One thing I've learned A LOT lately: Love is simple. Religion is complicated. But in the end the central message of most religious group books is love. That is the most important part, the part that should bring us together in unity.
For years I've watched "the church" interpret the Bible and contradict this message. People who wonder why others would turn away from such a wonderful message, such a wonderful gift... well it's because the presenters of this message aren't living it. They aren't showing it. In fact they are showing the opposite. They are too worried about preaching, instead of practicing. Judging, instead of helping. Condemning, instead of caring.
I've got a friend that has had a pretty tough run with life. Growing up around drug use, in the foster care system, never shown a better way... turned to drugs herself. Until recently, was not shown another way. A way out of that life. But in the church most of her life. Who dropped the ball?
Now genetics and drug use have left her at a young age with kidney damage. Early 20s, and on dialysis. Needs a transplant. Can't get an ounce of help on her medical bills when she needs it. Struggles just to find the money to pay the required out of pocket amount to be treated. She struggles with life or death every day.
And where are the people around her? Most of them, judging. Assuming. Condemning. Wondering why she let herself get addicted, and let the drug use go on "so long"... In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions. Even good people can be lured into an addiction.
And the thing we need to ask ourselves when concluding how we treat someone with "problems" (which is anyone really) - is WWJD? How would Jesus Christ treat this person? How did he treat the woman with leprosy? The adulteress woman that was supposed to be stoned? Jesus is the example we are supposed to follow.
But we're too focused on "interpreting" the Bible. On reading verses out of context to sit around determining if someone is condemned. We need to relearn our place. It is God's place to judge, to convict, to condemn. It is our place to show people his love that is offered to all.