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The Exodus by David Barnhart

“I have seen your religion, and I hate it.
I have heard your doctrine, and I loathe it…”

Click to read the whole thing, it’s very good, but it made me sad too, because these divisions run so deep, so entwined in politics and a powerful need to dehumanize those perceived as the opposition, as the enemy. How can one even begin a conversation with those who insist some of us are nothing more than “fat sheep with our worshiptainment” who hate the poor and the sick?

Some of us actually are the “least of these,” tossed aside in a church torn apart by politics where doctrine is all but forgotten as we build golden calves to issues and political correctness, drinking in endless propaganda, demanding one swear allegiance to melting glaciers and the LGBT lobby rather than to Jesus Christ.

Is it possible that we do not always know what we think we know, that those we are so quick to dismiss as “haters” may simply have the eyes to see things we cannot see? Are we not plugging our ears and refusing to listen, convinced we have the copyright on what Real Love is all about?

Hatred is a pre-existing condition, one that often drives us to self-righteously point fingers at others, to dismiss and dehumanize them, to say things like, “may God throw you into the sea. And the horse you rode in on,” as if those we disagree with are the condemned, the non elect, the outcasts in our country club of worldly issues that All the Right People will swear allegiance to.

He dined with the tax collectors and the pharisee, too. “Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?….. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

How quickly we forget that, how fast we are to declare our hands to be clean, to offer up our own brothers and sisters in a some kind of perverse plea bargain deal, as if we can just virtue signal our own way to salvation.

I used to believe in common ground and common bread, as if unity would be a simple matter of just starting a conversation, coming together and finding middle ground, but I no longer believe, because I’ve read far too many powerful bits of poetry full of condemnation, revoking salvation, speaking words of hatred and death over others, vehemently declaring, “may God throw you into the sea.”

It’s ironic to me how quickly we become the very thing we oppose, the thing we claim to hate.

So I no longer believe in a middle ground, in compromise, in restorative justice with those who cannot set down their little spears and simply return to the gospel, to the good news, to the victory we have in Jesus Christ.

I’ve been swimming in the sea for a very long time. If people like David Barnhart actually cared, they would ask me why and listen.

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