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We believe whatever we're told to believe, hate whatever we don't understand, label sin, judge people by degrees, and look other way to our own vices. Perhaps, brother hating brother originates with one's need to feel superior. But, let me tell you, it's just as ugly and damaging as tar.
My father was a licensed preacher, an ordained deacon, and from south. As a church planter, he served, through years, in most every top leadership position of church and, often, multiple positions at same time. His home served as temporary residence for untold numbers of evangelists, missionaries, summer workers, and like. Even his wallet belonged to church.
Only, legalists never knew dad that way. They judged him from onset and killed my daddy, long before cancer got him ... and his was hereditary. All of his children mourned for what their hate had done to him. My father lived and died for church, and this one's for him.
Some quote Romans 12:1 for any imperfection of body in which is deemed we could possibly control. Maybe they forgot 1 Timothy 4:8. Our physical body isn't part that's eternal. But, no matter how you look at it, some never get done looking down on others.
None-the-less, when we shoot our own wounded, we cross line, ourselves. To not acknowledge that such hurts have always existed 'in name of Lord' and that each 50 years our beliefs have changed, yet we still believe whatever we're told to believe, is to not come to realization that our learning needs to come at feet of Jesus. And, therein is a dilemma in itself, how to get that across to people.
To tar smokers is ungodly. To tax smokers is unconstitutional.
Hate breeds contempt.
People fail us. We fail God. But, God never fails.
© 2003 by Joyce C. Lock http://my.homewithgod.com/blessingsandlessons/ This writing may be used in its entirety, with credits in tact, for non-profit ministering purposes.
In addition to being a published author and poet, Joyce C. Lock created the religion column, "Christianity Made Simple" for Peru Daily Tribune, continues to write inspirational articles for area newspapers, and shares further in online and e-mail ministries.