Before I begin, I would like to say to my fellow bloggers that every once in a while it is really nice to go back to old school pen and paper. It gives a writer more time to think before writing something she may regret sharing. How perfect that I find myself without a laptop when wanting to get out my feelings on such a sensitive topic. As I’m sure any person with a television is aware, gay marriage is now legal in all fifty states of America. This has disheartened many and has fulfilled dreams that many others never thought possible. My opinion on the matter is really not what this post is about, but in case you are wondering, I think it is certainly constitutional.
As a Christian, who has just recently started attempting to be a decent one, I understand why other Christians don’t agree with gay marriage. I don’t judge anyone based on whether or not they believe gay marriage is a sin or not. I am trying really hard not to judge anyone, ever, actually. This is something I struggle with daily as I read hateful posts from what I have named The Christian Bully. The Christian Bully is a Christian who claims gay marriage is an abomination in a hateful and judgmental way. They shout it from the rooftops by posting hateful memes followed up by self-righteous usage of scripture as if they, themselves, have never sinned. A popular verse among Christians and non-Christians alike is this:
John 8:7 “So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself and said unto them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.'”
For the past few months, I have been a regular at an amazing women’s Bible study. What brought me to this group was a spiritual hunger, but what has kept me coming back each week is the general theme of love. Not just love for God and Jesus, but love for all that He has created. Love for our family, our friends, our co-workers, and even our enemies. What struck me most about this love, is that it extends to people who aren’t members of our Jesus club. The leader of our group presented this idea to me and it made me want to pick her up and twirl her about the room. I won’t mention her name as I didn’t ask her permission to share it, but she basically said this: We cannot expect people who have not joined our club to follow the club rules.
Just like I wouldn’t expect someone from the Southern Hills Homeowners Association to tell me I can’t have pink flamingos in my yard, sixty miles away, I do not expect any non-Christian to abide by Christian law. Separation of church and state seems to upset so many people and I cannot seem to wrap my head around why. This is supposed to be the land of the free. People are supposed to have freedom of and from religion. Christians, imagine if Muslims wanted children in public schools to pray to Allah five times a day. I hardly think that would be okay with you.
Luke 6:31 “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Why would you want to force your religion on someone else? Jesus didn’t go around demanding everyone follow his rules. He just gave them an invite. Usually, it was very straightforward:
Matthew 16:24 “Then, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”
Didn’t Jesus seem so chill? Not that He wasn’t serious, but he didn’t come at them with anger and condemnation. He was all, Hey guys! So, here is the dealeo. I’m going this way-I’m going to do some great things and I love you all, yes, religious bully, yes, tax collector, yes, prostitute, even you. So, if you guys will just try your very best to stop being selfish and follow me, you can join my club of everlasting life. I’ll be right down the road if you need me. Love ya! People were drawn to Jesus. He performed miracles and spoke the wisest of words, but I think the reason many people so willingly followed him is because he radiated love and acceptance. He made it clear that there are rules for His club, but that anyone is welcomed to join. The liar, the thief, the murderer-You are all loved and are all welcome to follow me. Jesus does not condone their sins, but He also knows that no man is without it. Above all, Jesus preaches love. He even says it is the Greatest Commandment:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Christian bullies. You are embarrassing me. You are making homosexuals think that I, too, hate them. You are representing the Lord in an ugly way. The club I joined is love, and you are breaking its rules. We all have sins that we struggle with-whether it be greed, adultery, deceit, or judgment, we are to hold each other accountable-but it is simply not our place to hold people to a set of rules that they have not agreed to follow. It is only our place to love every man and woman, no matter what. I struggle daily trying to be the person God wants me to be, but that’s the glorious part. When I fail, He forgives. I am guilty right this moment of hating those who hate and judging those who judge. It is a constant battle to love those who don’t, but I am trying. I will leave you with a scripture you’ve probably heard at EVERY. WEDDING. EVER. I am one of the few wedding attendees that actually loves to hear it. It reminds me what love is and helps me to refuel myself with more.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
Do you push people away from you with judgement and condemnation or do you pull them in with love? Are you a follower of Jesus or are you a Christian bully? Either way, I love you. Well-I try.