In A Place With People We Love to Hate
I am in one of those places we all love to hate and with people that we also love to hate – from one tribal people to another tribal people. But I don’t believe that reality is an option for us as followers of Jesus.
Our perceptions are faced by media, passed down prejudices, and personal experience. Media and passed down prejudice are often wrong. Personal experience can’t be denied. But neither can personal experience be the basis for hate, fear, or isolation. God expects us to love people even when it’s dangerous. This is the point of love, redemption, grace, and reconciliation. Jesus had good media, bad experiences – yet no prejudice because he had pure love.
Gandhi was once asked by E. Stanley Jones, who came to be a missionary to India, “What can I do to be a great missionary among Indians?” Gandhi told him, “Be honest about your faith, and don’t compromise, so we know what it is. Keep your culture separate from your faith, so you will respect us. Love deeply – this is supposed to be the strength of your faith.” Gandhi meditated on the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospels daily. E. Stanley Jones said of Gandhi, “He did more with his half understanding of the Gospel, than most Christians do with their full understanding of the Gospel.” That convicts me.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be wise in how we relate to others. I’m not saying we excuse the behavior of others. I’m not even saying we should not protect our families. I am saying as followers of Jesus there is a higher calling of reconciliation and proclamation of the Good News of Jesus that is at its best when love is most extreme with much to lose and little to gain – i.e. Jesus on the cross.
Consumer Christianity at its core is the same as self-centered living. Both make God a religious genie at the whim of man.
We have enough millennia of history to show that nations come and go. We have enough anthropology to show that there are people in every tongue, tribe, and nation that lead nations, tribes, and peoples to higher levels of maturity and existence. God’s love is seen most in that we refuse to count any man worthless or a lost cause, so long as they are alive. As a human being, I have two options, one is to reject someone or embrace them. As a follower of Jesus, I have only one option – embrace.
Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.