Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Friendship with my Brother – Part 3

Brad’s “girlfriend” Tiffany dropped out of college and moved back to our home town, and Brad started getting concerned about his sins and his need for a savior, so he joined Maranatha Campus Ministries (MCM). Soon, one of the leaders there discovered that Brad was having sex with another guy in that group and also having anonymous sex with many guys at gay meeting places on campus. If any of you know the history of MCM, you are cringing right now. You can guess what happened next. Brad was outed in a very painful, public way. He was thrown out of the group and his sins were told to all the members. It wasn’t pretty. One of the leaders made sure to tell me all the details, even though I was not a member of MCM.

It finally hit me that I needed to show Brad a little compassion. As you can imagine, he was bitter at Christians at that point. For him, the painful way he was treated by Christians motivated him to differentiate himself from Christians. At the time, being gay-identified implied someone was anti-Christian, so he expressed his disgust with Christians by flaunting his homosexuality in some contexts. I asked why he was “hanging around gays”. I will never forget his answer. He said, “They love me, and that is more than I can say about Christians!” All I could say to him was that I actually loved him and that I am a Christian. This memory still brings tears to my eyes years later.

To be continued…

6 comments:

Jeff S. said...

Just started following your blog recently and appreciate what you shared in this post. I have some similar events in my life, so I can relate to what you have shared here.

Jeff

Christocentric said...

MR, I thought I'd come and take a look at your blog from Jay's site. This is actually a very good blog. You attend an extremely biblical church, a very good place to be (for any of us to be) while you grow in your walk with Christ.

I was just wondering about the church your brother was kicked out of. Did they give him the opportunity to stop participating in gay sex first? Or did they just kick him out once finding about his illicit sex?

Church discipline is necessary but only if the person refuses to stop the acts. (1 Cor 5:1-5) But if this church didn't show him compassion if he sought forgiveness, then shame on this church!

I'm just curious of why he was specifically thrown out of this group. I did read a little about this cult-like ministry and it's abusive history. I'm wondering if this is another example of their spiritual abuse.

-- Carlotta

MR said...

Jeff,

Thanks for reading and commenting! I hope to be relatable without compromising the truth of Scripture. I glanced at your Xanga blog and I plan to follow it regularly.

MR said...

Christocentric,

Thanks for the compliments! Yes, I appreciate my church, too. God has used it to help me significantly.

My brother was in Maranatha Campus Ministries, which had a reputation for being abusive. I do agree that church discipline in general is taught in the New Testament, but MCM took it to extremes. Out of about 300 in that church, I would guess about 2 or 3 were thrown out every month. If I remember right, my brother admitted to the anonymous sex more than once and he was given 1 more chance. After he had sex with another church member they publicly threw him out and told the members.

Christocentric said...

Oh! Well, sounds like this group did the right thing with your brother. They gave him one more chance and...oh well!

If churches as a whole practiced church discipline as laid out in the scriptures, I assure you there would be less complaints of "hypocrites" in the church as there are now. All kind of craziness is allowed in the church right now because people don't wanna step on anyone's toes - primarily because they aren't right themselves!

It's a common reaction from people who receive the discipline to scorn the discipliners. I recently had to kick my 19 year old son out for continued offenses after giving him a chance to come back. He's playing the pity card right now trying to get sympathy from folks while portraying his mom as the "Ms. Meanie." The pity party stopped after his older siblings all chewed him out and told him mom was quite justified!

Your brother seems to be confusing discipline with lack of love. I'm sure if he left the sin alone and practiced godliness, they would have been more welcoming of him, perhaps. Really depending upon the individuals. But the scriptures do give examples of harsh discipline exacted upon those who continue in sins such as sexual immorality.

I do admire the fact that you recognize your SSA issues but decide that the best way to go is to follow after Christ. I'll just continue praying for you and those like yourself to win your spiritual battles in this area. I pray for all of us to win ALL of our spiritual battles! :)

Keep Christ in front!

MR said...

Christocentric,

Thanks for your prayers. All of us who fight SSA need God's help desperately. It drives me to God again and again, and I believe my relationship with God is stronger because of all that weakness motivating me to turn to Him !