In my last post…I mentioned we’d cover something in a later post…well, this is that later post.
First, to revisit the paragraph…
However, we seem to hit a bump in the road when we start to define neighbor. We typically put the neighbor tag on people “like us”…other Christians. But then we blame, yell at, harbor judgment, remain angry at, refuse to forgive, mock, and make fun of…people who are different, we call them “the world” and justify our behavior by claiming we don’t have to love them…they aren’t our neighbor. (Something a little different on this later
in the postin another post, this one ran a little long.)
Then since I’ve posted this, I’ve run across a few things that speak to the point I was going to make…one being:
“The way you talk about those who oppose or disagree with you or your views, enemies of your cause or existence…it reveals more about your own character than your words reveal about theirs.” – Darryl Jones – Lead Pastor Crossroads Church
I planned on making the same point…using a different reference. Sometime back in the mid-90s, while working with youth, I ran across an article or script (can’t remember who wrote it or exactly what it was). The author wrote about a group making jokes about a people group (can’t remember what people group) and laughing at those jokes…and the people group. One of their friends joined the conversation and then asked a question (and this I remember…maybe not word for word)…”Why are you insulting our mission field?” It may have been why are you mocking, or making fun of…but the point stands and has stayed with me ever since.
We’re called to preach the gospel and make disciples. Not belittle those who don’t agree with us.
Why do we mock? Why do we deride? Why do we blame…judge…point a finger (and sometimes the finger)?
How does that preach the gospel? How are we showing the love of Christ to an unbelieving world?
Since seeing that question asked the first time, I’ve watched others. I’ve watched myself…and I admit I have been a hypocrite when it comes to this topic. But it seems we get shrill at those we disagree with…most often over things that don’t matter for eternity. Seems to come down to political views, materialistic protections, keeping my stuff safe…
Around the same time I ran across that article a song came out that caused a minor uproar in some Christian circles – or maybe it was only the ones I came in contact with. It was Breathe Deep by Lost Dogs…the lyrics were a list of different people groups and a chorus of “Breathe Deep the Breath of God.” The song was a reference of how God is available to everyone…everywhere (closing verse). But I heard several complaints about some groups in the list…
Alcoholics, workaholics…foreigners, aliens…feminists, xenophobes…evolutionists, creationists…perverts…pro-choice, pro-life…gays and lesbians…blacks and whites…disabled, preachers…doctors, teachers…
That’s a few of the groups, but not all. For some reason, some Christians were offended at the idea of some of these groups were people who could enter the Kingdom of God. Why? Listening and watching nowadays, I’m not sure much has changed.
Sometimes those that claim to be Christians put more effort and money in political causes; for or against…than they do to spread the gospel.
Our loyalty is to a King and a Kingdom…not a system. We have said He is Lord of our lives…yet we seem to seek safety and meaning in material things – or other people.
It should never be about us…it should be about Him. And if we live in Him, abiding…we will stop “insulting our mission field.”
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. [Luke 6:35-36 ESV]
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. [Luke 6:45 ESV]