hate

The Damage Being Caused by my Fellow Christians

It is painful to see and hear how much damage is being done by Christian leaders who proclaim the name of God while engaging in rhetoric that is hurting people.

As Christians, we are called first to honor God, yes, but as a close second we are TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

John 13:34-35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

This does not in ANY way say that we are allowed to keep anyone from coming to the Father.

This calls into question things like the Nashville Statement, the Southern Baptist Conventions Anti-LGBT documentation, as well as individual Religious leaders denouncing LGBT Christians from their pulpits.

I have to ask; where is God in any of that? The answer is simple, He is not.

He is clear on one thing though- He hurts for those that have been abandoned, abused, or rejected. He cares for us- He does not reject us.

Isaiah 57:15: For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Matthew 5:3-4: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

It is comforting to know that no matter what has been done to us by other people, we are NOT alone. God sees what we are going through, He understands, and He is with us. God is NOT defined by the box that the Church has attempted to put around Him.

This is my hope for my fellow Christians:

That we would understand who God is, at least to the best of our ability. That we would see that He is not a God of hate and intolerance, but one of love and acceptance.

Please do not forget Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” 

Not one of us is a perfect Christian- we make mistakes, we fall short. We do not get to judge the walk of other people. Yes, I am Trans Christian. This does not exclude me from being able to be a Child of God. My walk is not in question. My identity is not in question. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and God made me this way for a reason. Your job, as a fellow Christian, is to encourage me in my walk- not to pick it apart.

IF our goal is the great commission, than I am afraid that we are not meeting it. We have turned insular, and tearing apart people who should be drawn closer to the father. God didn’t say, “For all have sinned, and those LGBT people are especially awful.” He did not say “Go ye therefore, except to that LGBT kid because I do not want anything to do with him.”

He did say to love one another, and that is something that I am choosing to do.

~Megan~

My Response to the Nashville Statement

 

I have been thinking about what to write in regards to the Nashville Statement all day today. I am not going to lie, my heart is heavy.

If you are not aware, this week more than 150 spiritual leaders got together and wrote out a document in which they laid out their “response to an increasingly post-Christian, Western culture that thinks it can change God’s design for humans”. Contained within are 14 items or articles in which they discuss several items, including not allowing sex out of marriage and their belief and how it pertains to biological sex and gender identity.

While these are nothing new, and have been discussed by the church before, they are laying this down as a guideline for churches across America as a tool for Christian leaders to use when confronting things they disagree with.

Article 10 is the item that got me the most, I think.

“WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

“WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.”

Now then, let me start off be saying that the rhetoric and logic used by these leaders is not only hurtful, it is dangerous ground to be walking. We see here a complete disregard for one of our greatest commandments given to us by Christ; love one another. Church leaders are placed in their position to reach the hurting and the lost. Instead of focusing on such things as white supremacy, racial discrimination, or ways to assist the hurting in their community, they chose instead to focus their time on writing a document that is not only hurtful, but anti-God.

Let me explain; God has already given us proof that the LGBT community is loved and accepted

Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” 

Ephesians 1:3-6 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption into becoming a child of His through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

We were made with intentional purpose, God knew what was going to happen before we did. The fact that the church is trying to put words into His mouth is just wrong. There is a reason I am Transgender, and I am living my life in a way that I hope to honor my Father.

This whole situation reminds me so much of the time that Jesus’ apostles were trying to keep the children from coming before their teacher.

Matthew 19:13-15 “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His Hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said “Let the little children come to Me. Do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.” And He laid His Hands on them…” Don’t you see? Instead of letting us be ministered to and allowing us to worship alongside them without judgement or condemnation they are being a gatekeeper. These leaders are stating that they are allowed to decide who is allowed before the throne.

Please, stop trying to dictate who is allowed simply because you disagree. We have a right to worship, just as you do.

So, as a Christian LGBT member I hope you realize that there is nothing wrong with you. You are not sinning- you are following the plan that was laid before you by the very same being who hung the stars in the sky and counted every hair on your head. Being LGBT is not a choice, and God knows that.

Don’t forget; Jesus hung out with those that the Church leaders of the day rejected. Who do you honestly think that he would hang out with today? Would it be the bigots and religious gatekeepers, or the ones that are continuously ostracized by the very people who were called to love them?

All in all, this piece of paper doesn’t change anything other than labeling the signers as people who look at us with contempt. We will show them a different way to think if we decide, today, to take back our faith and instead of relying on the leaders, actually read the bible on your own.

We are stronger than this, we will overcome!

Megan

The Power of Words -A Look at Cyberbullying

With the advance of technology it has become so incredibly easy to access the internet from almost any part of the globe. I don’t even need a physical computer anymore; I am writing this blog post from my cell phone. It really is an incredible thing.

However today I’m discussing a more serious issue, an issue that is made, unfortunately, considerably more easy because of technology. I wanted to write about bullying, and even more specifically the rise of cyberbullying.

Stopbullying.gov defines cyberbullying as:

“Bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.”

Generally when discussing statistics or stories about cyberbullying we think of children in schools, but many adults face cyberbullying as well. A Pew Research Study survey found that almost 75% of American Adults have witnessed online harassment, with 40% reporting to be the victim of it. These are not low numbers.

Sometimes it can seem harmless enough. A picture shared, a simple joke among friends. Many times I have seen a topic joked about simply because the person is uncomfortable about it, or doesn’t understand or agree with it.

This is a dangerous place to find yourself. Putting someone else down for your own amusement is far from pleasant, it is extremely hurtful.

As a Transgender woman, I am not immune from this. It is so easy to attack people that you will never meet, and it is not fun. I am constantly being attacked for who I am, and have even received death threats. I am not going to lie, sometimes it is overwhelming.

Lately I’ve noticed an increased number of “memes” (image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied/shared and spreads rapidly via the internet) that involves a picture of someone that does not conform not “traditional” beauty standards. These images are hurtful. I know that several people on my own friends list will read this and roll their eyes. They will say that I’m either overreacting, or that people get their feelings hurt too easily.

I beg to differ, though. I think more people should be offended by things like this. Our society puts such a pressure on conforming and looking/behaving a certain way- way too much. Imagine then, if you already have such low self-esteem because you do not feel as though you fit in, and find out your image was used as a JOKE on the internet?

Cyberbullying does not limit itself to image alone. Many people in the LGBT community struggle with attacks and many minorities and people of color (poc) do as well.

It is easy to sit behind your computer, or your cellphone and type out hurtful words and threats when you don’t have to look that person in the eye.

4,400 people between the ages of 10 and 24 kill themselves each year because of bullying. This is both terrifying and PREVENTABLE.

Please think about your words and actions. They are not trivial, and can have a lasting affect on the people around you. Your harmless joke may be painful and hurtful towards someone else.

If you are a victim of cyberbullying, or threatened in any way please get help. I have included some links below. Reach out. You are not alone.

~Megan~

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:      1-800-273-8255

CyberBully Hotline: 1-800-420-1479

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

To Write Live On Her Arms

A Few Misconceptions

“Christians are not perfect people. They are normal human beings that make mistakes just like everyone else. The difference is that they are not defined by their mistakes because they have put their faith and trust in a perfect God.”

There seems to be a misconception about Christians that I wanted to address tonight. I have been told by more than one person that Christians are nothing more than hypocrites who enjoy making others feel badly about themselves. This really hurts, but it hurts worse when I can see where they might have gotten that impression.

I had two conversations today about the church- once with my mother and then again with a good friend of mine. I discussed why I’m so passionate about reaching out to those that may have felt abandoned by the church. I drew a couple of things away from those talks that I wanted to share with you.

First, I find it so interesting (and yet terribly sad) that many church-going people today closely resemble the Pharisees mentioned in the Bible. They go to church habitually, pray, worship- and yet are so completely rigid and unemotional when it comes to talking about Christ to someone who doesn’t fit their “cookie cutter” version of faith.

Luke 18:9-14  “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: Two men went to up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his chest, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Second, The Great Commission is something that every Christian is called to partake in- that is, reaching other people and sharing who Christ really is with them. One of things that strikes me as odd is this belief that we can look down on others, ostracize, belittle, and talk about them behind their backs because they do not hold to the same things we do, and still reach them for Christ! Judging other people will not bring them into the kingdom. That is not our job. We are to love them- we are to pray for them, and we are to reach out to them!

Matthew 28:16-20 “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

If you have been hurt by someone in the Church, I’d first like to apologize. Second I’d simply like to ask that you not turn away from Christ because of the actions of a few people. Christians are just that- people. We make mistakes.

I am so thankful that I serve a God who can turn a mistake I’ve made into something beautiful. He (God) is not bound by the box that we put Him in. He sees you, He loves you, and He wants to be reunited with you.

~Megan~

We Belong

I debated writing a blog post about the Military Ban President Trump tweeted about on Wednesday, July 26th- but honestly, what is the point?

I am not saying that it is not something that should be discussed, not at all! I think it is an important issue and it desperately needs to be addressed before people get hurt. What I mean is that the problem isn’t going to be addressed by a blog post, it goes too deep and too wide to be covered and handled that way.

The problem I am discussing is this idea that Transgender people are a burden and a disruption to society. In one single blow, (or rather three small tweets) the president was able to invalidate Transgender lives, and undermine the progress we have been making.

By claiming we are a burden on society it is now in the minds of cishet Americans that they shouldn’t have to accept us, or think of us as human beings because we are a “problem”. This erasure and demeaning attitude will cost lives if it is allowed to continue.

Transgender people are NOT burdens. We are simply people trying to survive in a world that has shown us repeatedly that they believe us to be lesser beings. We are not a disruption to society because we exist, we are a disruption to society because we provide a nice scapegoat for an administration that is trying to alleviate some of the attention on him caused by his dealings with Russia.

I made a new friend today. She was a Marine who proudly served our country. She came out as a Transgender woman after leaving the service- THIS is who Trump is trying to say is a burden on society- someone who fought for our rights and freedoms.

I am disgusted with the amount of hateful trolls that have come out of the woodwork since this was announced. Oh, I know that they existed before, and that they thought this way already- but now they are validated by the man they elected into office.

I am not in the military, nor will I ever enlist because of reasons that are my own. That being said, this ban will affect all Transgender and gender non conforming people in the near future, if it is not already. Why? If those people who have put their lives on the line are not safe, not protected- not RESPECTED for their service, how long do you think it will be before Civilians are targeted as burdens and disruptions?

I am not trying to make something out of nothing. I am not trying fear tactics, or spreading inflammatory rhetoric. I am simply trying to state that Transgender people have a right to exist freely and openly- without the contempt and having to endure the painful and damaging thoughts of those who think we do not deserve to exist.

We are not Burdens. We are not disruptions. We exist- and we BELONG.

~Megan~