I am a Christian. Now I know that a lot of you have tuned me out already, but just hear me. I’m not going to shove Jesus down your throat. I’m not going to whack you with a Bible. I don’t care if you’ve had an abortion, if your hetero-, homo-, pan-, a-, (or any other descriptive sexual. I don’t care if you’re an athiest, agnostic, Hindi, Muslim, Jewish, Pagan, or some other mosiac religion. I don’t care what you do, what you believe, or how you perceive me. But I’m sorry that some of my People do. I apologize for the hateful, cruel, insensitive words my people have spoken against you, whether in ignorance or not. And I’m sorry for me, too. I’m sorry I’ve said things, and even thought I may have been ignorant, that does not excuse my crime. You see, my people (as do most people with a holy book) interpret a strong moral code from our Bible. What we have gotten wrong, however, is to whom this code applies. Christian laws and values do not apply to those who are not Christians, plain and simple. No where in the Bible does it say that we, as followers of Jesus, should impose our beliefs, our moral code, our opinions, on others. And if you haven’t noticed yet, doing so does not make Jesus look good; in fact, it usually drives people away.
What Jesus does say, however, is that we should love God and love our neighbors. He also says to do onto others as you want done to you. If all of Jesus’ teachings can be boiled down to one word, the word is Love. Jesus’ love is kind, it’s compassionate, it’s gentle. Jesus didn’t point out sin, he offered love and then said, “Go, and sin no more.”
You see, my God loves people. He loves the LBGT community. He loves Muslims. He loves women who’ve had abortions. And He has asked His people to do the same. I’m convinced that if my people could learn to love as He loves, we wouldn’t care about the laws of our land. I certainly don’t. Because my scripture says that His kindness leads people to repentance. Not Christians. Not local, state, or federal law. Not theology. Just kindness. And it’s only His kindness, His mercy that can convict sin. I am freed by the thought that I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s sin but my own.
So I am sorry if I’ve been anything but love. I’m sorry if I’ve passed judgment (but rest assured, I’ll be judged by the same measure). I just can’t go on living a two-faced gospel. I can’t sing about love and grace without extending the same grace. I am horribly flawed, stained, beaten down, broken, bleeding filth of humanity. I am angry, hateful, frustrated, filled with crippling anxiety and darkest depression. But His love has set me free. I know I’m not perfect, but I can breathe easy. I can sleep peacefully, and I can cast my worry onto the One who’s yoke is light. And I’m holding out hope for the day I can leave this dark reflection of a world behind and enter into rest.
But until such a day, I will strive to do nothing but love. When all is forsaken, yet I will love, because He first loved.