So, as I was thinking about neighbors and tolerance, well, love really, I have been looking around. There are Samaritans all around us.
What about the lesbian women I know who are Christians but are turned off by church after being judged or down right condemned? I will not argue whether homosexuality is a sin or not. I don't care right now. What I do care about is that these women are not loved. So, unloved that they do not dare, or care anymore, to worship God sitting beside us. One young woman will not speak to God at all anymore after her pastor called her out as an abomination. WTF? Guess he missed the "do not judge" clause. When you transpose the Gospel to today, which one would Jesus call a viper? Yep, you got it-the pastor. Jesus never cared for self righteousness. He hung out with the sinners. Why are we so worried that they are contagious? "OMG, I caught gay!"
What about the addict who have been judged for going to church with long hair and tattoos and wearing club colors who people whispered about when he just wanted to know more about their God, until he met them. What about the woman who has 4 kids to 4 men and no husband who was going to church for her son's dedication and the office woman was rude about giving her the rose from the altar. What about the man who "cannot stomach" organized religion because he was traumatized by someone in the church as a child.
These people believe in God and pray and seek His will for their lives. But church is not essential to them because the Church inflicted/inflicts wounds. (I guess 2000 years ago the Church was also responsible for wounds.) These people seek the mountain to pray because the temple is not open to them. These people are our neighbors.
Do you know your neighbor?