Sunday, July 19, 2009

In Christ's Name - Reject Hatred

Hatred just may be the most vicious manifestation of pride. Jesus equated hatred with murder and commanded His followers to not just avoid hatred, but to indeed exhibit love instead. Hatred is at odds with God’s gospel of redemption and should find no place within the church. If there is one thing that the world should never see in the company of believers it is hatred.

And yet hatred continues unabated in the church of Jesus Christ. It is disguised in many ways since no one would desire to be accused of hatred, but make no mistake, it is hatred nonetheless. We have seen and continue to see unabashed hatred from professing believers for President Obama. This is not about whether he is or is not a believer, or even about his views that obviously are at odds with Scripture. This is not about him at all; this is about who we are and Who we serve.

As you peruse the blogs you will find the most malicious rhetoric about President Obama including many personal invectives that demean and slander his character. These are not supposed to be right wing blogs, these are supposed to be Christian blogs that claim to embrace the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ. In many blogs he is shown no respect, and even among those who claim to believe the Bible’s command about giving honor to those in leadership. And many of these writers are among those who highly tout the sovereignty of God including saying they believe God puts the men in office by His will. What a paradox.

It is unseemly and even unchristian to speak such things about anyone, let alone the President. And what do those who know not Christ and admire President Obama think? Are we placing stumbling blocks in their path because they read such cruel and ruthless words about Obama? The name calling; the demeaning hyperbole; the dismissiveness; and the blatant disregard for the language of redemption are counterproductive to everything we say we believe. It is not enough to stand against abortion; we must stand for redemption and God’s gospel love as well. We may dress it up and call it moral outrage or righteous indignation, but it is hatred nonetheless.

While being careful not to compromise our pro-life credentials, we have openly and profoundly compromised the life and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus did not come into this world to condemn the world, He came to seek and save that which was lost. Why, then, has some of the church taken on the robes of politics and project harsh words of hatred and harshness? Why are we not beacons of redemption and lights of hope, not postures of condemnation? The world sees us disrespect the nation’s leaders when their policies do not align with ours and what must the world think of that? Are we not called to love our enemies and bless those that curse us? Where is the “do unto others” principle in all our demeaning vitriol?

Have we camouflaged our hatred inside our battle to combat “liberalism” and unBiblical morality? And in so doing, are we becoming a manifestation of the Ten Commandments rather than the Risen Christ Who bids them “come”?

We seem to do the same with the gay communities. Many are fearful of being accused of compromise so they castigate gay people with words that diminish their humanity and are absent of love and full of hatred. Have we forgotten the depths from which we ourselves were rescued? Have we no compassion on those that are blind and attempting to fill the void with whatever they can get their hands on next? Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto Me”. He did not say that if we diminish people and verbally stomp upon their very beings that they will see Jesus and come running.

Hatred is very often the commodity with which the church deals when approaching the world. The chorus of “amens” fill the church when the pastor preaches against sin, and most noticeable, the sins that do not directly apply to the listeners. And when he “opens up a can” against the gay community the amens come all the faster and all the louder since it is the piƱata that when struck, showers the people with the candy of self righteousness. But where are the tears, and where is the sacrificial love and pathos for those who struggle with such things? Again, the loathing and scorn eclipses even the faintest hint of intercession and compassion.

Is it not time we forget about our reputations and our peer groups and utterly exhibit the love of God through Jesus Christ without compromising either our view of sin or our view of Him and His gospel message? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s redemptive message for the entire world, regardless of the sinner and his sin. For too long the church has moved toward a self righteousness that vents itself against sinners and their sin, and yet our Lord was a friend to sinners.

Ours is a call to love and not hate. It besmirches the Name of Christ and His cross to speak words of hatred, regardless of the dirty politics of it all. There is no one deserving of anything good from God, and those of us who have need to share that goodness that can only come from the hand of Christ. Tear down the moral pedestals and let us humble ourselves, wrapped in the redemptive love of Jesus Christ in both word and deed.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rick,

I think you'll be encouraged by the "Ex-Homosexual" ministry at the Passion 4 Christ Movement in Los Angeles. I think you'd be encouraged by the movement as a whole. It's made up of mostly young people who truly have a heart for living out the true, Biblical Jesus Christ and "to glorify Him in His rightful place."

Here are two videos dealing with the subject of sexual bondage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrBFDr2OnTY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qsd3PpPMTLg

Here's our spokesman Blair Wingo "re-introducing the Christ"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNJ5oi1cw2I

Here's the website to the church:

http://www.p4cm.com/

I urge you to check these out, they will surprise you and might give you hope about the upcoming generation of Christians in this country!

Ephesian said...

Rick,

I think you'll be encouraged by the "Ex-Homosexual" ministry at the Passion 4 Christ Movement in Los Angeles. I think you'd be encouraged by the movement as a whole. It's made up of mostly young people who truly have a heart for living out the true, Biblical Jesus Christ and "to glorify Him in His rightful place."

Here are two videos dealing with the subject of sexual bondage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrBFDr2OnTY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qsd3PpPMTLg

Here's our spokesman Blair Wingo "re-introducing the Christ"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNJ5oi1cw2I

Here's the website to the church:

http://www.p4cm.com/

I urge you to check these out, they will surprise you and might give you hope about the upcoming generation of Christians in this country!

(sorry I'm reposting because I didn't want to remain anonymous.)

Renee said...

Amen