November 22, 2015

A Rant about Christians

There’s a song that was on the radio last week and it has some lyrics that go “shot through the heart and you’re to blame, you give love a bad name.”  That got me to thinking about all the media we have been inundated with about Paris and those terrible Syrian refugees that the government has been threatening to inundate us with.  And some of the rhetoric in the States has been truly horrific.  Some people, claiming to be Christian, have said that we should only allow Christian Syrians into North America, others have said that every Syrian is dangerous and a terrorist.  Wow.  They conveniently forget that the Paris terrorists only had one Syrian passport in the bunch found in the raid, and that Syrians are getting robbed for their passports and Isis doesn’t like Syrians leaving in the first place as it wants to act like a country and have people make more babies for its caliphate.  No, refugees like the little three year old who drowned, were running away from terrorists, not trying to be terrorists.  Alayn Kurdi, that sad little boy, had no home left.  If you see photos of his home town, there are many houses without roofs and the streets are rubble.  Sad how one day we are clamoring to our government to let his people come to Canada, and the next we are clamoring to keep them out.  But it’s bigger than that.  I am tired of American Christians who talk about judging and criticising all kinds of people, the negativity that they express and especially the close-mindedness they depict to the public.  Build walls around Mexico, criticise anyone who doesn’t look like us, talk like us or believe like us.  Enough already.  Jesus said that our first commandment is to Love God.  And the second commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves.  The second commandment is not to judge our neighbor or criticise our neighbor or convert our neighbor or tell them that they are full of the devil or are not good enough to get into heaven or any of that.  No!  Jesus said love your neighbor.  Your neighbor next door who maybe plays the radio or tv too loud first thing in the morning or last thing at night, who cheats at cards or takes the last cookie at supper.  Your neighbor who pops her knuckles loudly at the dinner table or thinks it’s funny to play tricks on people or fiddle with their dentures or gossips behind our backs.  You see, I don’t think being a Christian is easy, Jesus never said it would be.  And being a Christian isn’t about being nice either, and letting people walk all over you.  Sometimes we have to speak up and say that God doesn’t want three year olds drowning in the sea because their houses are destroyed.  But being Christian is seeing beyond black and white situations, “I’m good and my neighbor is bad” or even black white yellow and red like the old hymn we used to sing about Jesus loving all the children of the world.  But instead Jesus calls us to be loving towards our neighbors, especially when we are afraid of them.  Our Christian beliefs must be shaped by the remembrance that Jesus lived and died in the Middle East, and was living in a country full of violence and on the verge of civil war.  Even then, he called his people to love, and we are still called to love.  That should be the hallmark of who we are as followers of Christ.  Love of God, love of neighbor.  It's time to remember to sing "They'll know we are Christians by our Love" and then to go do it.  Love God, Love your neighbor, love yourself.  The rest is commentary.  May it be so for us all.

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