Dear Homosexual America, I’m sorry | An open letter from a Christian

America, in light of the SCOTUS ruling yesterday legalizing gay marriage, I wrote you a letter.

Before I begin, I want to share a little bit about myself so you know exactly who it is writing this letter. My name is Kaitlin. I am a 20 year old college grad with a degree in Business. I am a social entrepreneur. I am a fighter for ethical clothing. I am a braker for birds, thrift store aficionado, travel junkie, and outdoor enthusiast. I am a twin. I am a daughter. I am a friend. I am a people lover. But even that doesn’t tell you much about me.

My core, my very identity is this: I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am the daughter of the King of kings, Lord of the nations, Creator of the earth and Lover of souls. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God’s hands and I am precious in His eyes. In Him I’m made perfect and complete, and through Him I am a vessel of mercy and grace. In Him I find purpose, love, guidance and peace. I have laid down my life at the feet of Jesus and surrendered all I am for all of Him. I am His. His servant, His slave, His daughter, His beloved. Any good thing in me comes from Him.

Lastly, before I get started I would like to clearly explain my view on homosexuality so there is no confusion and you aren’t left to wonder. But promise me this, if you have read this far, don’t stop now. Don’t stop if my view differs from yours. Just hear me out.

I believe that homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-28, Mark 10:6-9, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Corinthians 6:17-20). As I already stated earlier, I believe in the Bible, and I believe it in it’s entirety. There are many things the Bible does not take a clear stance on, but homosexuality is not one of them. One cannot read the Bible and yet walk away thinking it supports gay marriage. I will not argue with or try to persuade you into believing the same thing. That is not the purpose of this post. (However, if you do have questions or would like to have a pleasant, civil conversation regarding this topic, feel free to get in touch — I’ll even buy the coffee!)

So now that you know exactly who is writing this letter and what I believe, let me get started…

Dear LGBT community,

I am so sorry. After scrolling through social media feeds and talking to different people, I am completely and totally heartbroken, I sit here having shed plenty of tears. But not for the reason you might think. I am heartbroken because I cannot get on Facebook or Twitter without reading posts by self-identifying Christians initiating gross arguments with your community or disgustingly apathetic posts regarding how “we win” in the end.
I am so disappointed. These reactions are not Christ-like and they are a very, very poor representation of what it is we believe. I am begging God that you do not judge Christ and His church based on the way some “Christians” have so badly handled this situation.

They have forgotten that they, we, are sinners too. Our nature is wicked disobedience. On our own we followed the ways of this world, worshipping the ruler of the kingdom of the air. We gratified the nature of our flesh, following its desires and thoughts, and were deserving of wrath. But God, being so rich in grace and mercy, when we were dead in our sins and could not help ourselves, made us alive in Christ Jesus. It is by grace we have been saved. (Ephesians 2). Clearly they have forgotten their own depravity, as one cannot understand Christ’s grace and mercy and still respond to sin with judgement and condemnation.  I am sorry.

So many of them are up in arms and even surprised because the Supreme Court’s decision does not align with the Bible. They argue that homosexual marriage should not have been legalized because it does not agree with God’s purpose for marriage. In doing so, they are arguing for a Christian state and a Christian country. Dare I suggest that that does not align with the Bible? Jesus did not come to establish a Christian state. As Jesus says in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” Jesus never planned to establish an earthly, Christian Kingdom on this earth. He did not care for a christian state, but for the state of our souls. Yet they have become so wrapped up in having a Christian country that they have forsaken your souls in showing hate and condemnation to you. I am so sorry.

They argue against homosexual marriage on the grounds that it does not honor God, but they completely ignore the fact that for years, many heterosexual marriages have not honored Him either. In the last 30 years, the divorce rate has been the highest ever, with the peak reaching half of all marriages ending in divorce. Heterosexual marriages are filled with adultery and pornography, with husband and wife cohabiting a space but rarely ever acknowledging each other’s presence. I am sorry that rather than addressing the issue as a whole, they address only  homosexual marriages. I’m sorry that Christians as a whole have done a poor job of modeling godly marriages, or that if they have one, they do a poor job of inviting others to be a part of their lives, to witness their God-honoring marriage. We have become so complacent with living our christian lives, in christian communities, with christian friends and have completely shut out the outside world. Jesus came not for the healthy but the sick (Mark 2:17). He spent his time not with the religious but the sinners. I am sorry that we have become content with attending church or church related activities 4 and 5 times a week, and don’t even know the names of our neighbors. I am sorry we do not spend time with the sick.

Lastly, I’m sorry for all the posts you read regarding how “we win in the end.” I am disgusted by the apathy. Yes, Jesus will return one day and sin will be defeated once and for all. Yes, there is a battle against Good and Evil, and yes, Jesus has already won that battle, but that should not be their response. I’ve read posts where people are begging Jesus to come quickly, so that once and for all, sin no longer reins and it is no longer celebrated. I am begging Jesus to wait. If He returns this afternoon I will fall on my face in adoration, and I don’t dare wish to tell Him the right and proper time that He should return. But I beg him to have mercy and compassion and to wait. There are millions of people that do not know the love of our Father, that have not surrendered their lives to Him, and if Jesus returned today all of those people would be separated from God for eternity. I want each and every one of you standing beside me in Heaven worshipping our Good Father. Therefore, I beg Jesus to wait.  I am so sorry that their response is otherwise.

Homosexual America, please forgive us. Forgive us for the bigotry and hatred we have shown, for the many instances that we have failed to display Christ. I love you. Oh how I love. I do not agree with your lifestyle, but I love you nonetheless. That’s the beauty of the gospel…even when Christ did not agree with my sinful lifestyle, He loved me anyway and died for me.

I am praying that as Christians, we would allow Christ’s love, grace, mercy and compassion to flow through us and into your lives. That through our response to this issue, and every other issue out there, you would see Jesus. As you have already discovered, we will fail. When we do, I’m praying we have the humility to admit that we were wrong, to apologize and to seek reconciliation.

I believe that love from your partner will never satisfy the love you are looking for, just like love from a man will never satisfy the love my heart craves. Only Jesus does that. But I pray that my life, more than my mouth, will gloriously display that beautiful truth to you and all I come into contact with. And if you don’t know me, I’m asking the Lord to put someone in your life to display that truth to you.

I love you, regardless of whether or not I know you. And there is always room at my dinner table for you, regardless of who you’re married to (Mark 2:13-17).

In Christ,
Kaitlin

Update: Due to the argumentative nature of many comments,  for now I have disabled the discussion section. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to an authentic, respectful conversation! If you would like to get in touch with questions or comments, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to email me at kaitlinebeling@gmail.com – I only ask that you respect my desire to have a pleasant, civil conversation. I have very much enjoyed hearing from people all around the world, thank you for taking time to read the post!

Dominican Adventures: Experiencing God’s goodness through a broken toilet

I sit here on my bed, having just gotten out of shower that was no more than a few drops, with my bedroom floor covered in water from the broken toilet,  the sound of beeping horns, barking dogs and mooing cows mingle in the background, in 90% humidity with no air conditioner, and I’m happy to say I am incredibly content.

This has been one of the longest, most frustrating, trying, tiring and overall difficult weeks of my life. I have lost my patience several times. I’ve complained a lot. I’ve been worn out and strung out.

But, strangely enough, I am satisfied.

Yesterday was probably the most frustrating day of the week. I definitely hit a low. Come night time, I desperately craved time with the Lord, but I didn’t know what to do or what to say. I was far too tired. Lacking words, I turned to Psalm 27, my heart crying out David’s thousand year old words:

I remain confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (v. 13-14).

And today I am delighted to say that I saw the goodness of the Lord.
It didn’t come like I might have expected; in fixed toilets, working showers, people showing up on time, being able to work on the thing I actually came here to do, or the girls being respectful and nice.

Instead, it was quite the opposite. The toilet remains broken. The shower barely functions. Today someone was an hour and a half late to a meeting with us. I was assigned even more tasks then I already have, none of them being what I came here to do, and the girls I’m working with continued to make fun of my lack of Spanish.

But what I was reminded of is that God’s goodness isn’t dependent on circumstances. It isn’t dependent on everything going right and it isn’t dependent on how I feel. He always has been and always will be good.

Today I saw that when the girl’s home I’m working with received 6 more kids. That’s six more kids that had to be taken out of their homes because of abuse, and for the first time this week, that broke my heart. I was incredibly saddened for these six little lives; these were precious little girls under 12 that have been hurt by the people that are supposed to love them most. But as my heart broke, the Lord quietly whispered that His heart broke too. Agonizingly He aches for these beautiful girls that are made in his image and yet terribly mistreated. The sin of those who abused and neglected these little ladies also breaks His heart (Isaiah 63:10). And if their reality wasn’t already harsh enough, I was reminded that I, too, broke God’s heart. There was once a time in my life where I aimlessly wandered, following the prince of this world, dead in my trespasses and sins, carrying out the desires of my flesh. And in doing that, I broke His heart (Matthew 9:36). And that’s when I saw the Lord’s goodness. According to the riches of His glory He sent His perfect Son, so that we might be saved by grace, that He might dwell in our hearts by faith. Today, I was reminded that we live in a broken world, evident by the six new girls. We are broken because of sin. But I saw the goodness of the Lord today too, as I was reminded of His great grace.

I saw God’s goodness in our broken toilet and barely working shower as I was reminded that there is so much more to life than this world offers. At the end of the day, this was just a temporary annoyance that would be far out weighed by the eternal goodness of our Savior.

And even when the girls were disrespectful, making fun of my Spanish, despite my desperate attempts to practice and carry on a conversation with them, I saw the Lord’s goodness as He gently reminded me that my worth is not found in my ability to speak Spanish, it’s not even found in my ability to do anything. My worth and my value comes from Him and him alone.

With that in mind, at first I asked the same question as a psalmist did thousands of years ago: “what shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?” (Psalm 116:12)
But I do not owe the Lord for his goodness, to do so would be to diminish it. However, there is something I owe the world: Christ. I owe Him to each precious, abused, and disrespectful girl. I owe Him to the random men that cat call my friend and I, acting as if we’re some object rather than alive, breathing, beautiful, loved, valued people. I owe him to every person I love and miss, and every person that’s caused frustration this week.

Until the whole world hears, I am in debt to the nations. 

So I gladly take on humidity, disrespectful chicas, tardiness, broken toilets, more tasks than I signed on for, cat calls and anything else the Dominican Republic wants to throw my way, remaining confident in this:

I will see the goodness of the Lord.