Religion isn’t just an apparatus that supports faith and worship, but it can also mean a pursuit or interest to which one ascribes great importance. Therefore, in many ways, condemnation has become a religion for many people who believe the Bible is sovereign, without fault and contradiction, written either by God or infallible men inspired by the Holy Spirit and is to be used as a battering ram to initiate conversion. Indeed, those whose religion is condemnation are not only unlike Jesus Christ, but aim to do a destructive work that, according to the Bible, God thought unnecessary for his only begotten son to perform.
The Bible makes clear that our thoughts, as humans, are not God’s thoughts, and God’s ways are far beyond anything his people could imagine. Yet, John 3:17 does provide insight into why God thought his son should materialize, and why he shouldn’t: to save the world, not condemn it.
In fact, among the most prominent teachings of Jesus Christ was love, not the do’s and don’ts. It’s this truth that makes Mrs. Kim Burrell’s recent rant against homosexuality not only troubling for a society grappling with tolerance and understanding, but askew to the fundamental teachings of Christ; her tirade may be, to a degree, biblical, but it isn’t Christ-like at all; her position is rooted not in the religion of agape love, but condemnation.
And what is biblical? Those supporting and defending Mrs. Burrell, the ones who say she was preaching against sin and that it’s appropriate for a pastor to do because that’s what the Bible mandates, haven’t truly and publicly acknowledged that’s its also biblical to judge not yet ye be judged; its biblical to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; and its biblical – John 13:35: Jesus Christ said “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” – that Christianity is characterized by agape love, not repudiation.
The behavior exhibited by Mrs. Burrell, and the vitriol she so jubilantly espoused in front of her congregation, appears uber incongruent to everything Jesus Christ taught, and everything that Christianity intends to represent to the world. To condemn others in name of Jesus Christ is as off-brand as initiating a fist-fight in the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who was a staunch advocate of nonviolent resistance.
Mrs. Burrell may believe in God – my place isn’t to judge her faith let alone anyone’s sin, all we need to know about sin, from a biblical standpoint, is that we all do it and fall short of God’s glory – but I perceive her religion to be condemnation; I believe her priority is conversion; I understand her angst to be a type of sin, not all sin, like the seven deadly ones, among which are not homosexuality and gay marriage, but gluttony and wrath – wrath would be an accurate term to describe Mrs. Burrell’s temperament during her sermon which was recorded on Facebook live and has now gone viral.
A gospel singer Mrs. Burrell may be, but Christ-like in this moment she appears not. Yet, my place is not to condemn her, malign her, or disavow her, but to extend love in spite of, and hope that she reciprocates that love at-large.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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