Christianity Is Love, Not Hate

Christianity Is Love, Not Hate

So stop using religion to spread hate.
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I am a very opinionated person, but I tend to keep when it comes to my opinions and my religious views. For me, it's just better that way.

But today, I am over keeping quiet. Today, I am fed up.

Why?

Because I am really really tired of seeing people using religion to spread hate.

I was born and raised Catholic, I attended Catholic for 13 years, and I've researched other religions (I'm curious) and if there is anything I took away, it is that the bases of most religions is love. So why do people use religion and whichever version of God they worship to spread hate, instead?.

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31

The golden rule, treat others how you want to be treated. This verse has been taught to me since kindergarten. Jesus gives us two commandments in the New Testament, to love God with all our heart and soul and to love our neighbour as ourself. Notice how it says "there is no commandment greater than these." All we are asked to do is love God and treat our neighbors (all of God's people) with love and respect, so why does that seem to be so hard for some people?

Between the articles floating around and the religious freedom laws, it's no wonder that there's an aura of hatred associated with Christianity. I grew up in a very accepting household, I was always taught to love people, no matter who they were or who they loved. I thought this was how everyone grew up, but the older I got the more I saw how wrong I was.

I don't expect everyone to be perfect and I know the entire world can't get along, but as someone who knows my God is a loving God, I'd expect His followers to stop using His words to condemn others. People love to cherry pick the Bible to find verses that condemn others, but there are so many more verses telling us to love others.

We all sin, everyday, in our actions, in our words, in our intentions. Not a single one of us is free of sin, so why don't we treat everyone else as harshly as we do those of the LGBTQ+ community? It's simple really, in that it has nothing to do with religious beliefs, but instead it's just pure hatred. If you are religious, you believe we are made in God's image and likeness and what we do to our fellow man, we also do to God.

Every time you tell a transgender person they are a disgrace, you are saying that to God.

Every time you tell a gay or lesbian person they are going to Hell, you are saying that to God.

Every time you turn away these people, you are turning away God.

None of us can cast stones, none of us can judge.

God loves all his children, and I do mean ALL. So next time you go to use God or the Bible or your religious beliefs to turn someone away or to judge them, for the sake of all Christians, don't.

My God, your God, He is a loving and accepting God, maybe we should all give it a try too. It's time we get rid of the stigma of being exclusive and start spreading a message of love once again.


Cover Image Credit: Dr. Odd

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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When God goes Off Script

Don't miss a miracle just because your plans didn't work out

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As a believing Christian, we know that God is powerful and sovereign, and mighty. We have no problem with this concept- not until His plan suddenly ceases to go along with our own. We live in an impressively self-centered world. We have iPads, iPhones, and I mentalities. We simply want what we want. So much so, that sometimes we don't desire God's plan as much as we want our own way. Sadly enough, this isn't a new concept.

If we look at chapter 11 in the book of John, we find some people whose plans were most defiantly flipped upside down by God.

Jesus (the Son of GOD), had some very close friends who were siblings- Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When Lazarus fell ill, Mary and Martha immediately sent word to Jesus, fully expecting Jesus to rush to heal him. Very much like the rest of us, the sisters didn't only bring their problem to Jesus, they brought their own solution.

However, Jesus had a much bigger plan. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20 that the plans of God are "above all that we could ask or imagine". In the midst of the chaos that often consumes our lives, we sometimes confine God to the realm of things that we understand- and what a dangerous thing that is! When Mary and Martha expected Jesus to rush to heal their brother, Jesus chose to wait two entire days before making the 20-mile journey to their city.

During that time, Lazarus died. Once Jesus finally did make it to the city, the sisters were in mourning. Interestingly enough, their faith remained unshaken. They realized that Jesus 's intervention could have prevented their brother's death (John 10:21,32), and if my best guess is worth anything they wondered why He had chosen not to.

Sometimes when we plead for God to intervein and he chooses not to, we feel forgotten. We feel alone and we question our worth- when what we should be doing is watching to see what He's about to do next. Sometimes, we get too fixated on the fact that God went "off script" and didn't handle a situation the way we feel like He should have that we almost miss the miracle that He is about to do in our lives.

Standing outside of the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away. Martha, a very practical soul who reminds me far too much of myself, called out to Jesus and appears to rebuke him. There are times in our lives where we are more focused on how we didn't get our way than on the miracle that God is about to do. Martha made a seemingly practical point after all her brother had been dead and buried for four days.

Thankfully, a practical point on our part has yet to stop Jesus.

God's plans may not look like ours. His ways may not take the same path as ours. His purpose may even have goals like ours. But so far? God's plans just don't disappoint like mine.

Despite the fact that Jesus chose not to come immediately to the family's rescue, four days later He spoke words that rocked the world: "Lazarus, come forth", and Lazarus came out of the grave. Often times, when God doesn't solve our problems like we think that He should, we assume that we are of little importance. It's easy to see why the sisters may have felt ignored. However, Jesus's decision to wait gave an entire town an opportunity to witness the power of God. When we want our way more than God's wisdom, we seek to deprive others of the chance to learn about God's power.

Jesus gave another command that day: He said of Lazarus"Unbind him, and let him go". What kind of expectations do we need to let go? Are you allowing your idea of what God needs to do bind you and keep you from resting in his plans?

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