Born a Thief

    Harry was born a thief.  Of course, he didn't know that, at first.  But as he grew, he found he always wanted to play he was robbing a bank, whenever his older brothers allowed him to choose, which wasn't often.
    Since he was raised in a conservative church, he found they denounced thievery.  They quoted Exodus 20:15, "Thou shalt not steal", among others.  This created confusion for poor little Harry, who hid in shame.  Alas, at the tender age of seven, try as he might, he was just unable to refrain from stealing from his family, and friends at school.  At age 10, he was caught and punished by the school authorities.  His family held their heads in shame, making Harry feel even worse for something he couldn't control.  Hadn't God made him this way; so why was he to blame?
    Somehow, after that incident, he managed to not steal at school for another two years.  But then, he got caught shoplifting.  This was more serious.  He could hardly believe the hypocrites who arrested him!  He was pretty sure they weren't living up to all they said was right.  In fact, it was pretty obvious that one of them overate!  What was being done to him for that?
     The following years at church, until he graduated, were miserable! Not only did they denounce thievery, but the deception that went with it!  How intolerant! The day couldn't come fast enough until he was able to get out from in under this oppression.  As soon as he finished school and was off to college, it was the end of church for him.
     In the decade that was to follow, Harry had brushes with the law, but managed to stay out of prison.  He found a church that loved him, just as he was.  No one in this church ever labeled him.  They just accepted him as a thief because they knew that nothing could be done about it.  In fact, their denomination voted to accept thieves as ministers.
     One horrible day, however, Harry finally acted out his dream of robbing a bank.  He got caught.  Off he went to the slammer for a good long time.  While there, he had time to reevaluate his life.  The things that he had heard and learned at the church he grew up in came back to him.  He finally realized that stealing is a sin.  Just because one has proclivities toward a particular sin doesn't mean that God made him that way.  He agreed with God that taking things from other people is wrong and is a sin against God and man.  He repented.  That doesn't mean Harry has never been tempted to steal again.  In fact, on a few occasions, he has slipped back into some petty thievery and has had to make things right.
    Now Harry realizes that the church that accepted thievery was not his friend.  He didn't need someone to condone his sinful behavior, he needed someone to help him get free.  Since he is free, he is now testifying that there is power in God, and helping others to find freedom in Christ.  Some say he is a bigot, but Harry is seeking first and foremost to please God.
    Folks, if you have read this far, I'm sure you know this story is a tongue in cheek way of confronting the notion that we, as Christians, just need to embrace gays, because, after all, we have all sinned.  Jesus did eat with sinners, and yes, he did love them, but he loves all of us too much to allow us to remain where we are.  That is the very reason for his death.  Well intentioned people, including genuine Christians, have been duped into believing that true love means live and let live.  Jesus told the woman living in adultery to go and sin no more.  He didn't pat her on the shoulder and say, "Now, now, don't worry about your situation, you see, everyone else here has sinned as well.


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