Love one another as I have loved you

I see a lot of Christians hating on the LGBTIQ+ communities (well probably less the straight intersex people who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth), quoting Leviticus and Paul as justifications for doing so.  Both of those books have histories significantly different that what most people believe, and most Christians pick and choose from these books what they will and won’t follow.  These books are used to beat the LGBTIQ+ communities because of the versus contained therin.

Leviticus 20:13

If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Romans 1:26-27

For this reason [idolatry] God gave them up to passions of dishonor; for even their females exchanged the natural use for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed by their lust for one another, males with males, committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error.

You know what Jesus said about LGBTIQ+ people?

What Jesus did say was (John 13:34-35):

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

And later in John 15:9-17

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

I’ve given the whole thing here because it gives a bit more context.

If you believe that Jesus was real and that the gospels are the story of his brief 33 years on earth (he really did pack a lot into those last 3 years), then the first quote from John above he said this as he washed his disciples’ feet.  It is believed that the John who wrote this gospel was an actual disciple of Jesus, so the fact that in a short period of time Jesus apparently told his disciples to love one another repeatedly should be something that is noted by most Christians.

Of course, it rarely is.

If Christians loved one another and others like Jesus loved his disciples, and followed Jesus’s teachings, then there would be a whole lot more love and forgiveness and a whole lot less bigotry and judgement.

Jesus also had a fair bit to say about judging people, he wasn’t a fan.

One lesson everyone should really take from Jesus’s life was who he hung out with.  He spent time with those elements of society who were reviled.  He broke bread with tax collectors, who were considered sinners straight up (usually because they collected tax AND a bit extra), and with sex workers (who are still shunned today).  His disciples were fishermen, not the higher ends of Judean society at the time.  He healed the sick and unclean, he worked on the day of rest and called the upper echelons of society hypocrites.  He was not popular with “society” and was a rebel with a cause.

If Jesus came back today, he’d still hang out with the poor, the sex workers, and the reviled in society (LGBTIQ+ people, drug users, refugees, etc).  He wouldn’t associate with the Catholic Church (the Church that claims to be the direct descendent of the church that the disciple Peter started), he wouldn’t associate with politicians, he wouldn’t associate with the rich, nor would he associate with those who claim to know and understand the exact inner workings of the mind of god (those Christians who say what god does or does not like/want/etc).

Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan because he wanted his disciples to understand that people are good and worth attention and care regardless of their cultural background and difference.  He told this story after being asked “Who is my neighbour?”, and it’s important to note that the neighbour is someone who hated by Jewish society at the time.

Jesus commanded that his disciples love one another, but that commandment should not be interpreted in a narrow way, meaning to only love those who are like yourself or have your exact way of thinking.  Jesus wanted his followers to love as he loved the world.  To love so much that he submitted to being crucified in order to save people from the burden of sin (so the theology goes).

So when any Christian person tells you that they “love the sinner but not the sin”, they aren’t loving the sinner, they are judging (because you have to judge first to identify that someone is sinning), and not loving someone as Jesus loved.

When any Christian tells you that a group in society does not deserve equal rights, or is less than them due to misfortune, race, religion, or ability, then they aren’t loving someone as Jesus loved and commanded.

Christianity gets a lot of free passes for some truly vile shit they have pulled over the years, and are still pulling today (here and here).  I want to call our the poor behaviour of Christians and Christianity when I see it.  I want to remind them that they should be loving their neighbour as themselves, that they were ordered by Jesus to love, and that their behaviour right now isn’t showing that at all.

So during the fight for marriage equality, and other fights where society adjusts and shifts and equality is granted where it hasn’t been available before, I will call out shitty, non-loving behaviour, because it is the right thing to do.

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So... what do you think?