“They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” (part two)

Anyone who sees Christians going about the business of loving people–even the unlovely–should be able to understand that Christianity is the ultimate religion of love and peace. So loving and so peaceful,  in fact, that Jesus prayed and asked God’s forgiveness for the people who were putting Him to death–in circumstances where hatred, anger, and resentment would have been the normal human emotions. Especially since the Romans and religious leaders responsible for His death  weren’t the least sorry for what they were doing.

What amazing love! Love that deserves the description “awesome” above everything else.

Why do so many people view the Bible as a textbook of hatred (and how many of them have read the Quran?) and Christians as the most hateful people on the face of the earth?

Maybe they’re too busy looking backwards at wars and persecution that were carried out in the name of Christianity in days long past. By people who never would’ve sung, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Not unless they’d done it hypocritically.

Or is the problem that Christians believe “Do not murder” means preserving the lives of innocent babies rather than allowing pregnant women to erase their sinful “mistakes” by killing their babies in utero because of the inconvenience or embarrassment of being pregnant? Or that “Do not commit adultery” interferes with the desires of the many individuals who believe post-modernism has eliminated the need for moral standards of behavior regarding anything? Or is the problem that biblical admonitions against homosexuality affect the “rights” of the vocal gay minority to practice their sins publicly–and to flaunt them?

Or is the problem that  non-believers see Christians as judgmental? The Bible says murder, adultery, and homosexuality are all wrong. The Bible is very clear about those issues. All of them are sins–things God disapproves of. Things that stand in the way of having a right relationship with Him.

But the Bible also specifies a number of other sins. Is it right for Christians to go around ranting at gay people for being sinners when–in reality–each one of us is a sinner in our own individual ways. No one is righteous on his own merit, and no one is “good enough” to deserve God’s love.

I’m not advocating the toleration of sin–any sin. But I believe strongly in the popular saying, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” I believe one of the worst sins Christians practice is failing to demonstrate the kind of love and forgiveness Jesus modeled during his earthly ministry. For me, that’s the bottom line.

“They will know we are Christians by our love.” And if they don’t see that love, then they have a right to question our faith–and even the basis of what we say we believe in.

If you’re a Christian, do others see a life filled with love, even when you don’t feel very loving? If you’re not a Christian, has any supposed Christian ever treated you in a way that made you question the reality of his faith? How about leaving a comment, please.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Life Matters–All Life

While I thoroughly agree with those who say that “black lives matter,” I prefer to take it one step further. A gigantic one. ALL LIFE MATTERS.

God is the giver of life, and He loves each of His human beings. Everyone is His favorite. He loves you as much as He loves me, and He loves me as much as He loves you. He loves the members of every race and nation equally. He even loves the world’s worst sinners as much as He loves His own Son. Some of you may disagree with that point, and I don’t blame you. But why would God the Father have sacrificed Jesus the Son for our sins if He didn’t love His human beings as much as John 3:16 says so beautifully:

“God loved the world so much that He gave up His only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (Bruner “translation”)

Let’s take those ideas a step further. He also loves the unborn child as much as He loves the newborn. And He loves the baby–I refuse to place less importance on the unborn by saying “fetus”–who’s been cruelly aborted as much as he does the old person who dies of “natural causes.”

He created us all, and He made us all to be the people we’ve become and have yet to finish becoming.

Hmm. Those of us who weren’t murdered prior to birth, that is.

I don’t know the circumstances of my adoption, but I’m sure I could’ve been aborted if circumstances had permitted; but abortion wasn’t as readily available or as widely accepted in 1946. And my daughter, born to a single upper teen in 1987, could have been far more easily aborted.

People may not look at my daughter and me and question what the world would’ve been like had we not been born. It’s not something I think about, either. But I want to believe that our lives have made a difference to the people who’ve known us and sometimes even to people we don’t even realize our lives have touched.

I’ve read far too many times that America began its drastic decline with the Supreme Court’s legalization of abortion and the subsequent “sexual revolution,” which in turn brought about the need for increasingly more drastic forms of birth control.  I can’t argue with that opinion.

For thousands of years, the Bible has been the standard of human behavior. “Do not commit adultery” just as easily translates to “Do not commit any form of sexual sin,” heterosexual or homosexual. And “Do not commit murder” applies just as validly to murder of the unborn, who are alive and human from the moment of conception.

I’m afraid history books of the future will look back on the current era as the time time when biblical standards were totally dismissed as old-fashioned and inapplicable. Not to mention “inconvenient.”

But maybe it’s not too late. Let those of us who still believe in biblical standards “step up to the microphone” and make our voices heard. Without regard to the intolerance of those who oppose us.

Taking a stand isn’t always easy. But are you on my side? Can you say with me, “All life matters”? How about leaving a comment?

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Growing More Conservative (Final Part)

I believe more strongly than ever in the morality of the Bible. Any society that ignores biblical teachings about right and wrong will slip further and further into decay. How much further can we slide before God decides to wipe His hands of us?

I don’t hate homosexuals. Although I don’t understand them, I am not the least afraid of them. My wife and I attended a large gay expo in New York City a few years ago to visit a gay friend and see his dance group perform. He’s someone I enjoyed talking with and I didn’t feel the least uncomfortable being around. Does that sound like fear or hate?

But the Bible says that the practice of homosexuality is a sin. It lists a number of other sins, too. Anything that can be described as “my way” rather than “God’s way” is a sin.

What too many people ignore is the fact that God didn’t create a chart giving sins an acceptability rating. He doesn’t view one sin as more acceptable or less acceptable than another. Anything that separates us from Him is sinful–equally sinful.

Addictions like smoking, drugs, and alcohol abuse that “sinners” have a difficult time breaking their dependence on is bad enough. But how many sins do people not even want to resist and sometimes stubbornly insist on holding on to?

Any number of sexual sins fall into that category, including the practice of homosexuality.  And adultery. But so does overeating, something God has helped me to overcome. But not until I’d already developed diabetes.

The Bible refers to the one and only unforgivable sin–and the practice of homosexuality isn’t it. Neither is overeating.

Jesus commands Christians to love one another–and to love their enemies as well–with God’s kind of love. Sacrificial love. So they ought to love gay people just as they would anyone else.

Condemning homosexuals is–in my understanding–unbiblical. At the same time, Christians shouldn’t go against the Bible by accepting the practice of homosexuality as biblically acceptable.

I’d like to say more, but I’ll leave it at that. I’ve tried to make my points without being insensitive or offensive. But I can’t deny my conservative faith in the Bible any more than people who’re different from me will deny who they are.

Please don’t expect me to.

If you want to comment about this post, please do so respectfully–of both sides. God loves us equally.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
Tentative-Front-Cover
Best regards,
Roger