- John 3:16 says for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. The key word in this verse is love. With recent and seemingly intractable terrorism and police brutality, our country’s citizens are becoming increasingly intolerant toward others appearing different and having religious diversity. We cannot evangelize others if our behavior is contrary to Christian ethics. Disparaging others practicing diverse religions is not Christian. Inciting others to violence does not settle issues. Let’s love one another in spite of actual or perceived differences.
Recently, while walking in NYC, I came across a church marquis that said, “Join the revolution to drive the sodomite, interlopers, freaks and slave master land grabbers out of Harlem. Kings 23:7.” I was offended that a pastor would advertise such abhorrent and disdainful speech to the world. He was hoping to attract a certain segment of society to his church by looking for black racists and haters of gays and lesbians. The scripture reference had nothing to do with his statement. Jesus loved the world, yet he did not promote sin. He went into all the world to preach the gospel. I know there are passages against homosexuality and against other sinful behaviors, but we are commanded in Romans 12:18 to live at peace with everyone as much as it depends upon us. Additionally, the Bible commands us to love. Jesus is our paragon of virtue, showing us the true example of love and exhorting us to emulate him.
Thus, according to the Bible in Ephesians 6, we are commanded to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. We are to put on the full armor of God, so that we can take our stand against the devil’s scheme. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.
Let us therefore fight with the sword of the spirit instead of with “artificial weaponry” or with disparaging words. God uses his servants to accomplish his goals. God commands us to put on the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. After we have done what is humany possible, let’s stand on the word of God. Let’s join the body of Christ in working toward likemindedness in Christ. It’s the right thing to do.
“Vulgarity is no substitution for wit”- Julian Fellows
For further reflection and study: John 3:-6; Ephesians 6:10-18; Romans 12