Monday, June 20, 2011

Is This Christianity?

Just as I was sure that my muse had permanently deserted me, a letter published in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch came to the rescue. The letter entitled “Let’s pray the Fed gets audited” comes from a writer in Hurley (some place way west of here) whose name I will omit to protect his reputation. The writer is responding to the controversial action of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank in flying a rainbow flag as a symbol of support for its homosexual employees. Our writer refers to the bank’s action as a slap in the face of Christians as it indicates its support for the “Sodom-and-Gomorrah lifestyle.” The letter concludes with “Let’s pray that the Fed will be . . . chastised for its un-Christian behavior.”

I assume that our writer considers himself a good Christian. Yet he seems oblivious to the teachings of Jesus. When asked what was the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus specified two: 1- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deut: 6:5); 2- Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18) [Matthew 22:37-39].

It seems clear to me that one cannot love God and at the same time have contempt (even perhaps hate) for some of God’s creation. The Bible states that all human beings are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). I have found no version or edition of the Bible that contains an asterisk for this verse excluding those who happen to be homosexuals. Our writer’s attitude and his letter are surely inconsistent with loving God.

As for the second of Jesus’ great commandments, Hillel the Elder, who lived several years before Jesus and with whose teachings Jesus would have been familiar, stated this commandment as “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” I cannot imagine that the attitude displayed by our writer in his letter would fit into any description of loving your neighbor.

I recommend that the writer change his prayer from one seeking chastisement of the Federal Reserve Bank to one seeking help in changing the hate in his heart to love of God and God’s creatures.

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