I just stumbled upon this article about a father who is battling protesters at his son's funeral. The protesters are from a fundamentalist church who is targeting funerals of fallen soldiers. They arrive holding signs that blame homosexuals in the military for the deaths of soldiers. This soldier wasn't even gay. Nevertheless, the signs outside the funeral have weighed heavily on the father during this time of grief.
I know I've posted before about not understanding this trend in some Christian circles to blame natural disasters, deaths and other catastrophes on the sins of certain groups of people (it's never the sins of all people--only certain groups). So, indulge me as I rant again. I just don't get this line of thinking.
Did Jesus go to the well and start blaming the adulterous woman for the ills of Samaria? If I remember correctly, He sat there and showed the woman love. Not downplaying her sins, but treating her as someone He came to save, not condemn.
Are we trying to invite people into God's Kingdom, or to keep them at the gates of hell? Do any of us fully have the plank out of our own eye to pick on the speck in others'?
Call me cynical, but I don't think hating others and making people feel angry has ever been a winning evangelism technique. Maybe if we just got back to God's main command of loving others (of course, to do so, we are called to love ourselves, too, and I'm not sure we've mastered that, either), the church might have a stronger presence. Of course, I could be wrong. But my image of Jesus is more of Him loving people, rather than preaching condemnation.