But I think that very often it is easier to understand the divisions within our society by who we are against instead of the positives we stand for. Even for churches. That church is against liberals. That group is against literal translations. That group is against non-Christians. This one is against being branded a denomination. That group is anti-gay. That one is against universalists and it goes on and on.
Many times within the church I have heard the quote above by Ghandi. Sometimes they reverse it to accentuate the Love portion but either way I think it's a terrible way to view how we interact. I will admit I have used it in the past numerous times and I really thought it was a great standpoint. But recently I have begun to see that we as a people cannot do this. We cannot separate our hate and love. We cannot separate the sin and the sinner. Especially when we become the victim/focus of said sin. I personally feel it is not even a very Christ-like idea to follow. Of you can probably point our a variety of Scripture to argue your point. For instance:
- Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10
- Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9
- save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies. Jude 1:23 (sometimes the end is translated as hate the sin).
I believe that Jesus truly called us to do one thing: love. And to be honest that is about the hardest thing that He could command us to do. Love God ALWAYS. Love your friends. Love your family. Love your enemy. Now that is hard. It is easy to hate. It is easy to push things down and see them as evil, dirty, unworthy. But to love all, that takes effort. It takes commitment. It takes opening oneself up and being vulnerable so that we can be the vessel for God's love to pour out into the world.
I think we just need to love. Maybe when we get that right, we can start hating things. Until then, lets just try and get the loving thing down.