There is fear in the faithful…have you noticed?
For the faithful to be characterized by fear, hate, anger, and distrust does not speak well of the one they have faith in.
That faith which has been given to us is supposed to offer strength, confidence, love, compassion, peace, joy, gratitude, forgiveness, patience, understanding and yet these are not the typical words used by outsiders to describe our communities anymore.
We can certainly rationalize and claim that they just don’t understand love when they see it. We can say that sometimes love hurts; sometimes love is tough; sometimes love looks like hate…wait a minute…can we say that?
The thing about these gifts we have been given (love, joy, peace etc) is that they were supposed to be attractive. These attributes were as much for outsiders as for insiders as they are all outward facing and designed to draw the world in to a new world emerging from the old. So to suggest that because they are on the outside they do not understand the true nature of love is not only a tad patronizing it is also simply wrong.
The community of faith is meant to be an attractive community because the world is already drowning in judgement and darkness. It is meant to be that lighthouse guiding people to safe harbour.
What happens when the lighthouse starts scaring people away and driving them to the rocks?
Something is wrong when we are afraid to love and forgive because we assume it suggests permissiveness.
Something is definitely wrong.