As I peered out the passenger window at the skyscrapers around me, my eyes caught a middle-aged white woman hoisting a picket sign up and down above her head. I was a bright-eyed freshman at a rural, liberal arts college who was back home in the big city on break. As she turned, I caught the vicious words she had written,
“God hates fags.”
Back at school, two of my three freshman roommates were gay (and dating each other). While perhaps not what I pictured my first roomies to be, they were nothing but incredible to me. They were insanely kind during one of the hardest years of my struggle-filled existence.
Truthfully, I didn’t know a lot about God at 18. “Could it be true?” I thought. “Could God hate people? Did God hate my roommates?”
All these years later I can still see that woman’s face in my mind. I would give anything to have a deep conversation with her about what could possibly have driven her to make that sign. The sad thing is she clearly doesn’t know the first thing about Jesus. If she did, her schedule would be much too full helping those around her, volunteering to feed the poor, serving the sick, visiting with the lost and the lonely to be standing on 5th Avenue riling up the neighborhood.
Yet, as I’ve spent more time around Christians I’ve come realize that many people who claim to know God, have no clue who He actually is.
Well, ahh, Sam that’s a pretty “bold” claim there (and yes it is in bold). Aren’t you a little afraid of offending the Jesus people? to which I say… ARE YOU KIDDING. If I hear one more “Christian” condemn another person, picket a funeral, vandalize an abortion clinic, aka spread hate and terror I’m going to…
yeah okay, rant about it on my blog and pray for them.
But seriously, few things in life make me more angry than those who misrepresent God. Not only are they spreading hate, they are turning people away from their creator, turning people away from the greatest thing that could ever happen to them – starting a relationship with Jesus.
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Tweet This So, maybe he doesn’t love some of your self-destructive choices, but nothing you could ever do could separate you from him. NOTHING. God doesn’t hate you.
God does not hate you if you’re sexually active.
God does not hate you if you have a gambling problem.
God does not hate you if you swear.
God does not hate you if you don’t like your family.
God does not hate you if you do drugs.
God does not hate you if you cut yourself.
God does not hate you if you wear yoga pants.
God does not hate you if you’re gay.
God does not hate you if you like to party.
God does not hate you if steal.
God does not hate you if you don’t believe in him.
God does not hate you if you don’t want kids.
God does not hate you if you don’t like church.
God does not hate you if you are selfish.
God does not hate you if you drink straight from the milk carton.
God does not hate you if you cheated on your ACT.
God does not hate you if you’re a murderer.
God does not hate you if you’re normal. Whatever that means.
God does not hate you if you hate gay people.
God does not hate you if you are in prison.
God does not hate you if you like One Direction.
Somewhere along the way, many Christians started treating the bible like a bag of trail mix picking out the parts they like and leaving the rest. They declared themselves God and started passing out judgment like it was their job. Yet, Jesus was pretty clear on how we should express our love for him (hint: it doesn’t involve a single protest).
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
Whatever you do for the least of these, the hungry, the sick, the homeless – that is what you do in the name of God. God cares about the love you show, not the mistakes you’ve made. You were created to love people. To love your neighbor as you love yourself.
So to that woman on the corner (and anyone else) who claims to love God while hating those around them I have two simple words:
Just shut up. Let your life, not your words be your testimony of how great God is. Be Mother Theresa. Be Martin Luther King Jr. Be Katie Davis. Be a difference maker. You were created in the image of God to serve this world and those around you.
You were created to love, not hate.
Found in my Music Playlist, “Wind and the Waves”.
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