As I was walking in, I was "greeted" by a group of people holding signs and yelling at me about the evils of what I was about to do and telling me that there were other ways because their "god" loved me. All this while shoving pictures of aborted babies and the burning fires of hell in my face.
Again, I'm not pregnant, and I'm certainly not in the market for an abortion. But what if I was? What if I was 18, pregnant, and scared to death? What if the baby's father had left me and I had no one to turn to? What if I felt that I had let everyone in the world down and didn't know what to do? What if my parents had kicked me out and my friends had abandoned me? What if I felt like an abortion was my only way out? Would these people, screaming at me in the name of "god" and telling me I'm going to go to hell for what I believe is my only option really going to change my mind? Will it make me feel like everything will be ok and that people love and care about me? Of course not.
You can have that "god".
You can keep your "god" in who's name you blow up buildings, murder innocent bystanders, and shoot unarmed people. You can have the "god" who condones the rape of an innocent child, the forced marriage of a 14 year old girl, and the right of a man to beat his wife into submission. You can hang onto the "god" who wants his followers to walk into an Army medical clinic and shoot unarmed soldiers on American soil. You can keep your "god" in who's name people fly planes into buildings, plant car bombs in highly populated areas, and kidnap and kill those who don't share their beliefs.
I want nothing to do with a "god" who would turn his back on the drug addict desperately trying to get his life together, the prostitute who was sold into the business as a child, or the adulterer who only wants a second chance. I don't want a "god" who would want his followers to unabashadly hurl insults and accusations at a scared and alone 18 year old pregnant girl. I have no interest in serving a "god" who would turn his back on a single mom doing everything she can to support her babies, even if that means working in a bar at night. I don't want a "god" who allows his followers to spew hatred at a person because they are gay, or who refuses to have anything to do with someone because of the way they dress or the tattoos on their body. This "god" that judges people based on their social status and the amount of money they put into the offering plate is not something I want to be involved in. I don't want a "god" who demands perfection and will accept nothing less, so that I never measure up and spend my entire life feeling unworthy.
People do horrible, henous, AWFUL things in the name of "god". I promise you though, those people do not know GOD.
All over the world, these people use "god" has their posterchild for whatever cause they happen to believe in. They use religion as an excuse for their actions. That is NOT God, that is manmade evil. People take their personal opinions and put god's name on it to give them an excuse for otherwise inexcusable actions.
God gives his people a cause. He calls his children to a mission higher than ourselves. But that mission has nothing to do with judging people, changing people, or killing people in his name.
God's cause is simple... LOVE PEOPLE.
That's it. Not "change people". Not "force people to do what you believe is right". Not "scare people into not having an abortion". Not "judge people". Certainly not "kill people".
Just love people.
God's people have a mission, but they don't haveto justify it by screaming to the world that they are doing it in HIS name. Those who truly know God are the ones comforting the children who just lost their family to a suicide bomber. They are the ones feeding the hungry and nursing the sick back to health. You will find those that know God comforting the woman who regrets the choice she made to have an abortion, and welcoming the tattooed biker into their church. You will find them on mission fields around the world, helping to show God in practical ways by bringing food and clothing and education and healthcare to some of the poorest nations in the world. You will also find them in your own backyard, spending time with troubled teens and helping struggling single moms.
These people know God.
So those people across the street today, screaming at me about how I would spend eternity in hell for having an abortion do NOT know God. The man who rapes and beats little girls does NOT know God. The coward who opens fire on a room full of people in the name of religion does NOT know God.
So it's simple... you can keep your "god". And I'll do everything I can to help that terrifed 18 year old pregnant girl know that she is loved and safe and things will be ok, no matter what choice she makes. I'll show her what God really looks like.
And it shouldn't be hard...
I was that girl once.