So there’s this note that’s gone viral on the internet, and while there’s stuff about that note that is just plain silly, as a Christian I want to focus on the part that I find not just silly but wrong, appalling, horrifying, shocking – I’m shocked that someone could write such a note and use the phrase “this is a Christian area” as an excuse for behaving in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with the way of Christ.
If I met this person, I’d want to sit down and have a chat with them with an open Bible. I’d probably start with showing them the bit where Jesus was asked what’s the greatest commandment and he said we are to love God with all we’ve got and to love our fellow human beings as we love ourselves.
I’d want to talk to this person about what it means to be a Christian, and ask them to please not use that word if they don’t know the Christ.
I’d want to tell them that if their neighbourhood really was “a Christian area”, it wouldn’t have people leaving such notes to their neighbours. Rather, it would have people showing love, kindness, compassion – people being relentlessly loving.
If you move into a new neighbourhood and your neighbours are Christians – in the real sense of the word, and not in the empty way that some use it – you should be able to tell that they’re Christians by their kind and caring attitudes, by the love they show you, by their humility and patience. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love. Jesus commands us to love everyone – not to go around policing their garden decorations.
28 June 2015: P.S. It looks like that story was very probably a hoax. How sad that someone could do that.