Recently in a discussion forum I mentioned my church and I are going to Cambodia to support a church/orphanage that provides a home to young men, women, and children, many having come from lives of crushing poverty, crime, and abuse. I also mentioned that one of their ministries is reaching out to young women caught in the sex trade, and that I am bringing my 14 year old daughter who has a heart to do what she can to help these young ladies transform their lives.

And as usual, among the encouraging remarks, and blessings there was the voice who offered nothing but condemnation in the form of biblical instruction. I was peppered with various Scriptures such as “do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.” (Lev.19:29) …Okay.

In another discussion I revealed my heart for a friend who is gay, and who I’ve been praying for. I mentioned that I invited him over for dinner just to spend time together, and once again I was pelted with the Scriptures (context never being a concern), accused of the “Oprahfication” of the faith, and told that by inviting a gay man into my home I was “infecting” my family.

It breaks my heart.

I doesn’t matter what it is, every group has its nutjobs, and sadly, the church is no different. Over the years I have been condemned by many in the faith for looking as I do, talking as I do, listening to what I do, and even for drawing what I do.

I’ve been told comics are evil because the imagination is evil. I’ve been told sports are evil, because competition is evil. And I’ve been told reading anything but the Bible is evil, because… well, it’s not the Bible, so it’s evil.

There will always be the few who feel they are the Holy Spirit’s personal assistant, charged with the sacred duty to Scripture-beat any who don’t adhere to their own narrow, joyless view of Christianity. It’s sad, and it’s ugly.

But I know the voice of my Shepard, and I don’t hear Him in all that. I have walked with the Lord long enough to know one very important thing: WE ARE FREE IN CHRIST.

So, I’d just like to say, as we seek to live lives according to His will, and His character, never forget that we are FREE to walk with Him as He made us- FREE to create with the minds He gave us, and FREE to do with the hands He gave us. And when you meet a member of the self-appointed holiness police- and you most probably will someday- know that you are also FREE to ignore them.

Life is just too short, people. There is too much work to do, too many things to say, and too many lives to touch to be hindered by small voices full of condemnation and fear.

Make a difference for the Kingdom. Be FREE in Christ, and walk.

God bless you.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:10