Do no harm

The first of the three simple rules:  Do no harm.

What does that exactly mean?

For me, it means to treat others with respect.  Honesty.  Integrity.  Compassion.  To offer love, not hate.  To seek understanding, not to shut out or reject due to misunderstanding. 

For me, harm can be done as easily by omission of the right actions, as if we are puporting negative, harmful actions.  Either one can create serious damage to others.

I believe that Christian churches that do not embrace those with a LBGT orientation, harm is done.  People that attend these churches, seeking guidance and compassion and understanding, who are then led to believe that they are flawed, diseased, or sinful, are being harmed.  Their souls are being damaged.  To me, that is one of the most ultimate forms of spiritual violence.  And violence to the spirit, to the soul, takes years to erase. Sometimes, a lifetime. 

Harm is done when we are told that we are “loved”, but that our “sin” is what will not be tolerated.

Okay, let me get this straight then (no pun intended…..).  As long as I stop being who I am, that will free me of the “sin” that I am guilty of?

Because, the truth of the matter is, I am not DOING something sinful; sexual orientation is not a set of actions, it is part of my identity.  It is who I am.  Just like a person who has a heterosexual orientation is not a sinner based on who they are, but by their actions. 

What is the difference, pray tell? 

It is the reluctance of some Christian churches and communities to accept us as who we are:  citizens, mothers, fathers, neighbors, workers, and people who pray, live and die in this world. 

By holding onto false beliefs about who we are, harm is being done by these God loving persons. 

So, I strive to continue to educate people about who I am, what I stand for, what the contents of my heart are, and share my love of Christ with them.  And, pray that they open their eyes and hearts to fully see, truly see, who we are.

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17 thoughts on “Do no harm

  1. The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, forgiveness. –H.H. the Dalai Lama .

    Our own personal growth has to become our most important work on this earth, before we can afford to go around judging and weighing others !

    Cheers

  2. I couldn’t agree more.
    People are people; love is love.
    The funny thing is that while you’d expect pagans(my daughter is a pagan so I get my info from her)to be less judgmental about this sort of thing, it’s not uncommon to find them more so. I think it’s a very human (ergo, not Godly) thing to seek to exclude people on grounds of something you personally object to and then ascribe that to God.
    *sighs*

  3. Shweta: As always, thank you. And, so aptly stated and in tune with my heart. Today I heard is the Tibetan New Year, and also the 50th anniversary of the expulsion/sending away of the Dalai Lama. Sad history…..

    Viv:You are so right; organized religion has created, intentionally and sometimes accidently, many humans who think that they are acting on behalf of God when they discriminate. Thing is, I know that I am beloved by God, so they really have it all wrong…….

  4. I’ve just read The 19th Wife, a novel about the Mormons, and really enjoyed the whole thing, but the same thing stands out: one man telling everyone else what God wants or commands. God keep us clear of the cult of personality: whether it’s a celebrity, the Dalai Lama, the Pope, the archbishop of canterbury or whoever, no one person has the sole hotline to God. I only speak for I and no one else and my experience of the divine is mine alone; where it coincides with that of others, we may have fellowship, but if I impose it or force it on another, then it becomes a lie!

  5. Hayden: You are so right; the outcomes are often discouraging and create messes…… but I shall not be daunted, for even if they try to condemn me or alienate me, I know and value the worth of me and my family.

    Viv: You are so right about that. The other extreme that I have heard so many Christians specifically dislike, is when I talk about, and others that I know, about our own relationship with God, or how we have come to understand Him, or Her, or any higher power for that matter. Some Christians find that offensive, that we are trying to have God fit what we want, instead of complying with what God says. And, I just don’t see it that way, I know that I have been created by God, and emulate the teachings of Jesus to the best of my ability, and that there is no way that I was not intended to be precisely who I am.

  6. The Pharisees still walk among us today, though they have left off the rather telling uniforms.
    We are all but fragments of God’s mind. have you heard the story about blind men trying to describe an elephant purely by the bit they can reach and touch? It’s a bit like that! We feel the bit we are in touch with and then build the picture from that alone.
    I get very fed up and discouraged by people who tell me I am not a Christian because….(fill in blanks). My teacher tells me that if I know and love Jesus, that alone makes me a Christian. The rest is window dressing and categorisation. If you go by what the early Christians believed and thought, none of us are, or they are not by our standards.
    Only God truly knows a person’s heart.

  7. I find it sad that so many people see it to be their jobs to judge others and think they can inflict what they “believe” to be the law of the land and the whole you “do as I say or else” mentality. I just don’t get it. We are all “god’s” people. Why oh why can’t we just accept people for what they are. What does “who we love” have to do with anything?? Why should people have to try so hard to fit in at a church? They are there for all of us.

    I find the most offensive “god loving people” to be the worst hypocrites of all.

  8. viv: Ditto, to all of what you said. Thanks…..

    Joy: I know, there are so many such persons in this world, who judge others in the name of God, or because they feel the need to save us from ourselves……. it is just so self centered, and it is frustrating, and so non Christian like, in my mind….

  9. Religion may help initially but it should not choke us. I find God beyond religion and creed. He is the compassionate pulse of the universe in our every cell. Much beyond anything that we can imagine.

    Our friend, who is also within us. It takes some time for us to come out of so much of stuff pushed down our throats all our life. Needs courage too.

    But this journey is patient. Time is also our concept. Just to relax and walk at our pace is my kind of religion. “The journey is the destination itself”
    Cheers !

  10. I think this is one of the most important qualities we can teach our kids and ourselves. Everyone breathes the same air, bleeds the same and loves the same. To even consider love in any way to be a sin makes me sick. You are a strong women and I believe that even if it’s small, you can make a difference.

  11. Shweta: You are so right; to try to put God in a box, which is something that I have wanted to write about before, and still will, is unfair to God. God is everything. People get angry at God because of those that try to lead us to believe that they are representing God. And yes, the journey is patient, and actually, the more that I learn, the slower that I walk…. I want to enjoy every moment!!!

    Nikki: Stay tuned…….. mwah mwah!

  12. What a brilliant post Van!! I so wish if each and every individual realize this aspect of Ubuntu…our world, our surroundings will surely be the best place to live in.

  13. It is interesting that your three rules come from the teachings of John wesley the founder of the United Methodist Church. At least give credit to him as a writer I would think you understand plagerism!

    The truth is many Christians churhes accept homosexuals but do not accept their sin of homosexual behavior. They also accept adulterers but do not accept adulterous behavior etc. etc. etc.

    To be a follower of Christ is to follow the word He gave us and this means love the sinner and not the sin. None of us are without sin, yet a large segment of the homosexual community insist that the church and the natiob sweep their sin under the table and embrace not only the sinner but the sin as well. God’s word does not allow us to do this. How would we respond if phedophiles, serial rapists, etc. ask we overlook their sin. While we are all sinners we must strive to eliminate it from our lives and the lives of those we love, not to try and justify it with words of do no harm. The harm would be in accepting what could lead them to hell.

  14. Big Red: Welcome to my blog. Frankly, I am not sure why you felt compelled to visit here, since your opinion is very apparent regarding this issue. And, I almost did not approve your comment, since the spirit of it seems less than warm and embracing.

    I am well aware that these are from the teachings of John Wesley; that is why I referred to them as the three simple rules, which is also the title of a book that I am familiar with regarding these. I have great respect for John Wesley and the church that he wanted to create. And, I am proud to be a follower of Christ, however, I disagree with the fact that homosexuality is a sin. SUre, I am a sinner; however, being gay is not one of them. Many excerpts of the Bible that are typically used to indicate how it is clear that homosexuality is a sin, are misinterpreted in my estimation.

    Have you ever seen the movie, “For the Bible Tells Me So”? If not, and if you are willing to consider an alternate point of view, I urge you to see it. It just might give you a different perspective.

    I am a beloved child of God, a follower of Jesus, and could not be more proud to be gay. Peace be with you, Vanessa

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