I have to write about something that has wounded my heart today. Something that completely baffled me.
Through my few short years attending a liberal, public university, I’ve experienced and seen my fair share of hate towards Christians. Hate toward anyone who goes to church or believes the Bible. For those that don’t know, I am a follower of Christ and I believe the Bible to be God-breathed and true. But today in class, I finally felt heartbroken over the comments being made and I have to write about it.
My class is Psychology of Prejudice and today we were discussing hate and how it can totally destroy groups of people. Hate is a pretty strong word and a strong emotion, so there I sat waiting for the comments aimed towards Christians.
And they did come.
A few individuals mentioned how hypocritical Christians can be, which I don’t disagree with. Another individual though told us about how she told her parents that she was homosexual. Their comments to her broke my heart. Will they break yours?
“You’re going to Hell!”
“I have to call you ‘it’ now”
We’ve heard the common phrases time and again. Comments filled with so much venom and hate that they could strike out and kill you. Words are oh so powerful!
How then, if you proclaim to be a Christian, should you respond to this?
I decided to immediately go to the Word for answers. John 8:1-11 tells of Jesus on the Mount of Olives. He was preaching when the Pharisees brought him a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. They questioned Jesus about the law and the common practice to stone such a person for the act of adultery. Just picture that scene. You’re standing in front of the Son of God, probably naked, putting your soul and sins in front of everyone. I can only imagine the amount of shame and guilt she must have felt!
We all know how the majority of Christians would’ve responded. A response of hate, disgust, or even silence because of discomfort. I mean, just imagine being in that crowd, watching this.
But what I wanted to know is, how did Jesus respond?
John 8:6b-11 says:
“But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
This is such a beautiful illustration of how we should respond today to those who claim to be homosexual. Keep in mind that God is the creator of all and the person that you are condemning for struggling with homosexuality is the same God who created you, as you’re struggling with pornography addiction, gambling, backsliding, etc. We are all sinners and all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This is pertinent to firstly changing our attitudes about homosexuality but also to changing the attitudes of those who call Christians hypocrites.
We must walk the walk. Christians have to monitor what they say and how they say it.
Ephesians 4:29 is clear on this, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”.
The person in class today might have a more positive opinion of Christians if her parents hadn’t firstly told her she was going to hell. I’m not saying not to honestly preach the Word of God but that’s the last thing someone struggling with a sin wants to hear. You are dealing with humans who are broken, sad, and are just trying to find acceptance. Outwardly using God’s word to achieve a hateful motive is complete hypocrisy and downright evil.
Christians are called to a higher standard of living and are called to a life of love. We must ask ourselves beforehand, in all situations that are sticky, how would Jesus react to this? and go about it accordingly.
Christians… we must do better, we are called to do better and there are those out there who are hurting and have terrible misconceptions of the Christians that Jesus calls to be apart of His kingdom. Change peoples minds in a loving and honoring way.
Don’t let hate breed more hate.