If God Would Write

After reading a letter from Pastor Philip Hoppe and St. Paul’s Lutheran Congregation to one of their members named Scott, I wondered how God would write a letter to them about their sins. Here’s what came to me. First the letter that excommunicates Scott, a gay member of their congregation who had the courage to reveal his true nature to his church.

excommunicate

Dear St. Paul’s Lutheran Congregation,

At your voter’s meeting last month, you voted my child Scott out of my church. Although the thought occurred to me to excommunicate you out of my kingdom because of the sin you have committed in judging one of my own. Not only do you refuse to acknowledge your unloving actions towards Scott, you have not confessed them to me either. Rather, you have sat in judgment and prayed to me like the Pharisee in your bible. Regardless, I have forgiven you of your trespass, even though you will not forgive someone who had the courage to be honest and reveal his orientation to his brothers and sisters in Christ, and did nothing to harm you. There is no reason for him to ask for your forgiveness.

Excommunication is not my way. Let me be clear on this. My son walked on this earth and did not exclude the excluded. Instead, he welcomed each of my children. He spoke of love, forgiveness, and giving up your judgmental spirits. As you said in your letter to Scott, “ … if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.” Is that what you wish from me?

I take no joy in your votes. I am saddened that one of my own has been shunned from my house you call your church. You have turned your back on my creation. You see, I created Scott to be who he is. While you shun him, you shun me. I know Scott’s heart, you do not.  I have forgiven you, even though your actions harm another. Know this, he is not outside the body of Christ and is in no jeopardy of being removed.

You are welcome to contact me anytime you wish to reconcile with me about your treatment of my child Scott. I hope you do this soon, for my child is hurting from your unloving actions.

Your ever-loving God

About Ono Kono

I am an outspoken straight ally and feminist Christian. I also speak out against the abuses of churches and religions.
This entry was posted in Gay Christians, Hatred, Religion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to If God Would Write

  1. CJ McCrea says:

    Ono, thank you for such a touching letter. How incredibly sad what this church has done! I, too, recently came out to my church of 10 years and was excoriated for finally accepting the way God made me. Although I was not excommunicated, I had absolutely no choice but to leave. I had also been a worship leader, which I enjoyed so much as my gifting, but I had to leave that behind for now. The “fellowship” continues to poison my ex-wife and children and I pray some day they will be free of their deception and unfair judgements. Being told, essentially, God hates you and His wrath is upon you is pretty hard to take after being a believer and serving Him for 30 years. Thankfully I have found another evangelical church, and although not ‘affirming’, they’re very welcoming and I have created some wonderful dialogue and challenged long-worn paradigms. Not the easiest route but the route I believe God wants me on now. For those who have been so terribly hurt by the rejection of your church: God does not reject you and He will use that pain and loneliness to allow you to minister to others. There’s more than plenty of us out there.

    • Ono Kono says:

      CJ,

      First, I am sorry to hear that you too have been turned away. It especially must be painful when it comes to your ex-wife and children. I hope that eventually God will have the antidote for the “poison” being given to your children. They are going to suffer from it. Not because you are gay, but because they will miss out on their father’s love. Someday they may come around, and find healing from the poison.

      It really hurts to see this happening. I know it cost you dearly. Hang in there CJ, and thank you for being true.

    • robw77 says:

      Hi CJ, I think you said it all when you said: ” I have created some wonderful dialogue and challenged long-worn paradigms. Not the easiest route but the route I believe God wants me on now.” I am very sorry for how you have been treated, and relate to it as a gay man and a Christian. Some times I think those of us who identify as both are called on to speak out…not to save gay people… but to reassert the true meaning of the Christ. The concept has been hijacked by those who want to change all that Jesus stood for and make him a symbol of exclusion and rejection. They do not see how much they have embraced the principles of the Pharisees and have become the very people with whom Jesus exhibited outright hostility towards.
      YOU know the truth, I hope you continue to find the strength to share it and help others. Prayers and love being directed your way….

      • CJ McCrea says:

        Thanks Rob (and Ono). I have followed your blog inputs for some time and I really enjoy them. And yes you hit it on the head as well when you said “They do not see how much they have embraced the principles of the Pharisees and have become the very people with whom Jesus exhibited outright hostility towards.” This is precisely what hit me after I came out – that Jesus’ ire was focused not on the “sinners” but clearly on the Pharisees – and it drove them crazy! But the “conservative” church can’t see this today because they are drinking from the same stale and polluted well, reading the same corrupt and slanderous websites, listening to the same talking points (AFA/FRC/Fox News), willfully embracing ignorance, and reading their own bigotry back into scripture all-the-while forgetting that they themselves are completely guilty of picking and choosing the scriptures they like and conveniently discarding the ones that don’t fit THEIR lifestyle. I am convinced that the fine people from St. Pauls are going to be a little shocked when that Day finally comes and they realize their error.
        Bless you and your little ones and thank you for speaking out.

  2. kzottarelli says:

    Ono, this is brilliant! It is amazing to me how some of these churches don’t see the hypocrisy in their actions, they withhold forgiveness as they claim their righteousness….WOW. How can they not see? My thought on that is, God does indeed write letters to us. He sends them to our hearts. Some hearts, like yours Ono, are open and receive them, other hearts, like those of this church, are so caught up in their own righteousness they don’t get the letters God so lovingly sends.

    Thank you Ono, for your open loving heart and receiving your letter and sharing it with all of us. Because I believe this was most certainly a letter your heart received and inspired you to write this amazing piece.

    • Ono Kono says:

      My heart was broken when I read that letter. There is another letter the Pastor and his church has put out too, to explain their actions, that again breaks my heart. I might do a followup. However, I am praying that Scott will find a more loving environment in a church who includes all of God’s children. That out of the ashes of this unloving act that Scott will find himself embraced by loving Christians. It may well be that Scott needed to get away from this church that by their actions so far would only be willing to keep him in a wounded place.

  3. explim says:

    ‘You see, I created Scott to be who he is. While you shun him, you shun me.’ – Quite possibly the two most beautiful sentences I’ve encountered on WordPress. Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to reading more of your writing.

  4. Ben in Oakland says:

    Can’t you just feel that Christian love? Doesn’t it make you feel kinda tingly all over– like you backed up into a moving airplane propeller?

    Can sinful, fallible men REALLY ex-communicate another Christian from God’s love? Is that how it works? Are those people free of sin, or free enough that they can determine who is in the in crowd, and who is not?

    How many of these judgmental hypocrites are divorced, without benefit of adultery on the part of their souse? How many are remarried?

    How many are drunks? How many look with lust upon a woman they aren’t married to? How many judge the sins of another? How many slander gay people– or anyone else the disapprove of– without the slightest concern whether they are telling the truth? How many have lied? How many are committing adultery? How many have knowingly engaged in demonstrably shady business practices, knowingly swindled someone else? How many have taken the lord’s name in vain?

    This list is endless. but it is SO damned easy to condemn gay people for the sin you, yourself, have no intention– or every intention, in the case of the homo-hating homos that I’m sure litter this so-called congregation– of committing?

    All of us may be sinners. Only some of us are throwing stones.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Legion Christian. Thank god I’m an atheist!

    • Ono Kono says:

      I had to laugh at your closing sentence. I laugh because I have a friend that says this too and I love her for it, and it is usually followed by hugs. Only she says dog… she claims she’s dyslexic… Ba-ba-ba-boom.

      But in all seriousness, you touched on the very thing we believers know (or at least should know), yet so many of us fail at this miserably. Funny thing about the divorced too. Jesus did speak out against adultery. I believe because it is what harms and hurts others. I really can’t know the mind of Jesus, but I can certainly speculate that he didn’t speak out against gays because being gay does not harm another when two consenting adults are in a committed relationship. He lived in a culture where homosexuality was prevalent. Something would have been recorded if he had spoke against it, at least I would think so. My Christian parents divorced. Not once either, mother 4 times, father 3 times. I have so many step siblings I lost count. I didn’t see them being ex-communicated even though they sat in their pews every Saturday with their latest husband or wife. And yes they did speak against homosexuality and didn’t like that I questioned them about it.

      Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone, Jesus said. And here in this letter the stones have been thrown at one of his children. It saddens me.

  5. praw27 says:

    Fabulous! Judgmental attitudes cause so many of the problems we have in the world today. Your letter should be sent to all governments, churches, politicians, leaders, people…well said!

    • Ono Kono says:

      Thanks, although I really can’t know what God would write, you are correct that judgmental attitudes (our egos out of control) cause so much problems. I feel terrible for Scott that a pastor led his congregation in a huge bully-fest and marched him right out of church. I don’t know Scott personally, but I hope that he finds fellowship and acceptance in a church that welcomes everyone as Jesus did. I imagine his faith as been thoroughly shaken.

  6. Chloe Alexa says:

    Unfortunately a group of Christian Lemmings are the vociferous ones we tend to hear from. They do not practice any of which Christ lived or taught. Thanks for showing their true nature in your letter.

  7. Stunningly and beautifully stated. Each time I read or hear about any church’s action along these lines, I simply have a conversation with God — restating why I left organized religion 30+ years ago. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Ono Kono says:

      Thank you Eric. I too have a conversation with God, because my heart becomes heavy with the pain. This letter really hurt to read, and it wasn’t even aimed at me. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been for Scott.

      I have much admiration for Scott, for standing up in honesty about who God created him to be. The courage it must have taken for him to do, because he must know his church’s stance on homosexuality. The letter from that pastor serves to amplify his courage. I just pray that being shunned does little lasting damage and that he finds another church that exemplifies Jesus words about loving one another. This painful road he is walking now, I hope will lead him away from the hatred and bullying of a pastor and his congregation.

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