to say stuff. Articulate and my name usually aren't said in the same sentence, ha-ha.
My current beliefs about God and My Religion have been heavily influenced by my life experiences as a bisexual growing up and living out my life as a teenager and young adult in the oppressive and intolerant 1950s and 1960s, at least that's how people labeled LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) found them. But they weren't finally shaped until I reached the grand old age of 65 when I began my research which eventually turned into this website and began to read the books I have listed in the biography and discovered the truth about myself, that I was just as good as the straightest of any straight man in the world. I am definitely not a religious person anymore as I was for most of my life. Being religious I have finally figured out usually involves accepting a group's all or nothing prepackaged set of beliefs/doctrines, whether that group is Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist or Utah Mormon. And you're made to feel like an outsider or heretic if you disagree with any of the items/beliefs in the package. I finally decided that enough is enough.
I don't attend church anymore as there are only less than 10 gay friendly churches in all of Mexico where I live and none of those are close enough to me. But I would say that I am a very spiritual person with a passionate belief in God, his love and his compassion and desire for justice for all his people, though for some this justice will be brought to bear in the next life. I do not believe the Bible literally, but I do take it very seriously. It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray without ceasing" and I try to do just that. I do it in the sense that I try to pray all day long by putting everything I do and say as part of one long conversation with God, constantly (OK, pretty much constantly, ha-ha) asking Him for His will to be carried out in my life and in the lives of my family and everybody on my prayer list. And because of the amazing things that have happened in my life as a result of my somewhat mystical dialogues/monologues with Him, I really know without a doubt that there is a loving God in charge when we do in fact rely on Him. Click Here to take you to my page dedicated to my prayers.
too much emphasis on saving our neighbor for
Rather than loving our neighbor without conditions in the here and now
I don't necessarily believe that Jesus existed on this earth to start a new religion with a complicated set of doctrines, one where Christians are the lucky ones and where some even say that the Apostle Peter was the first Pope, ha-ha. I'm leaning in the direction of believing that Jesus was here just to show us how to live and get along with and love each other. And as you can see with the USA involved in two wars (at least when this was written in 2009) besides the everyday murders, robberies, infidelity, and all the other abusive and hurtful things we do to each other, we definitely need major help in learning how to do this. And to this I now definitely do not believe in Christian exceptionalism anymore. This belief is the idea that Christianity is superior to every other religion in the world. I find that it's just so arrogant because these overzealous Christians are saying that "our little group has a monopoly on the truth and everybody else is going to hell unless they believe what we believe." Most Conservative Christian churches including the Roman Catholic Church believe in an unfortunate literal interpretation of Matthew 28:18-20, historically known as The Great Commission, saying that it means that Christians are to go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples. In other words, Christians are responsible for turning the whole world to Christianity. Now this has been proved impossible to do in the past for a multitude of reasons including insurmountable logistical, cultural, religious and language problems despite incalculable numbers of prayers offered to God for help in resolving these problems. And the current reality is that it is still impossible today without risking violence including, for example, starting a religious war with the Muslims. So Christian exceptionalism we find leaves the adherer in the position of reluctantly admitting that most of the people in the world have not been and cannot be evangelized for Christ and therefore they may not be able to be part of the kingdom of a Heaven. And for me that position is untenable. So this is why that I believe that there's been way too much emphasis on saving our neighbor for the hereafter rather than loving our neighbor without conditions in the here and now.
But what I have just said in no way diminishes the charitable work of Christian missionaries since I personally have been very positively touched by their loving work which in my case was the honor for 5 years (1977-1982) of being the accountant and local Mexican administrator for the orphanage Niños de Mexico. This is a non-profit organization connected to the Independent Christian Church (Church of Christ) which has 3 housing units located in and around Texcoco, Estado de Mexico, Mexico. Niños de Mexico, which is headquartered in Union, Missouri, began in 1967 for the purpose of caring for orphaned, abandoned, and neglected Mexican children and it does a very good job.
Although I still consider myself a devout Christian, all this still means
I've moved a long way from my roots in the same
Church (Church of Christ) mentioned above. I believe that we need to take Jesus at his word.
Just as he said in Matthew 22:36-40, there are only two commandments that matter:
1) Love God
2) Love your neighbor as yourself - The Golden Rule
Although that's it, I do look for the details found in Jesus' Sermon on The Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7), the love chapter found in 1Corinthiants 13, the Psalms, and many other verses in the Bible (mostly in the Gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) to show me how to live out the two commandments. But still, following these two commandments is not easy but if you're communicating with The Man/Woman (God) all the time, living your life with all its challenges becomes a whole lot easier. But the implication of all this is that any other teachings or religions anywhere in the world like maybe Buddhism or Hinduism or whatever assuming that they teach the same 2 commandments mentioned above may be a good pathway to the best possible life here as well as in the hereafter. My belief in life after death has been enhanced by the thousands of testimonies of people who have gone through near-death experiences.
Click Here to read an interesting
viewpoint entitled, "Do God and Truth Mean The Same Thing?"
In August of 2006 when my Mom passed away up in her home in the mountains above Placerville, California, (she lived alone in this huge house after my stepfather died in 2004) I had to go back to California from Mexico and handle everything as the only child at 65 years of age. Mom passed everything to me in a living will so the transfer of property was relatively easy. (I passed on most of mother's money to my adopted family in the form of providing them with homes) But the overwhelming amount of responsibilities I had to carry out in only 3 weeks (I had college students waiting for me back in Mexico) was an incredible experience when I think back that I actually got them done. These responsibilities included making burial arrangements, cleaning up and getting the house and property ready to be shown to prospective buyers by a local real estate agent, winding up all of Mother's affairs and driving mother's old 1993 Jeep Cherokee all over the freeways of Sacramento and Placerville to arrange for the furniture and appliances to be shipped to the family in diverse parts of the USA after not having driven in 25 years or so while I've lived in Mexico. I can say that God guided me through every difficulty so that I miraculously made the right decisions, desperately praying moment by moment because I didn't know anything about what I was trying to do. And to add further pressure was the feeling that now I was asked to make all these decisions on behalf of a woman, my mother, who always said I could never do anything right. I guess I showed her, ha-ha. Anyway, they say that there are 2 kinds of people in the world; people who believe that nothing is a miracle and people that believe that everything is a miracle. After all my life experiences I now believe that everything is a miracle. Successfully driving 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) on the freeways after a 25 year absence from driving of any kind is a miracle I've got to tell you. And for reasons I didn't understand at the time, I regularly took the written exams through all those years on my family visits in order to keep my driver's license up to date in California.
My most important readers on this site are the gay and lesbian children who feel trapped in the homes of conservative religious families who consider themselves Christians. And that's the reason that I have approached the subject of homosexuality from a religious point of view so that they can connect with the religious terminology of rejection that they confront on a regular basis in their stressful lives. It is they who I feel the need to support against the religious bigotry that they face from the mouths of some or all of the most important people in their lives, their parents and other family members, leaders in their schools and churches and even some of their friends. And I can deal with this subject because I experienced it in my own life as a teenager and a young man. So you will find religion talked about a lot on this site, but I am not religious. Not any more. Spiritual yes, religious no. I don't think that people who go to gay friendly churches (over 5,900 in the USA) like the Metropolitan Community Church and such would call themselves very religious. To most of the LGBT community, the mere mention of the word "religion" leaves a very bitter taste in our mouths, you know, of the pre-vomit sort, ha-ha.
The Hardest Thing For Me
Now what I want to do here is to admit to you my readers of my biggest failure in this entire project; To be able to have or offer up an attitude of forgiveness for all the people in the world past and present who have caused and are causing us so much pain, destruction and death. I don't have to wait for them to repent first and ask for forgiveness. Of my own free will, apart from whatever the other side does, I can forgive. Yes, for me to turn the other cheek to these overly-rigid religious conservatives while standing up for what I know to be the truth is really hard. But what else can I do? I believe I must continue to strive to do this if I intend to wear the label of Christian. Sometimes I get carried away with my pointed digs at these people I disagree with so much, but on a regular basis I just have to take some deep breaths and get some loving Godly perspective on the whole matter. And what could be better than to use Jesus' own words from the cross as an example of my attitude: And Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' (Luke 23:34) An eye for an eye does feel good at times, but it is only temporarily satisfying and has long term serious negative consequences.
In conclusion, I can say right here in all honesty and humility that I try
to live my life every day (including what I write on this website) so that at
any moment I am ready to meet my Lord and Savior, face to face. Yes, I am
ready to be judged with all my sins and often lack of faith exposed, whenever He
deems it time that my life here on this earth is over.
This is all for now. Hugs and Lord Bless, Gary Lynn
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ" Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi [and/or Bara Dada]
If you would like to communicate with me, my e-mail address is: email@example.com
Gary Lynn at 23 years of age with Mother and Step-father in 1964
As you can see, I was really excited about having my picture taken, NOT, ha-ha
So many gods, so
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, The World’s Need
Proof that Homosexuality is Not a
Choice - Try the Test On Yourself!!
So Click Here to see what the test involves and also see the scientific and medical evidence that confirms that homosexuality is not a choice. Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture? (Part 1 of 5). Also On The Same Page "Realizing That You're Different From Others, What a Gay or Lesbian Teen Goes Through"
below to go to:
The Anti-Gay Religious Right's Really Cruel and Idiotic Argument
Their Message to a Gay Person is: Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.
Click for Homosexuality is neither a Choice nor a Sin - table of contents
Click for Gary Lynn's Home Page