- Why Does It Feel Like God Is Punishing Me?
- Christians With Tattoos
- I’m Not A “Church Person”
- One Dies, Millions Cry; Millions Die, No One Cries
- My Thoughts A Christian Marriage
- Force Feeding Religion
- Ignorance Of The Bible
- An Atheist’s Point Of View
- My Favorite Christian-Related Art Pieces
- Building A Tolerance
- Is It Really A One-Fits-All View? Do All Atheists Go To Hell?
(This is in no particular order.)
The characters Ana and Sebastian (that name will eventually change, but until then I will refer to the character as Sebastian) in my novel ‘A Million and One Miles’ are two of my real-life friends from high school.
“Ana” was a newly devoted Christian who I met when I was 17, and “Sebastian” was my best friend who I had known since elementary school. Although I met Ana just a year before graduation, we immediately connected for some reason. Ana, Sebastian, and I were all well-known at our high school and I didn’t realize it before, but I had never seen Ana and Sebastian ever interact. In any kind of way. I always figured that they had not been properly introduced or that maybe they weren’t each other’s “type of people”.
It wasn’t until I suggested that the three of us hang out that Ana confessed that she did not want to be around Sebastian because he was gay. He had came out about a month after we graduated, and this was a few years after. I knew that she hated the sin, because God hates the sin. She never knew anything about Sebastian, nor gave him a chance (even before he came out). It only bothered me because it felt like she expected me to give up the friendship because his sexuality was frowned upon. I respected her wishes to not pursue a friendship with Sebastian, but I didn’t understand why she couldn’t do the same with my choice to remain friends with him. She told me that I would go to Hell once. But really, who was I to scorn and isolate Sebastian? I’ve made my mistakes, I don’t want to be a hypocrite.
A sin is a sin. It all weighs the same. Homosexuality does not outweigh adultery. Lying does not outweigh cursing. Murder does not outweigh theft. Once Christians have that embedded into their brains (which is impossible) then I think that the tensions will subside. I don’t think that God intended for these protests, and hate to be spewed toward one another. Period. He doesn’t want you to engage in it, or ever think that it’s okay. We’re not the religious police! You can love God and follow his word passionately, but some people go too far when it’s not their place.
Unfortunately, the friendship between Ana and I ended for other reasons, but I really wonder why sexual orientation would play such a large role in pursing friendships. Fear? Preconceived notions? The thought that God would be displeased with the idea that you are associating yourself with someone who engages in THAT kind of sin? Sin is sin. We all do it. If we were to isolate people because of their sinful behavior, then we would not associate with anyone, nor be associated with.
I never thought about ending my friendship with Sebastian because our friendship has nothing to do with his personal preferences. It doesn’t affect my life at all. It doesn’t affect his loyalty, his respect, his kindness, or his reliability. There’s no way that I would throw away that kind of friendship because of something that does not affect me at all.
Too many people are hating the person along with the sin.
I probably could post several subjects that are related to Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. It really did change my outlook on how I lead my life and how to embrace others. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to be able to sit down with a group of homeless people -just to hear their stores- but I really feared how they would embrace me. Most people enjoy being around me, but I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like I look down on them or pity them. I’m hoping that I can do that soon.
I’m getting off topic already, back to the purpose of this entry. In Crazy Love, Chan speaks of a particular kind of giving. I don’t have the book around me to quote what exactly he said but it was about giving to strangers who do not love you rather than your loved ones because when you do good deeds for your loved ones, you almost always know that you will be paid back at in one way or another. I can admit that I know people who boast about how they give to others. I’ve probably done it at some point myself, but as Chan and the bible say it doesn’t really mean anything when you’re giving to someone whom you love and loves you back because you will most likely be repaid. Giving to someone who does not love you and may not ever love you speaks volumes because you’re doing something out of the goodness of your heart.
Believe it or not, alot of us say that we do things out of the goodness of our hearts but it’s really not seen that way. I’ve personally seen worse than that, I know someone who moans and complains every single time that someone asks her to do a favor, but when she’s the one in need, she expects to be repaid and usually asks more than she’s ever given. Like if she give you a car ride down the street, she expects you to pay for her road trip to a different state. This is no exaggeration. It’s really sad because if you say no to her the first thing she does is throw everything that she has ever done for you back in your face. She’ll tell a bunch of other people what she’s done for you and also bring up things that she did decades ago to make herself look better. It’s disgusting.
It only reconfirms my reasons for being more inclined to help strangers than family members or friends because they almost feel entitled at times, and sometimes it’s for things that they simply do not need. Family expects you to be understand that they want to take their family on a vacation rather than a stranger needing food or change.
Think about this: try to estimate all of the money that you’ve given to family members, friends, co-workers, etc. to help them for things that they simply did not need (ex./ to get a newer model car, to go on a vacation, to buy Christmas gifts), now think about how that money could’ve went to help a complete stranger (get clothes, a place to stay, or food).
When I started LaneAltonWrites on Tumblr, Wordpress and Blogger, it was in the hopes of building an early fan base during the anticipation of releasing my first Christian novel. Aside from the Internet serving as a low cost/extremely effective method to market myself, I really didn’t know what kind of content I would be posting. I really hadn’t skimmed through more well-known authors’ blogs to see what they discuss but I figured it was mostly upcoming events and appearances, milestones, the status quo of a upcoming book, and possibly a splash of their personal life.
I came to the conclusion that the easiest way to commit to blogging is to post whatever I want. Posts about writing, Christianity, my life, my friends, my family, my strengths, my weaknesses, and my struggle to fully understand Christianity in a changing world. I don’t know who many loyal fans or visitors I will acquire along the way but I hope that this will all work out for me.