If you ask me, that sounds a little bit like justice.
There's an old church story about what happens when good, church-going folk only surround themselves with other good, church-going folk. We all get in a circle, shining our lights for Jesus into the middle of the huddle, and the only thing the world sees is our backsides.
I met up with a new friend the other day, someone I was just getting to know. She told me that she was happy to visit, but needed me to understand that she didn't agree with how I was living my life.
"As a matter of fact," she told me, "I don't believe that you are living right at all. None of the other playground moms do. But we still want you to hang out with us. I mean, we love you. We just don't agree with your choices."
Before you start trolling my Facebook to see who I've been hanging with, let me put you out of your misery and tell you that I made that up.
But, it is, unfortunately, the way many of us live out the mandate to love our neighbors. We let them know up front that although we don't approve of them, it's nothing personal. Hate the sin, love the sinner mentality.
What if your neighbors didn't look, think, or act like you? What if your neighbors were flying a rainbow flag off their porch and hugging in the driveway? Could you love them like Jesus would?
Can you celebrate with those who are celebrating today? I think that if Jesus were invited to a pride party, He would go. He might even bring the chips. I don't think that He would stand by holding a sign saying "God hates fags" or have a DOMA pin as his profile pic on FB.
The word gospel means good news. Jesus came with a message of hope and a promise of eternity and that is the message we are called to share. He will do the rest. If we are so busy telling everybody what they are doing wrong, using the Name of God as our excuse to do so, why should they listen to the rest of the message?
Jesus Christ is a life-changer, and His tools are not guilt, fear, or anger. He changes lives through love. And if we are so busy shining on our lights on each other, how is the rest of the world going to find out about Him? They are supposed to see Him through us. We are supposed to be the aroma of Christ to a world in need. And I have to say, that, frankly, we're a stinky bunch a good lot of the time.
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