October is a lovely month. I was in Lowes yesterday and there were both Halloween decorations and Christmas Trees. I have been walking the beautiful campus of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale for 43 years and have seldom witnessed what I did a little over an hour ago. A man asserting that he was, ‘A Child of God,’ speaking loudly to around 100 students as he characterized them as, ‘Whores’ and ‘Sodomites.’ He went on to contend that since he did what the Bible said for him to do…he was loved and protected by God…and that the angry crowd listening to him was bound for destruction. A woman who was acting as a spokesperson for the group of maligned students asked how many of the group had been church members but due to being abused and hurt by churches had ceased to attend…almost everyone raised their hands.
I was highly impressed with the students standing up to vile hate speech that the faux preacher of evil espoused. As I listened to several of the students speak to each other regarding the mean and hurtful pronouncements that they were hearing…they ruminated aloud as to why the speaker was doing what he was doing and what did he think that he was accomplishing. His invectives certainly were not a catalyst for the audience to want to partake of the abuse and pain that was obviously his lot.
‘This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.’ John 15:12. KJV
Hate defines many of what are called churches. If you are somewhat different than the congregations narrow view of God’s Love and the message of Jesus…then you are made to feel unwelcome and marginalized by the Pharisees in the pews. I have noticed throughout my 52 year experience with christianity and people seeking faith…that what we need desperately is a bigger table to sit down together and break bread and learn of each other.