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First, CoverGirl dubs its first cover boy, complete with glittery makeup. Now, pastors across the nation are mixing purple glitter into ashes for Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western church world. It's a liturgical practice marked by fasting, prayer and sacrifice that starts 46 days before Easter.
"I think it's really important for the church to respond to the intolerance and culture of fear that is being created especially toward LGBTQ people," April Gutierrez, pastor of Berry United Methodist, told the Chicago Tribune. Ash Wednesday, she told the paper, is a moment for believers to remember who they are called to be as Christians.
Some are calling this blasphemy, but Marian Edmonds-Allen, executive director of a faith-based organization that works to empower LGBT and allied people, disagrees.
"In fact, the whole point of Glitter Ash Wednesday is to reflect the deep, somber, serious faith in Jesus' life, death and resurrection that millions of queer Christians have," she says. "And yes, there are millions of us queer and queer-positive Christians. Surprised? No wonder, because the lie gets told over and over again that 'God hates (obscenity)' and that homosexuality is sinful. Precious few queer Christians survive the hate and make it through to become visible members of the church."
I don't believe God hates homosexuals, but homosexuality is absolutely a sin. The truth is God loves homosexuals but hates the sin because it separates Him from the creation He loved so much He sent His only begotten Son to die (John 3:16). Glitter Ash Wednesday is just one more demonic propaganda tool to mainstream perversion.
What's our response as a church? Pray, prophesy and preach the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is good news, but Satan has blinded the minds of those who don't believe (2 Cor. 4:4). We need to pray that the blinders are removed. We need to prophesy life and not curse people trapped in homosexuality. And we need to stand firm on the truth, because that's what sets people free.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, co-founder of awakeningtv.com, on the leadership team of the New Breed Revival Network and author of several books, including The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening; Mornings With the Holy Spirit, Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God; The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Jennifer's Periscope handle is @propheticbooks.
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