Today I was reminded again how much harm some Christian’s can do when justifying their treatment of other people as “God’s Will”.
It was a strange encounter, honestly. I was leaving the bank this afternoon, and I passed by a vehicle where a man was helping a woman get a small child out of the back seat. He had forgotten that his driver side door was open, and it was opened far enough that it blocked the open parking space beside them. Wouldn’t it figure that seconds later another vehicle pulled into the parking lot, and wanted to use that blocked space?
I saw this truck pull up, and instantly knew that this was going to be bad.
It was black, and covered in bible verses and phrases like “repent or burn”, and “God hates fags”– right next to seemingly innocent ones like “Jesus Saves”, and “God Loves You.” I was cringing at this point.
Anyway, “God’s personal little soldier” saw that his intended parking spot was blocked, so he honked his horn, and kept pressing it so that the sound echoed all over. Heads were turning to look, and I was standing there opened mouth- just shocked. The first man realized what had happened and rushed over to shut his door, and gave a little wave in an obvious apology. The offended driver just zoomed into the parking space, obviously angry.
When he opened his door I saw that he was wearing a black t-shirt with the same phrases and verses written on it. By this time I had figured that the worst was over, and continued on my way to my car- but no. He walked over to the family (I am assuming; I do not know for sure) and began yelling at them about how inconsiderate they were, and that they should pay more attention! The first man just apologized again, and the other one just stormed into the bank.
The amount of hate and disregard for other people that was rolling off of that man was so thick that I could almost taste it. All I could think was that this was a terrible example of who Christ is, and what He stands for. It is nothing more than a perversion of the truth of God.
1st John 4:16 says “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Romans 13:10 says that “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Luke 6:27 says “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”
Psalm 136:26 says to “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
John 15:9 says that “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”
John 3:16 says that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son.”
1st Corinthians 13:4-8 says that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Romans 5:8 “God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
These are only a handful of verses that describes the love of Christ for us. Nowhere does it talk about using it as a weapon or an attack.
It is hard to imagine a world in which God supposedly delights in the tearing down and belittling of people He loves and created. I refuse to believe it.
We are, all of us, fearfully and wonderfully made. It says so in Psalms 139:14. The bible also says in Romans 15:7 that we are to “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
My favorite bible verse to date is Ephesians 1:3-6. It says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption into becoming a child of His through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”
He chose us. We are holy and blameless in his sight. He loves us.
So tonight I am going to leave you with this. We are not called to hate, reject, disrespect, belittle, or tear-down one another. This is a lie that too many have decided to take up as a calling.
John 13:34-35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
That says it all, friends. Love one another. Show Jesus through love- because after all, that is why He came.