When I was growing up, I learned of the idea of something called a Shade. This was a creature that existed as a shadow- a real life type of shadow of evil that with a chilling touch could destroy a person. They were more dangerous than the undead and difficult to find as they could hide in any shadow.
I have come to believe that maybe these Shades are not as imaginary as I was led to believe. For I think there are shades of hate all around us:
1. In the minority of people who complain that our President is not American or a Christian. In spite of evidence contrary to both these statements there are people who are mistrustful of our government and its current leadership. I believe they use these statements to presume that Obama is less of a human being... as if being Muslim and un-American is sinful or wrong in some way. There is a shadow here of hatred, a shade of mistrust in people with this attitiude.
2. On both sides of the gay marriage issue. People who oppose legalizing gay marriage are immediately labeled as homophobic, ignorant and intolerant. On the other side people are called demonic, perverted, and anti-Christian or anti-Biblical. Very little is talked about the ability to respectfully disagree.
There are more example that could be named on other topics. The concern I share is how quickly we seem as a nation and as individuals to label someone with whom we disagree as wrong, evil, or worse. The insidious mark of hate colors us all and stains our spirit with the cold touch of death.
I find it hard to reconcile these forms of hate with the gospel message of Christ. How does our understanding of the call from Christ impact our understanding of those with whom we are in disagreement? How can we lovingly disagree with others and where is the line drawn for this disagreement.