A multi-denominational belief that Jesus paid for our sins at the cross on Calvary. And that, by His Grace, we are saved as we cannot save ourselves.
Sounds simple. But man has made minced meat of God’s Grace.
A faction of Christianity claims one can lose their salvation. That one must be obedient to their system of rules and regulations to assure they will make it to heaven after they have an awakening experience (being “saved”).
But is their man-made rule system filled with His Grace or rules that oppress? …rules that remove a person’s freewill to make a choice for God?
God never removes our freewill, man’s systems do.
If I followed man’s rules inside Evangelical Christianity, I would have pulled the trigger on that fateful evening two years ago.
I chose life.
My life. I chose to live and say “Yes Lord!” to his path for me, even though I vehemently did not want it.
Within a short period of time, the life-long depression was cured. Along with a lifetime filled with anxiety, anger, emotional numbness and unexplained nerve twitches that vanished. And there was no need to consume all that alcohol any longer as the pain was gone.
Honesty about the core issue was the cure.
I was honest about who I was and am: I’m transgender.
But evangelicals claim one can’t be saved and transgender, that my “sin” (aka my “delusion”) would have been washed away by my salvation experience. And then quickly claim that my salvation experience wasn’t true or valid as I’m still transgender, and thus consider me delusional. Even though I am pro-life and chose life, my own, I was still shunned from churches for being honest, for being transgender. Go figure.
What this evangelical frame of reference fails to take in to account is the complete fulfillment of God’s Grace at the cross. Jesus didn’t make a partial sacrifice so we continue to strive for His favor, He made a complete and full sacrifice. No more sacrifices necessary. Don’t worry, Jesus has it covered.
However, when you are neck-deep in the pig sty, the mud pits of life, groveling around in the wet, slimy hog slop that is depression, anxiety, emotional numbness, alcoholism, and anger, then some guy taps you on the shoulder, you look back and he says gently with wide open arms “neither do I condemn you”, it is then that you realize His Grace. It is complete.
Nothing else is required.
No God didn’t take my trans away, He doesn’t do that. He’s not necessarily in the business of curing our physical issues (yes, being transgender is a physical thing, not a mental one) but rather He’s in the business of changing hearts. He changed mine. Gone is all that hog slop, replaced with peace, levelness, compassion, hope, love, joy and a vigor for life. All of these proving the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22.
You would think that now living the fruits of Gal 5:22 the evangelical community would give the Lord praise for turning my life around, right?
Direct fruits from God are not good enough for most evangelicals. Since LGBT people are looked down upon as the political enemy, the scourge of America, the obvious fruits of God working in their lives as outlined in Galatians 5:22 are quickly discarded. Instead, they insist on conformity to their man made sets of rules rather than looking at the Grace of the very scripture they often quote.
God’s proof of a heart change, His fruits of the Spirit blossoming in the life of a person, are discarded. The only acceptable proof for these evangelicals is conforming to their religious system of man made rules.
The Pharisees did the same in Jesus’ day. After all, they downplayed all his miracles, publicly embarrassed Him, then drove Him to his grave because He didn’t conform to their man-made system of rules. And the same exists today in the trans community. That is why the suicide attempt rate is 41% for transgender people, vastly higher than the rest of society. We cannot ever be not trans and thus conform to the rules of those religious systems. Asking a transgender person to not be transgender is like asking the sky to not be the color blue. But that is what the evangelical church is asking, the absolute impossible.
Grace isn’t just about enabling someone not to sin, it’s about covering all the sin that one will continually fall short from, not just now, but for all eternity. That’s why Jesus’ sacrifice was the final sacrifice, for everyone. No exceptions. Not even for evangelical people or transgender folks, we are all included.
This meme created from words by John Piper (and reposted by Dr Michael Brown) is wrong. Not only is this not found in the bible, this lesson is not inferred in the bible either. This shames people into submission to focus on not sinning, that is wrong. Grace is freedom to be in Christ, so that the fruits of Galatians 5:22 are able to blossom in a person’s heart. God takes care of it all. Don’t worry evangelical church, He’s got it, He’s God after all, not you.
Rules, or law, is death. His saving Grace is life. My life. Your life. All because Jesus sacrificed His life.
The sweetest words I have ever heard were not uttered from a preacher attempting to condemn me further into submission or him attempting to prove how much he knows about a particular political subject by quoting bible verses. Oh no. Those honey-sweet, life-giving words were simply “neither do I condemn you.”
When all you have is Grace, you cherish it for the beautiful gift it is: life.