*Disclaimer: I may come across as angry, but I’m not. Just passionate.
I think Jesus is pretty clear about Christians showing love for one another.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Rom 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Rom 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
2 Cor 13:11 “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Rom 7:4 “So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”
And the big one, 1 Cor 12 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
Ok, now that the biblical bits are out of the way (that really speak for themselves), let me speak. Even though it’s hardly worth it after that compelling evidence.
The church has a rubbish reputation. And it is rightly deserved. Firstly we Christians all screw up all the time, so please don’t expect Christians to be perfect. We never are. Never. Especially me. But our reputation doesn’t have to be as bad as it is. Read the Bible people! We are meant to love each other! That means love. As 1 Cor 13 defines it. It’s not an easy thing to do. But we are mandated to do it. So just suck it up Christians. Who cares if you disagree with someone? Seriously. Who cares?! You still have to love them. You don’t get to tell them how awful they are, that they’re going to hell, that they are heathens/any insult you care to espouse. If you are genuinely concerned about them, ok, have a conversation. Talk about your differences. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Don’t be a douche. You can disagree with someone without having to condemn them to hell. It’s called being an adult. And it’s called being a Christian.
You think it doesn’t matter what people think of you? Of course it does! It matters if people think you’re a tool bag. If you want to share Jesus, you need to be palatable. And that doesn’t mean be nice to manipulate people, it means be nice. People are attracted to how awesome Jesus is (and how you imitate him), not how manipulative and perfect you appear. The medium is often the message, or at least it strongly affects how the message is received.
This brings me to what I wanted to say from the start (but got sidetracked). Christians, be nice to each other. If Christians hate each other, of course Christianity isn’t worth being a part of. Seriously. We are called to love, not condemnation. Who cares if someone disagrees with you? If the Bible was totally clear about everything there would be no room for disagreement. We’d all have to agree. But the Bible requires a brain. It requires us to interact with it, to discuss, to think, to work it though. The Bible says we have to ‘work out [our] salvation”. Therefore there will always be some disagreement. But who cares? We agree on the fundamentals, the incidentals are just that. Incidental. Ok, so we disagree, does that mean we should hate each other? If you think so, I feel true pity for you. You must live a very sad and lonely life.
Rom 8:1″Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”
So why do Christians condemn people? Certainly not through biblical accuracy. Through arrogance and indoctrinated tradition. It is clearly not biblical.
Come on Christians, we can do better.