Monday, March 8, 2010

There is no room for prejudice in the Kingdom of Jesus.

"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself,"you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers" (James 2:1-9).

This past week I was witness to discrimination. A Catholic school denied entry to a child whose parents were lesbians. One of the arguments given by the school is that they were following the teachings of Jesus.
Did Jesus Ever Condemn Homosexuality?
There is no New Testament record of where Jesus explicitly stated that homosexuality is wrong. If you believe that homosexuality is something you are born with, not a life choice, then you cannot assume that Jesus would have condemned it. There are many difference we recognize in each other as being OK; eye color, hair color, skin color, height, weight, smart, not-smart, just to name a few. Then why would a difference in sexual orientation cause such a problem for people.
If your are prejudice against homosexuality, own it, don't try to blame it on Jesus.
Jesus had love for all. He did not discriminate against any group. As a matter of fact, Jesus sought out those people who needed love, because no one else loved them. So, do not attribute to Jesus the characteristic of prejudice that belongs to us. We discriminate, we are prejudice, we hate, we have little tolerance. We must own this, but that does not mean that we should not work to change these destructive traits in our character.
I encourage all who wish to be good disciples of Jesus, to read the entire letter of James in the Bible. James tell it like it is.
Further, I don't think that it was the intention of the people who put together the Scriptures, that it be used to hurt people. That could not possibly be Jesus' teachings. He came to heal us, not to condemn us. If you read the four Gospels, you will find that Jesus only took issue with the Scribes and Pharases because of their judging and condemning ways. They were hurting his people, not loving them.
The teachings of Jesus are loving, kind, compassionate, tolerant, and forgiving. Those who try to use his teachings to condemn people, just don't get it. Don't let it be you.

Peace and love,

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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