It frustrates and saddens me how some people cherry pick things out of the Bible to justify alienating and persecuting other people. I will attempt to put things in a different perspective for some while preaching to the choir (no pun intended) to others. I am seeing a lot of hostility on social media towards the LGBT community with people using the Bible as a means to justify their hate and prejudice fueled agendas. I have had discussions with (Christian) people who are close to me and they always use the old standby line of “hate the sin, not the sinner.” While there is much in the Bible that is open to interpretation due to the time frames in which it was pieced together, and what one Bible scholar tells you is a sin another one will tell you it isn’t. Usually they will tell you to “pray about it” if they are unsure. So I’m going to leave that gray area alone for now and focus on some common ground that I think anyone who classifies themselves as a Christian will agree with. I think virtually all Christians would agree that the breaking of any of the Ten Commandments constitutes a sin in God’s eyes. I see so many posts on social media condemning the LGBT community that it is simply heartbreaking. And while some may argue that homosexuality is a sin..usually citing Leviticus, it makes me wonder why there wasn’t anything in the ten commandments specifically forbidding it if it were so condemnable. What is even more appalling is all the public protests and persecution these citizens endure. I have yet to see any protests or persecution of people breaking the ten commandments. Why is that you ask? I believe it is because EVERY ONE OF US BREAKS THOSE RULES BECAUSE THEY ARE VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO FOLLOW 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK 365 DAYS A YEAR. And we would be constantly putting ourselves in a state of self-persecution which nobody is going to want to do. Its so much easier to point a finger at a lifestyle we do not understand.
1- Thou shalt have no other gods before me….Don’t see anyone publicly protesting Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists etc.
2- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…..Don’t see anyone protesting and persecuting symbols and other forms of idolatry.
3- Thou Shalt Not Take The Lord’s Name in Vain….Don’t see people protesting movie theatres that show movies with people saying “G/D it”
4- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy…..how many times have you been outside mowing your grass or doing other forms of work on Sunday and been shouted at by protesters? Probably none as they were all probably too busy MOWING THEIR GRASS TOO.
5- Honor thy mother and father…. with all the horrible parenting going on these days I find it hard to believe anyone would picket this rule being broken (except maybe the Westboro Baptist Church…nuff said)
6- Thou Shalt not Kill….although this one does get protested when broken it usually only makes media attention when it helps fuel some other type of agenda.
7- Thou shalt not commit adultery….this one only seems to conjure up protests when it involves public figures.
8- Thou shalt not steal…..while we do prosecute this one when it gets broken we don’t seem to take to the picket lines when someone gets busted for stealing.
9- Thou shalt not bear false witness… another sin that we only protest and persecute when it involves public figures.
10- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors house, wife, or possessions…..Like George Carlin says “coveting is what fuels the economy.” Don’t see any protests when someone one-ups his neighbor by buying a better car because he is jealous of the new one his neighbor has.
My point is (if you were able to suffer through all that and made it this far in the read) It doesn’t stand to reason that any “loving” Christian would persecute and alienate others who are different without looking inside their own conscience and condemning themselves if they have broken any of these set-in-stone (again…no pun intended) rules…AND YOU KNOW WE ALL HAVE. I am not saying it is ok to break the rules but when you cherry pick bits and pieces of the Bible to suit your own agenda and attempt to justify your finger pointing, you are not behaving as Christians. I am by no means a Bible scholar but even I know that much. Why not try love, forgiveness, compassion, understanding, empathy and good will instead? I think Jesus would favor those qualities a lot more.
for the record….I am a Christian. I have friends (and maybe family) who are not. I love them all equally regardless. If I wish to change their lives I believe I should lead by example instead of by instilling fear and guilt. I will finish with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi ….. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”