I believe, as a loving parent, God does not wish harm upon any of His children. He may be disappointed in our behaviors, hurt when we do not listen to Him as He tries to talk to us, and angry when we fight with our siblings (His other children).
I believe God has told us not to judge one another-- it is His responsibility to deal with our misbehaviors and poor choices. I am not referring to the judicial system of punishment, but the spiritual kind. Who are we to decide which one of His children are not true followers of God?
I do not pretend to be a Biblical scholar... I more or less follow the basics of His Word. I will even admit publicly I question the true accuracy of the Bible. (Hold on, I'm waiting to be struck by lightening... wait for it... wait for it... hmmm... okay, I'm still here, so I'll continue...) Why do I doubt the accuracy of the teachings of the Bible? Because over the past thousands of years, it has been rewritten and translated multiple times by imperfect children of God who have had their own bias and opinions. And I don't think any rational human being can state with all certainty these representatives of God are without imperfections. All we have to do is look at society's current population of God's "chosen leaders" to see they are as vulnerable to sin and mistakes as you and I.
But I do believe in my heart that God has certain expectations from us...
- LOVE GOD... which means respect Him and obey Him... I personally do not need the Bible or a church representative to tell me what He wants... it's mostly common sense, don't you think? The Bible and my pastor are loving guides for me, but when it comes right down to it, God directly tells me what He wants me to do. I don't need an interpreter...
- LOVE ONE ANOTHER... that doesn't mean we get to pick and choose which children we get to love. Cliques are so junior high, don't you think?? We are to love His children of color, His children who have challenges, His children who live in different countries (or states, if you are an Idahoan who has a particular animosity toward Californians!), His children who know Him by different names, His children who live in ways which are unlike the way you are living... I do not believe He has a clause that tells us to love all of His children except X, Y, and Z.
- DO UNTO OTHERS as you shall have them do unto you... that really shouldn't be that difficult. Do you want affordable health care? So do others. Do you want to be able to work at a safe job and be fairly compensated for your labor? So do others. Do you want your family and children to live in a safe neighborhood? So do others. Do you want the freedom to worship (OR NOT) in accordance to your personal beliefs? So do others. Do you want to have the freedom to marry the partner of your choice? So do others. And so on. It isn't rocket surgery... it's common sense. And God expects it of us.
So why this rant? Because I am tired of being embarrassed by certain fellow "Christians". Those who thrive on hate and foster it in others. Those who use fear and intimidation to force others to stay silent in the face of evil, to use religion to divide us into "them" and "us", and to claim use God as a reason to be cruel and hurtful to our brothers and sisters. Most don't see how their actions scream "hypocrisy" to others.
The final straw is a "joke" that is going around on Facebook. I know my friends who are posting it strive to follow God's teachings. I just don't understand how they can justify, even as a JOKE, a prayer to our Lord asking for the death of another one of His children. I don't see them joking about abortions or molesting young children... but somehow they've justified this in their souls. I can't picture one of my friends joking to their own children to murder a classmate who he/she doesn't like... because they know that would be wrong. How is this different?
I would like to ignore it and just pass it off as another example of ignorance. But I can't. I don't intend to offend or insult people who I really do like and care about, but I feel that God expects me... no, He DEMANDS me to speak up and say:
"Enough is enough, do not let them use My name in such a manner, do not let them abuse My will to amuse one another, do not let them disrespect My power."
No, I don't hear "voices"... but I do feel God speaks to me. It is His voice which gives me strength and guidance. And it is His voice which is telling me to not let this occur without defending His name.
It is not funny, people. It is blasphemy. And it needs to stop.
[I can picture my Agnostic and Atheist friends using this as yet another example of how hypocritical "Christians" are... they don't need God to tell them that wanting someone to die, even in jest, is just WRONG.]