This topic has been on my mind for quite some time. And it’s something that I feel needs to be shared with everyone. We, as Christians, have had a problem with living in love. Now, before you stop reading thinking to yourself “I don’t have a problem” or “I’m not a Christian, so this doesn’t apply to me” please hang with me. I don’t typically put myself out there like this. I hate debating politics and even more-so religion/beliefs. So if you’re not a Christian, that’s totally fine. Maybe you can still hear what I’m saying and apply it to your life.
It is human nature to fear the unknown. We do not understand a lot of things and we’re not meant to. Our brains cannot fathom every situation, belief, choice, etc. We can merely educate ourselves in the things we don’t know and try to come to an understanding using our own perspectives. One of my best friends, whom I call my “brother,” and his family, came to our house this past week to help celebrate my graduation. They are African American. Obviously, I’m not. We have a very close relationship where we can talk about our differences. Anyway, so I was talking to his wife about the whole “Black Lives Matter” movement and how I believed all lives matter. Which is true. I believe everyone should be treated equally and that skin color should have absolutely no bearing on anything. She went on and explained the movement to me in a way I could understand though. Let me paraphrase: Alcoholics go to AA meetings, rape victims go to support groups, etc. There are all sorts of support groups out there for people who’ve dealt with similar situations. When she put it into this type of light, I completely understood. I educated myself. I opened my mind to what African Americans might go through based on my own experiences. I may still not understand 100%, but I get it. Now, do I agree that they should still fear for their rights and lives? Absolutely not. They should never have to live like that. But I can only do my part and goodness knows I can’t change the minds of billions of people living on this earth. But I can continue to raise my boys to treat people that are different from them equally and with love.
Religion… this is always a sticky subject and not something I try to get involved in. Yes I’m a Christian. However, I really enjoy learning about other religions and beliefs. You never know who you’re going to meet and I think it’s important to have some awareness of what they may believe. There has been a HUGE uproar against Islam. One I’m completely against. Because I educated myself. I have a friend who’s Muslim and is someone I feel close enough to that I can ask her questions about her beliefs. And she’s always willing to explain them! And every Muslim I have come across has DENOUNCED the terrorist beliefs. Let me repeat this – they do NOT agree with the terrorists/extremists. Islam is NOT a religion of hatred and violence. Yes, there are those out there that are extremists. But what religion does not have them? Christians, do you not remember the Westboro Baptist Group? Did you not denounce their beliefs and hatred towards everyone? Put it into a perspective that you can understand. Want to really stretch your brain into “what if’s?” Consider this… Jews believe in the Old Testament. Christians believe in both the Old and New Testament, in which Jesus is the Savior. If you look at the Islamic teachings, a LOT of them are based on the Old Testament as well. However, their book is newer and teaches that Mohammed was a Prophet of God. Did any of you know Mohammed? Were any of you there to know whether or not he really was a Prophet? No. So who are we to judge that he was or wasn’t? Who are we to judge their religion at all? We are absolutely no one. That judgment is ONLY meant for God/Allah/Yahweh. It is not ours to pass. We all believe in different but similar things. Do we preach that Jews are violent and full of hatred? No. The Old Testament is based on the old ways, before Jesus came along. Read it. It’s full of some scary stuff! Do we still cut off hands for stealing? NO! We’ve grown and adapted and realized that’s probably not the best answer to the problem. Let’s stop preaching hatred towards other religions and just love the people in them. It shouldn’t matter whether we agree with them or not. They bleed red just like us and should therefore be loved regardless.
Sexual orientation… If I see one more gay bashing article I may scream. I swear this has become absolutely ridiculous. STOP JUDGING PEOPLE! So you’re not gay? You believe that it’s a sin? Get over yourself. Who cares? Let me tell you something. You are NOT God. You are not here to judge them and tell them they are going to go to hell for sleeping with someone of the same sex. That’s their own business and only God knows their hearts. Only God knows who’s going to go to heaven or hell. Let me remind you of something. You are not without sin. The Bible teaches that God does not weigh one sin worse than another. That’s a human thing. So the fact you stole a pack of bubble gum when you were 5 years old will be weighed as equal to the man who killed his girlfriend. Humans are the ones who say “ok on a scale of 1-10 how bad is this sin?” As Christians, we believe that Jesus saved us of our sins and God has forgiven them. So just because you may not understand or agree with people’s sexual orientation does not mean you can sit there and bash them for their “sins.” It’s not your job. And telling them that it’s a sin isn’t going to change anything. When you go running, are you encouraged to run faster because someone says you’re not doing it right? No. You’re encouraged by the person running next to you, cheering you on. Live in love. Instead of preaching at them, just love them. After all, they are only human.
This reminds me of a discussion I had with my husband years ago. I was enlisted Air Force. My husband is an Army Officer. Obviously I didn’t hang out with officers when I was in the military so I didn’t really know what to talk about, or even how to talk to them. One day I had to go to an event with my husband. I was nervous, not sure what I was supposed to do or say. And he looked at me and said “Officers are just like you, they put their pants on the same way as you. Just talk to them like they are normal human beings because that’s what they are.” I know this sounds silly, but it really hit home and I’ve carried this with me ever since. I may not understand other beliefs, lifestyles, etc. but they are humans just like me. They deserve to be loved and treated with respect just as I do. We, as HUMANS, need to learn to love each other again, if for no other reason but because we all bleed red.