In our home, Rob and I have taught our girls two things since they were small. 1. Love Jesus. 2. Love people.
Everything we have done with them as a family since is because we love Jesus and love people. It’s not complicated, and never has been. We didn’t tuck them in bed at night and have philosophical discussions about the nature of man or delve into a theological commentary.
We did talk with them about Jesus and his love for them and for everyone else too. We talked through age appropriate issues with them through the lens of the Bible and with voices of love.
Are we perfect parents? Nah…well maybe one of us, but I’ll let you figure that out. 😉
Our girls have not shifted from those principles as young adults, and neither have we as their parents. We all argue about some issues, disagree wholeheartedly on others, but we love each other deeply. We respect each other’s opinions as best as we can. We love Jesus.
When I look into the family of God, I see some sad, sad things. I see people loving Jesus with their words, but not through their actions. I see people using the name of Jesus to condemn instead of to heal. I see people loving their neighbor with words, and not with actions that would allow their neighbor to know they are loved. I see people abusing their power and abusing the people they were called by God to serve. It has to stop.
I am angry. I certainly am. The abuse my friends and so many others have endured is reprehensible. When Christians turn their backs on the wounded, it is time for the Church as a whole, and as individuals to do a deep dive soul check.
When Christians turn their backs on the wounded, and tell others that the wounded are less than, it’s time…it’s time for a really big change.
I have a few questions that I am thinking through that I want to share.
- • Are we acting within the teaching in scripture when we shout each other down over such sensitive topics as racism, sexism and abuse within the walls of the church?
- • Have we compromised our ideas so much that we have become blind to truth?
- • When did exposing racism become a political agenda?
I believe this is a day of reckoning. I believe God’s judgement is real, and we are starting to see the effects of it.
I think God loves us too much to let us treat one another so poorly.
I believe he is trying to get our attention.
- • Can we listen to him?
- • Listen to each other?
- • Listen to love?
- • Listen to survivors of assault instead of tuning them out or making snide sarcastic comments?
- • Can we withhold judgement from our neighbors, when they say they have been victims of racism within the walls of the church?
- • Can we listen with empathy to People of Color who are treated as “Less Than” by white church going people?
It’s up to you and it’s up to me. I want to view these tough issues of racism, sexism and abuse through the lens of the Bible again. God has given us His word to help us in times of trouble and confusion like the ones we are experiencing right now.
I think many of us have been misled or misunderstand what the Bible teaches about loving one another.
I think now is the time to make apologies, make things right, fix what’s broken. The light is shining into the darkness. Do you want to make it right before you are exposed or wait until the spotlight is on you and then decide?
The spotlight is not a very comfortable place to begin making amends, when you are caught in shame and disgrace. I say this with respect and love, truly. We all err in judgement and make mistakes. We are all capable of making amends and setting things right as best as we can. Would you rather be condemned publicly or make amends privately?
I am making changes to how I view the topics of racism, sexism and abuse in the Christian church by filtering them through the Bible.
Loving your neighbor is not political. Following the teaching of Jesus is what you signed up for if you are a Christ follower.
Can we all take a moment to reconsider our perspective through the lens of the word of God instead of news articles or voices of politicians?
Here’s what God has to say:
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so, we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:10-21