We all have prejudices – we just seem unable to prevent it. However how we allow them to influence us is a matter of choice.
In our churches, I sometimes find that prejudice causes tremendous harm to the body of Christ.
Allow me to illustrate some of the prejudice I am talking of by giving a few illustrated examples:
- If a young man loves to play rugby, soccer or tennis we are 100% fine with that.
If a young man loves to do pantomime, clownery, theater… well that is odd, but ok.
However if a young man loves to do ballet, rhythmic dancing or the likes, we presume he is homosexual.
- If a lady decides to choose to be a hairdresser, teacher or secretary, we seem ok with it.
What if a woman chooses to become a car mechanic for trucks and big machinery… and does so with absolute passion?
- If teenage boys hold hands to express their friendship and give hugs to one another to express their friendship when greeting one another…
- If men love knitting, sowing wedding dresses, become a make-up artist, …
- If woman become the president of a huge corporate company full of men in the management department, or if a woman becomes the president…
- If a young boy loves playing with dolls for a change …
What would your honest and most inward reaction be? Can you see how some of these touch on prejudice you carry?
While I am sure, we all have prejudice regarding some matters, and while I agree that at large we need to redeem the purpose and meaning and office of true manhood or womanhood, this is not the matter at stake here.
I have met young men in churches, who passionately worship God with rhythmic dance. They are men of God, in love with Jesus and fully steadfast in their gender as a man. However they are stigmatized due to our humanistic societal view of such behavior. They struggle, and if it weren’t for their love for God, they’d probably had left long ago.
But now let us stop and think here for a minute:
Would that not mean that we as a church are somewhat an “exclusive club” where people need to fit into pattern A or B? Do we thus perhaps even promote gender confusion?
What if a young man, were to leave church, find social acceptance in a society outside of church, to just be able to live their passion? And if with that comes the deception of the world, tempting them to enter sin as an unfortunate, yet life-destroying add-on to their passion?
I fear, many do.
I say, in that way we as a church fail all too often. We collect burning coals on our heads, as a consequence of our ignorance and lack of Christ-likeness, driving those seeking to sin.
What if today a lesbian couple were to enter our church, with an earnest longing for God. Would we facilitate an encounter for them, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict of sin? Or would we treat them as lepers and try doing the job of the Holy Spirit ourselves?
We as a church should be different from the world but without the help of God, we will be no different. Changing our reactions to prejudice, facilitating God encounters for everyone, and creating space for people who are different, even if they might be just as broken and imperfect as we are, is something that needs divine enablement!
Let us be the change so longed for by a broken world. Let us love in spite of prejudice, let us embrace difference as what it is: Gods beauty in diversity on display.
And let us stand in unity on a path of conversion and transformation, where incomplete, broken people come to stand side by side to – by the grace of God – achieve advancement of His kingdom!
I am not saying, let us approve of sin, but I am taking a stand, that we should be able to discern when it is our lack of sensitivity and love, that keeps people from God.
Let us seek His face and trust for Him to reveal to us, where we can become more Christ-like in our daily walks, in our churches and communities.
May God bless you abundantly!