Monday, February 25, 2008

Hate can and does Live on

Down the road from our church someone painted words on a church
door of a mainly all black congregation. The pictures shows them.
They are words you would expect to see during the civil rights
movement. They are words that reflect hate in one's heart and in
one's hands. You don't think you would see them in this day and age. Maybe in private conversations, the words are used. It is sad to see those used once more toward people who are a different color. It is sad to see them used on the door of a church.
What would we do if they were painted on our doors of our congregations or something just as derogatory? How would we respond?

The members of this church responded with love. They prayed for the person(s). "I still don't bear ill will toward him or them," one of the members said. "I'd like to invite him to church, to fellowship with us."

The men of the church hoped that whoever did this did so more out of boredom than hatred.

"I know there can't be that much hate around still," the member said.

"It's 2008," Alexander said. "Back in 1966, when we first built it, I might have expected to see this, but it's 2008."

Here is the link to the news article in the Florence Times.

What do you think can there still be that much hate around? Can hate live on?

What is to be our response to hate?

Matthew 5:43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (New International Version from Bible Gateway.com)

I believe Love is a greater than hate, heals hate, and offers us hope beyond hate.

I Corinthians 13: 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

4 comments:

ElastiGirl said...

uuuggghhh - horrible words - hard to believe they're still in use...

revhipchick said...

it's pathetic that someone would do this. unfortunately racism is still here and as ugly as ever. it's usually quietier and more difficult to spot.

the reaction of the black congregation is a real testament to their faith and lives as Christians.

now, the community knows and should not be able to deny the racism there. i hope and pray that this can be a time where love does overcome the racism

i don't remember the exact quote but MLK jr said that love was the only thing that would and could overcome hate.

you and your whole community will be in my prayers.

Iris said...

Love is much stronger than hate. You are correct. However, hate will always do its work and it is obvious. The challenge for all of us who know the Lord Jesus is to respond as the men in this church did -- come to church. What generous God trained hearts!
May we be like them when we encounter such.

teachergran said...

Racism is unfortunately still abundant, though it may not always be as obvious (and as threatening) as that in this story. It is also certainly not the only type of hatred around these days. I belong to a group for mothers of deployed soldiers, and some of the hateful things that get passed around their on-line discussion group(often without the passer stopping to think just how awful an item might sound) have amazed me. I hope that the men from the church were right and that it was done more from boredom than from hatred (there are young people who don't fully realize the hatefulness behind some words). I agree with the congregation and the Bible, that love is the only thing that will overcome hatred. Wouldn't it be great if the taggers did go worship with the church? I think that only by being open to dialog with people whose opinions are different from one's own can the most intransigent problems of this world be resolved. Your town (and especially this church) are in my prayers.