Purpose




Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace





Monday, November 14, 2016

Life lately, and re-inventing myself

  This is a difficult post to write for a couple of reasons. It is extremely personal, and I am not sure I can say what I want to say. If you are reading this, you are most likely a Christian, so I ask that you set aside politics and what you think of Donald Trump and read this as a Christian, not as an American, a Republican, or even as a Democrat.

  The last couple of months have been rough, and the last couple of weeks even more so. I have been extremely discouraged, disappointed, and depressed......mostly due to political stuff, but also house stuff.

Opposing Donald Trump

  I came to the belief months ago that Donald Trump is a man no Christian should vote for. I then watched with horrified disbelief as conservatives and Christians alike ignored the many red flags why he is a terrible candidate and person. Christians in my own church defended and excused everything he did and said from adultery, porn, strip clubs, vulgarity, bullying, and more. The political party that is supposed to be conservative and hold to Biblical values and principles nominated a man far removed from everything we believe and stand for.

 The closer we got to the election, the less popular it became to be against Donald Trump. Friends and family said some pretty mean things to me. I was told to shut up by friends and family, that I am a troublemaker, that I ask dumb questions, and more. I actually let one "friend" know his words hurt me, and he told me that I just need to stop being so easily offended. I was called a liar by long time friends and fellow church members.......to tell a person they are for Hillary because they won't support Trump and refuse to admit they can be against both, is to call them a liar.....it doesn't matter how you slice and dice it, you are calling them a liar.



   I have felt many emotions as friends and relatives basically told me I have no right to speak up if I don't vote for Trump. That is un-American and un-Christian to tell someone if they aren't with you, then they need to be silent. I have felt anger, sadness, grief, betrayal, loss, alienation. As election week hit me the hardest with negative comments, I was hit hard with temptation in an area I haven't experienced much in a few years. I felt like walking away from church and God Himself. If you are thinking I am over-reacting, then you truly don't get it, and are failing me as a Christian brother or sister.

Not what I used to be

 For years, I was locked inside myself. I thought everyone disliked me, even God. I never spoke my mind, and never disagreed with anyone. I finally came out of that and became rather outspoken..... OK, very outspoken. I became better at taking a stand, which has served me well in different areas of my life as pressure to give into things I knew was wrong came  from the world, friends, and people who crossed my path.

 Things like alcohol, giving into my same-sex attractions, worldly fads, and other things I believe to be wrong.

   I really never thought the day would come when people in my own church would pressure me to do what I felt to be wrong. It hurts, and feels like a betrayal. I sat in church yesterday feeling alone and alienated and wishing I was at home. I found myself wondering how many people were silently condemning me because I didn't vote for the man on the GOP ticket. These same people would never consider trying to convince me to do anything else I believe to be wrong, but we have almost made politics and our freedoms into a god we worship, and those freedoms must be protected at any cost...... even if it means tossing out our values and principles and trying to get others to do so. (I am not saying everyone who voted for DT did that, but I do believe many who so fully supported and defended him did just that). I regret how I voted in the past because I feared the Democrat more than I trusted God.

   If politics and our freedoms are so important that we can't show grace to those who won't go along with us politically, then it is too important and we are putting it above God.



Voting

  I didn't start voting at age 18. The first election I voted in was the second time Bill Clinton ran for president. I felt I had no right to complain if I didn't vote, so I went out and voted. I knew what kind of people the Clintons were, and I have posted a lot about them and other Democrats over the years. I always voted Republican until this election. Not voting for the man who won the GOP nomination was not an easy decision to come to. It was an unpopular thing to do, and resulted in personal attacks and as I said before, calling me a liar. I lost friends, and was left reeling as people I viewed as friends torpedoed me because I wouldn't back down and do what I believed to be wrong.

What is the cost?

 Truthfully.... I believe Christians and conservatives would have been better off in some ways if Hillary had won. No, I am not saying I wanted her to win. I was always against her and am very well aware of what kind of president she would most likely have been, However, by lowering our standards to support and vote for a man like Donald Trump, I fear we have done ourselves damage as the world looks on at the Christians who had no problem voting for DT. They know what we have stood against and for with other candidates, and they watched as it was all tossed out the window to support a man we would never have supported if he had run as a Democrat. We may never get back what we have lost. I truly am ashamed to be a Republican and evangelical Christian. We may keep our freedoms, but what have we lost to do so?

  I watched as people celebrated the win of the most liberal Republican  to ever win the presidency, and I felt no joy. To me, there was no win this time. Yes, I am glad Hillary Clinton lost, but no, that does not mean I am happy Donald Trump won..... something many people can't understand, or refuse to understand. I have paid attention and watched as DT has flip flopped on pretty much everything he has said, and I don't believe he will do most of what he promised, if any. I do believe he will lead our country further from God, which should be a priority for us, but sadly it was not a priority. We didn't want a "pastor", we wanted a businessman....... and we got the furthest thing from a pastor we could get and not get Hillary Clinton.



A few things going forward:

1)   I don't consider myself better than anyone else for not voting for Donald Trump. I will admit I am disappointed in some people, but I shall do my best to leave that in God's hands.


2)  I know I didn't always have the best attitudes, and posted more than I should have....... but that doesn't mean I had no right to speak up.


3) I vowed that Obama would not be my president. and I have not viewed him as that in his 8 years. I don't respect the man, and detest everything about him. To me, Donald Trump has many of the same characteristics I hate in Obama, and I also will not view him as my president. (Nor would I have with Hillary either). You don't have to like that or agree with me.... that is your prerogative.


4) I do firmly believe the Republican Party, conservatives, and Republican Christians in general have shown that we have a double standard. It came through loud and clear this election.


5) I know that not all Trump voters are equal. Even though I still believe Christians should have taken a stand and not voted for him, I know many voted for him begrudgingly and with sorrow and disgust......which is the only way a Christian should have voted for him.



6) A question that has been on my mind a lot lately, is "would Jesus vote for Donald Trump?" Too many people think they know what Jesus would or would not do and make it gospel. I could be wrong, but I not only do I believe He wouldn't vote for Donald Trump, but I don't think He'd vote at all. I mean that. He wasn't political while he was here on earth, and I don't believe He would be if He were here today. He was all about loving people, and doing His Father's will.........and just how much have we been about loving people, showing grace, mercy, understanding, etc. during this election. It would seem we all set our Christianity aside and put it on hold as we waged political battles on Facebook. We'd be better off not voting at all, then to be so into who wins that we don't treat each other as Jesus would.


7)   I plan on avoiding politics......possibly until the next election. There are too many people who think I should be quiet if I won't support Donald Trump. I believe I have as much right to speak out against him as I do against liberals.......but I am tired of the arguing, name calling, and hate. I am not changing, but am just going to be quiet about this issue except with those I can freely talk to about it. Maybe it is conforming to what others want, but I want peace of mind and I can't have that if I am vocal about Donald Trump. That may mean un-following more people than I already have,  but that is OK. There are more important things to discuss and post about than politics.



8) I deleted my Facebook account on the day after election day, and was thinking about leaving it down until after the inauguration, if not forever. However, there are people I like to keep in contact with through Facebook, and I'd miss them. Also, I felt convicted about doing it as there are a few people who are encouraged by things I post, especially relating to same-sex attraction. God truly can use anyone, but then He did use a donkey, so I guess it isn't out of the realm of possibilities that He'd use me.

 My plan is to not post as much on my personal page, but try to post mostly on a Facebook page I made for blog posts, book reviews, and other things.



9)  The most important thing in life is not getting who we want for president, nor is it keeping our freedoms intact. If we truly think that, we have totally missed the mark. The most important thing in life is serving Jesus, being like Him, loving people, being Jesus to others, making it to Heaven and taking as many people as we can with us.

 But you wouldn't know that by the last few months.

  Donald Trump may surprise me, but I seriously doubt it. I will most likely be #nevertrump for the rest of his days, and I trust that even those he voted for will hold him accountable and call him out if he does indeed renege on his promises. I shall do my best to criticize him to people who don't think I have to be silent since I am not for him.

  I am going to, with God's help, re-invent myself. I do feel alienated at church, and feel I don't belong there......or belong anywhere, to be honest. I want to be used of God, but it doesn't look like that will ever happen at church. I am OK with that. My relationship with Jesus Christ, my worship, and being used of Him is so much more than church..... it is outside the church where we all need to be used of God and working for Him. I am hoping and praying that He can use me with my blog and by encouraging and helping people where I can.

 If you are on Facebook and are interested in following me, go here and "like" my page. I promise no politics. And if you blog, I would love guest posts..... just no politics. And if you have ideas to blog about, shoot them to me. Often the biggest struggle I have in writing is coming up with an idea to blog about.



 A special thanks and shout out to those who have said some very encouraging things to me lately and have been praying for me. I appreciate it.

I do not apologize for anything I have ever said about Donald Trump. I remain 100% opposed to him and am unapologetic about that. Nor do I apologize for believing Christians should not have supported, excused, and defended him...... or nominated him for the GOP ticket. However, if I truly offended anyone personally - not by what I said about DT, but something personally - I apologize. I do have confidence in people who voted for Trump.......those who pressured me to do so, and defended and excused him..... I am working on that.

 And yes, I am aware if I wasn't so outspoken, I wouldn't have been on the receiving end of the crap I got. (pardon my use of the word crap, but it best describes it......) I was afraid my "coming out of the closet" and admitting my same-sex attractions would make me a pariah...... but it didn't seem to. However, my stance against Trump has made me that.

 I want to please God with everything I do and say. I want Him to be my top priority and what affects everything I do and say in life. I don't care if I don't please family, friends, my church, or anyone else...... I want to please Him and be used in any way I can be. The most important thing I can be is not an American, a Republican, a Wesleyan Methodist, or evangelical Christian....... the most important thing I can be is a Christ follower.




5 comments:

  1. Mark, I am truly so sorry you've been hurt. I know that I cannot take debate, so I stay out of the arena. People get very heated and say things that they probably really do not feel deep inside, but in the heated moment lose control. Keep your eyes on Jesus! Keep your face pointed to the Light! I know my husband and I appreciate you. I wish I could help you to heal, because I know what it feels like to be hurt by people's words. You have just as much right to state your opinion as any one else...but some cannot handle that. As I already said, Keep your eyes on Jesus!

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    1. Thanks, I appreciate you two a lot!

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  2. Mark,
    Someone on facebook liked one of your blog posts, and I stopped by to check it out...I'm glad I did because this was one of the most refreshing things I've read in days! I've come to many of the same conclusions, and have felt the hurtful sting of fellow Christians words/attitudes. Your right, it's lonely...I've been wondering where on earth I belong, and then I remembered, I Don't Belong!!
    Here's a song that sums it up for me, maybe it will encourage you like it did me! Made me long for Heaven just a little bit more.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73-6P09xaAE

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    1. Thanks... I have always loved that song, and in fact named my original blog, Thoughts of a Sojourner, after it. I eventually made it just a blog for book reviews and made this one for blogging. Appreciate the comment, God bless

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  3. Well spoken blog! I agree you have the right to say what you want, but like I said before, it goes with being a Christian--you shouldnt be de-Christianizing others, and the milk of Christian kindness should seep through! If more of us would become a Christ-follower in everything we do, instead of being an American, and a denomination, etc.. first, wow! the impact we could make on others!!! Great thoughts!! You are awesome, and we love you even if you arent shy about speaking that bright mind of yours!! lol

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