You all have heard the expression concerning the "one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch." That analogy relates to so many different facets of our lives.
No more is this true than with so-called "Christian organizations" out there that preach the gospel of hate.
The reason I'm addressing this is because one such group is making noise again. I don't really want to name them because I don't want to bring anymore credability to their cause. Let's just say that they hail from a town in Kansas.
Anyway, they come preaching the "Word of God" and claim to speak for Him. They have protested at funerals for our brave fallen servicemen and women, saying that "God killed them because gays are allowed in the military." How sick and perverse! Apparently shame isn't something they were taught in their "church."
Are these people followers of Jesus? No! The proof is in what they preach.
Jesus Himself said "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:15-20 KJV)
Jesus is saying that you can tell His followers by what fruits that they produce. What kind of feelings does their message produce? Rage, hatred, defiance...these are not the good fruits that Jesus wants us to sow. Just by their own message, they are corrupt.
I guess I just want to bring to people's mind that these people can be considered the "bad apples." Their message of "God hates gays" isn't one of Jesus Christ.
In fact, that message is diabolically opposed to the teaching of Christ. If you read the Bible, you will see clearly that Jesus didn't associate with the "religious zealots" of the time. He didn't hang out with the uppity, in-crowds. Most of the time, He hung with the sinners. Why?
Because Jesus came into the world to save it! Jesus said:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16-17 KJV)
That is powerful! Did He say that it was ok to sin and continue in it? No, of course not. He reproved them. But Jesus knew what His role was and how men could find their way back to God through Him.
This is clear when the woman accused of adultery was before Jesus in the Book of John chapter 8. The people were ready to stone her according the old law. Jesus stopped them and turned the tables on them saying "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7 NIV)
Jesus went to say "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:11 NIV)
God hates sin! But God loves us more than He hates sin. The reason we need to be forgiven is because we can't enter into His Holy place while sin still is a part of us. Sin, put simply, is separation from God.
God sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins because nothing that we could ever do would be enough to blot out the sin from our souls. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice!
Let's bring this all back to our topic at hand. God hates sin, not the sinner! He doesn't laugh when tragedy falls upon us. We were created by Him so He could love us forever.
This is the true message of the love of God through Jesus Christ. Remember that when faced with ignorant people that twist His precious name into something terrible. Take heart in knowing that they are some bad apples that need the same saving power of Jesus that the defiant people that shake their fists at God need.
They don't speak for other Christians. In the words of Jesus, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Pray for them, that's what Christ wants us to do for people like that. Pray that the scales fall from their eyes and that their understanding is opened.
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)