Saturday, June 24, 2006

and they'll know we are Christians by our love...

MOSCOW, Russia -- Police and religious protesters forcefully prevented Russian gay and lesbian rights activists from rallying in Moscow, where they had hoped to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and then gather in a square opposite of Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s office.

"We are conducting a peaceful action. We want to show that we have the same rights as other citizens," the main organizer Nikolai Alexeyev told a news conference a few hours before the rally was to have begun.

But police had closed the entrance to the garden where the tomb is located, and as the first half-dozen activists arrived carrying flowers, they were set upon by about 100 religious and nationalist extremists dressed in black who kicked and punched them.
"Moscow is not Sodom!" they shouted. Women held up religious icons while men stood by.

As a Green member of Germany's Bundestag, Volker Beck, was giving an interview before TV cameras, about 20 nationalist youths surrounded him and pummeled him, bloodying his nose.

"This is a perverts' parade," said one protester holding an icon of the Madonna, a woman who gave only her first name, Irina. "This is filth, which is forbidden by God. We have to cleanse the world of this filth."

I took this photo in a men’s room in Camden. What you can’t tell from the photo is that the posters hanging over the latrines are there to encourage women to become firefighters. Talk about needing to know your audience.

Even the Bible extols us to love our enemies and, in this way, it will be like heaping burning coals on their head (Romans 12:20). Now, there are many different translations of this verse, but they all point to love.

People don’t need to be told their need for God, that knowledge comes from the Spirit. What they need to be told is that God loves them. This is the one piece of information that comes best from us and, sadly, the one piece of information that we don’t seem to understand ourselves.

Know your audience.

Comments on "and they'll know we are Christians by our love..."


Blogger Bill said ... (4:47 PM) : 

Sorry, but I honestly don't know what to say.


Blogger Nicole_Hostetler said ... (8:17 PM) : 

My heart breaks everytime I see people using the Scripture to fuel their hatred of certain groups of people. Did we see Jesus ridding the world of sin by mobbing people. Did he and the disciples run around beating up the "unholy"? God help us get a grip on what we are to be doing!


Blogger Bill said ... (8:31 PM) : 

Didn't Jesus talk about "blessed are you when you are persecuted?"

"Blessed are those who morn"

"Blessed are the peacmakers"

May God have mercy on those who are persecuted by those carrying Christ's name.


Blogger Dave C said ... (10:20 PM) : 

This story reminded me of a confrontation we had in Evangelism class at Training. One of my session mates asked the teacher, "So how do you evangelize a flaming homosexual?".

With love in Christ,


Blogger anniebuck2 said ... (6:41 PM) : 

Just want you to know that I am alive and well! Please check the blog out when you get a chance! Are you 100% sure that there is no way I can meet up with you or Jamie while I am in London in August? I'm sorry that phone call was so short. I would have liked to talk to you longer.


Blogger Bret said ... (3:28 AM) : 

My thoughts are in total agreement with Nicole . . .

Maybe we should just show the homosexual community a spirit of grace . . . value them . . . love them . . .

Jesus illustrated this with the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son . . . All were highly valued and were a priority for the one seeking the lost.

As the church, we should place that same value and priority on the homosexual community . . .

Jesus came into the world not to judge the world but to save it . . . that's our mission.




Blogger The King said ... (10:21 AM) : 

Good points Tim and i feel like i should make a deeply religous comment but all i can think of is....what were you doing taking photo's in a toilet in Camden???


Blogger BrownEyedGirl said ... (2:37 PM) : 

I agree with everyone...God's love...Jesus is not about condemnation.
Throwing in something a bit different- having served in Russia...many have not had the Word of God in their own hands. The gospel is new in many ways there and grace is not a concept that was taught in communism.
Everyone was to be the same or to hide. Different is also new and a bit scary for them...especially the old ladies.


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