Yesterday being Easter meant that a large number of people ventured out to church, some for the first time since the pandemic. Most of them will not venture out to church again until Christmas. I don’t get the point of that, but if that’s what makes you happy I won’t argue with it.
I also saw an exchange on Twitter where a sports guy I followed thanked a church for being so welcoming when he attended recently. One of his followers replied to ay he should attend his church if he was in the area. The sports guy, who also owns a restaurant responded with this:
Yep, this guy who was inviting him to church also tweeted hateful things to him after he announced a drag lunch at his restaurant. I looked at the Twitter feed for him and it is half “look how religious I am” and half “I hate everyone who isn’t like me”
It made me think about religion, church, etc.
A long time ago, I knew a couple who had not attended church in years but considered themselves religious. For them, religion meant following all the rules. The rules? No drinking. No dancing. No cussing. No being friends with the ‘wrong” people. There was no love in any of this. In fact, they were terribly racist and homophobic, but thought that was all part of being “good”.
I’ve worked with church people who also had all of the above rules. They were also racist and homophobic. They also thought all denominations but theirs were wrong and that you should never attend another church. They also wouldn’t do wedding ceremonies for anyone who had been divorced. Missing again? Love.
I’ve also known church/religious people who exuded love and care for others. The rules mattered less than love for others.
I’ve also known people who are not religious who also exuded this love.
When asked, Jesus said there were two commandments: Love God and Love people.
Unfortunately, too many religious people skip the second commandment and focus on their own rules instead.
Religious or not, we need more love in the world, not hate for people not like us.