The title of today’s post comes from something I read on a friend’s Facebook timeline last week. The parentheses are mine.
Before I explain why I used such a controversial comment as a blog post title, I’d like to expand on it.
You can also unfriend me if you're voting for
- or whoever else is left by the time you read this.
Or if you’re voting for none of the above.
You can unfriend me. For those or any other reasons.
But I hope you won't.
The same goes if you're
- or you hate puppies.
You can unfriend me. But I hope you won't.
Not All Choices are Equal
The items I've listed are not equally valid ways to vote, live or believe. Some are noble and uplifting. Some are horribly sinful and repulsive. Some are morally neutral.
If you and I disagree on which items are good, bad or neutral, you can unfriend me. But I hope you won't.
Even if you hate me because I have friends from every option on this list, you can unfriend me. But I hope you won't.
Because Jesus loves them all. Including you. And me.
Loving Our Enemies
Various ‘unfriend me if you…’ requests have been popping up on my social media streams lately. I expect them to grow in popularity as the election gets closer and battle lines get drawn more thickly in the sand.
But I won’t be unfriending anyone.
Because Jesus never did that.
Jesus had all kinds of people in his life. He loved Judas (who betrayed him) and Nicodemus (a Pharisee) as much as he loved John, who never left his side.
He was regularly accused of spending time with prostitutes, drunks, gluttons and other sinners, including people whose political and theological choices were his polar opposite. Like Samaritans, Romans and tax collectors.
Jesus was emphatic that we are to love those we disagree with, including our enemies, not just those who are on our side.
If loving people was easy, the cross would never have been necessary.
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. No matter what state of lostness we find ourselves in.
And Jesus wants us to reach lost people, no matter where they are on matters of taste, race, religion and moral choices. It’s hard to reach people when we’re constantly unfriending them. Or carrying unfriendly attitudes.
Don’t get me wrong, salvation requires repentance. Of the sins I commit and the sins you commit. Of the sins we love to denounce and the sins we try to excuse.