There was that time when Jesus cleansed the temple – kicking over chairs, upturning tables, and driving out the money changers. You’re going to have to do this for yourself. Living inside your head are all those religious lies and deceptions that have enslaved you and are a power in your mind. They are constantly doing business in your head – controlling you, limiting you, sabotaging you, and stopping you. Kick them out! Upturn those tables! Toss those chairs! Drive them out of you! – Jim Palmer
I saw this on Facebook and it resonated with my heart. It did the same with a friend of mine… a parent of a gay child, set free from the fundamentalism, legalism and bondage that comes from a church focused on behavior management.
She said, “Now that we are here, can you ever believe we were once there???? UGH!!!”
Sometimes freedom is scary. Simply because it is outside of our comfort zone, outside of our box. But that’s okay. When our daughter came out, and we started our journey, it was scary at times. But we soon realized that it was only scary because it was new. And every brief moment of fear was soon followed by a lasting sense of peace and comfort, and then the incredible joy that comes from freedom.
Once you have been set free to live God’s truth, to love how Jesus loved, there is no going back.
Once you have stepped outside of the “religion” box you have been living in, the air outside is so fresh, vibrant, invigorating, life-giving, that there is no part of you that wants to go back inside.
Jesus said that we would know the truth and the truth will set us free. Free from what?
Free from religion.
SUSAN COTTRELL is a national speaker, teacher, and counselor with years of Biblical study and discipleship experience. Her books include: Mom, I’m Gay – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith, as well as How Not to Lose Your Teen and The Marriage Renovation. Through her nonprofit organization – FreedHearts.org – Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that “loving God and loving others” are the foundation of the rest of the scripture, just as Jesus said.
She is the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her “Mom, I’m Gay” book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”
She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at FreedHearts.org and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHearts and Jesus Blog columns.