Friday, January 11, 2013

Living by Labels Instead of Local Love

I think one of the big problems with Christianity today is that it lives outside of the scope of local relationships. Because we have world news we think that the choices of people we've never met & likely will never meet are our business. Such a broad scope of information requires labels. Fortunately for the news most people & groups label themselves. Labels dehumanize people. Once someone stops being a human in your eyes and instead becomes a set of ideas you have about them you cannot love that person! Jesus' idea of loving your enemy wasn't to identify them exclusively by their faults as if they weren't human beings created by God. When you label someone with a label of something you disapprove of you pretty much just see them as a walking ball of sin, how would you not end up hating someone if you see them from the start as only a this or a that? This type of labeling is the definition of prejudice. Labeling makes you consider people you've never come in contact with your enemies. How many people go around filled with negativity or hatred towards people or politicians of opposing political viewpoints whom they will never meet in real life? Don't kid yourself, I visited Facebook on election day.

I don't remember Jesus rallying against any particular sin while He was on earth. He confronted people who He came in contact with but He didn't form protests or preach against the "sins that are ruining society." Jesus related to who was in front of Him. Jesus did not pull out scriptures & say to His disciples, "This scripture tells you what is wrong, get out there & let everybody know it is wrong because I HATE SIN!" He certainly didn't say, "If those people you told to stop sinning keep on sinning tell them that I will send floods & all sorts of natural disasters to judge them!"

That type of thing sounds like this.
A Christian says:  God hates you because of who you are or what you do so you need to quit doing what you're doing & say you're sorry to Him so He won't torture you forever.
Non-Christian responds:  What? I don't hate God. I don't even know Him. Why would I apologize to someone who hated me first? Why would I want anything to do with a God that identifies me only by my faults?

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