I was inadvertently hurt by a string of Facebook posts the other day.
With social explosions happening left and right after the recent Supreme Court ruling I had decided to decrease, considerably, my use of Facebook until the first major wave passed. It is upsetting to see friends fighting so cruelly with each other; the rage and hateful words thrown by both sides of the dime are disgusting. So, I laid off Facebook and decided to busy myself with other things, like Pinterest.
However, the other night I made the dreadful mistake of hitting the home button after catching up with local news on Facebook. And there it was at the top of my news feed, a post slandering Christians for their bigotry and hypocrisy. It wasn’t the content that made me cringe, as I have heard similar before, it was the delivery. A vehement statement which lumped all Christians together, declaring them as stupid, idiotic liars. Tearing apart their belief in the Bible, yet using a paraphrased verse of scripture to point out their inadequacy in practicing the Christian faith. A blanket statement exclaiming Christians are unable to love those whose lives don’t reflect their own. And lastly, declaring to dislike any human being who opposed their viewpoint, who held any level of a different opinion on the recent ruling… because those people are judgmental.
I will hate you for not agreeing with me because you hate people for not agreeing with you. *Sigh*
If this had been a stranger’s rant I could have moved along a little easier, but it was a friend, someone I have known some time, who I adore and care for. Their words hit me like a lash across the back. My stomach turned over, I felt nauseous and cold. It was difficult to not become extremely offended. Did they not know they were talking about me? A friend? I did not sleep well that night, there were tears and prayers, and though I am not proud to admit, some anger.
I have faced ridicule before, I choose to follow Jesus Christ, I believe the Bible is 100% truth, you do not live 27 years in this world choosing and believing these things without facing rejection and derision. What I hope is I have lived my life as an example of God’s love, and for those who have/will surround me to never associate hatred with my reflection of Christianity.
Loving someone does not require me to agree with every one of their life choices. I am not homophobic or antiquated because I disagree with same-sex marriage. I have gay friends who I love, they love me, and however shocking it is to some, both parties are aware of the areas where we disagree. I have gobs of friends who actively support the LGBT community, and I can honestly say I have never disliked someone less because they support and I do not.
Let me clarify – I do not support the hate crimes and abuse we see in the news or witness daily. This needs to stop, period. I have seen this scripture tossed in Christian faces repeatedly: “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.” This is commanded eight times* in the Bible, it is the greatest of all commandments. I take this verse to heart, I really do make an honest effort to walk this one out daily. (There are those days where people make it extremely difficult to do so, and I may fall short…) But let me repeat: Loving someone does not require me to agree with every one of their life choices.
The same Bible which commands us to love each other also declares the word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12), the author of these words is Christ, who is both omnipotent and omniscient, therefore the word of God transcends time and is always relevant. Christians are not outdated or old-fashioned, we believe the laws of God still stand as true today as when first written.
I recently read a bulletin sent out by Rick Joyner, the pastor of MorningStar church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here is just a small excerpt, but I feel it perfectly sums up my stance.
We must love the Lord above all else. We must love our neighbor as ourselves. If we love someone, we will tell them the truth. If we love the truth, we will devote ourselves to finding it, and then obeying it, always keeping in mind that truth is what God says it is, not what men say it is, even those on the Supreme Court.
You can find the rest of his bulletin here.
After my first reaction to reading the “dreaded post,” I became my usual self and analyzed it to death, trying to find a way to express how it made me feel. I never wrote a response on Facebook because it would not have been heard, it was the wrong platform to do so. Instead, I chose to work my thoughts into words here on my blog. This is not an easy topic to discuss, especially when the chance of offending someone is so very high. I would ask before any not-so-pleasant comments are written to read my old post here, which explains a little more on my walk as a Christian.
I hope you, my wonderful readers, can see my heart in this. I am passionate about my relationship with God, He is my everything. I will not stop loving people, even if our life choices might clash or heated words get thrown around. I will love because I am a Christian, and it is God who has filled me with His grace and compassion to do so.
* Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8