"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy" (Romans 15:1-9 NIV).
I have been so disturbed by the hate speech that seems to be so pervasive today! I undersand and fully accept that I am, indeed, pretty far to the "left" on the spectrum. There are many, many people with whom I disagree fundamentally. But I am a Christian, and these verses from Romans instruct me how to act towards others -- yes, even those with whom I disagree.
I absolutely and completely detest the language being used by some who call themselves Christian. I am far from and "ideal" Christian! I am a sinner born and living in sin. And I am utterly in awe of the fact that Christ died on the Cross for me! Did He die for you?
If we answer "yes" to this question, then how can we suggest that any other person on this earth is of less value to God than another? How can we claim to be so righteous that we can pass judgement on another? How can we say that one person is a sinner and so we should hate them -- and as one pastor recently advocated "round them up and lock them behind an electrified fence and wait for them to die"?
Whether or not I agree with someone's choice, decisions, or actions, I don't dare play God by judging them more sinful than am I! I pray for those who spout hate that they see the error in their ways. I pray for those who are living in ways with which I disagree. I pray most of all for myself--that I remember I am a Christian and I am called to live to higher standard than those who have not been saved.
" May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" (Roman 15:5-7 NIV).
Blessings on your journey,