28 de jan de 2009

Change is possible, I believe! Do you?

Marcelo, a friend of mine, simply sent me an email, for no clear reason, with the news below:

"A popular Christian artist, 3 time Dove Award winner Ray Boltz announced to the world on Friday, September 12th, 2008 that he is living a Homosexual lifestyle. Mr. Boltz stated in an interview with Washington Blade "If you were to hold up the rule book and go, 'Here are all the rules Christians must live by,' did I follow every one of those rules all that time? Not at all, you know, because I kind of rejected a lot of things, but I've grown some even since then. I guess I felt that the church, that they had it wrong about how I felt with being gay all these years, so maybe they had it wrong about a lot of other things."

Coincidentally I've being reading and thinking a lot about the whole homosexuality debate. At the time I read this email I was puzzled, asking myself why he would just email me this out of the blue. He lives in Brazil and has little notion of what goes on in my life here in NY.

For the past year I've grown closer to a friend who came out of homosexuality through God's power and grace. And our friendship has stirred in my heart the desire to better understand and even help people who struggle with same sex attractions (SSA).

In October I read the news about Connecticut Supreme Court legalization of gay marriage, making them the third state behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions. It made me ponder: The world is acting on their believes are we, the Church, doing the same?

Then I met two guys who are gay. Not knowing what to do about all of these urges I had of helping them, I decided to buy a book called "God's grace and the homosexual next door" by Exodus International Ministry.

I read the book and many testimonials of people who are overcoming SSA through faith in Jesus. I listened to an audio by Ricky Chellete explaining the roots of homosexuality. I also read some pro-gay articles from The Advocate, and a book from the library about Kinsey,who is considered the father of the gay movement, and his biographical film.

Just last week the film Prayers for Bobby came out on Lifetime TV, I didn't see it yet, but the story is about a teen who committed suicide after trying unsuccessfully to change his SSA through his Moms (Mary Griffith) religious methods, then after his death she understands that God loves homosexuals as they are.

Ray Boltz states that he did not follow every rule in the Bible but rejected a lot of things. I don't blame him. I have not follow all of them myself. I've sinned and rejected what the Bible tells me to do many times throughout my life. No one is good enough, we're all utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us.

"...for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23

I agree with Mary Griffith that God loves the homosexuals just as they are. He also loves liars, adulterers, thieves, drunkards...He loves all of us sinners just as we are. But our sin separates us from God, and the punishment for it is death.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

Because God is just he can not leave our sins unpunished. But because He is love He made a way so we could make things right with Him.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

God loves you SO MUCH. If you only believe that Jesus is your savior, you will be washed clean and receive the gift of eternal life.

"And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." I Corinthians 6:11

It's not by doing good deeds, it's not a matter of deserving anything, we don't.

"All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away." Isaiah 64:6

When you simply believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, for all your wrong-doings and that the punishment is paid in full, you will be a new creature. As you repent - changing your mind from rejecting Christ to accepting Him as savior - He will come and live inside of you, and will help you discern right and wrong and make better decisions.

As you start walking with God and letting Him be your Lord, He will day-by-day sanctify you. He will show you how to lead your life. By obeying God and following His ways you will not only bring glory to Him but you will also have the most pleasurable life ever.

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philipians 1:6

Until Jesus comes back and takes us to heaven we will be a work "under construction". Everyday I need to let God mold me, show me what needs to be changed in me because it's not pleasing Him.

All of this is a personal choice. No one can force you to believe that change is possible through faith in Jesus. It's a matter of individual FAITH. That's where Mary Griffith made a mistake by thinking SHE could change her son's mind.

It's a choice and God won't force you to open your heart, He's only knocking and you can open the door or not.

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me." Revelation 3:20


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