Monday, March 11, 2013

Jesus at the Gay Bar?

Tonight I experienced something that most people would consider out of the ordinary.

I went to a local gay bar to watch a Gospel Drag Show!

Yes, you read that correctly, a gospel drag show.

All of the performances were set to gospel music with a couple of contemporary Christian songs thrown in.
You may be asking yourself some questions.

Were the performers making fun of Christians?
Was there anyone in the audience to actually watch the show?
Were they hostile toward Christianity?

Well, here is what I found:

The drag queens who performed treated their songs much less like a drag show and more like worship.

They worshiped God with their talent and their heart the best and purest way they knew how.

I saw one performer dance with joy and exuberance as she worshiped God during her song.
I saw another performer testify about how the show was not about her, but was all about  Jesus, followed by a round of "Amens!" from the audience.

Speaking of the audience, how was the crowd?
By the end of the show the place was standing room only!

I watched people raise their hands in worship and clap along with the music as if they were sitting in an old time Pentecostal tent revival!

What amazed me the most about this experience tonight was seeing people from many backgrounds and faith traditions, many of whom were sipping on a drink from the bar, finding genuine excitement in old southern gospel songs.

They were worshiping God without the pretensions of church or the mask that so many typical church going Christians wear.

They were being themselves.
Many people were laughing.
Many were drinking.
At times some people were even tearing up, moved by the presence of God that was very real and very beautiful.

The drag queens and singers who performed were being themselves.
The audience members were being themselves.

There was no holier then thou attitudes about how worship should look a certain way or fit a certain mold.

There were real people, acting like real people, worshiping a real God, who loves them with a real love.

Do you know who loves real meetings like this?

The Real Jesus!

And, you can bet the farm that Jesus was at the gay bar tonight.

He was walking through the crowd, touching lives and healing wounds.
He was taking joy from the authentic worship from people who felt no need to pretend for acceptance.
He was laughing with those who laughed and crying with those who cried.

Jesus was loving the expression of worship from the drag queens as well because He saw it for what it was; pure worship from a true place of genuine love for our Savior.

Sure, there were people there who didn't worship freely and some who kept up walls of defense that didn't appear to be torn down.  
Of course, who really knows, besides God, who's walls fell and who's didn't?

I even heard a few laughs from the back during worship.

But, whether some people allowed God to minister to them or not, they were there.
They stayed for the show.

And, Jesus met them there, right where they were, in a drag show in Birmingham, Alabama.

He planted seeds and began tearing down walls of hurt and rejection.

Isn't that the beautiful way that Jesus works so many times?
Even 2000 years later He is still hanging out with the outcasts who are having some drinks and being too loud and raucous.

It should come as no surprise that Jesus was hanging out at the gay bar tonight.

He always hangs out with the folks that the Religious Establishment typically judges instead of loves.

God has built His church on people like this.
He is very fond of us outcasts!

What does all this mean?

The lesson here is very simple but very important.

God does not want us to act like a different person in front of Him.
He doesn't want us to hide behind a facade.
After all, we can never actually hide from Him anyway!

Our Papa God loves us and wants to be part of our lives even when we don't think we are Holy.

Guess what.
We will never be Holy enough to be in God's presence on our own.

That's where Jesus steps in.

Because we can never attain perfect righteousness on our own, Jesus paid the ultimate price as the spotless sacrifice for us so that we could get rid of our masks and pretensions and approach the thrown of God with Confidence!

We are saved through the work that Christ did on Calvary!
Our Salvation was bought and paid for that first Easter.
Our Righteousness was given to us that day.
Our Healing was given to us that day.
Our Hope, our Joy, our Freedom to prosper mentally, physically, and spiritually was all given to us freely, as a gift, the moment that Jesus died and resurrected 2000 years ago!

I urge you today to take off your mask and be real with God.

Accept His promises for you and worship Him with the gifts you have!

Just like the drag queens I saw tonight, give God your talent.
Give God your praise.
Give God your worship in the purest way you know how from the most genuine part of yourself!

This is how you find peace.
Worship Him without that facade of perfection and know that He loves you right where you are!

Accept that you are saved by His Grace, not your works!

Once you decide to be honest and real in His presence, you can truly Surrender to Him and Trust Him to do the work in your life that He desires to do.
This real surrender builds a real relationship that leads to your real peace!

God has a destiny for you!
God has a purpose for you!
God has promises for you!

Take off your mask and let Him work on your heart so that He can give you His Joy that is your strength.

As always, remember:

God Loves You!
God Created You!
God Accepts You!

Until Next Time,