Welcome to the world of randomness, ramblings, and reflections. Enter with caution.

07 November 2006

god hates shrimp?

so i ran across this site and i could not believe what i saw. okay, i could believe it, but that doesn't mean i wanted to. it's stuff like this that makes me understand why people have such an aversion to anyone who calls themself a Christian.

if you go to the site, you'll see people holding signs in protest that read "God Hates Shrimp!" and next to them, you'll see them holding up signs protesting gays. now, i'm not 100% sure as to whether or not this is supposed to be a serious site, or a funny one, but either way, i don't find it funny. no wonder non-believers view christians as arrogant and unloving. how are we showing people God's love by telling them He hates something?! news flash: God does not hate shrimp. yes, in the old testament, he commanded the jews not to eat shrimp. he also commanded them not to eat pork, and not to eat a lot of other things. there were even commands about how to wash your hands and things you had to do if you came in contact with a dead animal, and lots of other things. my question is, why harp on shrimp?

my in-laws are messianic. that means they believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but they choose to follow all the old jewish customs. they don't eat shrimp, or pork. but they also don't enforce on all christians that the way they do it is the only right way. i mean, come on, people! what really matters here? does it matter that all people not eat shellfish, or does it matter that we are supposed to show the whole world Christ's love? doesn't it matter that at the heart of everything, that at the core of our faith, we believe the same thing? shouldn't the only thing that truly matters is our belief that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that He conquered death when He rose from the dead, and that He is the only way we can be saved? how will the world know how wonderful and awesome our Savior is if we keep ridiculing everything thing they do or believe?

here's something else that has been on my mind recently. what if instead of calling others names and making fun of them, whether they can hear us or not, we extended love and grace and mercy to them? what if we accepted them, just as they are, the way Christ accepts us, dirty and filthy with nothing to offer? what if we treated homosexuals as equally sinners, just as dirty as we are with our own performances and unfaithfulness to our Savior? what if we talked to them as a normal human being, asking how their life is, instead of condemning them and acting like we are better than them? because, in all actuality, if they aren't believers, they have no obligation to do what is right. because we as believers aren't better than them, we are worse than them, because we know what is right and still don't do it. i know i need to not do certain things, or need to do certain things, and while fully knowing what course of action is asked, no, required of me, i choose to follow my own selfish ambitions. when did it become okay for christians to condemn people? if there is no condemnation in Christ, where did we get permission to do that? it is not our job as believers to change people, because you know what, we can't change people. God is the only person who can change a person.

God deosn't hate homesexuals, or murderers, or rapists, or theives, or any other sinner(that means everyone). God created us. God also created shrimp. He loves us, he doesn't hate us. He doesn't hate anything he created. sin is sin. period. in some people, their sin is just more evident to people at a glance. but we are all sinners. every last one of us. believers and non-believers. young and old, male and female. we need to stop jumping all over each other, stop making fun of each other, stop bruising each other, and stop treating others as if they have the plague.

a common saying in Christian circles is "hate the sin, not the sinner". while i believe that we should hate sin and not people, we still need to love and accept people just as they are. instead of only hating the sin in other people, we should first hate the sin in our own lives, before we worry about hating sin in other people's lives. i know for me, if i follow my own advice, it will probably take me my entire life to hate my own sin, all of my own sin. that's why i've decided that i'm not even going to bother with trying to hate the sin in other people's lives. the only sin i should be concerned with is my own, or if i see one of my brothers or sisters living blatantly in sin. but i'm still supposed to first and foremost love them. sorry if i'm being redundant here, but this is something that's been on my heart for a long, long time, and i want to make sure i'm communicating it correctly. please let me know what you think. or let me know if something wasn't clear.

i'm going to stop now before i exhaust myself and get myslef too worked up(though it may be a little late for that).