Is there a more savage group than the religious? They're so proud of the fact that they get to crucify their own without batting an eyelash.
Instead of following the example and teachings of Jesus himself they hang "sinners" in the public square and invite all to look on as the sinner's hideous nature is on display.
Shining a light on other's sinful ways feeds the desire they have to be more 'holy' than everyone else. If they can show the world how wrong others are, it makes them feel like they are the advocates of God's judgment and truth on earth thus making them special in God's eyes and less likely to receive His judgement upon themselves.
They spew copious amounts of gossip and what they think to be true about someone else without knowing them, the facts surrounding the situation, or any truth about the narrative they've swallowed at all.
What they don't know is they have not been granted the right or authority to judge others at all. As a matter of fact, Jesus, the example every Christian on earth should look to for how to navigate this life, lived in total opposition to the ways of the religious savage. He actually detested them and publically insulted them to their faces.
If you can make the embodiment of love not like you, there must be an amazingly powerful reason.
He was sickened by these religious savages because they took what was supposed to be full of love, grace, and kindness and mutated it into something vile, repulsive, and disgusting! Just like today, they were using his Father's words as a bludgeoning tool to beat people into a pulp publically and to make themselves feel more powerful and righteous in their own eyes. In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus smacks them around a bit publically, in front of the people they were judging and said this about them:
- "Woe to you, 'experts in the law' and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of the bones of the dead and of everything unclean."
- "Woe to you! You are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it!”
and in five other passages Jesus calls these people:
- Blind Guides, Fools, Serpents, hypocrites, and a Generation of Vipers!
That's pretty strong language coming from the man who later endured the worst suffering imaginable and in the midst of it asked his Father to forgive them because they didn't know what they were doing.
That's because Jesus, God himself, on earth, in human form, loved people, period. It didn't matter to him what race you were, what religious background you came from, or what you did for a living. He didn't care who you hung out with, didn't care if you were a prostitute, a cripple or someone with an infectious disease. He loved people no matter where they were in life, and he even loved those that didn't believe he was God.
Jesus loved sinners! Not from a distance but in an up close and personal kind of way. It was recorded in the Gospels multiple times that Jesus would go and befriend sinners, go to their house or their friend's houses and have dinner with them. This was not because he just loved hanging around people who lived a lifestyle contrary to his Father's plan, no, it was because he LOVED them and knew that the only way for them to change was to be a true friend to them and show them love in a real and life-changing way. Guess what? It worked! These people were changed forever, repented of their sins, and followed him. No amount of judging them from a distance or by publicly shaming them could have gotten those results.
I am truly saddened and heartbroken to the point of tears while writing this. I am overwhelmed and sickened by the unrelenting agenda of the religious savages of our day. They still hang out in the center of the city square (Facebook and social media) where everyone can hear them as they berate and bash those who aren't like them. They still try and make themselves feel holier than every other Christian by dragging those who can't defend themselves into the town square and flogging them publicly for sins they're not even sure they committed. They still think it's their job to be a bullhorn to the world of other's sins while safeguarding all the sins pinned up in themselves. They would never be caught befriending a sinner and would NEVER consider having dinner or hanging out with a group of them in their house, just to show them love and show them that there is a Father who loves them more than anyone ever could or ever will.
If you are reading this and you're guilty of blindly posting things online that shine a light on other's sins without knowing 100% that the claims about the person are true, take a good hard look at yourself and know that there is forgiveness, repentance, and a way to move forward in love. Stop doing it! Even if you ARE 100% certain of the other person's sins, especially another Christian's sins, why would you publically shame them? Jesus wouldn't do it, didn't do it, and therefore neither should you if you consider yourself a Christian ... unless of course you want to be known as a blind guide, fool, serpent, hypocrite, viper, or a tomb with dead men's bones on the inside.
I'll be the very first to admit that I am a sinner and have so many issues in my life that I'm working out with Jesus in the context of my real and personal relationship with him. He's loving me through it and I am slowly but surely seeing a change because of his love. If there's one thing that I'm learning from being outside of the institutional religious church, it is this... I am day by day trying to come to a place where His love directs me in all I do. It's very painful and I feel like I am going through a huge pharisaical detox program complete with religious withdraws I've learned several important things on this journey so far and one resounding truth is this: