“If he’s the speaker then we aren’t bringing our kids to your camp this summer.”
That’s what the guy who worked at the Christian camp told me when he called me to tell me that I was no longer going to be the speaker at their summer camp. Apparently that’s the power you have when you “buy into the vision”, which was the reason given for this youth pastor’s word carrying so much weight.A promise of donated funds and volunteer hours takes you really far in the kingdom of churchdom. As you can imagine, I felt as I was being treated unjustly and I was not happy about the prejudice, so as any normal person does, I tracked down the youth pastor so I could ask him what his problem with me was.
I’ll give you the abridged version: He said to me that my tattoos represent “evil”. I’m not making this up… he actually told me that because I have tattoos I am a physical representative of evil, and that is not something he was ok exposing his kids to. Mr. Youth Pastor went as far as to tell me that “a person’s heart is transparent by the way they present themselves outwardly.” That’s nothing more than the opposite of what Jesus preached in regards to the character and intention of a man’s heart. It’s this stupid prejudice and religious ignorance that leads Christians to say assholeish things about other Christians, especially those they don’t understand.
The outcome: Because of an unjust prejudice I was removed from an opportunity to share the Gospel with a camp full of young people… and I have not stopped getting tattooed.
So as we continue to dialogue through these issues of judgement vs. grace and right vs. wrong, let me suggest that life is not about right or wrong, but rather bringing life or death to others. Being right isn’t worth losing out on beneficial relationships with beautiful people who you may never get to know if you don’t get out of your own way. We should try to wrap our minds around the idea that the Lord did not save us so that we may judge, but rather so we may extend limitless grace! And as an outsider you should never get in the way of someone worshiping the Lord or serving him, unless you are the shepherd of a flock, and in that case, judge gently.
Bring Life + Be Free + Be Honest or Die!