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These days it’s not hard to find examples of Christianity coming under direct attack by influential voices in culture. Recently actress Ellen Page went after the Starlord himself, Chris Pratt, because of the church he goes to.  She tweeted this:

“If you are an actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed. Being anti-LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all.”

Wow, there are at least 17 errors in that tweet alone, but the one I’ll take on now is that Christians are haters. Chris Pratt happens to go to Hillsong, an Jesus-loving, Bible-believing church, known around the world for their inspirational worship.

Let’s call out this infantile thinking that someone who does not agree with your definition of morality must hate you. That’s absurd beyond reason. If you have to go along with everything a person thinks, or you’re hating them, then parents are the biggest haters of all.

Think about what hate really is. It’s intense, passionate dislike. It’s loathing, detestation, abhorrence. There are plenty of hate groups around, but you won’t find them in those cathedrals and church buildings scattered about your town.

True followers of Jesus Christ, informed by Christ’s teaching, and led by Christ’s Spirit, do not hate others. They don’t loathe others. You’ll find pockets of it in the wider Church, for sure. There are hypocrites at the gym too, but that doesn’t keep me from working out. Or saying that health clubs are all phony.

If you’re gay, or LGBT, or someone who’s confused about your sexuality and you walk into a Hillsong service, or any of a thousand churches that are like them, you know what you’ll likely find there? You’ll find:

Acceptance – because you were created in the image of God just like everyone else.

Compassion – because each one of us is broken by our sin. Jesus had to die for each and every one of us. We’re all a mess. We all live on the Island of Misfit Toys.

Support – because each one of us needs grace on the moral journey of life, where we’re trying to overcome our brokenness and learn to live and love like Christ.

And when you find a church filled with people who buy in to these ideas, then you’re going to find endless examples of Christian “hatred” on display: like soup kitchens and prayer groups and volunteerism and support groups and charities and elderly care and counseling.

One thing I’m sure of: if the culture keeps coming after the church, trying to outlaw what it is that Christians do and stand for, and making it harder for us to keep on hating people in these ways, then I promise you, the world is going to become a much more hateful place. For real.



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