Friday, July 10, 2009

Who do you hate?

I read a blog written by a seminary student that lamented the ill treatment she received at the hands of her old denomination and contrasted it with the love and support of her new denominational family. The blog was mostly positive except for an unnecessary jab at a political group that was holding a rally nearby. The attack was unkind and personal and really soured my mood.

How can people, who claim to be loving and accepting, say hateful things about individuals and groups? I suppose that, for some, diversity is a good thing in moderation. It is especially troubling for me to hear these personal attacks coming from people who claim to be Christians. The Bible has something to say about this.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. James 3:9-12

I’m not talking about fits of anger or response to hurts feelings. These are areas where all of us need to cultivate discipline. I am quick to forgive such utterances when a person is overwhelmed by emotion.

I am most distressed by cold-blooded attacks against public figures and leaders that are delivered without a second thought. These happen in the presence of other like-minded Christians who tend to nod or smile in agreement.

Jesus said, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44 NIV).”

I wonder if that included Republicans and Democrats. Is it possible that some Christians don’t believe it includes Presidents of the USA? What about gays and people who oppose same sex marriage?

1 comment:

Barnabas File said...

It is unfortunate that we cannot engage in civil discourse in all things, but especially when it comes to the life of faith. As one friend told me one time, "You have the right to your opinion and you have the right to be wrong. I respect both."