Good morning all my little minions! I am so excited to be here writing to you! I struggled forever trying to figure out what the topic of my very first blog post would be, and trust me, I had several come to mind. However, I settled on this one because it is the closest to my heart, and I might as well open this thing with a big ol’ dose of Darla Renae (DR)! I would encourage you to read my “About” page before this post, as it will give you a little insight as to where I’m coming from. With that being said, and without further ado, lets begin this journey!
I have heard the phrase, “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” so many times in my life, especially pertaining to the LGBT, and I have to admit, that although it sounds pretty, I’m just not sure I agree with the way it is thrown around. I think many times people catch on to a phrase, and without really stopping to think about what it actually means, adopt it as their own. I truly believe people mean well when they say it, but do they actually live it?
In order to put this into a modern day scenario, I have chosen one of my own vices to help me explain what this means to me: Pepsi. So sit back, relax, and have an ice cold Pepsi as you read the story of Katie and Laura.
Katie is a diabetic. She knows that every ounce of sugar in her body counts, and that drinking a six pack of soda all in one day is very dangerous for her. In fact, it could potentially kill her. Soda is a substance that, if she consumes it, can do a significant amount of damage to her body. Drinking that much soda would, in a sense, be a sin against her body.
Laura is not a diabetic. She is in great health. If she drinks a six pack of soda in a day, it is not going to kill her. Laura loves soda, and has no issues drinking it on a daily basis.
One day, Katie sees Laura drinking a soda. Katie freaks out. She runs over to Laura, grabs the soda out of Laura’s hands, and starts yelling at her. “Don’t you know that this can KILL you? Shame on you for drinking this!!! I can NOT BELIEVE you would drink such a thing!!! I cannot be around you OR be your friend if you’re going to drink soda!” and she storms off to go raise a campaign against soda, and starts a boycott of all the stores who sell it.
Meanwhile, Laura is standing there in shock, looking at her empty hand where her soda once stood, wondering what the hell just happened.
Katie blocks Laura’s phone number, and never speaks to her again. Laura misses her friend, but is too afraid to approach her because of the way Katie treated her. Katie begins telling people how much she loves Laura, but can’t be a part of her life because she drinks that awful soda stuff. People start to have negative feelings toward Laura because of Katie’s words. Laura feels bad, but not because she drinks soda. She feels bad because of the way people treat her.
At this point, Katie isn’t just rejecting soda. She’s also rejecting Laura. She has distanced herself from her, and blocked her out of her life. Laura doesn’t feel the love (even though Katie loves her and thinks she is trying to keep Laura from harm), she just feels the rejection. The love may be there, but if it’s not felt, it means nothing.
Okay, okay… I know what you’re thinking. In Katie’s defense, if she hangs out with Laura, she may be tempted to drink soda, right? I agree. There’s always that possibility. HOWEVER…. wouldn’t that be Katie’s flaw and not Laura’s? Why does Laura have to be punished for Katie’s weakness? Just because it’s a sin for Katie to drink soda doesn’t mean it’s a sin for Laura.
(WHOA!!! HOLD ON!!! I know some of you are SCREAMING inside with that statement!!!! But I PROMISE you, I will address that whole topic on a later date!!! I just felt it “might” be a little heavy for a FIRST blog post! But I assure you, you may just be surprised with what I have to say about that!)
And now, back to our story…
What if….just WHAT IF… Katie had gone to Laura and said something like, “Laura, I noticed you were drinking a soda the other day. Did you know that when I drink soda, it has really negative consequences for me? Now, I know that you like soda, and that drinking soda is your choice. However, when I’m around you when you’re drinking soda, it’s hard for me to say no. It’s because of this reason I can’t hang around you when you’re drinking soda.”
Had Katie gone to Laura and put it that way, Laura would know that it wasn’t her that Katie was rejecting, but it was the soda. And, I can confidently say, that Laura would probably have sympathized with Katie, realized her dilemma, and, as a good friend, would not drink soda around Katie. Who knows…maybe Laura would even re-examine the possibility of soda being bad for her as well. However, Laura could still feel free to enjoy her soda at home, and it have no effect on Katie. But make it a law that Laura isn’t allowed to drink soda because it’s bad for Katie? Somebody is gonna be PISSED. And, whether Katie likes it or not, it wouldn’t be fair.
Katie can reject the soda without rejecting Laura. In the same manner, Katie can reject the soda in her own life, while not trying to control what Laura can and cannot drink.
This is where we are today. The phrase, “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” means absolutely nothing if the love is not felt. There is a difference in rejecting the sin and rejecting the sinner. (Please understand, I say “sinner” as a word that the Church will understand which person I am talking about here. I am, IN NO WAY, calling someone’s actions a “sin”, because that’s not my job, it’s Gods. Again, that’s a whole other topic that I will address at a later date. Besides, aren’t we ALL sinners?)
When we reject the SIN, it means we refuse to allow the SIN into our life. It doesn’t mean we don’t allow the PERSON into our life!!! Once we don’t allow the PERSON into our life, we are rejecting the PERSON and not the sin. The sin is what creates a distance between us and God, not the person. The sin defiles us, not the person.
Hear my heart here. The label “Christian” means to be “Christ-like”. If you really study the life of Christ, you would be able to tell that religion has greatly distorted the way Christians are suppose to treat people. Jesus went to the sinners. He did not run from them. He did not call them names; He did not bash them. He did not bully them or force His way on them. He loved them enough to give them the freedom to CHOOSE. Are we greater than Him? What gives us the right to take someone’s choice away? That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with their choice, it just means that you can’t try to control their choice. Jesus didn’t even do that.
People were drawn to Jesus. They were intrigued by Him. They wanted what He had. Is it so hard to believe that people would be drawn to the Church if the Church acted like Jesus? I have said it a thousand times, and I will continue to say it– If you are driving more people away than you are drawing people in, then you are doing something very WRONG. Perfect love drives out fear, right? If the Church actually LOVED the world, the world wouldn’t be afraid of the Church, but rather be drawn to it.
It’s time to start loving people. I mean, stepping out of your comfort zone, invite-the-unlovable-to-your-home-for-dinner kind of loving people. You don’t have to agree with everything they do. They don’t have to agree with what you believe, and you don’t have to believe with what they believe. That doesn’t mean you can’t be friends… even CLOSE friends. You shouldn’t be afraid to be seen with a “sinner”. If you have a strong enough character, people will know who you are. Reject what is sin in your own life. I’ll reject what is sin in mine. If we want peace and unity, there has to be a compromise somewhere. Not a compromise on what you believe, but a compromise in allowing someone else to believe differently.
Everything we’ve tried before isn’t working.
Time to try something new.
Love you much…