Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Älä alistu!/Don't submit!

So, I found this video because it has caused quite a bit of controversy in Finland and caused 500 resignations from the Lutheran Church the day it was released. It was not put together by the Evangelical Lutheran Church but it was done with their money.

Campaign official pages:

If you do not speak Finnish here is the over long and tedious video in a nutshell. "Anni's Story" is the title it is from the "Don't Submit" video campaign. Anni was a bisexual girl. She realized in high school and became quite involved with gay rights and dated a girl in the ninth grade and then they broke up. During this time she was having some problems and met a girl who wanted to just help her with them. One day this girl asked to pray with her and Anni saw the holy spirit. She went to a religious youth camp and became saved. She prayed hard to leave her unholy desires behind and God heard her and she stopped dating girls nor did she really want to. She has been engaged to a man for a year now, she is twenty. She said that being with a woman never really made her feel like a woman, because one had to take the man's role etc.

What really stood out to me is that it is so simple to be rid of lustful impulses. Just admit what you are and give it to God, he will heal you. I would like to say, I do believe that God can heal everything from gout to cancer and it is very much in his power to change a person's sexual orientation or to curb lustful impulses. That being said, lets talk about the practical implications for a young person who hears this. I bet any God believing young person who has this or similar problems has prayed for them. Asking God to change a perceived flaw in you is nothing new. I cannot count the hours I prayed as a teenager begging God to change me, to cure me from this or that affliction. Lustful thoughts were very much featured in those prayers, as was my laziness and other assorted general "badness". God did not cure me, at least not then, of one single one of my flaws. I felt like crap. I felt like a failure. I felt like a bad Christian. I prayed everyday for God to take me to heaven so I could stop constantly failing and sinning. I was tired, I was desperate. What would have Anni's message of easy, reachable fixing have meant to me? It would have meant an ever compounding sense of guilt. It would have isolated my lust for women as an even more heinous crime than my lust for men. Here I had been beating myself up for both indiscriminately.

I call this a suicide inducing flick. Say, it is wrong! It is Sinful! Älä alistu! Don't submit! It can all be made better. God is waiting for you to give your burden to Him and heal you! All that can hold you back now, sinner, is your own lack of faith! Only one you have to blame is yourself. Maybe Anni has more willpower, maybe she has more faith, maybe her prayers are special. Maybe I am failing at this like I fail at everything else because I am too damn lazy to change. Way to rip old wounds open and make me feel like that girl again.

As an end note, God did heal me, but not in the way I expected. He healed me by giving me perspective, understanding and self acceptance, flaws and all. I was good enough for him to die on Calvary for my sins when I was at my worst. Not because I was special or good but because he was and he loved me. He cleansed me when I accepted his cleansing. It does not matter that I am lustful. It does not matter that I am lazy. I am exactly as he created me. This does not mean I need to whore around and not do any work because that is not how he intended me to behave. He intends me to strive for a healthy balanced life. My flaws are really the other side of my virtues. I am lazy because I am laid back. I am content to contemplate and not worry too much about having a spotless house there are more important things in life. I am lusty, but I love my husband and it can be a very positive quality in a marriage when channeled properly and understood for what it is. Now that God has healed me from my low self esteem and depression I can no longer really care about my flaws and can really give them to God, and you know what, stopping the demonization of that part of me has allowed me to not be trapped by lustful thought. When they are no longer forbidden or wrong they take a backseat to more important and interesting thoughts. I am no longer paralyzed by fear and anxiety due to my laziness and am actually able to break the inertia and do what really matters and needs to get done.

Self-acceptance is a wonderful thing. Do not submit to thoughts of self loathing and accept that if you do seek help from God for your problems, which I do recommend, he may not give you the quick fix you want but will allow you to walk down a longer, harder path that will make you a better person and accept yourself, and in the long run that beats a quick fix.

No comments:

Post a Comment