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Love is not exclusive: An open letter to Matt Walsh

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Dear Mr. Walsh,

I am a longtime follower of yours, but over the last few months it seems you are spending a lot of time calling out leaders of various faiths for not being Christian enough. Why would you want to alienate others who are also trying to do God’s work of spreading love the way they have interpreted it? The Bible leaves lots of room for interpretation. Was that unintentional? Perhaps there was a purpose for the parables instead of absolute answers.

No two people are going to believe the exact same thing nor hold the exact same approach of what is best to reach people to live an inspired life, even if those two people are reading from the exact same Bible. The important thing is getting others into the boat of doing good, loving all unconditionally, and bringing people together. What good does it do to divide us this way? Most of the time I applaud what you stand for, but I think this is wrong.

There are many different types of Christians with many different messages. But why focus on the differences? Jesus would surely want us to focus on the similarities… to love each other as brothers and sisters as we are, not push those who are slightly different outside of some line you have decided absolutely cannot be crossed.

I admit I know very little about all the different types of Christians that exist and the idiosyncrasies you insist on calling out. But I don’t need to because that’s not important. That line of thinking misses the greater message – that love is more important than our individual sects. We are all in this together. Christians from all walks are spreading their way of understanding the best they know how. They aren’t spreading evil. Anything outside the limits of your defined box doesn’t necessarily make it evil. As long as you are acting as a conduit of unconditional love, you have nothing to fear, ever.

The greatest of these is love. Not faith. That means your faith should never be more important than love

You have lost the purpose of following Christ in the first place. There are moments as a father when my daughter will give an extra piece of candy to her little sister just because she knows it will make her smile. But there are also moments when my daughter knows I’m watching and gives that candy to her sister only because she wants to be recognized as kind. See the difference?

Being a good Christian isn’t the end goal. Being Christian is supposed to be a means to a life of good, love, and worth. Don’t do good just because it keeps you within the Christian box and therefore gets you to Heaven. That is a selfish motivation. Do good for a better reason: Because you have love in your heart. Do good because you love unconditionally, and you truly want to help others be happy. It is the only thing that matters in our time here, and it’s how we grow in spirit. By learning in every action how we can perform that action in a loving way, we challenge ourselves spiritually in every choice we make.

When you are on your deathbed you won’t be thinking of how much money you made or how many people you excluded for being inadequately holy. You will be thinking of the way you treated others, and the litmus test for that judgment is unconditional love. If you are acting in accordance with love for your neighbor, you will be proud of your actions as you lay there reflecting on your life. But if instead you are acting out of fear, those will be the actions that haunt you in your last days.

Love

Love is the means and it is also the ends. It is the lesson and the reward. It is the guide and the destination. We are meant to spread that love where ever and whenever we can, without restrictions. Only then are we truly walking in the light of God.

First Corinthians 13:13 is certainly very cliché, especially at weddings, but it holds an insight that many of us often overlook.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

The greatest of these is love. Not faith. That means your faith should never be more important than love… Unconditional love, not just love for your family and friends. Love for all. And not with conditions like, only if he is a Christian, or only if she acts the way I think she should. Unconditionally means as they are. Love him because he is. For if we only love those who love us back, what kind of love is that?

Dan Alexander


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