ISIS is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rebel group that claims to be associated with Islam but is no more Muslim than the KKK is Christian. ISIS members do absolutely horrific things including human rights abuses, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing.
This group’s actions are an abomination.
(Now please, let’s not have anyone saying I’m defending ISIS by the end of this post. Inevitably some will, but please know I will simply refer them back to the first three sentences of this post).
ISIS’ actions are an abomination, and sadly, that very fact exposes some hypocrisy in many Christians – specifically, Christians who judge our LGBT brothers and sisters to be practicing an “abomination” while saying, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
Can Christians apply that same theological stance to the abominations committed by the members of ISIS? Hate the sin, love the sinner?
Do those calling for the complete destruction of every member of ISIS love the sinner?
Is killing another person what love looks like?
Can a nation honestly print “under God” on its currency (not that we should be at all) when its first impulse is to practice an eye for an eye diplomacy?
How sincere are folks who believe they are finding a middle ground with LGBT folks by saying, “hate the sin, love the sinner,” but aren’t willing to extend that same kind of grace to others who practice abominations?
Are some sins worse than others?
Are some sins (or what some Christians see as sins) less forgivable?
Is it any human’s place to pass that kind of judgment?
When we apply a “spiritual rule” like love the sinner, hate the sin to one group because it serves our position of disdain for that group; but don’t apply it to another group, like ISIS because not using it also serves our position of disdain for that group, don’t we have to admit that we’re less concerned with the correct spiritual practice and more concerned with our disdain?
Christian author, Anne Lamott wrote: “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
It seems to me that a lot of Christians have some serious reflecting to do.
Can we love the members of ISIS but hate their sins?
Maybe this quote from Thomas Merton can help us begin to sort through our hypocrisy: “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”
Sounds biblical to me.
Love is the one thing in this world worth pursuing.
Love is what I understand to be at the heart of Christianity.
And in the case of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rebel groups like ISIS, being love, and acting in love is the most challenging – yet, most Godly – thing we can do.