God is love and His subjects shouldn’t war over the differences in the way we worship Him. (credit: social media)
We want peace, love and tranquility in our community and global society and all members of all religions must propagate the gospel of love and peace, in words and deeds.
As a true cleric enlighten your congregants on the need to preach love and God while out on the field to evangelize.
Some years ago a major catastrophe was averted in a Federal University in Nigeria because a student went to the worship centre of those who belong to another faith and was rebuking and condemning them ….
My Personal experience:
As an A-level student in a polytechnic in Nigeria a student flouted the rules, to propagate his faith and the rules were established in the first place to curb the excesses of students but the issue was quickly resolved.
In another higher institution but same city a brother and member of a faith wanted to preach in the school bus which has instructions painted on the bus against same but the issue was again nipped in the bud. There are many instances like that.
Now only a thin line separates love and evangelism from hate and hate speech and we must be careful not to trigger unrest with our reckless attitudes. Hate speech sows hate in people and could escalate dramatically or hibernate to become a ticking time bomb. Now don’t forget we’re still grappling with one at the moment ….
There’s freedom of speech but one could also abuse same.
Let’s access this preacher’s lines …. my comments follow:
“Jesus is Lord, He loves you.” – normal statement
“He cares for you.” – usual
“He’s a true friend.” – nice
“You need Him to make heaven.” okay
“If you don’t accept Him as your Lord and Saviour you’re going to hell take it or leave!” – now that’s judgmental and this is hate and hate speech and the preacher had gone overboard.
Analysis: in-group (members of the preacher’s religion) may not take offense for that toxic statement but outgroup (non-members of his faith) will see same as taboo and may react.
As a true cleric, it’s your duty to instruct your family members, congregants … on how to evangelize without stirring the hornet’s nest, how to preach and leave love not hate behind.
Above all share love, gifts to non-members of your faith and this will foster peace, harmony and camaraderie.
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