Perhaps you read today of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the Westboro Baptist Church is protected under First Amendment rights to protest at military funerals and lambaste the grieving families with hate speech. Somehow, this falls under the category of free speech. I don't like that and I don't agree with it - but this isn't going to be a political post. Instead, I'm writing what truly upsets me about Westboro Baptist Church: How they are mispresenting Christians and, by doing that, how they are mispresenting God.
Christians tend to get lumped all together, like so many batteries tossed in a drawer. You have no idea which are good and which are dead. So when the Wii-mote needs new batteries, you are faced with trying each one to see which have juice. UGH! It's so much easier to just throw them all out and start with a new pack. (It's even better to buy rechargeable Wii-motes, but that ruins my analogy).
When you lump all Christians under one heading you, perhaps unknowingly, lump God under that heading as well. It's easy to categorize all Christians as judgemental, based on the rantings of the Westboro bunch. Their members hold up signs that read "God hates the USA" and "You're going to hell". (Hmm - isn't Hell a proper noun? Shouldn't it be capitalized? Just wondering.....) If Christians are judgemental, then surely their God must be as well. Who needs a God like that?
Don't get me wrong. I fully believe in God's judgement and His wrath. But I also fully believe in His grace and forgiveness. If you rely on His grace and accept His forgiveness, you can avoid His judgement and His wrath. See..that's in the Bible as well, but it seems the Westboro bunch sort of skipped over that part.
To fully understand God..well, as best as a human can do, you need to know Him from all the angles: judgement, wrath, grace, forgiveness, love, etc, etc. Picking one and throwing out the others doesn't give you a true picture of God. Groups who call themselves Christians and only talk about one angle, aren't talking about my God. They aren't reading my Bible. And they don't represent me.
This is why you need to go back to that drawer and test each battery. Don't throw them all out - there are probably 5 or 6 good ones in there.