My newsfeed on FaceBook blew up these last couple of days with the recent shootings by police officers and of police officers. My heart breaks for everyone involved on any level and my heart hurts for America. I read a post by someone I’ve never met. His name is Terry Jaymes and he began his thoughts with this.
“I’m officially over “Us against them” – “Democrats vs Republicans” – “Law enforcement against Minorities” – “Black vs White.” I believe in the good in people and above all … love. Call me unrealistic and pollyannaish. That’s just you accepting defeat and being ignorant. Something has to give. I will do my best to become part of the solution. Whatever it takes.”
Everything in me wanted to stand up and shout “PREACH it Brother”. In the last few years, with the daily reports of cops and others being shot out of fear or rage (which is just fear misdirected), I have had nebulous feelings that echo the above sentiment. I have never been able to articulate it so clearly and beautifully.
I, too, am officially over the whole ‘us against them’ mentality that seems to have permeated every demographic group in America. One he didn’t mention here that truly breaks my heart is “Christians against …” – you fill in the ellipsis. Homosexuals, transgenders, Muslims, and the list goes on and on. As Christians, we are called to stand against sin. All sin. The sin of unbelief in Jesus Christ as the One and only Savior of mankind is the ONLY one for which a man will spend eternity separated from God in hell. All others are pretty much equal. So why do we as humans feel the need to make one sin ‘worse’ than another. Why is ‘greed’ acceptable (Donald Trump) and ‘lust’ is not (again, Donald Trump). Why is ‘gluttony’ acceptable (ever been to a Baptist social?) and any other overindulgence (i.e. alcohol) is not? Why is divorce just because you’re tired of each other acceptable and homosexual relationships aren’t? Seriously. I want to know the answer. All we as Christians are doing is making ourselves like the Pharisees who Jesus named vipers. Sin, my friend, is SIN. It’s just that simple. Dante may have had levels of hell, but our Lord Jesus never ‘graded’ sins. Sin is sin and every sin we commit separates us from peace with God. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, but sin separates us from the unified relationship with God that He desires. The relationship that the Father sent to Son to die on the cross to make possible. Why, then, would we stand in judgment of another’s sin (‘he who is without sin, cast the first stone’) – whatever that sin may be – when each and every one of us struggles with his or her own ‘pet sins’.
Should we stand against sin? ABSOLUTELY. But we are doing more harm than good for His kingdom by doing so with vitriol and hateful words. How many sinners will never yield to the gentle stirring of the Holy Spirit because a Christian was unkind or failed to express the all consuming, healing love of Christ? THAT breaks my heart most!!