Coming out (so to speak)...

>> Sunday, April 18, 2010

Everybody has parts of themselves that they keep (or have kept) hidden. People who know me or read what I have written often tell me they love how transparent I am. Whenever this happens, I find myself cringing on the inside. If they only knew. If they knew everything would they still love and respect me?

I have shared about my homeless past. I have shared about the stripping, the drugs, the premarital sex and an assortment of other not so pretty things. That was easy (relatively, anyway) compared to this one thing...

This would be that one thing that I would rather not share (with other Christians). I am not prepared for the flogging...and the looks...and the talking behind my back. I am not prepared to lose friends or anything else that comes with sharing this part of myself...


this life is not my own.

Lately I have lost some friends because I spoke out against Jennifer Knapp being both a self-proclaimed follower of Christ and a practicing lesbian.

"How hateful!" some have said. "How judgemental!" said others.

What can I say to that?

What am I supposed to do?

Tell them the truth, Mandie.

I knew that God had been nudging me to be completely honest (something I had only done in part before), but I really (reeeeeaaaaalllllly) do not want to be...

Tell them the truth.

The truth is that I do not hate homosexuals. The truth is that I can identify with what they are going through. I understand the struggle.

I want to paint a picture to defend myself, but if you read back on the specific time in my life it is obvious (and I really only want to paint a picture to make my choices not look that bad). When I say that I didn't know which way was up, I meant it.

Before I even had a boyfriend, I had a girlfriend.

I met her right after being homeless.

She had friends who lived down the street from me.

It wasn't a good experience for either of us.

I was always wishing for a husband and children.

She was always wanting more than I could give her...

...and I just never could get over the fact that she had...lady parts.

When I left that life behind, I chose to never go back. Ever. It wasn't something that meshed with what I found in Scripture, and it never felt natural.

When I made the decision to leave all of the garbage behind that came with that time in my life, there was a certain musician that helped me move forward in my walk with Christ.

Jennifer Knapp.

Why do I care that she's openly gay now?

Because I know that there is going to be a whole slew of Christian people who struggle with their sexuality who are going to go down the same path.

If Jennifer Knapp is doing it (and being accepted for it), why can't they?

I do not believe that it is acceptable to treat a person in a hateful manner. I don't believe it's okay to say mean and nasty things, either...

...but I do believe in standing up for and upholding God's word.

Are we really going to be a generation of Believers who pat other Believers on the back for living a lifestyle that does not line up with God's word?

If we say that's okay, what's next?

Are we not to have any boundaries?

Is it a free for all?

If it is, where does the laying down of your life come in?

Are we to treat people who choose to live in an openly gay manner like garbage? Absolutely not, but we don't have to pretend to agree with their choices, either.

*if you are a girl and you are my friend, please know that even if I wasn't married, you have the wrong parts for me. I am not interested in you...


Kaira April 18, 2010 at 1:55 PM  

Your junk is no worse than my junk. Jesus claims you - so do I. I don't hate homosexuals but I do hate the sin. It is perversion and it is outside of God's will. It's important for Christians to speak truth in love. It is important to call sin what it is and to expect our brothers and sisters to do the same.


Zombie April 18, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

Honesty is good. People should never judge another's past.

Dorie April 18, 2010 at 7:24 PM  

Psssshhh - whatever Mandie. I loved before I read this post and I love you now. (Not in the lezzy way, just to be clear. ha ha) Don't let the enemy lie to you! The past is past. It's covered by the blood of Jesus! It's one more layer or chapter of your testimony, but it doesn't change ANYthing about my thoughts of you. Girl - you can't scare me off. Don't even try it.

I love the way you stand up for what you believe. You're standing up for the Bible, for the sin that Jesus bore on the Cross, the standard that we are to uphold. You can ake a little persecution for Christ's sake, can't you? Yes you can!

As far as JK, I'd be fine with her being gay if I didn't think she (or other people) would use her story to say, "Hey, you can have the best of both worlds, you don't have to choose!" Really? I think we do! We all have sin that we struggle with. And we're still Christians while we work on that. But for someone to say, "Well, I'm going to allow myself to continue this particular sin, make it who I am, and not try to change it anymore..." I'm not sure my Jesus bled and died for that shallow of a committment. His Father had to turn His face away from Jesus because He couldn't bear to see the sin. So, why do we think we can just live with it in our lives unchecked? Aren't we supposed to live MORE like Jesus every day?

Mandie Oliver April 18, 2010 at 7:37 PM  

dorie, i can't take you seriously. i am still laughing at the lezzy comment...jerk (that's why i love you)

;) (that wink is the straightest wink you will ever see!))

Burkulater April 18, 2010 at 7:45 PM  

The past is the past. In our overly-sexualized world, it's really not very surprising if anyone goes down that road. God covers over all things. Standing up for the truth isn't always easy, but certainly, it is something that is worth doing. You are awesome!

Amy M. Fry May 12, 2010 at 12:24 PM  

I just found your blog thru some comments on Los' Ragamuffin Soul's page. And I've got to say, Wow. I am impressed; I am humbled; I am really happy to have found another woman who loves Jesus and is not afraid to speak the Truth. And I just want to say, Thank you.

Mandie Oliver May 12, 2010 at 6:32 PM  

thank you.
I needed words of encouragement today more than you know!

Jessica May 18, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

You have no idea how hard it is for me to speak boldly for Christ the way you have. I am so concerned others will think I'm judgemental because I call sin what it is...sin. Thank you for your boldness. I needed to see what I was not doing. All God's blessings. Thank you!

Mandie Oliver May 18, 2010 at 8:05 PM  

thank you, jessica.

it isn't easy...but i can't not speak it.

i love your project you are working on! we'll have to swap stories. i have been to a wide variety of religious establishments in my life.

OMSH August 10, 2011 at 9:50 AM  

I am a girl.
I am your friend.
I'm glad you are being entirely transparent. It matters. It really, truly matters.

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