Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Love Thy Neighbor and Love Thine Enemy

Plenty of Christians (and I use the term generously) throughout the years have missed these two ideas for many reasons. However, I think these two things (plus the love we are to have for one another) demonstrate the uniqueness of our faith, and it demonstrates the power of Christ to change individuals and groups into wonderful communities of love.

The shooting last week in Orlando has left all Americans in shock and grief. The sadness only deepens as many use this tragedy to further their own agendas. From celebrities to politicians to religious or social groups, they want to hijack a bad situation and carve it out to suit themselves. The reason it may be easier for them to do so, is that this attack was carried out by a radical Muslim upon a bar primarily frequented by homosexuals.

So America has a perfect opportunity to see the worst in Christians (again, so-called). They are looking for the conservative, evangelical American Church to hate. They expect it to hate Muslims or homosexuals or both. Of course, the reasons for stereotypes is that there is some truth; the downside is that there are some that don't fit the mold. So bring on the hate, right? All this when we claim to follow a man who ate and drank with sinners and Pharisees, touched lepers, forgave adulterers and criminals, and asked for the sins of his torturers to be overlooked.

What if Christians wept sincerely with all over all? What if believers, without affirming their lifestyle, let their gay/lesbian friends know that this shooting was wrong, and had they been there, they would have defended them like their own lives? What if, without affirming their theology, Christians "loved those who hate you" openly? What if Christians lived what Jesus taught?

What would the world see in us?

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