It all started with a meme. A hideous image of a person submerged in lava, hands stretched over the pained expression on her face. The caption read, “The question is NOT ‘Why would a loving God send anyone to hell.’ The question is ‘Why would anyone choose hell over a loving God.'” I did my normal thing. I rolled my eyes and scrolled on by. But the meme stuck with me. It gnawed at my brain. It irritated me and I couldn’t think of why. (Other than the fact that most non-church folk would find it foolish and ridiculous).
But, you see, tonight it came to me why that meme got under my skin so much. I wasn’t convicted. I didn’t feel guilty. It didn’t scare me. I was angry.
I was angry because that question is asked by people who claim to worship a very loving and kind God. This is the God I worship. This is the God I love. These people are talking about MY God.
But these same Christians also like to point out how the poor are lazy, the addict is weak, and the homosexual is an abomination. I’ve done the same “eye roll and scroll on by” nearly daily to posts that come through my Facebook feed defending political policies that would hurt the marginalized, risk the health of the poor, and hurt refugee children. I see meme after meme, article after article, comment after comment, coming from these same Christians in support of these things.
I’ve seen comments appear defending our current president as he blatantly lies, attacks people who challenge him, and blames everyone else for his struggles. “We need to give him a chance.” “The press is being unfair like never before.” “We Christians are to pray for and defend our president.”
I will accept that we are to pray for our leaders. That was clearly taught in the Bible.
But I have yet to find any scripture passage where Jesus implored His followers to defend Caesar. I see no evidence of the disciples being taught to come to the aid of those in power. Jesus did not go on a speaking tour to drum up support for Rome and it’s policies.
Jesus sought out the marginalized.
Jesus ate with despised tax collectors. Jesus touched the leper even though this would have made him unclean in the sight of the church. Jesus healed the hemorrhaging woman without concern for what others would think. Jesus forgave the adulterous woman and scolded the crowd who was all-too-willing to kill her by personally throwing stones at her until she crumbled to the ground. Jesus welcomed children to come to him when other adults tried to brush them away. Jesus fed the hungry crowd.
Jesus displayed pure love. Why would anyone turn away from a loving God like that? Huh? Maybe that meme was right after all!
“We may be the only God that someone sees today.”
Ever hear that phrase?
We may be the only God that someone sees today…..
We may be the only God that someone reads the posts of today.
We may be the only God that a hurting LGBT person hears rant about those crazy trans people in the military today.
We may be the only God that reacts with anger at the article about paying for someone else’s housing or food through our taxes today.
We may be the only God that types out that “addicts chose their lifestyle so we should just let them overdose” today.
We may be the only God who our struggling neighbor hears mutter about that undeserving lady with the SNAP card at the grocery store today. Did you see what she bought?!?!
We may be the only God that the teen struggling with their sexuality sees laugh as the effeminate guy walks by today.
We may be the only God who fawns over the nicely dressed child while ignoring the little girl with the hand me down stained pants today.
We may be the only God the woman who had an abortion hears call those people awful baby killers today. We may be the only God who doesn’t care to hear the story behind the choices she made today.
We may be the only God who consistently complains about our rights today.
We may be the only God who is quick to be offended by different views today.
We may be the only God who harshly criticizes poor choices instead of reaching to help the homeless person today.
We may be the only God who claims to love while displaying judgement and superiority today.
Would you choose a God like that? Would you listen to anything they had to say? I would run far away from that God. I would scoff at those who claimed to follow him. I would be astonished that they could think of themselves as loving and kind. I would not believe a word they said after observing all that hypocrisy.
I do not like your God. Please stop tainting mine.