I just received yet another e-mail saying that if I didn't forward a chain mail message that recounted untimely deaths of people who scoff at God, that I am embarrassed about Jesus and that he would be embarrassed as we stand before his Father at Judgment Day.
The message references Galatians 6:7. I logged onto bible.cc to verify the wording. In the King James Version of the Bible, book of Galatians, chapter six, verse seven it states: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." This e-mail text went on describe situations in which people like Marilyn Monroe quipped to Billy Graham, "I don't need your Jesus," then died days later. Or that John Lennon stated that "The Beatles were more famous than God," and was later shot 6 times and killed. I found these facts interesting.
But let me clear the air.
I believe in my creator. I was taught his name is God and his form on Earth was Jesus. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church. It's what I know and have come to trust. I have faith.
I do, however, reject the church and organized religion. I reject hypocrisy. I don't believe God intends for us to fight over our faith. I don't believe that as humans we can even begin to grasp his will without interjecting our own perceptions. Why, if "God is Love" do we hate, fight, kill and maim in the name of religion? Whether our creator is named God, Allah, or Whathaveyou is inconsequential to me. I know I was created by a supreme being that I can only begin to understand through my faith. I regard the Bible as a collection of historical records, prose, poetry, God's Teachings, Letters from the Disciples to their followers, prophecy all meant to be a guide for living that has been too often distorted and twisted by hatemongers attempting impose their wishes upon others. Salem Witch Trails, anyone? The Holocaust? Ethnic cleansing? These are not God's wishes and we humans are too stupid to get it. Nobody can convince me that The Good Book hasn't been tampered with after two-thousand-plus years in Man's hand.
I won't go on here because I could -- for a long time. I try to love unconditionally. I pray that I am forgiving. I pray for patience. I pray for guidance. I pray that "he" teaches me the things he wants me to know and live by. He doesn't hate me for being gay. He created me the way I am.
I proclaim my faith and that I'm not ashamed of it, God, or Jesus.
I am not, however, forwarding the e-mail. Dammit.