The self-righteous protester’s sign is etched in my mind. His assertion offends me, and I can’t shake it; I don’t even want to report the words. This person claims: “Jesus hates fags.” The memory of this appalls me; I shudder at the thought.
This is a lie, a brazen lie. Anyone who really knows Jesus would know this isn’t true. Jesus loves everyone, regardless of his or her situation or life status.
If you don’t believe me read about Jesus in the Bible. He never says he hates anyone, and he never tells his followers to hate anyone, either. What Jesus does teach, what he commands us to do, is to love.
We should even go so far as to love people who hate us and the people who attack us (Luke 6:27, Matthew 5:44).
Jesus never shows hatred. Instead he models compassion. He demonstrates love to everyone he meets. In fact, he goes out of his way to show love to the people on the fringes of society, the people who “proper” folks dismiss.
Jesus doesn’t hate anyone; he loves everyone, including the homosexual, especially the homosexual. If I were to make a sign, it would tell about Jesus’s unrestrained, universal love: “Jesus Loves Everyone.”
Jesus doesn’t criticize the people who society dismisses and pushes to its edges. Instead he makes a point to spend time with them. He hangs out with them, and when he has anything to say, he merely says—to them and to all—turn your life around and follow me.
This could be another sign: “Follow Jesus.”
There is however one group Jesus does criticize, and it’s not who you might think. He reserves his criticism, his sharpest rebukes, for the religious teachers who lead the people astray. He doesn’t hate them, but their actions do frustrate him, just like the protester with his foolish sign.
Who would Jesus make a point to spend time with today? What would you say to the protester with his hate-filled sign?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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