Before I start the meat of my opening post, I would like to state some things about my past that could likely help you understand how I came to my position. I'd also like to apologize in advance, this post is chiefly directed at Christians, but it may be worth reading even if you're not.
I am the third child of eight, eldest son. My parents are deeply religious, and have raised me and my siblings in a very orthodox calvinist manner. I was raised to believe that if you weren't elected, you would go to hell. Now for those unfamiliar with the calvinist strains of Christianity, one of the beliefs calvinism is well known for is that your entry into heaven or hell was decided long before you were born.
As I am not attracted solely to women, I do not fit into the view of what one of the Elect was like in the church I grew up in. I couldn't tell my parents, I couldn't tell my friends, I couldn't even tell my teachers or my doctor. Everyone I had close ties to was carefully selected, or perhaps elected, by my parents to share their world view.
At my eighteenth birthday, I packed up my goods and left the house. I still haven't spoken to my parents since that day. They know why. I send them christmas cards every year. If my phone number or address changes, I inform them. Because I still love my parents, no matter how much they loathe me.
Due to how I was raised, I strayed from the path of christianity. I grew bitter and resentful of religion. Until, one day, at a gathering of young adult socialists, I met a few christians. We started to talk. I was touched. They knew about my sexuality, and told me why they didn't feel the need to lecture me on it.
Judge not, lest ye be judged. (Mt. 7:1)
This made me think. They gave me a Bible. I started to flip through it. Particularly the new testament, as they recommended me. During my childhood, most of my studies were focused on Paul and the Old Testament.
And I realized that the message of Christianity was one of brotherhood. Of unconditional love in the nonromantic sense. This is more involved than it may seem, and it certainly is no easy task. Another part of the scripture makes this even clearer.
This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. (Jn. 15:12)
In other words, you have to love others as Jesus loves us. And that is a deep, unconditional love. He loved everyone, and forgave everyone for their sins. As such, it is not a Christian's duty to judge and condemn, but to love and forgive.
Not necessarily forget. Nor does it mean that we can't call it out. But we have to forgive it. After we have called it out, told our friend, our enemy, or even a complete stranger, what they did wrong? We have to forgive them, we have to move on.
This is not a quote from the scripture, but it describes very well what it is like to forgive.
When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it. (Louis B. Smedes)
But it is important to remember that as shocked, stunned and enraged as we may be by evil, it is a Christian's task to forgive. That does not mean we can't prepare for them to disappoint us again. Nor does it mean we have to blindly trust. At some point, it may be necessary to stop handing out new chances, as much as we would love to give them. But we should not judge. We should forgive.
Judging others is a kind of risky hubris that not only is against scripture, but is also what gives Christianity a bad name to people who do not follow in Christ's footsteps. Judging others does not provide them with faith. Preaching at them does not provide them with faith.
A Christian should lead by the example of serving the world. He (or she) should do his very best to love everyone. not to turn anyone away who asks for advice. Do his (or her) best to improve the world. If you don't have time, donate to charity. If you don't have money, try to donate your time.
Every Christian has a way to serve the world, it may not be obvious. It is likely not easy. But it's there, and if you ask God for guidance, you should be able to discover what talents God intends you to serve the world with.
I hope, I sincerely hope, that this was educating to at least someone out there.
I look forward to your responses.