Let me start by saying I love you.
Not in the oh-my-goodness-your-show-is-amazing-and-your-family-is-awesome-and-I’m-so-glad-you-guys-are-Christians-I’m-a-huge-fan kind of way. I truly love you. Just like everyone else on this planet, you were created in the image of God. Before the foundations of the world, God said, “Yeah, I want that guy.” He knew exactly what you would look like if He moved in and enveloped every empty space of your being. He loves us all that much.
I’m not writing this letter to debate your relationship with God. That is entirely between the two of you. We are all the stewards of our own hearts. You’re a public figure, maybe even a celebrity to some extent, so it’s impossible for me or anyone else to know what your walk of salvation is all about. People like to judge you for the things you say and point out that we will know you by your fruit. While that is true, the whole point of the verses in Matthew 7 isn’t about the fruit, but making the tree good.
16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
People spend so much time trying to make the fruit good, when the problem is the tree. If the tree is good, the fruit has no other option than to be good as well. It’s just an automatic by-product.
Everyone is loved by God. That list includes terrorists, homosexuals, murderers, drug dealers, and atheists. If there was one person throughout all of time who had the right to hate anyone, it was Jesus. He lived a perfect life on Earth and did nothing but help people. He healed them, saved them, fed them, and always showed compassion. Yet, while the blood poured out of His body and He hung there slowly dying, He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Walking in unconditional love means exactly that. It doesn’t mean abusing the word love with an excuse that it’s our job to point point out someone’s mistakes and faults. Your recent statements speak volumes to your feelings towards atheists. It truly breaks my heart. God doesn’t see them as atheists. He sees them for their created value, potential, and destiny. He knows what they look like with Him living inside, and He loves that view.
We should also love that view.
When we become born again, we give up all rights to live for ourselves. We have no right to judge anyone. The more we hold onto our “rights”, the less we die to self and follow Jesus. People say we deserve this, or we deserve that. If we truly want what we deserve, we can go to Hell. That’s what we all deserve, but God longed to have His children back, so He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate price for our reconciliation. We now have the ministry of reconciliation, not judgement.
Mercy triumphs over judgement.
I hope this letter doesn’t come across as me trying to correct you. That’s not the intent. I want to encourage you to press more into Jesus every day. We don’t need to make controversial statements to get attention. When we enter into relationship with our Father, nothing else matters. We are complete in Him. He loves us with a perfect, selfless, undeniable love.
Let’s love others in that very same fashion.