Today is INTERNATIONAL LEFT-HANDERS DAY, and on this auspicious occasion, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all of my leftie brothers and sisters a Happy Holiday...I am also including a pertinent excerpt from my book FIRST THE GOOD NEWS: The Positive Truth about God, The Gospel, and What it Really Means to be Gay (available at https://www.amazon.com/Swilley and www.jimswilleybooks.com) about being left-handed in this very predominately right-handed world...it's a piece that I think many gay people who have experienced religious intolerance will relate to...
One other thought...
It was suggested by someone...maybe more than one person, actually...that over the last few years I "created" a theology for myself that would make it easier for me to come out as a gay man...in other words, I just did away with hell, entirely, so that I could say I was gay with no fear of being sent to that bad place where all the gays go, according to conventional church-wisdom.
When I first heard this accusation I deeply resented it because what I believe about the Scriptures and about Jesus, the Word made flesh, is the result of years and years of my own prayer and study and revelation.
Preaching the Ministry of Reconciliation....the saving of the whole world by Jesus Christ on the cross...is not a theological fad for me.
I don't believe in it because someone else taught it, or because it's a popular teaching (because it's not...)
I am not a devotee of any other preacher or teacher...what I believe and preach is what I really and deeply believe to be true.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the accusation may not be entirely untrue, and I came to terms with it.
I can say that with no apology.
As I already said, I'm left-handed...I was born that way...I know I didn't choose it...but there was a time in history (and not really that long ago) that left-handed people were burned at the stake by the church because they were thought to be demon-possessed.
Had I lived in that time, I'm sure my left-handedness would have forced me into a deeper study of the Scriptures...that is, if I had time when I wasn't running for my life!
I'm sure I would have thought that God just couldn't be so impossibly unfair as to create you as you are, but then send you to hell because of the very way He created you!
And even though the right-handed people couldn't understand why some people "chose" the evil left-handed lifestyle, I would want to make them understand that even if left-handed people forced themselves to write with their right hands to please God, by nature they were still and always would be left-handed. They could write with their right hands, but it would always feel wrong (unnatural) to them.
I have blue eyes, but if I had read in the Bible that all blue-eyed people go to hell, I think it's safe to say that I could not have accepted that. My biological reality together with my belief in God would force me into a deeper study of the Scriptures...because if God's that mean and unjust, then we're all in big trouble.
So did my being gay force me into being open to interpreting the Scriptures differently than in the way I had been taught about salvation and grace and eternity and all that?
But if that's what it took to move me into a discovery of the fullness of the Truth, then so be it.
I would hope that I would have come to my theological conclusions had I been born heterosexual, but who knows?
One way or the other, it's all good.
It has brought me to the conclusion that, in the big picture, all that really matters is the GOOD NEWS.
OK, enough about that...I have other questions to answer...
But, yes, Jesus is the way...
Jesus is Lord...