Today, I read the following article about the Chick-fil-A fiasco, which I agreed with and posted on my Facebook timeline.

http://thepublicqueue.com/2012/what-chickfila-appreciation-day-is-really-about/

As a result, this comment, by a Facebook friend, was made:

read phil’s comment about this article and that sums up what christians really think not some reporter who is twisting a few scriptures out of the bible to prove his point. if you really want to know how a christian feels about this, phil’s comment sums it up. God bless

Normally, I would not have much to say to a comment like that; but, this one struck a bit of a nerve.  This was my response:

John 3:17 — For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Mark 12:29-31 — And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
I’m sorry, but as a fellow CHRISTIAN, I do not see where the author of this article took the Bible’s scriptures out of context. If Jesus was not sent here to condemn this world…then why do we take it upon ourselves to do so!? While the followers of Christ, and even the priests, chose to condemn and ridicule the prostitutes, liars, murderers, thieves, adulterers…Jesus chose to walk with them, to talk with them…and most of all, He chose to LOVE them.
I will take it even a step further, summing up what THIS Christian feels about this, and quote these scriptures….
Luke 6:36-37 — Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.
1 Peter 3:8-17 — Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
In Luke, Jesus tells us to be merciful – merciful, meaning to be compassionate towards another, as Christ is compassionate towards you. Do not judge, nor condemn another, if you do not want to be judged, nor condemned. Forgive, so that you may also be forgiven. That is pretty self-explanatory…and very clear and concise.
1 Peter teaches us how we, as Christians, should treat each other, as well as our enemies. While it agrees with the idea of standing united for something that you believe in…it also states that when standing united, you are to do so with compassion…courtesy…and….there’s that four letter word again….LOVE!! The scripture says… do not be vicious (evil) and do not complain by being harsh and angry (railing), just because someone else might be. On the contrary, it teaches us to speak love when others speak hate…to speak blessings, when you are being cursed.
In the last few days, I have been very disheartened by the behavior and words of some of my family, friends, and church family. Those of you who have belittled others, flicking your tongues like a serpent… why don’t you try promoting what you love, instead of bashing what you hate!? Sure, we all have a freedom of speech… and rightly so. However, how are you speaking? Are you choosing to speak with hate? Or, are you choosing to speak with sincerity, love, and with the mouth of Christ??
The Bible says again, in Psalms 34:13-14:  Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.  This, as well as in 1 Peter, is saying be careful of your words. Do not speak hurtful things. Avoid negativity and hatred. Rather, speak with kindness and peace.
“If you earnestly desire that your life should be long, and your days peaceable and prosperous, keep your tongue from reviling, evil-speaking, and slandering, and your lips from lying, deceit, and dissimulation. Avoid doing any real damage or hurt to your neighbour, but be ever ready to do good, and to overcome evil with good; seek peace with all men, and pursue it, though it retire from you. This will be the best way to dispose people to speak well of you, and live peaceably with you.’’
It is ok to take a stand for what you believe in, but do so in a way that is peaceable and for the right reasons. Think about it… Did you stand in line, at Chick-fil-a, to promote freedom of speech? Or, did you stand in line with bitterness and hatred in your hearts, because someone does not believe as you do?
If only we, as Christians, would take this kind of initiative to stand in line, giving $5 or $10, to help an orphan….a homeless man or woman….or a child who has no clothes or food. What if? Think of the difference you can make in so many lives…promoting love….rather than promoting hatred and condemnation.
If someone does not believe as you do, and you feel as they should, do not force feed it down their throats…. that will only cause regurgitation. Speak with peace. Speak with love. Pray for them. Leave it in God’s hands. Humble yourself. Live as Jesus did…. walk with those you do not agree with….talk with them….and most of all….LOVE them. You do not have to open your mind, but you must open your hearts. As HIS word says… It is better for you to suffer for well-doing, than to thrive for evil-doing. For when you seek and speak peace, with all men… you will, indeed, find peace within yourself…and you will be happy.
Again, I reiterate the two greatest commandements… LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE
While hanging on the cross between two sinners, Jesus, himself being condemned, mocked, ridiculed, beaten, and hated by many… He looked at the sinner, who asked to be remembered, and said… “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  (Luke 23:43)

Are we, as Christians, capable of that kind of love?

~Bek~

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