The 11th Commandment
Two men sat at a booth giving away stickers. The stickers had a simple slogan: “LOVE FOR ALL — HATRED FOR NONE.” The two men were Muslims. It is a universal truth that love overcomes fear. The Bible says, “God is love.”
You can be a follower of Jesus without hating other races or fearing other religions. In fact, it is required! You can be a fervent patriot without being anti-immigrant. You can be proud to be an American but not be a white supremacist. Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party set fire to Europe with their ideology. Their racism killed millions with its arrogant bigotry and lust for power.
Racism is incompatible with the kingdom of Christ. My wife and I lived in the home of a black pastor in Africa. We served under the leadership of a black Bishop in America. The body of Christ is multiracial. Both fear and hate are erased by God’s love, if we are born again. Are you?
I believe in ultimate power — love. Jesus said, “In everything therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12 NAS) Jesus summed up what salvation produces: a community of love with mutual respect. We need to accept people from other nations, religions or cultures. It is the devil who inspires hate and violence, not the Lord.
Party strife polarizes people. The love of God brings us together. Liberals need to respect conservatives and vice versa. I don’t hate liberals but I do disagree with their policies of tax and spend, erase morality, disrespect our founding principles, weaken our defense or dissolve family values … but that doesn’t mean I despise them as individuals. I simply dislike their foolish notions.
Many liberals are good people even if their governance is flawed. I was a friend of Florida’s Lawton Chiles. He was a moderate Democrat, a Governor and a Senator. I was sad when he died. He was a principled man who could not be bribed or intimidated. We had many good discussions.
Likewise, it’s a mistake to put all conservatives in the same camp. We are diverse and shouldn’t be lumped into one stereotype. It’s a mistake to say each ethnic group is alike: Native Americans, African Americans, Muslim Americans, Hispanic Americans, the homeless poor or the white men who drive trucks and own guns. Labeling is a type of prejudice.
There is a difference between having a preference and having a prejudice. A preference is okay, but prejudice is wrong. I prefer America’s culture over others. I prefer my kind of music — with good lyrics and a melody more than noise. I prefer meatloaf and mashed potatoes over eating rice and curry, or noodles and vegetables.
I am a constitutional conservative but open to discussions with those who are not. Let’s have civil debates over differing ideas. May the truth win! I am a Christian who believes the Bible is true, Jesus is the Son of God, and everyone needs to be saved. But a lot of my friends don’t believe that way and are not yet saved. I love them, enjoy them and pray for them. I’ve been among all kinds of churches and all kinds of races. I love them even though not all share my culture or my way of worship.
My friend, Chris, just came back from being in a rural black church. He’s white, but he was welcomed and shared his story. He used to be a racist until God put his finger on his sin and he repented. Real men don’t hate. They risk loving others.
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