so i've been reading this book called "Addicted To Hate". it's about Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. please don't look them up, cause in my research i've determined that Phelps and his family (who make over 80% of his church congregation of like 50 people) are nothing more than what i like to call media pigs.
basically, Phelps and Phamily have taken it upon themselves to call to everyone's attention how much God hates Americans and our abominable ways. they protest everything from fallen American soldiers memorial services to holocaust museums. they're particularly known for their staunch anti-homosexual stance, and their inflammatory language toward that community.
as Christians, we know that there are things going on in this world that God doesn't like or care for. for instance, i can drive down the street right here in East Ridge and pass an "adult" bookstore not three lights from the station that sells all kinds of stuff that God is none to pleased about. do i feel it is my Christian duty to head down there and picket the place and call anyone stepping into the building a "dirty old man" or "sexual deviant" or what have you?
no, no i don't at all.
as Christians, Jesus himself tells us not to judge others and to leave that to the God. Billy Graham once said,
"it's the Holy Spirit's job to convict, God's job to judge, and it's my
job to love."
what better picture of how to be a Christian than what Billy Graham said.
picture this with me if you will, you drink alcohol. a LOT of alcohol. you get drunk on a regular basis. i don't know you, but i come up to you as you're drunk one night and say, "hey, you know, over drinking like this is really a sin. God said so in his Bible, and you need to quit doing this. now!"
you'd probably punch me in the face and tell me to mind my own business. and you know what, i'd say you're right. how can we expect to minister to someone when we're pointing out all their flaws to them left and right? i wouldn't listen to you if you told me how bad a person i am, and then tell me YOU were the one who had this awesome guy you knew that could make me so much better like you had become. i'd think you were a stuck-up, snobby know-it-all.
it's only through building relationships in love, and those close friendships that we earn the privilidge of helping our brothers and sisters through the struggles they have in their own life. that's what friends are for. so as Christians, we need to approach everyone in love, God's love! rather than carrying signs and calling out people on their sins, we need to love them and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting, and God do the judging. we, as Christians, need to be addicted to love.