by Stephanie Olson, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
I recently saw something on Facebook that put a huge pit in my stomach. It was extreme hate. A person posted something about the upcoming Hollywood film, Noah, which is causing a lot of controversy among Christians. There are some Christians that are thrilled that Hollywood is releasing a biblical movie, and there are some Christians that say the movie is not at all biblical and should be avoided. I for one have not done enough research on the movie to have an opinion, and the Noah movie is not what this blog is about.
I am distressed by the hate. The post referenced above stated that it is ridiculous that anyone would be upset by the false portrayal of a mythical character. He continued to make it clear that Noah was a storybook of fiction and we are stupid to believe such a story of violence and hate. He then goes on to say, "And finally, don't we celebrate enough violence in our cultures, like being ok that God floods and kills millions of people, kids, infants, but saves two by two mice? Oh that's right, it's a silly myth. Well, not according to those who Love to Hate." That was the kicker. We, as Christians, love to hate.
What fascinated me was that many comments posted were some of the most hateful I have ever read. Comments such as, we should have our vote removed, we should just shut-up, we are without reason, and we don't deserve kindness. These are the edited versions.
But then there was one post, a Christian, Bible-reader, artistic type who simply asked the person who posted the original post to have lunch and an open discussion. Ahhhh…refreshment.
You see there is fault on both sides. If one is a true follower of Jesus Christ there is not hate but love and compassion. Compassion to see the lost saved. Compassion to see the sick healed. Compassion to see the chained set free. We absolutely have some who profess Christ spout hate. That breaks my heart much more than this post ever will.
But we have to remember, when we see hatred aimed directly at us, we have to respond just like the lone Christian on this post responded. We have to respond with love, compassion, no offense, and an invitation to hear the Truth.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:7-11).