Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blessed Are The.........

The following is a quote from Tony Campolo, an evanglical Christian who is willing to challenge conservative evangelicals on some of the "wedge issues." I like his approach, especially how he reminds us about the true meaning of Jesus' message.

"My empathy for the suffering of gay and lesbian people came a hard way. I was in high school and there was a boy in our high school who was gay. We’ll call him Roger. We really made life difficult for Roger. A large city school, West Philadelphia High, we ridiculed him, we mocked him, we humiliated him in every way we knew how. On Fridays after PhysEd when we all went into the showers, Roger would never go in with us because he was afraid. When he did take his turn we waited for him and when he came out of the showers we had our wet towels ready and we would whip them at his little naked body and sting him. And we thought that was funny.

I wasn’t there the day they grabbed Roger and they took this screaming, naked little kid and shoved him into the corner of the shower. And as he screamed and cried, five guys urinated all over him. I wasn’t there when it happened. But he went home that night, went to bed I think at about 10 o’ clock. They say he got up at about 2 o’ clock in the morning, went down to the basement of his house, and he hung himself.

And I knew I wasn’t a Christian. Oh, I believed all the right things. I was orthodox. I was evangelical to the core. But I wasn’t a Christian, because if I had been a Christian I would have been his friend. I would have stood up for him and I would have defended him. And when they came to pick on him I would have said, “Lay off. This is Roger, my friend.” But I was afraid to be Roger’s friend because I knew what happened to people who were friends with those like Roger. I knew what would happen to me. I didn’t want them talking about me. If I was Roger’s friend they would talk about me.

I wish I could go back and relive that particular period of my life, because then I would know on that day that I stand for judgment, Jesus would say, “Blessed are ye, when they reviled you and when they said terrible things against you falsely, for my sake, because you loved the wrong people.”

Christianity at its best has always been about loving people that society says are the wrong people to love."

Have you ever not defended someone when you should have, or not bore the burden that Christ demands of us? I know that's true in my case. Forgive me.


Blogger Sophocles said...


This post brought tears to my eyes. How many times have I not spoken up for those who needed my voice. How many times have I been that bully, abusing my power, laughing at others, the list could go on and on. Yes, may He have mercy.

11:43 PM  

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