In the video below John Green asks,
Can you be a Christian without damning those who aren’t?
It’s not a question that we as Christians should ask ourselves, it’s a question that we need to ask ourselves daily.
What and How the Church loves
We have to be careful about what we love of course, but we also have to be careful about how we love it. So for me, I guess it’s not mostly about whether you love a k-pop band or a sports team; it’s about whether that love sustains you and connects you deeply to others and also about whether that needs to create Outsiders in order to survive.
This got me to thinking about how Jesus says in John 13:35, “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
They will know us by our love.
The Church does not need to create Outsiders in order to survive.
We are people brought together by our love for God, and for others. There should be no “outsiders” and “insiders” when it comes to being Christ followers.
But the truth is that we don’t always love what we should, e.g we love commandments, rules, and laws more than people. And we don’t love how we should all the time, and we let biases, prejudices, and preconceived ideas keep us from loving people as Jesus loves them.
When John shared that,
As a religious person I’ve seen how my own religious tradition has created and demonized Outsiders to solidify the standing and connectedness of insiders. I’ve seen the same thing happen in football, in YouTube fandoms, and political ideologies, and many other places.
I realized just how easy being known for loving something can lead to being known for hating something.
What if the Church was known for loving everyone? And I mean, everyone— be they, gay, Atheist, Muslim, immigrant, refugee, black, transgender, disabled, Jew, homeless, white, racist, addicted, incarcerated, homophobic— no exceptions. And what if the Church was known for how we love? Not just with our words and actions, but by being an open, welcoming, and safe place for anyone and everyone.
We’ll be known by our love.