“I am not ashamed of the gospel,” wrote St. Paul. And this has been a rallying cry for Christians for ages, especially when faced with criticism about how they act and are. But sometimes it’s hard to be a thinking person and not believe that the world would be a better place if some who call themselves Christian and are sure they are doing the Lord’s bidding were just to stand down.
The attempt to spread bigotry and intolerance–as in this Guardian article, where American fundamentalists are setting up offices to “fight homosexuality” in Africa–does make me ashamed of being a Christian. These fine folks are doing the same in other parts of the world, including my own country, Jamaica, where in recent years they have fanned into even hotter fury the fires of anti-homosexuality–this in an already homophobic society.
If someone were to ask me am I a Christian, I’d have to say, “Yes, but…” But I’m not one who thinks gay people are not made in the image of God. But I’m not one who thinks I’m duty bound to “stand up” against gay people. But, I’m not one who is perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is one of love.
Jesus said: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Which part of this is ambiguous? What is so hard to understand?
And who gave them the right to police the world on behalf of Jesus? Even if they truly believe homosexuality is a sin, didn’t Jesus say, “Let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest”? Why are they, as Christians, going against Christ’s expressed will?
Thinking Christians have to take back the narrative from those who are spreading hate in the name of our Jesus. We need to be as methodical and as evangelical, as it were, in countering their gospel of darkness, with Jesus’ Gospel of light, love, and life.
Because they are not true followers of Jesus. They are not real Christians, and are giving the rest of us a bad name.
“Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.”