Friday, November 04, 2005

Separation of Church & Hate

I saw an interesting bumper sticker yesterday on the way to work. It read, "I am for the separation of Church & Hate."

Now, I'm not much on bumper sticker theology, but that statement gripped me. I wrestled with it overnight and here's what I've come up with...

At first, I applauded internally. I thought, rather smugly, of how true that is. The church SHOULD be called on the carpet for tolerating hate. They hide behind phrases like, "Hate the sin, but love the sinner," all the while casting stones at just about everyone, from abortionists to drugatics to homosexuals. I thought to myself, "I'll write a good blog about this when I get to work."

Then, the truth hit me. I AM THE CHURCH!!!

So I chewed on it a little while longer.

Today, I've been thinking about the residue of hate in my own life and how it has produced prejudice, bitterness, jealousy and the like. Heck, just yesterday I called my own wife a "jackass." That's right. I said it. I've been letting petty things about her bug me so bad that not only have I not loved her much, I haven't liked her much either. This is my wife, for pete's sake!

I've carried a piss-poor attitude around for more than a week. I've thought to myself things like, "He's such an idiot. I wish he'd just shut up!" or "She is so stupid. Why can't she listen?" These are things I've thought about other human beings, created in the image of God. Is that not sickening?

So when I think that the Church ought to divorce itself from hate, I'm left with a strong sense of guilt about my own thoughts and actions. Gee, thanks bumper sticker writer! Idiot...just kidding.


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mdwinn said...

What does a person do when they find the thing they criticize the most starring back at them in the mirror? Run like the wind? Deny the reflection? Maybe putting it out in the open is a step towards a different way of LIFE. Dang man, thank you for showing the scrap that lurks inside. May you continue to hear the pull on your heart knowing that through the awkwardness, pain, and darkness there is HOPE.

nolesrock said...

Okay, my wife read this and thought I was saying that I hate her...FAR FROM the truth! Let it be known that I LOVE MY WIFE!!! She's just the hardest person for me to love unconditionally...and to bite my tongue around. I was just bearing my sould as I shed some more death rags.

kingsjoy said...

You're not alone, man. It's really easy for me to be inconsiderate with my wife.


Every once in a while, I pause and realize that I've been angry with a lot of things...the anger has been draining my energy and I wasn't even aware of it. I wonder about the "vibe" I send out when I'm like that.

Christine said...

Good post, nolesie~ it's hard to live in a constantly renewing state of forgiveness.
And that's basically what it's gotta be, because noone is going to stop messing things up, anytime soon.
The church is going to continue to have haters in it, and sneering, and fault-finding; and we'll find ourselves acting like that, too, more often than we would like.