I sometimes feel that the biggest problems in the world today, especially among those in the Christian community, is that there is too much time and effort spent on criticizing, condemning, and judging other people because of their differences, and very little time, if any, spent on focusing on some of the commonalities that should unite us as brothers and sisters.
It is a wonderful thing that we have strong testimonies, but those testimonies do not make us any more holy or righteous than anyone else. What good is a strong testimony if that testimony does not somehow incorporate not only a sincere love for the Savior Himself, but also for all of His children – all of our brothers and sisters regardless of race, gender, background, culture, and YES, even sexual orientation?
The Savior Himself taught, “By this shall all know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). Furthermore, let us not forget that the scriptures emphatically teach us, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1,2). James also teaches us:
Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (James 4:11,12).
Therefore, the question before us is, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25).
Love will always conquer more than tenacious judgment and pernicious condemnation of others ever will. We are not commanded to agree with a person’s beliefs or accept their doctrines, principles, or teachings about how we should live our lives. Furthermore, we are not commanded to accept another person’s lifestyle. However, we are commanded to love one another.
How can we honestly say that we love God, but hold malice, animosity, or indifference in our hearts towards our brothers and sisters because they hold different beliefs, or because they live a different lifestyle than our own? Are we so perfect ourselves that we can sit as judges of all Israel? Let us also be reminded that, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). If it were not for the love, grace, and mercy of the Lord, we who are quick to judge another would be in no better place than the one or ones whom we judge.
If we as Christians claim that we are true disciples of Jesus Christ, then let us strive to meet together on common ground instead of on battle fields of hatred, blind mistrust, and misunderstanding, and show more love and compassion for ALL of our brothers and sisters. There is only one TRUE GOD and He is the Father of us ALL, and He loves us ALL equally and unconditionally.
When we finally begin to realize that the walls that seem to divide us are artificial and not God-made, and as we begin to dismantle those walls brick by brick instead of continuing to add mortar and more bricks to reinforce those walls, that will be the day when we will be able to sit down together at the banqueting table of brotherhood and sisterhood and live in peace and harmony with one another. That will be the day when we will truly understand what it means to love one another.
~ Keith Lionel Brown
15 April 2015