If you were asked the question, “whom should you love”; I am pretty sure 99% of Christians would answer, “everyone”, but do we love everyone as Jesus would have? I have heard the story of a guy who was comparing going to an Alcoholics Anonymous session for the first time to going to church for the first time. His report was that at AA he was welcomed and accepted like a long lost son, but at church everyone turned round to stare at his tatty clothes, gave him a dirty look, and then got back on with the service.
THAT IS NOT REFLECTING GOD’S LOVE.
The church these days is too judgmental about the appearance of people who Jesus died for. We have now got to the stage where anyone at church who is not wearing really smart clothing is not accepted as being welcomed, although they perhaps can’t afford it. (Some people claim that wearing scruffy clothing at church disrespects God but as he sees you all the time it’s not like he has never seen you in older clothes). James 2:2-4 says: “For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?”
I have also recently seen at a youth event that some people who had been seen outside church swearing at people came in to the youth event, and some people were annoyed at them for coming in, but I am sure that Jesus was delighted that they were there. WE SHOULD WELCOME PEOPLE INTO THE CHURCH, but what is the point of telling them that Jesus loves them if we do not show them love.
Equality is an issue that has been at the centre of a couple of big news stories recently too…
Tony Campolo, a famous preacher, has recently announced that he has changed his stance on Gay Marriage, saying that Gay people should be welcomed into the Church. He is right that we should welcome all into church, but that does not mean that we should agree with Gay Marriage, as the Bible clearly says that it is a sin. However we should still love them as Jesus would have.
2. You may or may not have heard about the recent FIFA corruption story (FIFA is the leading government in Football), but what I think is so corrupt about the organisation is the fact that so far 1,200 people have died building stadiums for the World cup in 2022. That is 1,200 people whom God loves who have died to make a building for a couple of hundred other people to play sport in. (And this is coming from someone who loves football.) Also imagine if the 1,200 best footballers in the world had died just to build somewhere for the workers to use their talents, the world would be in uproar; So is it fair that all these workers have died just because there talents are not as sought after in the world?
A question to finish with. All the people mentioned in this post (The ex alcohol addict, the teenagers off the street, Gay people, the workers in Qatar, and the world cup footballers), what do they all have in common? The answer is that God would have died for them all if they were the only people on the earth.
Jesus loves all people equally, so we should too.