Brothers and sisters,

I am ashamed.

I am ashamed at how far we’ve strayed from the teachings of Jesus Christ.  I am ashamed of how much hate is in our hearts and our words.  I am ashamed that we have become so complacent in our faiths.  I am ashamed at how we permit our prejudices overrule our compassion.

I am ashamed.

By now, we are all familiar with the political turmoil.  Our presidential candidates spew more filth with each passing day.  People destroy people based on skin tones and sexual orientation.  People pass judgment   People rebuke those they do not understand, those whom they deem perverse and different. 1 John 4:20 tells us that “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” You cannot hate.  As easy as it is, it’s not our place to hate God’s people.

And, we’re all God’s people, even those who deny Him.  He created us in His image and wants us to know Him.  Not all of us will.  Some will turn away.  Maybe it’s because they suffered too much.  Maybe it’s because Christians bullied them towards faith.  Maybe they have other reasons.  Regardless, many will not follow God’s word.

I am ashamed.  Because I believe, at least to a hefty extent, Christians are to blame.  Not all.  And for those who truly follow God’s word and seek out Jesus with your lives, thank you.  But, it’s what the rest… the Church people, as I’ve heard a pastor put it, who are destroying the faith.  I have been angry.  I have not wanted to hear the Word or talk to anyone about God or His son.  I hated you.  I hated God.  I’ve my own reasons for this, but understand it has changed.  Hatred, anger, foolish pride; all these things will only hurt us and prevent us from following God’s call for our lives.

But I am ashamed of you.  Is the homeless man allowed to break bread with you?  Do you hug someone of a different sexual orientation and make them feel loved? Do you try to show Jesus to those outside your comfort zone?  Do you realize that Jesus is not American, nor is He an American concept?  Jesus isn’t conservative. He isn’t Liberal.  He isn’t a Democrat or Republican.  He’s not a hippy or a hipster.  Jesus is the arbiter of our faith.  He is the foundation and springboard, the model for which we Christians claim to seek.

And yet… I hear so often, “Those queers should die!”, “I hate them.  They’re nasty and… just ew!” or Ugh, take a bath.  Did you see that homeless guy?  Get a job loser!”  Or, “She’s so fat.  Disgusting.” How?  Why?  I don’t understand you.  John 12:47 tells us, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” Only God the Father can judge. We do not know each others circumstances and even if we tell much, we can never know or completely comprehend everything someone else endures.  Compassionate interaction, where we show love and a willingness to put God in control, is needed.  Brothers.  Sisters.  I beg you.  Don’t continue down this path.  Jesus did not come to judge us, but to save us.

For God so loved the world… He loved the world.  Not just Americans.  Not just Republicans. Not just Democrats.  Not just straight people.  Not just the children.  He came to save the world.  He is the candle to light the darkness.  And there is so much darkness around us. There is so much hate and condemnation that we cannot pinpoint true righteousness anymore.  So, I ask you… no, I beg you.  Turn back.  Put your hearts in Jesus.  Let Him guide you and then, maybe then, when He brings

us home, we can truly claim that we did His work. Or, as 1 John 2:28 says, “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

Because brothers and sisters, we should not be ashamed. This is not condemnation from malice in my heart.  I wholeheartedly want you by my side when glory comes. Our love and walk with Him is singular. No one’s journey will ensure another’s entry into His grace.  But, if we do not make the journey ourselves, how will we reach others to inspire them to start their own journeys?  We will all stumble from time to time.  We will all give in to our anger and fears.  With faith and the eager search for God’s grace, we can overcome this.  Because for God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten son, that whos0ever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.  And that, I tell you, is all we need.

Originally posted on operationtorchlight.wordpress.com.

Published by Stephen Smith