Respect Not Judgment

“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?…I will, with God’s help.” BCP, p. 417

I wasn’t going to get into this conversation, but a few of my readers have asked me about it since they know I am an Episcopalian.  I have decided to get out of my turtle shell and stop ignoring them. My beloved Episcopal church has actually thrust us parishioners right in the middle of the discussion even if some of us weren’t ready to address it. You may have heard that the Episcopal church is going to bless same-sex couples.

What I would like to talk about is the first statement at the top of the page. We are called to “respect the dignity of every human being”. My priest Fr Jeff read the letter from our bishop explaining the decision to bless same-sex unions, it was clear that in the Episcopal church marriage will still be between one man and one woman. Same sex couples will receive a blessing if approved by the bishop. I am sure that not all my church family members agree with the decision, but even if they did not like what they were hearing, not one member of my church, Holy Cross Episcopal got up and walked out. Even if they did not agree with the decision, no one left. That speaks volumes to the character of my church family.

I think the reason everyone sat and listened to the entire letter without a gasp, or frown was the fact that we all agree on what is important. There is so much more to life than this one thing. We agree with love, we agree to respect everyone, and I mean EVERYONE….and get this, we don’t care if you are a sinner. That is because we are too.  We love you anyway!  Unconditional love should be the foundation of everything a church does. The focus of the church should be on taking care of people despite what they choose to do with their bodies. It matters not if we are talking about sex or whatever behavior you want to tag on. People are so much more than the things they do, their life style, and their spouses. We should still respect the person. People seem to forget that humans have this wonderful thing called free will. We are given the ability by our creator to think and act for ourselves. We focus on the person, not what they do. What they do is between themselves and God. It is up to God to judge what we do. We are not to judge, no,  not one soul. We are to love and serve them all as Christ would.

So the next time you decided to judge a person because of their life style or the church they choose to serve God in, think about what you are doing. Think about how Christ would treat that person. Would he approve of how you treat them, speak to them or about them?

Leave the judgment to the one who is perfect, since we are not.

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