It's the week of Easter.
Christians around the world are celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ and how He willingly died to set us all free from sin. We are singing songs, we are having special services, we are remembering and reflecting.
He carried my shame.
He carried my sins.
He carried it all for all of us because He loves us more than we could ever imagine.
We are quick to talk about the love of Christ.
For ourselves, but not for them.
And then, we attack our "friends" and others on Facebook. We put up statuses and profile pictures that completely isolate groups of people. We "like" others' statuses and profile pictures that are clearly hateful towards certain groups of people.
We go on and on and on about the sacredness of marriage, but we turn blind eyes to the affairs, divorces, and separations that are destroying 49% of our Christian marriages. We fail to speak up when we see our friends in situations and relationships that are not healthy.
We are quick to get on the BIG SIN bandwagon. But, we certainly never bring up any of the other sins like gluttony and gossip that plague our congregations.
We don't want to be judged for our beliefs, but we are quick to judge those that are different from us. We talk about tolerance, but it only seems to exist for those who think, talk, and speak just like us.
And this behavior comes from both sides, I get that.
But it's got to stop, and the healing needs to start with us.
Stop the negativity.
Stop the polarizing.
Stop the unnecessary isolation.
Stop the hurtful remarks.
And for goodness sake, stop acting like a bunch of 3-year-olds.
There are better ways to share the love of Christ. There are conversations that must be had, and there are beliefs that must be shared. I do not disagree with the Word and I have strong beliefs that I do not share with some of my friends. And these friends and I have had conversations about our differences and they know that no matter what, I love them. We may agree to disagree, but I do love them.
I know that my beliefs are often not popular or mainstream. I know that my beliefs are ancient and the world doesn't always agree with me. I will take a stand for my faith.
And I encourage others to do the same.
But this ridiculous Facebook and internet banter that I've been reading is about as effective as most street corner preachers. You know, the ones who scream and point fingers and chastise. The ones we shake our heads at when we pass them by in our cars. We read their signs, we cringe at their words, and we pass judgement on them.
But my friends, that's exactly what your statuses are doing.
That's what your profile pictures are doing.
That's what your mean-spirited posts are doing.
They are all brimming with hate and isolating others.
I remember and I read and I know the Lord commanded us to love.
When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: "Teacher, which command in God's Law is the most important?"
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."
Matthew 22:34-40 (The Message)