You, a well-meaning Christian, sign on to Facebook, only to see an overweight deacon from your church downing the super-sized everything at the local fast-food joint. Are you going to comment on his wall and tell him that he's a fat-ass and is going right from the doughnut shop to hell because he is a glutton?
You would have some biblical backing if you did want to make such an accusation. Proverbs 28:7 declares, "He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father." And if that is not enough evidence for you, read Proverbs 23:2, which proclaims, "Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony."
Chance are that you wouldn't think of making this type of comment. After all, he's a deacon, and you're a righteous saint. Chances are that you'd give him a thumbs up or remind him to save some for you. You may even end your post with a smiley face (which, of course, is the universal sign that you condone it).
But if this same deacon had posted a picture of himself eating a juicy burger along with his gay partner, it would be a completely different story. I can only imagine the colorful statements, hurtful names and scripture passages that might be quoted on our hypothetical Facebook wall. There would certainly be one or two Christians telling him that he is surely going to hell.
Unfortunately this scenario isn't fantasy. It's played out every day on Facebook, in the halls of ours schools and in the pews of our churches.
If you consider the Bible the authority on how to live your life, then you should try to keep all the laws. Leviticus 11:10 says, "But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you." This means that your lard-ass shouldn't be eating shellfish at all. Maybe our fatty deacon should cut back on shellfish too.
"Neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee," says Leviticus 19:19. Yes, the Bible forbids wearing clothes made out of a mix of wool and linen. Maybe church greeters should start checking clothing labels at the door. Anyone wearing wool and linen should be ridiculed before being sent to the prayer room to be witnessed to.
I am a Christian and don't condone negative or degrading talk no matter what the situation (except in this tongue-in-cheek blog post, of course) or who the recipient may be, but I'm amazed by how many Christians do. They hold their tongues and wink at some sins and sinners, but they don't feel any restraint when it comes to judging the gay community.
Whether or not you believe that homosexuality is acceptable in the eyes of God is not relevant and should not affect the way you behave. Even if someone believes that gay people will go to hell, they do not have the right to use this belief to bring shame and hurt to others. Many gay people have turned away from God because Christians have convinced them that He doesn't and won't accept them. Just as passionately as I believe in rights for everyone, I believe that God loves everyone. Pleasing God is all about how you treat people. This is where most so-called Christians miss the mark by a long shot.
God loves everyone, and in the end He is going to judge us by who we shared His message with and by our method of doing so. Though there are many people who are trying so hard to play at being Christians, many miss what God truly wants them to do: love others. Chances are that few people still reading this blog post at this point fall into this category, because most such people would have quickly fled upon seeing all the cuss words.
Thankfully, there are many followers of Christ who do embrace all people and love them unconditionally. If you are one of them, thank you. If you aren't, please pause before you speak and weigh your comments and words against the Bible. Matthew 5:22 says, "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire."
Not many parents would teach their impressionable young children to go up to someone on the street and call them fat. Why? Because not only would it not be culturally acceptable, but it would hurt that person. It's likely that they would be wounded deeply and might cry or be embarrassed. Some might even develop an eating disorder as a result.
So why is it that its acceptable to teach kids hate and bitterness toward members of the gay community? Anti-gay bullying is prevalent in our country and can result in low self-esteem and even suicidal thoughts in the victim. Let's face the facts: It's most likely that gay people were born that way.
Life is too short to harbor anger, bitterness or malice toward anyone. Just let people live. If someone is gay, it doesn't affect you at all. If someone is fat, that doesn't affect you at all. But if your words toward others make other people unhappy, then that affects everyone. Don't let your words make peoples' lives miserable.