I am a conservative Christian. I’m even a member of a Baptist church. I believe the Bible is the Word of a God. I believe that Jesus is my savior, and died so that I may be found worthy someday to enter into the presence of the one true God. The last few months my heart has been heavy with of the words and actions of SOME of my fellow Christians.
In Matthew 5, 14-16 Jesus says “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” As Christians we are called to be a light in this dark place. To me that says we need to ooze the same grace, love, and mercy that God bestowed on us through Christ. We need to show others the glory, and peace of the Lord so that they are attracted to Him like a moth to a candle flame. We need to soak up His word so that we can share it with others.
Sadly, Christians have chosen instead to use the Word of God as a sword to cut down those who they don’t like. Most notably as of late has been the gay community. We use the Bible to rally around laws that if implemented against minorities or women would be seen as nothing more than irrational bigotry. (I mean come on even convicted criminals have a constitutional right to marriage.) We stand in large numbers with signs that say “God Hates Fags” and ” God Made Adam and Eve….” We use our status as fine upstanding Christians as an excuse to propose laws making it ok to refuse service to gays at a reseraunt, or let them stay in our hotels. None of which is acceptable in a civil society, or more importantly to God.
Jesus is very clear that the most important commandments are about loving God, and loving others (Matthew 22:36-40, 1 Corinthians 13:13). He is also very clear that we must first examine our own lives before trying to correct others’ behaviors ( Matthew 7:5). Luke 6:36-38 says “Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” We need to be very careful who we choose to piously reject on the grounds of sexual immorality. Take the hotel owner as a hypothetical example. He is stomping his feet and yelling at the top of his lungs that allowing gays to stay at his hotel is forcing him to go against his religious beliefs by condoning sexually immoral behaviors. However he says nothing about the pregnant unwed teenager, or the men at the convention that are sleeping with their secretaries while away from their wives, or those who are divorced and remarried, or those who aren’t married at all but who have children together. Can you believe they might want to stay in the same family suite?!?! Oh, and as long as we are banning sexual immorality you better get rid of your TVs, and wifi. People are using those to watch pornography. Even those who look lustfully at the news anchorman are guilty of sexual immorality in God’s eyes. Where are the rallies, and proposed laws against these behaviors? If we as Christians are going to draw a line in the sand it looks like we are ALL going to be on the wrong side of that line. ( Romans 3:23). Anything less is nothing short of hypocrisy, and makes us nothing more than modern day Pharisies.
I could go on and on, but the bottom line is we must stop pointing fingers, and start opening our arms in love. It is very hard to judge others if you truly love them. Every time you chose rejection over love it is one less time that person will see your good works. It is one less opportunity you will have to share what God has done for you, and the message behind the gospel. Most importantly that is one less time that they will have the opportunity to know the love, joy, peace, and redemption that only comes through knowing Christ. Think about that the next time you tell a gay person they aren’t good enough to be your friend, stay at your hotel, eat at your restraunt, or sit next to you in church.