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…loud obnoxious rant that does nothing but piss other people off because we aren’t interested in having a conversation, but rather in being right and if you aren’t with us, then your evil and you’ll burn in hell.

That version of the song didn’t make the cut.  I wonder why?

I’m talking about some people’s self-defined version of Christianity.  Reminds me of another song:

At any rate, what I’m talking about are protestors going into Target, and loudly proclaiming their message, feeling smug and justified in their actions, all because they don’t agree with Target’s bathroom policy.

I don’t know, call me crazy, but I think there’s an easier solution – if you don’t like something a store is doing, don’t step foot in it.  It would actually make everyone happy – you can be all self-righteous and dress up in your Pharisee robes at home and everyone else can shop in peace.  Seems like a win-win.

I was going to link to the article that showed videos of some of these “protestors” in action, but then I thought better of it – I would be assisting in spreading their false version of the Gospel where they are yelling “Repent or Burn!!!!!”

Here’s my problem with these antics and why I’m taking the time to write about this.  This type of activity is completely irrational.  It’s an in-your-face method.   It’s telling the world that you are not interested in debating the subject at hand and that you are not open to conversation.  These people obviously believe that the world is black and white and that it’s either my way or the highway (or worse).  There is absolutely no love in their message.  There is no peace in their method.  There is no Gospel either.  There is only division, condemnation and judgement (which is apparently theirs to give).  This is a false gospel message of fear that says there is an us and a them, that we are right and they are wrong.

What happened to “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love.  Yes they will know we are Christians by our love?”

Or how about these gems that apparently didn’t make the latest edition of the literalist Bible:

Matthew 7:1-5

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Or Luke 6:37-38

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

 or John 8:1-8

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Here’s my message to people who experience these protests – On behalf of Christians everywhere, I’m sorry you have to endure this childish outburst.  I’m sorry that there are people who think being in your face is the best way to try and convince people who see the world differently.  I’m sorry that this is the public impression you are getting of what being a Christian is all about.

I’m sorry you are not hearing the Gospel – a message of hope, love, grace and forgiveness.  But there is always hope.  I don’t hope that these antics will stop.  My hope is that these antics are ignored.  I don’t hope that the gospel of fear will go away.  My hope is that God’s Gospel will overwhelm false gospels by being lived out and touching many lives.  I don’t hope that people are going to change because of anything I say.  My hope is that God’s message will touch all of our hearts and change us all – because that’s the only thing that possibly can.