What is our purpose? Why is it that - at 55 1/2 years old I finally - FINALLY! - found my life partner? Why the 20 years of darkness prior to that? Why - of the billions of people on earth - were Donna and I given the interest, the ability, the understanding, and the resources to go to these far-off lands and speak with whomever comes into our path, about life, and love, and the Author of love?
I was reminded of why at Sunday School today. Donna and I are "Done"s - by that we mean we are believers in Jesus, followers of Jesus, but Done with the organizational structure known as the church which was annexed on to our faith over a third of a millenium after Jesus' resurrection by edict of the Roman Empire - the same Roman Empire which had killed Him in the first place.
But I attend Sunday School most Sundays when I am in town. Today, while preaching from the Book of John (which is more about God's love than any of the 65 other books), the preacher began a rant against homosexuality (while wearing a blended cotton/wool suit: Leviticus 19:19 - "Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee."). He ranted on about we have to "preach the truth" to the immoral people of the world. That is what the church teaches. What does the Bible - particularly this very same Book of John - say?
John 1:1-4 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." In other, simpler, words: everything was made by Jesus. From within that tripartite relationship, the world was created through Jesus. Everything came out of Heaven through Jesus. Then what?
John 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." All. Not "all Christians". Jesus was Jewish. He wasn't Christian. For 200+ years after His resurrection, followers of "The Way" (now called Christians) considered themselves Jews. All. All gays, Muslims, Hindi, athiests. "All" does mean "all". So when John writes that no one comes in except through Jesus - he is repeating 12:32.
So what is "sin"? For the church, it is whatever the preacher does not like. For me, it is whatever interferes with my relationship with God. And nothing else. So I can't judge your sin, nor you mine, but the church pretends to be able to do so.
And what is the Bible? The biblidolators say it is the inerrant word of God, even though it says otherwise. 1 Corinthians 7:12 "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away."
What does It say It is? After the stories of the life of Jesus, It says it is a series of letters of advice (sometimes from God, sometimes not - and sometimes it does not say whether or not it is from God; I believe in such instances it is not, because a message from God deserves such reference) and a final prophesy (even though the Gospel of John was written by John from Ephesus AFTER he wrote Revelation).
So, our purpose? To testify how our walk with Jesus has been incredibly blessed, to apologize to those who are put down by the church, and to always remember - as the tattoo on my right arm says: I am "Rescued from Darkness, Dancing in the Light."