A Baptist “church” in America has banned inter-racial couples from its services, except funerals – that exception seeming to turn the knife in a particularly nasty bit of cruel bigotry that has no place in any society let alone a church. This is just one more example of the sort of thing that makes me wonder why on earth I call myself a Christian. The church to many seems anti-women, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-Muslim (or any other faith or even other Christian denomination). It is little wonder that so many have turned their backs on us.  A Christian’s first priority must be to do what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments: love God, love neighbour – and you can’t do the former without doing the latter. That means we cannot be anti anyone; we might and should oppose injustice, poverty and so on, and do so with all the energy we can muster but we cannot be “anti” another human soul. So if I struggle with being identified with the so-called Christians of this particular American church, I am happy always to be identified as a follower of the Jesus who was for humanity and for life, and abundant life at that.

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