Wednesday, October 6, 2010

God in our Culture

I watch a lot of TV. I've always watched a lot of TV. As a kid who was homeschooled, I had a LOT of free time, which I filled with books and TV. Same thing now. I'm unemployed, and I have a lot of free time. So I read a lot and watch a lot of TV.

I've been watching Glee since it started. I wasn't sure at first if I wanted to continue watching it because I didn't like how the show handled some characters' choices, but I decided to keep watching and see where it went. I am really proud about how they presented the subject matter of last night's show. Talking about faith and spirituality in such a public way can go really badly. It's not hard to really offend someone when it comes to talking about God.

I think what I appreciated the most is that Glee showed a very real look at how a lot of people feel about God. I have a lot of friends who don't believe in God for a lot of the same reasons the characters in Glee questioned God's existence. I have gay friends who don't understand how a loving God could create a human being with a same-sex attraction and then say it's a sin. I've prayed really hard for people that have then passed away. It's true that "the big questions are big for a reason."

I don't have all the answers, and I respect people's right to believe whatever they want. If they want to believe in a different god or none at all, I believe that they are perfectly within their rights to do so. I also believe that it's my right to believe that Jesus is the son of God and the only way to heaven.

When I pray for my friends (and I do pray for my friends, Christian or not), I don't pray for them to give up this sin or that. I have lots of my own sin problems, and who am I to impose Christian standards on someone who doesn't profess to be a Christian? I pray that my friends would have an encounter with God and his love that is life-changing. I think love is the key. I've struggled for a long time with how to love people who are different than me, who believe differently, who behave in ways I don't agree with. I am imperfect, and I love imperfectly. God's love isn't limited like mine is.

Yes, God is perfect and because he loves us there is a certain order in which he created the world to work, but he doesn't love only the perfect people. There wouldn't be anyone to love, if that were the case. Something I've been told by a lot of my friends at church (something I need to hear often) is that God loves us right where we're at. I've spent entire years of my life where my only communication with God was to either tell him how angry I was, how hurt I was, or how scared I was. Sometimes that's still how my prayers look.

I know what it is to hurt so badly you think the only answer might be to kill yourself. I've battled depression, and I've even had two hospital inpatient stays. I know pain. But I also know that there's hope. Maybe you don't understand, but there is so much hope in Jesus, in his love. It is my most sincere hope and prayer that if you're reading this, that you'll experience that love in the depths of your being.

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