On Wednesday, I had an interesting conversation with a customer that I have been good friends with for a very long time and it almost ended with me coming out to him. This conversation was one of the most spiritual conversations that I've had in awhile and I thought I would share parts of it with you and my thoughts. Darren, the customer, is almost 50 years old. He was once a member of the Church, but decided to leave (I'll tell you the reason why later in my post). He is also very liberal and loves to cause controversy here in Happy Valley by making certain comments that outs him as a liberal in a very conservative zone.
Our conversation started off by him asking me what my plans were for the future. I told him that I am possibly joining a research team this fall studying HIV, that in a couple of years I wanted to be in medical school, and other things like that--just my typical future goals and what not. He then asked me if I wanted to go to U of U for medical school and I told him, "Hell no!" He was kind of surprised by that answer and I was kind of surprised that I swore in front of him. He then asked why and I told him that I wanted to get out and experience life outside of Utah (save me from the bubble). We then discussed how most people in the Church are very conservative. He then asked me my beliefs. I told him that I support gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, and many other controversial topics. He was kind of surprised by my response.
He then decided to tell me his story of why he left the Church. He left the Church because he felt like the people in it were too hypocritical and judgmental. He also said, "People in the Church make themselves look like they are welcoming and accepting, when in realty, they are rarely that way." According to Darren, members do not take what they say to heart. I would have to agree with this and I know that I am guilty of this sometimes--the whole world is.
Who are we to judge another person? We are nobody and we do not have the right to judge another person--only Christ has the right. Sure we can judge a situation as being good or bad, but we should never judge a person that way. They may differ from our beliefs, but they might be some of the nicest people around. Would Christ shun someone because he is gay and supports gay marriage, stem cell research, and abortion? No, he wouldn't (well, I believe he doesn't cause that's me). Would Christ shun a conservative, old woman, who likes to drink coffee and tea? No! He loves all of us and judges us by our situation and life events. We should not judge others. We should be Christ-like people and love one another. We should be accepting of everyone and show them that we love them. We should also give them the same basic rights because it is the right thing to do.
This sounds corny but think, "What would Jesus do?" You know he would be loving and accepting of everyone despite the choices that they are making. Another corny statement... Love the sinner and hate the sin. Show everyone Christ-like love and become more like Christ.