“Okay, watch that step as you climb onto my bandwagon….again”
I was reading the Bible the other day, yes I do read it occasionally despite what some people think, and I found a bit I’d never seen before…
There’s this bit in the Bible called the Gospel of St. Matthew, it’s full of great things, stories and sayings and stuff. It’s split into chapters and the chapters are split into verses. In one of those ‘chapters’, 22 actually, at verse 37 and 39 there is this great bit that seems to have been edited in many Bibles. The first part seems to be there but some Bibles don’t seem to have the second bit. The whole thing says…
Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
I meet lots of nice Christian people who seem to have Bibles with only the first part. Lots of loving God and Jesus and stuff and that where it ends – they miss out on the next bit, it looks like it’s been cut out of their Gospels and that’s very sad because it’s a commandment. This commandment that is ‘like’ the first one and the first one is ‘the greatest commandment’. So that second, missing one is also an important commandment – ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’ We can’t ignore that it, yet so many seem to or at least choose who they think their neighbour is.
I get emails from people and it surprises me how many are from ‘Christians’ who tell me I’m wrong for, and I’ll quote one for you, “caring for the rag heads and fags bcoz Gods sending them to hell.” So that second part doesn’t count then – those ‘people’ aren’t your neighbours, is that’s it?
I get so frustrated – why can’t people see this? – It’s not rocket science – WE CANNOT PICK WHO JESUS TELLS US TO LOVE, we don’t get to make that decision.
And yet so many Christians think we can. I’ve seen lists that ‘Christians’ have written of people that God hates – everything from authors who write about children who go to magic school to people who watch films about kids who go to magic school to people that listen to rock music to people who read C.S. Lewis (yeah that one made me laugh too). If you put enough of these lists together you can see that God hates everyone and, therefore, so should we!
Yet I see that little verse in that Matthew Gospel thingy that says, “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Let’s narrow the whole thing down to the street on which I live – I don’t get to choose who my next door neighbour is – I’d like to but I don’t get to. I’d like Hallé Berry but, like I said, I don’t get to make that choice. So my next door neighbour is whoever ends up living in the house next to me – it could be a horrible, rich, white Christian family or it could be a nice, poor Muslim family or, well my point is it could be anyone – even you.
And here’s the steps for that bandwagon – climb up and join me as we look BIG PICTURE again –
Guess what – Jesus says that we should ‘love our neighbour as ourselves’ – WHOEVER that neighbour is! The ‘rag head’ or the ‘fag’, or any other of 10,000 derogatory terms you can use, do not let you escape the fact that Jesus has told you that they are your neighbour and you are commanded, COMMANDED, to love them like you do yourself.
Tough isn’t it! No one said it would be easy.