What do you think? Is it possible for a religion claiming inspiration from a humble, foot-washing, dying-on-behalf-of-“haters”- God, to have followers preaching hate, exclusion, and oppression?
Sadly, it’s possible.
Once upon a time, and I’m not proud of this (friends don’t run!), but I was crazier about God than I was of my own husband, kids and self. I should probably bare the whole story if any of you reading are headed this way (let me know if you need it!) but to be short, it was so bad I needed a brutal divine intervention, and want to share some of the bible/heart intersecting I experienced. Why?
And as long as one Nation holds prayer meetings in the White House, to the God of the Bible, using scriptures to defend horrific policies (e.g. child separation) that go against Human Rights (e.g. the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child), or deliberately release false statements and doctored footage to defend dangerous policies (e.g. infringing on a Free Press) I have to speak out. This is a time for Spidey-senses on BS, especially if it’s wrapped in Scripture.
2 years ago I wrote, Jesus: Homeless, Refugee Moocher, not welcome in Today’s Church? and didn’t expect intolerance toward “different” or downtrodden to increase. By some political-evangelical standards, God Himself would be despised and deported.
“…As much as you did for the least of these you did for me. – God” (verse)
When bullying or speaking ill of foreigners, immigrants, or Americans of different shades/religions/backgrounds/gender identification… are normalized, sometimes glorified (e.g. ‘rugged individualism’), and now more than ever, Christianized, we’ve got to speak up.
Don’t talk to me about Jesus…
Anyone striving to live like Jesus, fighting for and speaking up for those with no voice (Proverbs 31:8), may grieve at every fear-stoked speech (e.g. the “Caravan” is an “invasion”), disparaging tweet (e.g. banning Transgender Military Members), or policy decision touting (additional) injustice to fellow human beings, no matter how young.
Religion ⇒ Extremism ⇒ Stolen Freedom & Stone-cold Hearts
Regardless of what a person believes, many acknowledge Jesus was on point re. social justice and love, but these ideas don’t always compute in a numbers-focused, business-like, tradition-gripped church many of us know or experienced.
Here’s a verse like a flashlight and compass through the mess
(Christians look closely because it’s widely known but I’ve yet to hear a sermon on the last line):
Did you catch it?
“…Against such things there is No Law”
The next time you see anyone claiming to be Christian, yet speaking without love or kindness for others, or policies that are anything but good and gentle for people–even if only for a small group–, think twice, especially if they claim biblical authority or are supported vociferously by “Christians.”
And if bible verses contradict, or seem at odds with social justice, run them against that verse. If I see two adults committing to a life of love and faithfulness together, that verse arguably clears the way. Of course I could be wrong, but I’d rather be wrong trying to love others, than possibly misjudge or pass judgement on others..
And don’t even get me started on the lack of civil rights for (past) prisoners and felons…
Treat Others the way You want to be treated, right?
God’s Word, often symbolized like a sword, has been used to tear others down and justify much worse. But in reality it can be a great weapon against strongholds of injustice, sexism, racism, classism, tribalism, phobias, even voices of self-doubt or self-hatred.
It’s all in there, in *His Heart. Let’s be bold enough to wield it.
Verses and Possible Posts of Interest:
- Did you Make God an Idol? 5 Signs and Tips to Quit
- “Submissive God: 3 Verses Exposing Mankind’s Freedom from God that May Blow Your Mind”
- Humble God verse (Matthew 11:29)
- Your Bible Kills Me: Why Christians Shouldn’t Justify Hate Policies & Tools Against Future BS
- Sh*t-cleaning God verse (2 Cor 5:21)
- Willing to suffer God (Luke 22:42)
I use ‘He’ and ‘His’ as simple pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with Male and Female ‘identity’–for lack of a better word–, as evidenced throughout the Bible and most blatantly through the Human Race. More in this two-part post, Transgender God, here.
Referee and the Red Card: Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Invisible Homeless, part of an exhibition – Luke Jerram
Flipped Coffee cup message: Fotografierende via Unsplash
‘Compassion is the Compass’: mine, with initial photo from Unsplash