Tag Archives: Love Wins

Let It Be: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Party

Why do I believe what I believe?

Funny looking back on the question of “how I got from a place of suffering to here,” it feels like I still oscillate between “there” and “here,” between being “in control” and without it, between feeling shamed and feeling loved, between crying out “Not my will but yours be done God,” and “My GOD My God, why have you forsaken me?!”

Between feeling like Aldonza, and feeling like Dulcinea.

I’m planning on writing a new blog post, but for now, in case you haven’t looked it up from my Facebook Wall, here’s my message/my story at my church this past weekend.

Let it Be, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Party .

And in case you wanna know about the church, you can visit its website here: The Sanctuary Downtown

So. Let it be.

->and the world will be better for this…

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Master Debation & Fornication!

I heard a Preacher once tack on to Mark 9: 43-47 this, “Better to enter into heaven without your manhood than to stroll down the road to Hell whistling Dixie with your Dick in Hand.” He began to preach on the horrors of masturbation, porn, premarital sex, and I think the Kama Sutra—all of these he considered to be “the woman Jezebel”, and “the Whore of Babylon”; I don’t really remember, I wasn’t paying as much attention.

My first pornographic experience was a dirty German magazine some friends and I had discovered in the public garbage (though, to be fair and true, my overall sexual experience began much earlier). I remember everyone wanting to see it, but no one wanting to admit what they did with it. Was there anyone else like that? You remember? I can look back and it was always the same. Everyone wanted to look at porn, no one wanted to admit that they did what it was used for. Here we go: Masturbate.

Bum BUM BUM BUMMMMM!

The unmentioned topic. The Voldemort of pubescence and—in some cases, pre-pubescence. Looking at porn was fine, thinking about masturbating to it…not so fine. In fact, it became just another topic of ridicule. “You masturbate!” became the insult of ultimate insults…up there with “you’re a fag!”
Anyway, after a long stint of digging through countless German public trash bins hoping to score some new reads, I eventually moved on to screen captures of films like “Wild Things” and finally came a-knockin’ at the door of pornographic films.

Robin Williams once said that “God gave men two heads, but only enough blood to run one of them at a time.”
Yep.
Story of my life.

I started “making out” when I was in first grade—second time I was in first grade, actually. There was this girl across the street and we would hang out and kiss. And we thought sex was her on top of me with our clothes on and making out.

I grew very aware of arousal and pleasure very young. And it began to develop into masturbation; way before puberty even came along. And when that happened my desire for experiences did too.

And now we’re caught up to where I started.

When I was a freshman in high school, there was this one time a bunch of students went to an FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) conference and we all got to stay in hotel rooms. We had free access to a lot of things—and German television. Not to mention the porn channels. Now these, mind you, were pay by minute viewing. Not at all like how it is in the States. Here there’s a check and recheck system so that there’s no way you could watch porn if you didn’t want to.
I mean, if you had a porn charge come up on your bill staying at a hotel in the States, and you wanted to deny it, I’m sure the talk with the clerk would go a lot like this:
“40 dollars for porn.”
“What? Uh…I didn’t watch any porn. It just came up accidentally.”
“Really? You accidentally found the Porn section of the channels and accidentally clicked it?”
“Yeah.”
“Then when it said, ‘You are entering an Adult section, are you sure you want to continue?’ you accidentally clicked yes; then when it asked again, ‘are you sure?’ you accidentally clicked yes again?”
“Uh…yeah.”
“Then when it asked you to enter your birth date to make sure you were of age, you accidentally did that?”
“Yeah, I must’ve sat on the remote or something and it did that.”
“Sir…just take the 40 dollar charge.”

Anyway, I digress. So sure enough, I wanted to see some porn, and it couldn’t wait until late night German television—which is basically porn. No no. Right then. And when we got to the end of the conference, and my teacher was paying the bills…guess what came up under room charges to my room? Yep.
I was humiliated. I was ashamed. And…I had a lot to deal with on that long drive home, and after.

A couple years prior, some really bad things happened to me in 7th grade. I don’t mean to seemingly jump off topic but I want to make it clear that I was struggling with a lot that whole middle school time. From being an outcast to really severe issues with intimacy. I felt worthless (I know, every middle schooler does), I felt disgusted with myself, and I kept looking for some escape.
Something.

I feel pleasure became distorted. It grew to be what I sought as a means to make up for the pain and disgust that was all me then. I felt that once that was attained, at least in that moment, I was safe and I was free.

And there wasn’t a real middle ground. I’m one of those people that doesn’t have a dimmer on my light switch—I’m either on or off, light or dark, energetic or shut down. So I fluctuated between pain and pleasure pain and pleasure.

Time moved on and so did technology. My voracious sexual appetite did not.

And porn became as easy to find as typing a letter. Just sit down in front of any ol’ computer with web access and click away. Back then though, it wasn’t so regulated, and pop ups where horrendous. And…when you’re using the family computer, there’s no hiding the sites you’ve been to except by deleting the history. Which I couldn’t do, because dad would know. I remember trying to cover it up by saying that I accidentally deleted the history instead of the cookies and thought I was in the clear. I mean, if there was no proof, than there was no way I could get in trouble.

Except Dad always had a way of finding out. I mean, I’m in no way as computer literate as I know a lot of people are. But he always knew the sites. If you’re out there and you can tell me how someone can figure that out without the history, please lemmie know…I want to be ready for my kids someday.

Well, so the usual routine would go as follows. I’d look at some porn, rub one out (as it’s been coined), “accidentally” delete the history, and think I’m in the clear. A couple days later, Dad would be in the computer room, and casually call me in from the living room. There on the computer was one of the sites I looked at. In the beginning—the first few times this would happen, he’d ask me if I visited this site. How do you deny that when it’s right there? “Uh, no Dad…did you and Mom? What type of freaky craziness are you two into?” Nope. I just had to stand there as we both knew the truth, and Dad in silence pulled up site after site I visited. He would then simply tell me “You are not allowed on this computer for *x* amount of time. There are now certain viruses I have to spend time cleaning up.” And he’d then show me all the viruses that the virus checker picked up thanks to me.

So there I’d be. Time and time again, invited into that room with my Father only to come face to face with something I felt disgusted with myself for doing.

Then came the ladies. Then I got in to actually taking something I felt badly about, and putting that on another person. All in the hopes that somehow, I’d find a way for the pleasure to finally cover the pain. I would finally find the intimacy I desired, the passion. But it’d be fleeting. And I’d be left feeling worse off than I did before. And so would seek again. Maybe, just maybe, that one was out there that could not only satisfy me, but create a sense of passion and intimacy that wouldn’t fade. All the while the primal desire to just have sex was there, so too was the porn. And again, then I’d go back to feeling more disgusted with myself than I did before.

Now it isn’t my intention to condone all the faults and “sins” I committed while “under the influence” of Jezebel, the whore of Babylon. Nor do I want to make light of an issue that for many, is an addiction, an uphill battle, a thorn in their side, and a part of them they wish to be done with once and for all. But I do feel that if we can’t talk about it, or stare it in the face, how will we ever be comfortable with being who we are? Every aspect of who we are. Further, how can we see what love, God, truth, may see in us if we cannot bring everything we are to the light of day?

I began to feel more and more like Aldonza. And the closer I got with someone that eventually let me down, the worse that Aldonza feeling became. I was raping myself. What else could it be?

There’s a song in the musical, “Man of La Mancha” where Sophia Loren’s character is at her worst. She sings a song titled Aldonza about her disgust with herself. One of the lines in the song summed up just how I’d feel time and again. Don Quixote tells her “never deny that you are my lady Dulcinea.” To which she responds screaming, “take the cloth from your eyes and see me as I really am!”

I still can’t watch the musical and not cry at that song. I connect with it so much. I am Aldonza the WHORE. And I scream out to God “of all the cruel bastards who badger then batter me, YOU ARE THE CRUELEST OF ALL!”

But maybe true love doesn’t fail. Maybe I am also still Dulcinea. Maybe in fact, I being Aldonza the whore is exactly why I am also Dulcinea. Maybe the sheer lunacy of true Love is what gets me to see that.

Maybe dad wasn’t so much concerned about the porn as he was the computer viruses.

Or the computer viruses that infected me. Maybe the infection is that hurt, is that shame, and I was never meant to have those things. Maybe he cast me out not out of shame, but out of cleansing.

Maybe love will catch me up and show me all the things that it’s been telling me. And maybe that love not only looks a whole lot different than what we may expect, it hurts like hell because it causes us to see ourselves and feel shame and disgust. Then causes us to see ourselves as Love sees us, and through the pain, through the disgust, through the shame, see that it doesn’t matter how we see us; that the eyes of love see it all and yet still love.

“NOW AND FOREVER, YOU ARE MY LADY DULCINEA!”

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‘Them Gays’ and The Church

UPDATE: 1st. August. 2012

This being one of the top viewed posts on my blog, I felt the need to add a minor blip to it, in order to convey what I believe the Bible is saying about homosexuality. The post itself is a specific response to a specific conversation and–while still worth reading, only conveys a broad picture of what I hold true.

The large scope of the matter, I feel, rests on the word Sodomite.
In the New Testament, the passages concerning homosexuality–and all the times in the various translations the word ‘homosexuality’ is used, the actual word that it’s translated from is ‘Sodomite.’ Sodomite was a term familiar to the Jew, and it’s history does in fact date back to Sodom and Gomorrah, and the story of Lot there.
Yet what is intrinsically tied to this term, Sodomite, has been lost in modernity, lost in translation, and lost in meaning.
You see, Sodomite was a term used to reference male temple prostitutes. Whereas female temple prostitutes were referred to as Harlots, to distinguish a temple prostitute that was male as opposed to one that was female, they referred to them as Sodomites.
As I said, it was indeed coined based on the story of Lot in Sodom, and the gang rape and desire to rape the angels visiting Lot, but I believe that there is an enormous difference between what we call and consider homosexuals today, and what was termed a Sodomite in Scripture.
You see, if we’re referring to Sodomites, we’re not only referring to the male version of a prostitute, but there’s a whole ideology and cultural understanding of specifically ‘Temple’ prostitution that we do not seem to grasp.
Temple prostitutes were known for vile sexual acts, what we would deem presently/modernly as ‘Sexual Deviancy.’

There is no love represented in Temple Prostitution. It is vile sexual action in the mindset of ‘worship’ of false deities.
Now, we know according to John’s letters (1st John) that God is LOVE, and where the Spirit of God is, there is Freedom.
When Paul was writing about Sodomites in the New Testament, he was referencing the Greek and Roman community present in his time, and noting to his followers, to the churches he was writing to, not to become embedded in that culture. The gratuitous sexuality for the sake of itself and pleasure what was what Paul was warning against.
For in it, there is no love, and without love, there is no freedom.

So I ask, if Paul was really warning about ‘giving in to our sexual desires,’ our lusts, no matter what they are, was he warning against homosexuality, or against actions that contain no love, and therefore, no freedom, and thus, are binding, addicting, enslaving?

While I will state that the “Gay Pride” movement–especially men in it, has the strong appearance of what can only now be described as ‘Temple Prostitute’ ideology–flagrant sexual acts for the sake of the acts themselves, the friends I have in the GLBT community can only be considered as seeking love.

So how then, can those that seek love, even if it is in a way which runs contrary to what and how we consider to be the ‘natural order of things,’ be faulted as not loved by God as they are, for who they are?

Even still, the crazy thing about God is that he not only is Love, but He seeks out the lost and the low–the prostitutes. He even commanded one of His prophets to marry a Harlot so for Hosea (the prophet) to better understand God’s relationship and abounding, unrelenting love for us.

As such, I will forever hold that God is love, and where love is, God is.
Yet the funny thing about scripture, is that it cleaves us, like we were two people, not one. The very passage that says, “but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us,” and “we love because He first loved us,” goes on to say that “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

Part of me thinks, “Alright, God lives in me, and His love is made complete in me, cause I have loved.”
And then part of me thinks, “Crap, there are people I struggle with loving, and if I can’t say I love them while saying that I love God, not only am I a liar, but I don’t truly love God.”

See?
Two people. One of me loves, yet one of me doesn’t.
The good news is that that one that doesn’t will one day be cut from me and thrown into the fire forever, while the one that loves will live on IN LOVE, to Love, forever and ever.
And I hold this to be true of EVERYONE, regardless of gender, orientation, or sexual preference.

~And the world will be better for this.

(PREVIOUS POST, WRITTEN 10. June. 2011)
In recent conversations with some online friends, I really felt the need to express my thoughts/heart on homosexuality and the GLBT community.

Here we go:

I think too often we take the story of the horrific sexuality that happened in Sodom and Gomorrah, combine it with Romans 1, where it says “God gave them over to their shameful lusts” and then make some sort of theological doctrinal dogma…stuff about homosexuality. Without covering terrible English translating (the actual translation of Romans 1 would read something more like “God let them have their dishonorable sufferings,” note, sufferings, which is a more broad category that somehow–translation wise, the “Church” has attributed to homosexuals only.), let’s just take it as is for argument’s sake.

Firstly, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways.”God
If we are to know him, we are to know his Son. Who…as it turns out, was significantly silent on the subject of homosexuality. What He was loud and proud about was love. Love to such a degree that those who may be our “enemies” are who we are supposed to love, which will then make us perfect, as the Father is perfect. Love to such a degree that the last and the least were made first, and the first (Jesus), was made last for such a feat. But herein lies the problem. Modern Evangelicalism claims to be followers of Christ—to be Christians, but we’ve got an awful lot of Darwinism (the philosophy, not the science) in our doctrine.
We (I’ll lump myself in even though I’m ashamed of it) by our actions seem to say, “God came to save the world, yeah, but there are those of us who are winners, and those who are losers.” Sounds a lot like the Christian version of “survival of the fittest” to me. So…why does that need for a loser rear its ugly head in a religion whose King became the very last and least, the loser, so that we all could win?* (Insert obligatory Rob Bell reference that “Love Wins.” God wins in the End)

Why do we need to have villains, losers? Gays. Muslims. Mormons. Obama. The people that shop at Wal-Mart. Osama. Harold Camping.
Why?
So that we can know we are right? How is that Christianity? When our God became the scapegoat, so that all of us losers (that’s right, we all are; maybe in a later post I’ll tell you why I am) could win?
Mull on that for a bit and I’ll continue with point number B.

Number 2: “for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” Pretty sure that’s what Paul was getting at in that Romans 1 passage. The byproduct of that was everything else which follows in the passage. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just “the gays” that “exchanged the truth of God for a lie,” but all humanity at one time or another.
You. Me. Everyone.

So…God consigned us to a destruction of the body…in any and every perverse way we ourselves had the freedom to think of. Cause after all, what is shameful lusts but sin? And what is sin? Paul goes on to call it lawlessness. And what does the bible say is the law? Pretty sure it says it’s summed up in this: love.
So…sin is lovelessness…which is essentially selfishness.
And that looks an awful lot like all of humanity, not one single group.

So how does all that seem to translate to what the notion now seems to be: “God has made some sort of more shameful sin that looks like people are born with it, and I guess I just don’t know ‘cause it’s so damn confusing.”

Now we come to some of the more “liberal” Christian views. Some say, “hey, you know what, this whole homosexual thing is just your sin nature. And as such—while I myself can’t seem to work out an “abstinence from sin” program for my sin, we’re gonna tell you that all you have to do to be a Christian and serve God is to abstain from being Gay. Just…stay single, and…don’t rock the boat. And we’ll love you as a single person in the church struggling with an addictive sin just like we do alcoholic Christians and the like. Because quite frankly, when it boils down to it, we can’t fathom a God who might create someone to be something like a homosexual and yet still desire Christ.”
I think it’s easier to just lump it in with “other sins” because of not understanding it. “You’re not really Gay, you’re just a sinner. And when we get to heaven, you’ll see. Just as when you become a Christian you get a new heart and a new spirit, someday when we get to heaven, you’ll get a new body. And that’ll be a non-gay body. So…YAY GOD!”
Sorry, but I just don’t think it’s too clear on whether that entails gays getting a brand spanking new non-gay body. In fact, it really is rather vague on that. It says the sin, the lawlessness—which is lovelessness will be gone; that it will be burned away. But as for whether that entails homosexuality…not so clearly defined…
Who knows what heaven is gonna be like? Maybe it will entail the freedom and ability to share yours, your neighbor’s, my neighbor’s, and anyone else we(I) come into contact with’s ecstasy and joy. Pure, unadulterated, heavenly joy, with no heterosexual/homosexual labels coined and pertaining. That deserves to be said again… WITH NO HETEROSEXUAL AND HOMOSEXUAL LABELS COINED OR PERTAINING.
I think when we get to heaven the only sexuality that is going to exist is…heavenosexuality.(just made that up on the fly, copyright, gotta give me mad proppas if you wanna use it.)
What I’m saying is this: doesn’t it kinda make more sense that just as when we are in Heaven there will be “people from every tribe, nation, race, and people group,” yet our focus will not be on those defining traits, but on the fact that truly, we are of one nation—that of Zion; wouldn’t it make sense that maybe there won’t be any “earthly” defined sexuality? That we will all share in each others joys and praises and heavenly ecstasy?

Thus, we will all be heavensexuals.

It’s here I feel like I need to clarify on the point of Gender vs. Sexuality. I believe they are two differing aspects. In that, I don’t think gender necessarily garnishes sexuality, nor sexuality, gender. Now I know that that has seemed to become perverted in our state and time, that there seems to have been a rickety bridge constructed between gender and sexuality, but I think its false. So when I talk of Heaven, understand that I do not mean we will give up our gender—that there will be no male or no female, but just as everything, it may not matter once we’re there. . I don’t know how that’ll look. I mean, Lewis gets into some pretty crazy descriptions of such in Perelandra–that of gender and male/female debate, and he is able to word it much more eloquently than I find myself able to, so I’m just going to point people that way, to that book if they want to see a great description of Gender and the whole “male/female” shtick.

For now, I rest with this: we are all family. Sons and daughters of a Father we may not fully know or understand, but a day will come when we know just as we are known. Until then, we are called to Love God, and Love each other. IN that makes the kingdom now, if we so choose to see it. But as for me–though I may interact with some awkward stupidity, love is love is God is love, and if anyone (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Muslim, Obama, Wal-Mart shoppers, etc) can see who Jesus really is, and love Him—or at least allow themselves to be loved by Him, just as I struggle to do day after day, moment after moment, you’re welcome to do so in my church, standing next to me.

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