On one occasion an expert in American Christianity stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he was very arrogant, self-righteous and proud and seeking to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A gay activist was traveling through Russia, or Uganda, or Nigeria, or Kansas, or Idaho, when he was attacked by a homophobic mob. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him nail studded boards, tied him to a post in a vacant lot, went away, leaving him half dead. A Baptist minister happened to be going down the same street, and when he saw the man he knew was a gay activist he passed by on the other side, fearing he would be numbered as a reprobate if anyone saw him helping him So too, a staunch,conservative talk show host from a well known Christian organization, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. He was absolutely certain that if he helped him, he would be telling the world that he agreed with the gay activist “lifestyle choice” But a Muslim Imam, as he traveled, came to where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him, untying him from the post, and tearing his own clothing made tourniquets to stop the bleeding. He then called 911 and went with the man in the ambulance to the hospital. He stayed with him that whole night and into the next morning. ‘Look after him,’ he said to the nurse working in his unit ‘I will return later today to check on him. Here is my cell number, please call me if there is any change.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of those that hate people different from themselves?”
The expert in American Christianity replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Did you know right now in the states of Kansas, and Idaho laws are being passed that exempt “religious” people in health care and law enforcement from helping someone in the LGBT community if they object to that persons sexual orientation? In Uganda and in Nigeria laws are being passed that make being gay a crime punishable by physical beatings, and/or imprisonment for life, In Russia anti-gay legislation has lead to kidnapping, torturing, raping and sometimes murder of LGBT people. Sometimes the perpetrators film their abuse and always the Russian police ignore it.
Where should the church stand when it comes to these issues? Why is the church, the organization that honors God with her teachings, sermons and books on grace,mercy,forgiveness, and love SILENT on this?
Where is the outrage, the indignation, the “holy anger” we display in other arenas such as against Home Depot supporting LGBT equality, or “Gay Days” at Disney World?
These are questions that need to be answered. We need to do some serious soul searching,
And then we need to repent.
Finally, we need to show mercy.
8 thoughts on ““Those” People Are My Neighbor!?!?!”
Well, put. Even if we believe these individuals are participating in sin, we need to repent of our past behaviors and above all have mercy.
In fact, we need to repent and have mercy. It is not our position to judge, and I have a feeling God doesn’t need our help in judgement. Leave how the person dealt with how God created him or her to God.
Thanks for responding. There is a quote that I am not sure where it came from but it states that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and our job to love. I couldn’t agree more.
thanks for reading and commenting and I totally agree!
You did a great job of re-writing this parable to relate Jesus’ message to our world. Thanks.
Thank you Marian, I appreciate you comments. I have been criticized elsewhere that this post was disparaging people who are conservative. But all I did was update the story Jesus told. So what is this critic saying? Anyway, peace and grace to you.
Fortunately, the law in Kansas got shut down.
Thanks for the update and thankful the law did not pass.