“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Keep that verse firmly in mind. Love one another. As we, beloved children of God, are loved. Loved enough to die for. Loved enough to bear our sins for. THAT much.
But are we not warned,
1 Peter 5:8
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.
But is he really? I think, rather, that he is sitting back watching us devour each other. He doesn't need to be roaring, he can whisper. He can lie. He can let us do his bidding through our misplaced rightness. Not righteousness. Rightness.
Can you imagine if the body of Christ, His beloved Church, could stop for one day and love one another. Just one day. But we can't do it, can we?
Or is that we won't?
I'm more ________________ than you. My _______________is deeper than yours. You are a _______________and must be protested against, hated, fear mongered or shunned.
I asked the question, simply, why we can't love one another as commanded. I was told in no uncertain terms I was judging people unfairly.. I misunderstood. I was wrong.
There are wiser scholars out there, I'm sure who can debate this more theologically than I. And I don't wish to debate.
I wish to challenge you, brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are, indeed, all part of the same body, why are we spending all of our time tearing it apart?
Why aren't we making the devil work for his hate? Instead we do his work for him. We sow seeds of hate, we sow seeds of fear. We create disention and mistrust. We use the Bible to bludgeon people, to drive them away from God all the while screaming, "JESUS WHERE ARE YOU?"
In a world of hate, Jesus is the homeless person being urinated upon outside a shopping mall. In a world of fear mongering, Jesus is the person who doesn't look like the 'rest' and is shunned. In a world of pain and violence, Jesus is the confused, the lost, the needy, the 'different' and the 'wrong'.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’
40 “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ 41 Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!
The least of these. That gay couple you shouted at. That homeless man. That crack Mama who was a crack baby herself first. That drunk. That wife beater and the wife who can't leave. Those sk8ers and dropouts. THEM. US. EACH OTHER.
How can we proclaim the Good News with parentheses of hate? How can we invite people to drink from the well that quenches all thirsts with a screening gate by the courtyard? (Sorry - you can't come in. Nope you either. You look sorta okay, but what is your answer to the trick question?) How can we, redeemed by holy blood, presume to take God's place in judgement over one another?
When I asked the question, what about the greatest commandment that we love one another, I really was asking, "Is this the best we can do for our Saviour who died for all our sins?" The answer to me was, "GET OUT!" So I did. I shook the dust from my sandals and I left.
So you are gay. So you are fat. So you are Baptist. So you are a pacifist. So you are a soldier. So you are a criminal. So you are ___________. Did Jesus tell us to withhold love, compassion and good news from anyone? HE DID NOT! Not once have I found in the Bible where any personage of the Trinity says, "Ah nope no salvation for them, or them or them."
Instead, we are taught that God seeks reconciliation with all to Him in heaven. Heaven rejoices over lost sheep more than obedient flock followers. Why aren't we seeking His lost sheep to bring them home? Instead we chase them into the wilderness. How the devil must smile. How God must sorrow.
I challenge you, brothers and sisters, to love. Yes just like Jesus did. Love past the dirt, the addictions, the choices. Love past your prejudices and pain. Love past denominational and regional differences. Love past the politics. How can we stand before God on judgement day and say we saved His love for only those we thought were worth it? He thought we were worth it. No one else would have thought that of me. Especially NOT me!
Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Note: I did not want to write about this, but God woke me up early and spoke very closely tom my heart. I believe the issues that separate us as Believers are mechanisms to keep God's children apart, and powerless. If we can get past them we can really show the world God's love in a living and dynamic way. But we have to stop using each other for cannon fodder, and we have to stop pulling the Body of Christ apart from the inside. There are enough devils who want a turn, why are we fighting each other instead of them? Can't we use what God has blessed us with to build His Kingdom? I think we can. But it can't be a Kingdom WE imagine, it must be HIS. I look forward to your thoughts, however I will invoke my right as blog owner to moderate comments and discussion as required.