You are in or out. You cannot be both

There has been something troubling that I have seen on social media in the last several months. I have prayed about this and have stayed awake way into the night thinking this over and it has led me here to this place today.

I have seen and read so many hateful, mocking and angry posts from Christians in my community, and in my church openly and spitefully mocking our government.

For this, I want to apologize to those who are not Christians. This is NOT Christian behavior. This is not what our Bible teaches and this is NOT the heart of Christ.

We are very clearly instructed to,

"Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:39

Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to act and react in hate. Hate, mockery, disdain, and disrespect are not a part of the heart of Christ. We are commanded to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES.

Why are so many who claim to be believers acting out in anger and hate?

Who is your neighbor?

The anti-vaxer is your neighbor.

The one who believes in vaccines is your neighbor.

The anti-Covid person is your neighbor.

The person who believes in Covid is your neighbor.

The people who work for the government, they are your neighbors.

The minimum wage employees who are simply doing their job, whom have received so much anger from Christians who do not want to follow rules that were not made up by the minimum wage employees, they are your neighbors.

The person who looks different, speaks different, acts different, dresses different is your neighbor.

How can believers claim to follow Jesus yet act with such disrespect, anger, and hate for their neighbors?

Jesus radically changed the world when he defined "neighbor" in Luke 10:25-37. This is where the famous quote "Love your neighbor as yourself" comes from. Jesus took love one step farther as he explained that we do not simply love those like us, we love those who are despised and looked down upon. And we don't stop there! We go even farther and go out of our way to care for them. To help them with their physical needs. To make sure they have food and water and are cared for. Jesus demonstrated a radial love that goes farther and deeper and supersedes expectation.

Jesus goes even farther, he says, "But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!" Matthew 5:44

The heart of Jesus is love. It is that simple. He showed love when the world showed hate. He teaches us to respond in love when the world would respond in hate. Our actions, reactions, and responses are supposed to be in LOVE.

Jesus stood for what he believed and taught, but he never reacted in hate, mockery, and disrespect. It is wrong for the believers of Christ to react to our world, to our government, in hate, mockery, and disrespect. We are actually told to PRAY for our government, not mock them.

"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity." 1 Timothy 2:1-2

The Bible is crysta

l clear on how we are to treat those around us. You can choose to be a follower of Christ or not. But do not pretend to be one and then go and give the body of Christ a bad reputation because you choose to disagree, mock and disrespect our government. That is not biblical. It is flat out wrong.

So be in or be out, but don't be lukewarm.

Jesus is very clear about what he does with lukewarm water, he spits it out. "But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!" (see Revelation 3:15-22)

We have an obligation when we say we are Christians. Saying you are a Christian means you are a Jesus follower. We are called to live to a higher standard as Jesus followers. And we will be held accountable for choices we made and the things we said.

"And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you." Matthew 12:36-37

So I challenge you, speak love. When you want to react in hate, stop! Reacting in hate, mockery and disrespect is EASY! Everyone does it. Be different. We are to be salt and light to this world. We are to show the love of Jesus to all, to everyone around us. It is easy to love those who agree with us. But choosing to love those who have different opinions, different beliefs, that take the love of Jesus, that takes Christian love. This world has enough hate, rise above. Be better. Show this world that we are Christians by our love. You will never bring meaningful change with hate, disrespect, and mockery. You will change your world by showing love in its place.

Bible scripture used in the above if you want to pursue this deeper:

-Matthew 22:39

-Luke 10:25-37

-Matthew 5:44

-1 Timothy 2:1-2

-Revelation 3:15-22

-Matthew 12:36-37

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