In 2002, we showed up at a porn show. Not outside with signs and megaphones. We showed up inside because we care. Ten years later, we are still showing up in your world because we still care about you.
Christians, This is why we can’t have nice things.
First off, I am a Lady Pastor. So if that already makes you crazy in the face and ready with a Mark Driscoll quote, maybe you should stop reading right here.
Seriously. Go home and make yourself a delicious sandwich.
Secondly, I am one of those girls who had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with Sheena in Chicago at the porn ponvention just a few weeks ago. I deeply love sharing summer fruit, t-shirts, bibles, lip-gloss and kind words with my new friends at these porn ponventions. I can’t wait to see these porn stars and let them know that someone, from the dysfunctional tribe known as “Christianity”, cares. Because let’s be honest, the family of God is like any family. We have some weird aunts and uncles who just seem to ruin every good thing they can get their hands on. People who love God, but love their own dysfunction more.
Most of the time when I see all of the hate online, I just move past it, because I can see that people spit out what they struggle with themselves; the classic “hurting people hurt” mentality.
But I am too close to this situation.
I have watched, with my own eyes, this sweet girl open herself up on the Porn Convention floor for a moment to believe that someone can still look her in the eyes and tell her that NO MATTER WHAT, SHE IS LOVED BY GOD.
And by saying that, we do not condone her life choices, but rather we glorify the God of the universe who is working in her life.
That He gave her life and I trust God enough to be able to speak to her without me having a perfectly crafted theological statement about weed.
Because I trust God enough to move in her life, it allows me the ability to simply love her and let her work out her faith between her and God.
Isn’t that so beautifully simple? Trust God, love others and let His Holy Spirit do the rest? Because what I can see about this amazing girl is that she is on a journey and I pray that she continues to be honest and share her heart and soul, and to cry out to a God who I know hears her and would never turn His back on her.
One comment I read especially stood out to me: “Never talks about the consequences. I know it's easy, but yes, we are to love, but not once have you condemned the behavior.” This breaks my heart because most people who know God as someone who condemns them has never really met the God of the Bible. The God who would do anything to lead His people to reconciliation and freedom in Christ. That’s where it becomes serious in my mind.
I turn back to those commentators on the page and I wonder if they know Jesus Christ. That may sound harsh, but when people only speak about the God of wrath and that his followers need to bring condemnation, I don’t know the god they speak of. God came into my life through the love and patient care of other believers and they didn’t begin the conversation with my biggest sins. To know God is love. And the more you are with God, the more you want to be like Him. It begins a process of letting go of the things that hurt or break us. Jesus could tell people to go and sin no more, because HE WAS GOD WEARING FLESH. He called us to love Him and to love others because none of us know what is going on in the lives of others, and none of us can seem to get past our own selfishness. We try to be like little god’s and place ourselves above others in the hopes of seeming removed from sin and sitting in a superior place. But here is what I know: we are all sick with sin and pointing it out in others reveals our own brand of sickness (Tweet This!).
To quote one of the brilliant college students that I work with and love; “This is why we can’t have nice things.” That for every beautiful glimpse God gives us of his redemptive work on this earth, somebody is going to take a dump on it. Sheena, I hope you know that God’s family is kind of messed up, but He is a perfect God who continues working in all of us (Tweet This!). There are so many people who will be there for you regardless of what you can do for them and we hope to know you for years to come with no hidden agenda; except to extend some non-creepy love and care, and let you know what God has shown us from our own experiences.
And to all my Christian brothers and sisters who love to post long rants on comment sections and point fingers, I hope you feel safe in your self-imposed palaces of crazy. God is not safe by the way. I pray that someday He calls you away from your safe church, your safe life, and causes you to love someone different than yourself. I pray you begin to lose the numbness, the rage, the need to always be right, and for you to be rocked to your core by the knowledge of God loving you even in the midst of your never ending quest for sin and self destruction. Once you have let that life-changing realization hit and can admit your own huge porn/meth/food/self-hate/misogynist/lying habit you will find that God has not left you either.
I hope that you go and love someone with that very same kind of love.
Listen to the latest (and first) Craig's Car Ride podcast to hear more from Rachel, Craig, and blogger Seth Taylor on this topic and the controversy surrounding the Sheena video and blog Craig Gross posted yesterday called Yes! Jesus Loves You Sheena. Also, check out Seth's blog about grace that further delves into these matters.
We Can't Have Nice Things by Rachel Ceballos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://xxxchurch.com.