Beacons of Love
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1 John 4:20
Why do people who aren’t Christians hate us? They look at us and say “You’re just a bunch of Bible thumpers who are homophobic and you don’t love anybody.”
We’ve brought that on ourselves. We’ve got gay people out there pushing for gay rights and gay marriage, and we’ve got Christians saying “God hates you.” I get so angry because that’s not true. God loves you. Jesus walks with the gay community. I think He would say, “I love you just as I love someone who is not gay. I love you as a human being. I just love you.”
Do I personally think that Jesus would have approved of that lifestyle? No, I don’t think He would, because the Bible says He doesn’t. But that does not mean that He doesn’t love them. It does not mean that I can’t hang out and just say, “Hey, I differ in my opinion, but I love you as a human being.” And maybe if more of us did that, Christians wouldn’t be so hated everywhere we go.
I don’t think we’re showing the love of Jesus. I think we want to push our own agendas so much that we have quit loving people.
Do we love our neighbors as ourselves? A buddy pointed out to me that we’ve built backyard fences, and we no longer build porches. Is it because we don’t want to love our neighbor as ourselves? Here’s what our fences say: We want to be in our own area. Don’t look at me, don’t talk to me, don’t speak to me, give me my privacy.
Where are the front porches, where people come over and have lemonade and hang out and talk and enjoy each other and just be a community? We’ve gone so far away from that.
Churches need to quit going out fifteen miles from a city, buying a big chunk of land, building a humongous church, and then telling people, “Come to us.” What is that? That doesn’t make sense.
The Church needs to go to them. We need to be with them.
That’s where Jesus is! That’s where I think He would walk. Jesus said all the time, “You call me a drunk and a glutton because I hang with sinners. I hang in the bars, I hang in the slums, or I eat with people that aren’t your people.”
He said it to the religious leaders all the time. “You guys think you’re so great. I don’t even want to hang out with you people. I’d rather hang out with sinners.” Sinners loved Jesus! But do sinners love Christians?
As Christians and as a church, we have to change. We have got to start loving our neighbors. We have got to start setting the captives free. We have got to start feeding the poor. We have got to do more things, man.
It’s all about community. We need to be helping and providing. We should be the leaders in our communities for the simple reason that we just straight, flat-out love our neighbors. We could be beacons of love.