Case in point: God knows us all and our pasts...He wants us accepted, brought into His family and received with love...but instead this kind of situation is all too common:
The first response I received after writing the “Who Knew” blog:
“I have a friend in my Apartment Complex. Her name is Ann (not real name & details of her residence removed, otherwise verbatim) and she is about 30 years old. But, when she was a teenager, she was gang raped ...
But, she is a Believer. However, last year she told her Pastor that she would rather "be with a female partner" ... But, she has never "dated/seen" anyone. However, the Pastor told her that "It goes against the church constitution (or whatever it is called) so he told Ann that she is NOT welcome at this church, from what she told me.
Honestly, I have never met anyone else whom I know was abused/raped, and has "chosen that lifestyle." ... before meeting Ann...
And, I honestly do Not know what to say to her; except that I am very sorry that your Pastor told you that....
From a (Gang) Rape situation, I can honestly say that I might be afraid of men, if it were to happen to me .....
I have a question for you, regarding my friend, Ann. I have to admit that when Ann "came out"; I have been a bit afraid to "hang out" with her ....
Is that "normal", even though we are both Believers? How would you react to this situation? I want to be her friend....”
My response: Thank you for asking. This is more common than most know. The pastor’s reaction to Ann could be the reason the Ann’s remain quiet or if admit usually leave the church and often feel abandon by God!
Happy you choose to be friends. Keep praying n believing best that God is in this and believe best for her. People (so many Me Too’s) that have had this kind of abuse need others to love, accept and believe in them as people, not reject them! She needs to know GOD UNDERSTANDS HER STRUGGLE...the abuse does not need to define her all her life! Healing n hope is available especially with those that also have been abused n understand the reality of the fall out!
But sadly she has to be careful about pastors like the one you shared about, there are many out there and they cost/cause great trauma and confusion/pain for those who have been victims!
I believe God has a special understanding for those who have been abused...
And ROMANS 5:8 is hope for us all...HE LOVES each (US) IN (OUR) STRUGGLE(s). and accepts in the struggle of them.
(I add now: CHRIST DIED WHILE WE WERE IN SIN. Yet this Ann sounds as though she was not in sin. She had not acted on her feelings and she admitted her normal feelings for the trauma she endured! Yet she was treated as an outcast from a pastor!)
If she starts to have an attraction for you then it would be a time to reevaluate but since she has never acted on feelings of same sex preference it is likely she has committed to God.
It is sad that most the time the world accepts people way better than the church!
(I have experienced great rejection n meanness n HATE FROM THE CHURCH and from ministry leaders.)
ALL THIS to me is a major reason why there is this great division in the church...
The church does not always know how to really live the gospel especially in these kind of situations. Thanks again hope to talk more.
A latter tweet message: "This is tragic, especially when I re-read it again ...if she’s not ever acted on her feelings she is not in sin!!!!!! The pastor had no reason at all to tell her that!!!! It was abuse on the pastors part!
This is incredibly sad!
Now to finish this blog post I would like to add:
I believe the church as a whole needs to Repent of the Unlove and lack of living the true gospel especially to Me Too's and the LGBTQ communities!
We need to focus on Jesus, that Jesus died for our sins so we could be forgiven and Saved from the penalty of our sins! it’s not our good behavior that saves us but JESUS ALONE! By believing in Christ, by His grace through faith we are saved, Born Again and in the Holy Spirit living in us we are NEW and transformed.
We need to live loving, accepting and forgiving others as Christ has loved, accepted and forgiven us who believe! “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Without love in our minds, hearts, words, actions: our lives. without loving the way Jesus would love, and without the love that God has so graciously given us, we are resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. We gain nothing!
We can do what we believe is right Biblically, but if we lack love, the most essential ingredient, we gain nothing!
It is said: “Love heals all wounds." It could be there’s real truth to that? In Christ eternally it is true. Many have experienced love’s healing, from the inside out.
The command to love is numerous in the Bible. We as Christians are to be known by our LOVE. Instead, sadly sometimes we are known for our hate n judgment.
May God forgive us and change us all!
LORD, I ask You to bring real repentance in Your Church, Your People, for their lack of love and lack of living out the true Gospel of GRACE through faith IN CHRIST ALONE for salvation. Please help (especially) the outcasts, those ME TOO's and all people seeking You to find Your people loving well and giving out what they received 1 Co 15:1-4 as Paul wrote and lived. Bring TRUTH AND GRACE FORTH and real salvations/revivals and John 17 answers of prayer, SO HELP US GOD, I ask In Jesus' Name, Amen.