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Culture War In The Church?

It seems that the culture war which has been going on in society for a generation is finally coming to a head in church. While it is going on to various degrees in many denominations, it seems to just be reaching critical mass in Adventist Christianity now. Quite frankly I am concerned about this, as a pacifist I don’t like war. Even though this will hopefully never escalate to the point of physical violence, a war of words and a clash of values can do as much harm to the life and health of the church as any physical war can have to a country. At the present it seems that 3 issues are defining the conflict of cultures in our church; woman’s ordination, homosexuality, and the teaching of evolution. While I believe that there are sincere people on both sides I think it is important to remember that above all else Jesus calls us to love one another, and I fear that we are reaching a point where the polarization is so severe that we are at risk of losing that love.

On the issues I am squarely on the progressive side of all 3. I do not agree that the Bible makes a clear case for a male only clergy, I think it is far more important for us to be loving and accepting of gay and lesbian people than it is to make a political stand against their civil rights, and I think that we need to teach science in science classes and save the teaching of religion for religion classes (offered by the church if not available in school). But I do not think that any of these issues is worth drawing a line in the sand over, and saying to other Christians that I will not worship with them if they hold different views from me. Afterall what is gained if any of these issues pushes people on either side out? Do we gain when we win acceptance for a new group but lose half our existing family? Over the next few days I will make short arguments in favour of my views on these issues – but for those who disagree please know:

I seek a dialogue and understanding, and I still value you as brothers and sisters in Christ and do not want to split our church.

I do understand that there are many who feel a strong urge to maintain the purity of the church. That’s nothing new – there have been such people among the people of God since at least the time of Christ. In his time they were called Pharisees. They were perfectly sincere believers who wanted nothing more than to maintain the purity of their religion. They went out of their way to make sure people understood what the rules were and how to keep them. But they did do what they did out of genuine sincerity and a desire to have a pure religion. There are many today who do the same thing, and I still don’t think it’s insincere. The only thing I would ask is; are you sure that it’s your place? Afterall doesn’t the Bible say 1) That our purity comes from Christ and not from our own effort and 2) That it is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin?

Now without getting into the issues, because frankly I think they are all secondary to the main point, I have to ask – what is our purpose? Is it to be lawyers who prosecute infractions of God’s law, or witnesses who testify of God’s love? In other words – what does Jesus want his church to be known for? Frankly I think he can speak for himself:

 

You must love each other, just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.

 
So what about this Culture War as many call it? Should we shy away from debating social issues? Should we stifle opposing opinions? Should we change everything we do every time the wind changes? Should we refuse to change ever? To each question I say – God forbid. Ensuring that the church is both relevant to the culture we live in and faithful to God is a constant process. Debating our positions is healthy, disagreement is evidence of intelligence, because if we always agree about every thing someone isn’t using their God-given brain. Change for the sake of change, and refusal to change for the sake of refusal are equally bad. What becomes dangerous is when we allow debate and diversity to become division. Love for one another MUST come before church politics. The day that a church splits over differences of opinion is the day it has failed at the one thing it was formed to do. Whether your position is one of traditional purity or progressive contextualization – we all must put love for one another ahead of our opinions and positions.

 
We cannot allow differences of opinion or interpretation to divide our church.

Dave Burnie:

A very well thought out perspective by another pastor!

Originally posted on CNN Belief Blog:

Editor’s Note:Craig Gross is the pastor and founder of XXXchurch.com and is the author of seven books. He just turned 36 and is no longer a hip 20-something pastor from California.

By Craig Gross, Special to CNN

After Anderson Cooper came out this week, I posted a link on Twitter to a story that included this quote from Cooper: “I love and am loved.” As I said in my tweet, Cooper is one of my favorite journalists. I was honored to once be on his show.

After I tweeted I got e-mails and a direct message asking the same question: “You still like him now?”

View original 745 more words

God Keep Our Land

Friends, I want to wish you both a Sabbath and a Happy Birthday. As you may know tomorrow is Canada Day, the 145th anniversary of our home and native land, this land which stretches from sea to sea to sea this land of diversity, peace and if I may be so bold the best testimony to the artistry of God the creator. When I count my blessings, I always list the fact that I was born in this land among the greatest of them all.

I think it is perfectly appropriate to thank God for the blessing of Canada. We live in a country of peace, order and despite what we may think of politicians, when compared with so many elsewhere; good government. We live in a land where diversity is promoted, where different cultures and creeds co-exist.

We live in one of the few countries in the world where our right to worship God in the way we understand to be correct is both protected by our constitution and upheld by our courts. For example, the Canadian Human Rights Commission specifically mentions Seventh-day Adventists and the sundown Friday to sundown Saturday sabbath in it’s guidelines on preventing discrimination. And believe me, I’ve been to other countries where this freedom is not at all part of the law.

Friends, whatever challenges we face in practising our faith, they are minimal compared to the brothers and sisters in most other lands. So yes, I praise God for the religious liberty we enjoy in Canada.

I also praise God for the many social benefits we enjoy here. I’ve been to places where your ability to get medical treatment depended on your ability to pay for it. But think of how many of us would not be here today if our access to medicine depended on our financial resources – I praise God that we live in a country that, although imperfectly, provides care for its citizens.

I praise God for the peace we enjoy in Canada. How many nations in this world do people live their lives in fear for the bullets flying and the bombs falling each and every day?

Yes friends – I am happy that God privileged me enough to bless me by creating me a Canadian, because while our ultimate citizenship is in heaven I am still proud to be able to practice for that by being a citizen of Canada. And that, my friends, is the lesson I hope we will learn together here today. Because while our ultimate citizenship is in heaven, we show our readiness for that by being good citizens of our worldly countries.

Let’s go to our Bibles, Romans 13:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval.

It’s clear from this, and many other, passages that God does set up systems of authority for us to live under. Now I don’t believe that means that God picks each individual Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister and Prime Minister – but I do believe that he ordains the system under which we live.

It doesn’t mean that we have to agree with every decision made, it doesn’t mean that we can’t hold contrary opinions to the government of the day – but it does mean that the system of our nation has an authority which comes from God. So while we are free to express our opinions, vote according to our personal consciences, and even speak out when we feel that the government is acting wrongly – we are still subject to it’s authority – and unless the law of the land is in direct conflict to the law of God we are to obey it. And I know that I am getting dangerously close to making a political speech, which is not something to be done from the pulpit, but let me say this.

As Christians we are free to choose for ourselves to which degree we participate in our democracy.

It is your right to vote, or not vote. It is your choice, if you elect to vote, who you cast your ballot for. The church takes no position, and God is not a card carrying member of any political party. No one has any business to tell you that if you are a Christian you should vote this way or that; it is your freedom and your conscience. There are elements in the platform of each major party that reflect biblical values, and that contradict them.

You’re no better or worse a Christian if you vote for the Conservatives, the Liberals, the NDP, the Greens or not at all – it’s up to you and your own conscience.

But whether or not you choose to involve yourself in the democratic process – we are to be loyal subjects to Queen and Country, remembering that until the time comes and the High King of Heaven comes and puts an end to all worldly government, he has set up authorities on this earth for our benefit. So friends we are dual citizens, of the best kind, because being loyal to King Jesus will compel us to be good subjects of Queen Elizabeth. You see to be a good Christian is to be a good Canadian. Both our faith and our constitution value liberty. Which is why we should always speak in favour of freedom, human rights and accommodation – after all we seek it ourselves. But friends it is not enough to seek it only for ourselves.

Yes we must stand for the right of Adventists to keep their day of rest, but we share that day with the Jewish community and we must stand with them when they need the day of rest. We should also stand with the devout Roman Catholic who wants to be free from worldly work to attend Mass on Sunday, the Muslim who wants to attend prayers on Friday, the Sikh who does not wish to remove his turban, or even the Atheist who wants to sing a different line than God keep our land when he sings the national anthem.

Friends liberty is only true when the individuals are free to choose that which we would consider to be wrong, and it is no threat to us when they exercise their freedoms. And we will never change anyone’s mind by attempting to force our way by law if one is in government, by policy if one is an employer, or by pressure if one has influence.

It is not our place to enforce our beliefs, only to seek the freedom with which to practice them, and unless we are content with hypocrisy we must seek the exact same standard of liberty for others that we do for ourselves, especially when the liberty they seek would not also benefit us in any way.

Or as Jesus said – Love your enemies, for if you love only those who love you – what reward do you have? How then, if not by political or social force, are we to shine as the light of the world that Jesus called us to be? Well I think it was well summed up by a former leader of one of the other great free nations of the world when at his inauguration in January of 1961 when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy of the United States said

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”.

It is through service to our country, a service which starts when the love of Jesus fills our hearts with a desire to seek the welfare of our fellow man, that we become that city on a hill which cannot be hidden.

One cannot deny that the call of Christ is a call to service to one’s neighbour.

And it is through that unselfish expression of Christ’s love, in service to our fellow man that we become both good citizens of our temporary and permanent homelands. So yes, get involved in our community. Do as our scripture for the day (Proverbs 31:8-9) said and speak up for those who have no voice, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

There are those who say that the gospel should not descend into simply being a movement for social justice; and I agree it is more than mere social action – but we cannot forget that we have a God-given duty to those who are not as well off as ourselves.

Whether it be the poor nations of the world who we serve through Development Agencies, the poor communities of Canada which we serve through various community services, or even the poor within our own church family – we must seek to defend their rights and help as we are gifted with resources and abilities. And yes I said abilities. Giving money is not the only way to help, and in many cases it is not even the best way to help.

After all not all poverty is monetary.

It is true, we live in a monetary society and every person needs money for food, clothing and shelter – but did Jesus call us only to meet the bare minimum standard of life? No he said that he came to give life more abundantly, and therefore as his body we too must seek not only to ensure life, but offer quality of life.

Let me give you an example; the Bible places a special duty on caring for our children. So yes, we should send money overseas to feed the starving children of Africa, but we should also take time to impact the lives of children here for good too.

Now I have a great deal of respect for my Mother, she has taken in countless children over the years as a foster parent and put her blood, sweat and tears into ministering to them. She is my hero; however what makes one a hero is they do something that is extra-ordinary, not something that everyone can do. Not everyone is gifted or called to be a parent to those whose parents can’t care for them. But there are other ways to help, that don’t require as intense a commitment as people like my Mom make.

You can be a big brother or a big sister, you can be a mentor, you can volunteer at your kids’ school, you can lend a hand in the children’s Sabbath School or Sunday School classes right at your own church. I know for a fact that our leaders downstairs will not turn down an offer of help, even once a month.

And friends – service need not be a major sacrifice – but it will be a sacrifice of some sort. It means that you may need to give up an hour of your free time, and yes that’s hard to do in this busy world where free time seems to disappear faster than a BC snowstorm. But ask yourself what that sacrifice will mean for those you are serving. Life is getting harder, but that should not be an excuse. Let me share with you a quote from our head of state, the Queen.

“When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.

Well friends – the Bible commands us to be courageous too, recall Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Remember, the Bible doesn’t promise us that life will be easy, but that there is no test we cannot pass, that there is nothing we are called to do that we cannot do, and that never will God leave our side.

Yes this world is going to get worse before it gets better, but that does not excuse us from our responsibility to always try to make it a better place. After all we are the light of the world, and in great darkness a single light burns even brighter. So my friends, as we celebrate the birthday of our country, whether it’s your motherland or your home of choice – remember the value of service to your community and love for your neighbour. They are your duty, both as a Canadian and a Christian.

So God Keep Our Land, Glorious and Free! Pray for our leaders, that they will lead us justly. Praise God for the many blessings he bestows upon us through the nation he has set up. Take joy in the vast natural beauty as a testament to the living God.

And as we close I want to leave you with a word from a humble prairie preacher who took the call to service and made it his life’s goal. This man later became the leader of a major political party and several years after his death was chosen as the Greatest Canadian.I am of course referring to The Honourable Tommy Douglas, I leave you with his thought;

“Courage, my friends; ’tis not too late to build a better world”

Love The Sinner, That Is All

Love the sinner, hate the sin. We’ve all heard this expression before – many of us have probably even used it. Well where did it come from? Go ahead, take a trip over to BibleGateway.com and type it into the search field. Check every version of the bible you can find, and when you’re done you might be surprised to find that this is not a Bible verse. In fact, the quote is from Ghandi, it is from his autobiography. And the funny thing is, it’s an incomplete quote at that – this is the full quote.

Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world.

This is my first problem with the idea. It sounds so good and harmless – but far too often I’ve seen it where people say they love the sinner – but their actions speak and show that even if somewhere deep down they do, their hatred of the sin is what comes across. It’s often used as a cop-out for judgmental statements and nasty rhetoric – and this is something I have a problem with. As Christians, are we supposed to be known for our judgement of others and our harsh treatment of sinners? Is that what Jesus was known for? No – of course not, Jesus was known for his compassion and mercy, and it seems the worse the sin the greater his love. This is why the Apostle Paul could write:

“Yet where sin was powerful, God’s kindness was even more powerful.” Romans 5:20

My other problem with the expression is this – only half of it is biblical, now to be fair I don’t expect it to be since Ghandi wasn’t a Christian – but it seems to have worked its way into our faith. The part about loving the sinner; that’s perfectly biblical:

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all! But since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15-16

“But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.” Romans 5:8

“Love others as much as you love yourself.” Matthew 22:39

But then we reach the pesky half about hating sin. Now this can be a touchy subject. I know a lot of people who are convinced that part of the Christian’s duty is to witness to the devastation of sin, to be bold in “calling sin by it’s right name” and to defend the church and the world from the perils of sin. And they have their share of Bible verses too:

“Love the LORD and hate evil!” Psalm 97:10

“If you respect the LORD, you will hate evil.” Proverbs 8:13

“Hate everything that is evil” Romans 12:9

So yes it is biblical to hate evil (sin). By no means am I suggesting we ignore it and hope it just goes away. Sin is real, and it does destroy, so much so that the Bible tells us it leads to death. But I put it to you that in the context of the following two verses, that we have no authority to hate the sin of another, that is unless we are already perfect.

“First, take the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

“If any of you have never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her!” John 8:7

You see, if there was one sin Jesus did call out – it was hypocrisy. With the prostitutes, tax collectors and thieves Jesus was nothing but patient and kind; but with the religious leaders of the day who preached that they were better than the people around them – Jesus let them have it with both barrels. I can say with as much conviction as I’ve ever had that if Jesus were walking this earth today, he would have the same to say for The Church now as he did then. It’s not our place to make ourselves morally superior, it’s not our place to pass judgement, it’s not even our place to be calling out and naming sin, the Bible says that is the work of the Holy Spirit – and I for one have enough faith in him to do it without my help.

“The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God’s justice and the judgment.” John 16:8

No my Christian brothers and sisters – It’s not our job to go around hating the sins of others. It’s not our place to tell people that they are living sinful lives. It’s not our place to hate the sin. The commandment Jesus gave us was to love others.

That command is in no way excused, qualified nor abridged by the words, actions or nature of those others.

We are compelled to be a shining example of Jesus love, and that’s all. We have no biblical right to hate sin anywhere but in our own lives. That is the job of the Holy Spirit, and I am convicted to remind you brothers and sisters that there is only one sin which is unforgivable and that is to speak against the Holy Spirit – which is exactly what our actions do when we take it upon ourselves to do his work for him.

“I tell you that any sinful thing you do or say can be forgiven. Even if you speak against the Son of Man, you can be forgiven. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven, either in this life or in the life to come.” Matthew 12:31-32

Brothers, Sisters – we have an obligation as Christians to love as Jesus loved. There is no exemption from that whether the people we meet are of another faith or no faith at all, whether they are gay, whether they use drugs, whether they steal from us, or even kill us; after all wasn’t Jesus already hanging on the cross when he said “Forgive Them”? That’s the job he gave us, convicting people of sin – that’s the Holy Spirit’s job, not ours.

We are to be just, even to the unjust; we are to be kind, even to the unkind; we are to be merciful, even to the merciless; We are to love, even the most hateful.

Football Theology

Sorry for missing a few days of blogging. Had a busy week putting together a community service expo for my church last week.

So the football world lately has been all abuzz with talk about an alliteratively named Quarterback in Denver. Yes of course I am talking about Tim Tebow and my interest is both as a preacher and a football fan. On both counts I like Tebow – I think he’s a good kid and good quarterback too. I do like how he is not ashamed to share his faith with the world – it’s a good example for other Christian men who think it might not be manly to be open about your faith. How much more manly can you get than a pro football player? And by the way, Tim Tebow is not the only football player to be open about his faith. Reggie White (a defensive end for the Eagles and Packers in the 80s and 90s) was a pastor in addition to being one of the hardest hitting linemen in the game, Kurt Warner (Superbowl champ in 2000) and Tony Dungy (Champ as a player in 1979 and Coach 2007) are also known for their faith. Why even yours truly, I have lost count of how many times I’ve won Heisman Trophies and Superbowls on my X-Box.

So really Tim Tebow is joining some good company as both a winner on the field and an unashamed Christian role-model.

But what worries me is the talk I hear on the radio and all over the internet that simply because Tim Tebow is a Christian that God has picked a favourite and that favourite is the Denver Broncos. Well at least up until this weekend. God has certainly blessed Tebow with the opportunity to do what he loves and be good at it, but beyond that I think that the results of the Florida Gators and Denver Broncos are the product of the hard-work of their players and not intervention from on high. Tebow is right to thank God for many things – but when it comes to the playoff run he should probably thank his Offensive Line. Besides, if the results of the games were decided in the courts of heaven – why would he choose to let the Patriots be the ones to keep Tebow and the Broncos humble – anyone but the Patriots! If I were God, and decided to influence football games I’m not sure I would bless the Broncos – but I certainly would punish the Patriots!

Seriously though, God loves Tim Tebow, Tom Brady and every other player, fan and person equally.

All of this seems to be born out of an ignorance of the way God works. First of all God doesn’t play favourites. The Bible is full of passages that tell us how God treats all humanity equally. So why would God pick a side in a sporting event, a war, an election or anything else that we do here? God is not a Broncos Fan, a flag-waver or a conservative.

God doesn’t have any favorites! Romans 2:11

He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. Matthew 4:45

The second relevant point here is that God has given humanity free will. The results of our works are highly dependent on our own effort and choice. Yes God does bless when we do things to his honour and glory – but that is different from him picking sides. I think it’s really important for us to make this distinction. Because if we assume that God is dictating the results of everything that takes place in this world then we create a distorted picture of God. We create a God who is arbitrary and controlling, and also a God who cannot make up his mind. That’s not the God of the Bible, it’s not the God who walked among us as Jesus and it’s not the God who continues to inspire us by his spirit. God is fair and equitable, he doesn’t take sides and he doesn’t play favourites.

Tim Tebow – Thank you for sharing your faith in Jesus, Sportscasters – please get to know God a little better before you start attributing the results of football games to him.

What If Jesus Came Back Like That

There is a great song out there by Collin Raye called What if Jesus Comes Back Like That. In the first two verses it describes a homeless man and a drug-addicted baby girl and it asks the question – what if Jesus came back like that? Then he reminds us that Jesus came the first time under very meagre circumstances – he had a great affinity with the poor! The song then closes like this:

What if Jesus comes back like that
Where will he find out hearts are at
Will he let us in or turn his back
Hey what if Jesus comes back like that
Yeh what if Jesus comes back like that
Will he cry when he sees where our hearts are at
Will he let us in or turn his back
Hey what if Jesus comes back like that
Oh what if Jesus comes back like that

Well it’s a stirring reminder, at least to me, of the importance of being loving and kind, even to those who aren’t entirely like us. There is no shortage of Bible verses that tell us that God desires mercy from his people, that he cares for every living being and that he has a special compassion for the down-trodden. And I hate to say it, but we in the so-called Christian Nations are bringing ourselves into judgement by our terrible treatment of the poor.

But friends where our cruel societies fail – that is where we who profess to believe in Jesus need to pick up the slack. We need to be the ones who are out there feeding the hungry, giving a drink to the thirsty, welcoming the strangers, clothing the naked, taking care of the sick and visiting the incarcerated. It’s not good enough to say “That’s what welfare is for”, “They made their choice now let them live with it” or “We’ll always have the poor with us.”

The state will never meet all the needs, not every down-trodden person had a choice and even those who did still need the love of Jesus and well yes we will always have the poor with us; hallelujah!

Did I really just praise the Lord that we will always have the poor with us? Yes I did – not because I am happy that they are poor. But because I am glad that we will never run out of opportunities to serve Jesus. You know, our salvation is based on our faith – but we can’t really trust our feelings to say that we have faith until we have evidence of it. Well what evidence is there – I think it’s quite simple.

When we do the things Jesus would do, say the things Jesus would say and love the way Jesus would love – then we have evidence that we have faith in him.

So what does this have to do with a hobo or a crack-addicted baby? It’s really quite simple – Jesus loves them, he would run to them, he would help them with their needs and he would have a kind word for them. Yet some will still get hung up on the word-picture of saying that Jesus is a hobo or a drug-baby. Yes it’s true – Jesus next coming will be a universal event, but the song isn’t trying to teach about the second coming. It’s asking if we would treat people the same if we looked at them and thought about Jesus – something he himself said.

Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me. Mat 25:40

Something In The Holy Water Down In Kansas

From the outset I want to admit that I’ve never been to Kansas, and other than recent media attention I’ve never known anything about it except that apparently little girls can get back there from the Land of Oz by clicking the heels of their ruby slippers together and saying there’s no place like home. From that same authoritative source – I must presume that Kansas does not have yellow brick roads, munchkins or a lollipop guild, as those were the things to which Dorothy reacted “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” But lately Kansas, apparently the Sunflower State, has been attracting a different kind of attention.

It would appear that the quaint prairie state which was once home to Dorothy, Toto and Auntie Em is now filled with hateful fundamentalists who do an incredible disservice to the Christian Faith.

Ok – I should be fair, the state is not FILLED with them, and in fact I am sure they are in the minority – but there are two prominent ones. I read an article in the news today that the Speaker of Kansas’ House of Representatives (which is a more prominent person than a Canadian Provincial Legislature Speaker) has gone and prayed for President Obama’s death. And of course one can’t bring up Kansas and krazy without making mention of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist “Church”. For those of you who aren’t aware they are the ones who go around saying “God hates f**s, Jews, America, Canada and pretty much everyone else too).

I wonder if Toto peed in the Holy Water down in Kansas?

Ok, I’m sorry I shouldn’t be making light of this so much. If not for any other reason than this – it’s not a laughing matter. But stuff like this (praying for the death of a President, or preaching hatred) is simply unchristian. I apologize to Kansas for painting you with this label – I’m sure you’re a great state. It’s really these fundamentalists who take their beliefs to an extreme so far disconnected from the original message that they have lost it entirely.

Friends – God has no will to leave Malia and Sasha Obama fatherless, even if Speaker O’Neal wishes it were so. And whatever happened to render unto Caesar, submit to every human authority and there being no authority except by God’s appointment? Now in every case – I’ve always believed that is more accurately applied to our systems as opposed to the individuals occupying those offices. But no where in any of that does the Bible indicate that praying for the death of a duly-elected, constitutionally abiding President is a prayer in line with the will of a God of Love.

And well to those fundamentalist groups that go around preaching hate, I’ve got 3 words for you. READ YOUR BIBLE. Even if you are a King-James Only, word for word inspiration, fire and brimstone type of Christian – the Bible still says “God is love”, it still says “For God so loved the world”, it still says that he “Is not willing that any should perish”, and it still says “Love thy neighbour”.

There is no place in Christianity for hate, nor any of it’s cousins; intolerance, condemnation and persecution.

I’m so tired of these attention grabbing false prophets getting to set the public perception of Christianity. Their message is not what Jesus taught, and it’s not what Christians should be teaching. You know what our message is: God loves you. God doesn’t look at you and see a f*g, a Jew, an American, a Canadian, a working girl or a bureaucrat – all he sees is his child, the object of his affection and someone worth dying for!

So Kansas, I’m sorry for bringing you into this but to your Speaker and your Preacher I really just want to say; Knock it off, you’ve got it all wrong and you’re making the rest of us look bad!

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