Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
Matthew 22:37-40 (The Message translation)
ok i’m a generally positive person. most days anyway. i work purposefully to eliminate negative thoughts and comments. i am modestly successful doing so; when i am, my energies flow in a better rhythm. that said, i am having a very difficult time restraining myself. i look around at the world around me and i am stunned. well, not the world—i can’t get past what’s going on in my own country!
when did we become so completely hateful and awful and downright un-Christian?! it breaks my heart!
- Americans blocking a bus full of immigrants because they’re “worried about the spread of disease?” really, that’s it, people? how ugly and hateful and how you embarrass our nation! and who knows how many of these people are Christians.
- People—and in particular, men—celebrating Hobby Lobby’s victory against women’s rights, espousing misogynistic views using a culturally outdated, patriarchally biased book as justification.
- Any number of groups and religious people spreading hate toward gays, lesbians, and transgendered people with every advancement of marriage equality or workplace protections.
- All the ugliness toward—and a significant amount of deceit about—our President.
- Adults screaming at black children being admitted into their white-only schools.
- People hiding in white hoods and white robes burning crosses in African-Americans’ yards and lynching black men and women.
oh, wait. those last two were from the wrong generation.
but seriously: what the hell?
there’s absolutely no way anyone could possibly look at these visible, awful actions and think America was a Christian nation. (which we’re not and were never intended to be.)
yes, i know there are rules regarding immigration. i understand what a difficult legal issue this and yet…seriously?! those are children whose parents have sent them to flee the likelihood that they’ll be murdered. it’s hard to imagine ourselves in the same situation, but what would you do to protect your child’s life?
i realize that our society is steeped in patriarchy and that our religion and our holy books seep with the dogma created by men and that everything was designed to benefit the male (the white male) and that’s hard to get past. Although in the society of the Bible, women were considered property and less than man, we know that is offensive and inhumane; do we seriously think the God who created females and males in their image intended for one of them to be possessions of the other, to be controlled and traded and abused?
i know that people have a significant amount of religious indoctrination to overcome before they allow themselves to perceive the true message of the Gospel of the Jesus Christ they claim to be disciples of. but America is not the chosen nation and scripture doesn’t condemn same-gender love, same-gender-loving marriage, and neither did Jesus Christ.
i understand people disagree with the policies of the president. but since when did it become Christ-like to be so hate-filled and awful?
i could—but won’t—debate these issues; that is not my point here, however.
but what i will do is call out every single self-proclaimed person of faith and ask them if they truly believe that Jesus the Christ, the SON OF THE GOD THEY CLAIM TO ANSWER TO would truly rally with them…
…would block a freaking bus full of immigrant children seeking refuge.
…would demonize a woman from exercising authority over her own body.
…would picket a gay marriage or call homosexuals SINNERS and ABOMINATIONS.
…would reward an employer for firing someone who was transgendered or homosexual or paying a woman less than a man for the same work or for importing all its products from countries with deplorable human rights and child labor standards.
…would hold men any less accountable for consequences of their sexual behavior as women. (Gee, if only birth control were as inexpensive as condoms….oops i said i wasn’t going to debate the issues.)
…would give someone a pass because they’re ignorantly and willfully clinging to false doctrines, sinful ideologies, and outdated moral codes, unwilling to search the scriptures, do the research themselves to find out if what they’ve been told is really true.
the Jesus that would do any of those things is not the Jesus of the new testament in the Bible. insofar as i’ve been able to find, there’s nothing in scripture whatsoever that indicates Jesus’ support for any of these ideals. and though people may debate this with me, they cannot debate what Jesus himself said about love.
you know it. i know it. many of us have known it since we could barely talk.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Love your neighbor unless she’s a woman; otherwise you have dominion over her and can exert your authority over her like one of your cattle.
Love your neighbors unless they’re homosexuals or express their gender differently than what you think is appropriate.
Love your neighbor as long as they are your legal neighbor and have the papers to prove they have the right to be here.
Love your corporation. (ok, i couldn’t resist that one.)
clear as day, irrefutable, the mandate to love others—treating them as we want to be treated—is a big deal if you wanna be a Christ-follower and is a tenet of every major religion. and yet American christians (lowercase c cuz i’m pissed) parade their hate around as if it’s a virtue.
people: hate is not a virtue, it is a SIN.
[and let me just add: Jesus may not consider himself a Democrat but he would most certainly not be a Republican.]
and the worst thing about all of this? who in their right mind would hear all that hate and then choose to model her/his life after a religion whose Jesus that is full of hate?!
the message of Jesus is called Good News but in America—i can barely hear the good because of the ugliness of the wicked.
what the hell has happened to Christians in America?!
as i said before, we never were founded as or to be a Christian nation but rather a nation founded in part to escape religious tyranny, to enjoy the freedom of (or from) religion. but even if we were, you wouldn’t be able to discern it based on the actions of many who are maligning that very Good News that God IS LOVE.
shame on us.
shame on any of us who engage in such hate.
and shame on more Christians for not standing up against such utter hypocrisy and blatant disregard for the message that’s intended for every single human being—American or not, Christian or not, white or not, a believer or not. /rantover
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Todd….. this all boils down to: everyone has a RIGHTS but nobody wants to take RESPONSIBILITY. Our current culture has focused so very much on an individual’s RIGHT to assert an opinion this culture has caused people to forget that RESPONSIBILITY goes hand in hand at equal measures…..
Don’t get me wrong, RIGHTS are critical…. but once attained, the RESPONSIBILITY that outflows is often overlooked. Those folks have a right to demonstrate against their government’s decision, but by taking the stance, they have responsibility to either provide alternatives or get involved with their government to affect change. I’ll betcha money that those protesters went home and bragged about what they did, and I betcha nobody followed thru.
It is my opinion that more folks could learn how to behave from watching the unions of GLTB folks…. they demonstrate, they assert their right to have equal considerations as human beings, and most follow thru. You find a way to have a family. You feed people. You serve each other and others outside of your circle.
We have become a nation of folks who will yell about their rights and then just go home.
We are collectively lazy & ignorant: about our environment, about the custodianship of God’s world, about caring for anyone that doesn’t align with our belief, about anything that does not cross ourthreshold. And the fruit of laziness and ignorance is vile stuff….
We will never legislate change, tho….. the change will occur when individual hearts are reached, and those hearts engage in change…. any law can be put on the books, but laws don’t change hearts….. laws will ensure rights and provide penalty for breaking laws, but laws won’t MAKE an individual give a damn…. knowing and loving a child who is/was raised here illegally, knowing and unconditionally loving a person who comes out – these are the things that changes hearts.
So I will stop rambling…. not sure if this has made any sense…. but you know ME well enough to know my intent….
Agreed, Todd! I believe that too many people are doing as they WISH Jesus would do rather than actually trying to BE Jesus to the world. We are called to love one another…period! No “if’s”, “and’s”, or “but’s”. He doesn’t command us to agree, He commands us to love! In my mind, the opposite of love is fear…God casts out all fear! Therefore, allowing us to truly love!
No matter who has the position of President, we are commanded to pray for him. God has told us that He has placed those in authority and that we are to pray for them as they lead…He did not say to pray only if we agree with their actions.
If we want to truly pattern our lives after Jesus, we need to focus on loving the unloving, the unlovely, and the unloveable. God created us all. He loves us all unconditionally! His love never carries stipulations with it. I am sure He often looks at us, His children, and says “what the hell is wrong with you!”
Todd, God continues to use you as a mighty witness! I love you dearly, my Friend!…my Brother!
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