As I sit here enjoying my favorite Sabbath spot, it’s hard for me to turn off, in my mind, all that has happened in our world in just the last week. The most heart breaking part for me is see those who profess to be Christians show no regard for people who believe differently than they do. Actually, showing no regard would be better, but I’ve seen disregard and hate; and that’s worse because it required action. It is the biggest reason I dislike being associated with most organizations (a personal pet peeve of mine). Each organization has their beliefs and everyone interprets them to fit their own agenda. And yes, this includes Christians.
Just this week, I read a Facebook conversation where folks were agreeing that Trump was going to bring the Ten Commandments back to the White House and to schools and on and on. First of all, though man has institured changes to them, God never did. And having them hung in public does nothing to change someones belief. Plus, any discussion about the ten commandments always makes we want to ask if they keep the fourth one or the ninth one or tenth one? (Exodus 20: 3-17)
There are ten, but they can be grouped into two sets – the first four are focused on our love for God and last six are focused on love for our fellow humans. Keeping the commandments are impossible without loving your neighbor. And love can only be tangible in actions. It must be shown, not just spoken.
For the umpteenth time, the laws of this country are not the laws of the bible. The United States of America is NOT a christian country. The idea of that is so against what the bible teaches. The God I know in the bible does not mandate anyone to love and follow him. He gives us the freedom of choice, and loves us no matter what we decided to do. Yes, we will still endure the consequences of our choice, but that does not mean God loves us any less. He is the greatest example of love: to know what is best and want the best for the one you love, but to love them so freely that they are allowed to choose for themselves whether to love you or not. How would you feel if you were mandated to show love to someone you didn’t choose to love? Who is man to demand any action of love from another person? Sounds a lot like what happened in heaven before creation (Rev 12:-17).
Which brings me back to this matter of loving our neighbors. Imagine standing before God and explaining to him why you never reached out, or protected, or even hated this other person because their religious belief was different than yours; I cannot begin to imagine what would be a good explanation.
While the scripture quote is just one verse, I suggest reading the entire chapter of James 2.
I am not a Theologian, but I am a questioner. I believe we should all be questioners. Don’t just listen to what your church or political leader says. Read. Think. Question. Can God not prove Himself? Don’t be a sheeple; be the autonomous human God created you to be.
I’ve prayed for God to show me what He want’s me to do and the answer keeps coming back as love. God doesn’t call us to be perfect. He does, over and over again, call us to love our neighbors. And it’s okay if you find it hard to do. Ask God what He wants you to do. Lean on the God you say you believe in and He will equip you with the love and courage you need. Just step out in faith. Emulate His love.