If You Say You Love God


It’s super easy to preach “love your neighbor,” but the loving part is crazy hard. I think most people really believe they’re loving and kind when they have to be, but the second someone disagrees or causes inconvenience or looks at you funny, the love thing can go out the window real quick.

What I usually see online or in church or in politics or in marriages is that unless a person fits an exact specification of beliefs and behaviors and likes and dislikes, that person is cast out of the inner-ring. I’ve spent a lot of terrible energy trying to carve others into my own image, overriding their point of view, always waiting for others to “come around.” That‘s no better than hate.

It seems Jesus said that “hate is murder” because when we only accept the people who match our values, we are disappearing them. We’re essentially saying, “Be like me or you don’t exist. I’d rather you be someone you’re not.” This is hate, and it’s crushing somebody out of existence.

This is especially obvious in social media, when one wrong word gets you canceled. But it’s worse when it comes to religion. That’s attributing a supernatural superiority to hatred. It gives an awful permission to say, “God said it, not me.” Which is cowardly. And if your god always agrees with what you believe and only likes the people you like—that god is the one you made up to justify your bitterness and to boost your ego. It’s a push-button keychain god that does your bidding. It isn’t the God who will challenge you, stretch you, surprise you, and who loves the people you can’t stand.

No, we cannot love all the things that people do. Yes, I believe in accountability and justice and boundaries. But over all, I want to love my neighbor for who they are and not for my version of them. I believe not in who someone should be, but could be. It’s the same way that I believe God loves a guy like me.

J.S.

The Age of the Google Expert: I Know Nothing About Everything

Church, let’s be on guard about the time we’re living in.

Because of globalization and instant communication, we’ve entered an era of intellectual laziness. You and I have become Google experts that can look up anything to confirm our own opinion. We are often emotionally motivated to confirm our preconceived notions from other anonymous bloggers of similar thought. So an atheist gets their ideas about Christianity from an atheist, and a Christian gets their ideas about atheism from other Christians. Might as well go to the butcher shop to ask about the growth rate of asparagus.

With globalized access anyone can claim to be an “expert,” set up a website with clever words and colorful language, and consult other so-called “experts” to confirm their feelings.

Even ten to fifteen years ago, the average person did not have a public voice. Now —

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Question: I Got The Holy Spirit, So Why Rebuke?

Anonymous asked:

Hi, J.S. [: Since the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, what is the point of rebuking fellow Christians? It’s something I have been thinking about lately. Great blog, by the way. God Bless Ya, Brother!

Thank you! I consider it my second church so I appreciate your kindness.

Since we can grieve the Holy Spirit by resisting Him (Ephesians 4:30, Galatians 5:16-17), it’s possible that we’ll ignore the conviction of sin.  It’s in our free will to do so.  Which is why the Holy Spirit will send friends, events, circumstances, gifts, trials, and signs to rebuke your face off.

There are also tons of commands about getting real with each other. Some of my favorites are here:

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