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Gays Muslims Christians and Orlando

Updated on June 16, 2016

Not all Muslims are bad

This past week, America celebrated the life of a deceased American hero. Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay) revolutionized sports with his highly competitive nature, superior athletic ability, and a limerick as skillfully delivered as his left hook. Many people consider him a coward for having refused to fight in Vietnam, but others knew him for who he was outside of the ring and of the public eye. He was a hard-working, soft-spoken, compassionate man. He wasn't always perfect, but shame on you if you think you are. Muhammad Ali was a Sunni Muslim and a peace loving man.

I have friends that are Muslims. They are wonderful people. I rarely have met a Muslim who was not respectful, kind, and helpful. Last week, I took a challenge one of my friends issued me to fast with him for a week at the beginning of Ramadan. I made it two days and had to throw in the towel. After this shooting occurred, without thinking about what had happened, I approached one of my other Muslim friends to talk to him about the challenge I had just failed. He further informed me that there were more rules to Ramadan aside from not eating food during daylight hours, but that you were not even supposed to get angry with another person as you carry about your day. I care for my friends. I respect them and I know that it goes without saying that they are not comfortable with what happened this weekend in Orlando.

My Faith

I am a born again conservative evangelical Christian. I believe that my faith in Jesus Christ is the only legitimate belief that there is in the world in terms of the supernatural. I believe that Muslims believe incorrectly and that gays live a sinful lifestyle. With all of that being said, I have learned from Jesus that you do not win hearts through intimidation, mockery, or violence. You win hearts through loving relationships where you endure wrong attitudes and beliefs with patience. As a Christian, I am taught that we need to become all things to all people so that we might win some.

I recently heard a preacher commenting on the massacre that happened over the weekend. It was actually more of a declaration, but it deeply troubled me. He cited two passages, Leviticus 20 and Romans 1. He declared that Leviticus 20 states that homosexuals should be stoned to death. According to the Old Covenant of God, this is true. He then stated that Romans 1 also says that homosexuals should be killed and that he is not afraid to go to jail for his faith. Faith, really? You call that faith? That you are willing to kill people for the sake of your convoluted interpretation of Romans 1? If you can't even rightly divide the Word of God and understand its clear meaning, not only do I question your faith, but what in the name of the Lord are you doing preaching at one of the Lord's churches?

Yes, Romans 1 includes homosexuality within a list of sins of which it states in verse 32 that those who do such things are deserving of death. BUT this is clearly stating that all people who commit sin of any sort are aware that sin is deserving of death. In Romans 3:23, the Bible states that all people have sinned and fall short of God's glory (think of glory in terms of his righteous way of life). Furthermore, Romans 6:23 states that the punishment for sin, any sin, is death. This is the bad news that precedes the good news of Jesus Christ. All people deserve to die and be separated from God, but God in his mercy sent Jesus, his Son, to die for our sins so that through faith we would not have to endure the penalty for our sins.

Christianity is not about condemning people's sins. It is about declaring forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ and turning away from your sins in order to follow the example Jesus has set for us. It truly has nothing to do with Christians being condemning or acting like they are better than anyone. We are but sinners saved by grace that wish to extend the freedom through faith in Jesus to everyone.

LGBT Community

The LGBT community has suffered greatly in this tragedy. I don't know what it would be like to be at a public gathering only to have your fun interrupted by a maniac wielding two weapons. The horror had to have been tremendous. I have not heard the latest count on the number who were killed in this incident, but I know that it was at least 50 who lost their lives.

I want the LGBT community to know that there are people here that will pray for them and support them in whatever ways they can. I don't know what the general Muslim response was to the attack, but I am already aware that Chick-fil-a, a Christian owned business, immediately took action to provide relief for those who had suffered from this tragedy. Franklin Graham mentioned that one of his friends is a surgeon at a hospital that was seeing many of these victims. All the while, people are blaming the religious community for this incident whether it be in deed or in spirit.

The Good Samaritan

A parable that Jesus told comes to my mind right now. It is called The Good Samaritan. Many people in our culture misinterpret this story and miss its point because of the cultural context in which Jesus told it.

Jews hated Samaritans and Samaritans hated Jews. It was unthinkable that a Samaritan would have been considered good for any reason. In this story, a man is mugged while on his way to a city. He was on foot and in the middle of nowhere, thus he was left to die. One of his fellow countrymen passed by and saw him. He left him in the ditch to die. A priest of his people passed by and saw him and left him to die. But along came a Samaritan, a filthy no good Samaritan, who saw the man and had compassion.

The Samaritan tended to his wounds and transported him to an inn and paid for all of the care that he would need while staying there. The Jew recovered, but the Samaritan left before he could thank him.

Do you know the point Jesus was making when he told this story? It was a response to a Pharisee who had asked what the greatest command of God was. The answer was to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. To this, the Pharisee then asked, and who is my neighbor? Whether you are a believer or not, let me ask, "Who is your neighbor?"

Neighbors

Muslims, Christians, and the LGBT community are not necessarily the best of kin. And yet, it is a shame that we fail to treat one another the way Jesus commanded us. Treat others the way you want to be treated. We can blame everyone who has no affiliation with the incident. We can blame Christians, for creating an environment of hatred. We can blame Muslims for beliefs and teachings that condone such violence. We can blame the LGBT community for their defiance against God. The reality is that one man committed this atrocity and he stands before God Almighty in judgment.

Our response should be to serve one another as we have need. Do we hate one another or do we obey the teachings of Jesus? I'm not naive. I know that certain people will not embrace a message of love. I'm not saying that we consider everyone to be the same or that their beliefs hold equal value as ours. All I am asking is that we respect everyone's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is a theme that we can all embrace and it is only possible if we behave as neighbors to one another.

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    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 16 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      I accept your apology and am very pleased and relieved to see you really are a man of humility, able to admit a mistake and to go even further to rectify it and answer my questions.

      I understand from using the internet it is very easy to misconstrue statements and hard sometimes to disagree without coming on too strong (that's why I started out with "I'm not trying to pick on you preacher Bill" I meant no offense) but I also know I can come on strong so I'm probably as much at fault for eliciting your reaction as you are for having it.

      Please accept my apologies and thank you for your answers.

    • preacherbill174 profile image
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      Bill Seng 16 months ago

      After rereading your comments, I do see that I somehow grossly misunderstood what you were saying. I somehow got the impression that you were for using intimidation to push an agenda. How I came up with that, I have no clue. I hope that explains my backlash. I'm not going to make excuses, it's just the truth

    • preacherbill174 profile image
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      Bill Seng 16 months ago

      I think your questions are legitimate. However, Jesus makes his stance on non-violence very clear. Now, regarding war, war is a political institution and the bible makes it clear that government's responsibility is to exact justice. Regarding Jesus' second coming, that won't be so pretty because he will exact God's wrath against sinners. But vengeance belongs to God and I believe Jesus is God, which means he is the only right judge. He commands his followers to be as gentle as doves and as wise as serpents. Again, I apologize for being short with you, I hope this brings clarity to my stances.

    • preacherbill174 profile image
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      Bill Seng 16 months ago

      You know what? I apologize. Seriously, I do. I went a little overboard and I ask your forgiveness.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 16 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      Look good? What you look like and what you are is someone who wasted a lot of money going to seminary and learning nothing. A pastor who can't discuss Christianity without resulting to name calling and wise cracks (which I never did) is someone who lacks confidence to defend his understanding of The Word, Why? Simply because he doesn't know how to answer legitimate questions without admitting he is wrong.

    • preacherbill174 profile image
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      Bill Seng 16 months ago

      Keep commenting, you make me look good.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 16 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      Good luck with that, a preacher who can't even carry on a discussion without mockery and name calling, what religion is that?

    • preacherbill174 profile image
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      Bill Seng 16 months ago

      Who said I was against war? I recognize trolls when I see them. If you wouldn't insert words into ppl's mouths maybe we could have I dialogue. You ignored what I was saying and imposed your own biases. Yes, I am a preacher.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 16 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      And you call yourself a preacher? What about just war? you don't even follow your own own advise, you just mocked me, simply because you can't answer the points I made. Not winning any hearts here my friend.

    • preacherbill174 profile image
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      Bill Seng 16 months ago

      So, basically what you are saying is that you have no point. You just want to see what I say so you can contradict me...got it.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 16 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      I wasn't advocating pushing anyone around until they accept your beliefs, I didn't even imply Jesus did that. I didn't suggest doing those things to gays or Muslims is right or would be condoned by Jesus although I suspect, because I would never presume what Jesus would do nor should you, there could be instances where Jesus may not take a non-violent stand even with them. All I take issue with is that you seem to think Jesus advocated a doctrine of non-violence. If so, as I said, what about non-violence meaning that there are no just wars; violence is never morally justified. It is obvious then you don't believe in a just war, war is violence.

      I guarantee you the Pharisees felt mocked, just as gays or Muslims feel mocked when their sins are pointed out by Christians. You are interpreting what others undoubtedly would call mockery as what you believe Jesus intent was. Jesus knew they'd perceive it as mockery, if so then, according to what you learned from Jesus he should have refrained and befriended them.

    • preacherbill174 profile image
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      Bill Seng 16 months ago

      I think you have misdefined intimidation, winning hearts, and violence. Jesus, did not kill anybody when he was angry, nor was he intimidating or trying to win hearts by doing so. He was kicking ppl's Butts out of his Father's house for making a mockery of it.

      He did nor "mock" the Pharisees. He was calling them out for their hypocrisy. Mockery would imply he was making fun of them, as Elijah did to the false gods of the false prophets.

      Warning someone of Ill consequences is different from pushing them around until they accept your beliefs. Isaiah speaks of Messiah's gentleness. I hope this helps clarify things.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 16 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      I'm not trying to pick on you preacher Bill, but when you say "I have learned from Jesus that you do not win hearts through intimidation, mockery, or violence."...

      what did you learn from Jesus when he became violent on the money changers in the temple? The Gospels tell us that Jesus was so enraged by the corruption of the money changers and their money-making scam, that he made a whip, turned over tables, and drove animals and people out of the temple.Jesus was not an advocate of nonviolence. Nope, he never said a word about it. In fact, we have him on record behaving violently -- in all four gospels! While he often avoided violence, this does not mean he taught an ethic of non-violence. If the Son of God was an advocate of nonviolence, this means that there are no just wars; violence is never morally justified.

      Didn't Jesus mock the Pharisees and teachers of the Law in Mathew 23 condemning them and calling them snakes and a brood of vipers? If that's not mockery I don't know what is. So you think that Jesus taught that he should have become just like them to win them over? Obviously if you believe that then Jesus was a hypocrite, no?

      I'm just asking the obvious questions that come to my mind about when you say :

      "I have learned from Jesus that you do not win hearts through intimidation, mockery, or violence."

      Is that the only thing you learned from Jesus?

      I think Jesus taught that with some their hearts need to be intimidated (which frankly is in the eye of the beholder, what is more intimidating than paying for your sins in hell which Jesus spoke about 60 times) either to win their hearts or demonstrate to others the error of their ways.