I’m sorry.

Photo Credit: LexnGer via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: LexnGer via Compfight cc

My goal with this blog is to share about being a follower of Jesus in everyday life. I want to write about personal experiences, books, and things that I have learned that point to how to live for and like Jesus on a daily basis. That being said, there are also many people in this world who do things in the name of Jesus who set a poor example of what it means to follow Jesus. So this week I’m writing to say, I’m sorry for those who set bad examples and don’t show what it really means to follow Jesus.

Last week, Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and President of Samaritan’s Purse, made some unsettling statements about how we (America) should be treating Muslims. He argued that we should close our borders to Muslims because they could potentially become terrorists. They should be uncharacteristic for someone who is a follower of Christ.

If being a follower of Jesus means that we are to live like him, then I think the response of a Christian will be radically different than what Franklin Graham shared. Mr. Graham’s answer to military officers being attacked by a Muslim was that Muslims should be banned from our country so that something like this won’t happen again. He considers them to be enemies. If they are indeed our enemies, then Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” [1]

You might also say that Muslims aren’t really our enemies. If that’s the case, then Jesus tells us to “Love our neighbors as ourselves.” [2] Paul also says, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” [3]

Like I said before, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to those who see what well known Christians do and wonder how we could be so unloving. The truth is when we do that, we fail to reflect the love of Christ in our lives. Jesus commands his followers to be marked by love and not by hate or fear. Jesus would not give us any reason to not love people. We are called to be neighbors to all and to share the love of Christ with all. We can’t do that by reacting in fear and keeping people out of our country. I’m sorry that this is the example that is being set in our country. I hope that in the future the example that Christians set is to love in hard situations. Jesus wouldn’t keep anyone out, instead he would probably have his Muslim neighbor over for dinner.

For a really great response to Franklin Graham himself, check out Carl Medaris’s blog.

[1] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt. 5:43-45a.
[2] Mk. 12:31.
[3] Rom. 13:8-10.

4 thoughts on “I’m sorry.

  1. Rob Daniels 07/23/2015 / 8:20 am

    Well said Peter…

    • Peter S. 07/23/2015 / 9:08 am

      Thanks, Rob.

  2. Jason Wetherholt 07/23/2015 / 8:23 am

    Dang it…I was totally gonna write about Franklin Graham yesterday, but I ran out of time, and now you beat me to it!! Well said.

    • Peter S. 07/23/2015 / 9:10 am

      You should write a post too. The more good things that get said in response to his comments the better. Or you can share my post too. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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