July 29, 2012

A lesson finally learned...

(Note: The following is an issue I've struggled with for a long time. It's been on my heart since becoming Christian five years ago. It's been the focus of several conversations with family, friends, classmates, students, and others. It came back up during this summer's vacation and afterward when the Chic-Fil-A brouhaha started. This morning a teenager at my church spoke the words that cleared up the murk. Everything made sense, and I now have the words to explain my stance.)

Love thy neighbor... (Leviticus 19:18)
Love the least of these... (Matthew 25:40)
The world will know you (as Christian) by the love you give/show... (John 13:35)
Do unto others as you'd have done unto you...(Matthew 7:12) (AKA: The Golden Rule)

To those who are using/ understanding Christian to be a blanket term for hatred and ignorance, I challenge you to practice what you preach -- tolerance. No one is perfect, even Christians. The best way to stop hatred in its tracks is to show love brightly and strongly...not to throw anger back at it.

          You are upset that people/companies support groups who believe in things you don't. You
          make posts on social network sites expressing your anger and hatred for such actions. To 
          my eyes, you are showing just as much bigotry, hatred, and intolerance as you are "fighting"
          against. Perhaps, instead of being angry and boycotting a restaurant you should buy large
          amounts of their food, and then use it to feed the hungry...show the company that good can  
          come directly from their company...that they don't have to support hate groups.

This lesson also applies to Christians.  If you've read the bible at all, you know we are taught to love thy neighbor, judge not - lest ye be judged, and show God's love. Denying and/or trying to diminish the right's of others, as well as supporting groups that condemn others (whether under the name of God/Jesus or not) is blatantly ignoring these teachings (from the Old Testament as well as New). 

           As a Christian, and even before that, I know it is not my place to judge others. Homosexual 
           or heterosexual, rich or poor, whatever race you claim...we are all sinners. The only thing I 
          can do to/for you is to love you. I can accept you. I can support you. I can show you my 
          love and God's love. I can know that your sin is between you and God and I have no part
          in that, ultimately. Therefore, I will continue supporting gay rights. I will treasure my
          friends and family whose lives differ from my own. The rainbow makes this world a 
          beautiful place.

(Tangent: Yes, I know homosexuality is listed as a sin in various parts of the bible. There are also lots of places that are against heterosexuality....both expressly outside of marriage. An easy, simple, and no where written as going against the word of God solution is marriage. It works to erase the sins of heterosexuals. I see no reason why it shouldn't be the solution for homosexuals. Now the only thing standing in the way is the world (laws of man). To my eyes, this makes accepting gay / lesbian marriages all the more important. )


Cj said...

Brilliantly stated. I love you, Mandy!