A word on hate

Let me talk to my fellow Christians for a minute. There has been something on my mind that I've been meaning to write about for some time, and a snowy day seems like the perfect opportunity. I see and hear the sermons and comments attacking others who are different from what many believe to be the ideals of a "Godly" society... and it saddens me.

Hate is a disease that will rot you from the inside out.

When we look at the teachings that Christ left for us, the concept of spewing hate at others because you don't agree with their lifestyle choices... is definitely not one of them. It doesn't matter if you smile in someone’s face and never voice your opinions to them personally, thinking a certain way about someone is just as bad as actually acting upon those thoughts. Jesus himself said that in Matthew 5:21-22: 

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell."

As Christians, we are supposed to be an example of Christ, but instead we ourselves become that which Christ himself rebuked when he walked this earth many years ago. I have watched all of the hate being spewed in the church and by Christians about the social issues of our day and I can't help but get angry at the corrupted messages being spread by those who are supposed to oppose hate and show love in spite of all else.

But that's the funny thing, if I myself hate those individuals, I am just as much at fault as they are. You see, that's the point. Speaking out in hate against hate, also accomplishes nothing. Which is why I want to speak out in love against hate. For those who are spreading hate, you are hurting yourself and those around you. Think about your heart and your character. Character is who we are and what we believe. When our character is lost or becomes tarnished, it affects who we are fundamentally. 

Fundamentals are what hold our society together, fundamentals are what parents pass on to their children, and fundamentals are what make us followers of Christ. In case you have any illusions as to what those fundamentals are, I'll clarify them for you. In Mark 12:29-31 Jesus says:

“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

I fundamentally believe, that all issues between us can be resolved with love. That is not to say that the resolution will be easy. No, in actuality, many times the resolution when undertaken with love is much more difficult than if undertaken with hate. Lashing out in hate is part of our human nature, it's what we want to do naturally. It's a result of sin.

But returning hate with love, is more powerful than any weapon that could ever be conceived. And in truth, it is a much more effective course of action. Some may lose what they have, others may even lose their lives. But the effect that they will have in the long run, will destroy the hate. Of that I am certain.

I challenge everyone who reads this message. Try overcoming hate with love, try disrupting the messages of hate spread by those who are our leaders with ones of the sincerest forms of love, and we will see a society in which we want to live. A society in which we treat each other with respect--regardless of what choices others make that we may disagree with--and maybe, just maybe...  we can make this world a better place.

Remember, hate is hate, it doesn't matter who you are, or what you believe; acting in love is the key.