I’ve seen a lot of blog posts, statuses and tweets going around from outraged Christians on all sorts of topics. So many of us are angry about the world we’re living in. I get it, I’m angry too.
But there is a key element that has been missing in our expressed opinions of the political situation of our nation, the decision Target made to welcome transgenders in restrooms of all types, and the Obamacare and welfare systems so many of us abhor. What about love?
Ephesians 4:15- “But speaking the truth in love…”
It seems that every day I go online and find more Christians statusing “you’re a wimp if you don’t boycott Target” or suggesting you’ll burn in hell if you vote for Trump or any of the democrats. Occasionally, I hear people rampage on it in person (though less frequently because it’s a lot easier to do from the safety of our home or office). I don’t take issue with people passionately expressing themselves. Lord knows I do it (hence the blog). BUT. I do take issue with people passionately/angrily expressing themselves in a way that will affect their witness to our world.
I wish I was kidding about the extreme opinions I’ve heard Christ-followers express directly at those who don’t follow Him, either face to face or on social media (a supposedly repercussion-free zone).
A lot of Christians are becoming more and more like the Westboro Baptist Church they mock, the church they don’t want to be associated with because of their infamous hatred. But these Christ-followers’ actions and words express the same hatred they claim to despise, even if they don’t directly state it.
We’re so angry.
But it’s time to stop letting it affect our witness.
The thing is, the only time I see Jesus addressing sin in Scripture is to express the importance of repentance. He wasn’t hateful, bashing or rude. He was calm, loving and gentle.
When the Pharisees and Sadducees (the ‘church’ of His time) started berating people (fornicators, beggars, tax collectors) He would rise to the sinner’s defense:
John 8:7- “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
Luke 3:11- “He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.”
Luke 19:7-9 – “they all murmured, saying, That [Jesus] was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner… [Zacchaeus] said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house…”
Now some of you are thinking about the time that Jesus called people “serpents” and “hypocrites” (Matthew 23) but let’s not forget who He was addressing when He used those words- the ‘church’.
Some of you are thinking about the time Jesus called a woman a “dog” but let’s not forget it was done to test her faith and we are not God so it’s not our job to do that.
Jesus came to extend grace:
John 3:16-17- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
So why do we struggle so much to be loving instead of condemning?
I get it that you’re mad. I’m also mad. But expressing that anger will never solve anything and it certainly won’t win souls. Paul said “be ye angry and sin not” (Ephesians 4:26) and to “let not your good be evil spoken of” (Romans 14:16).
I’m preaching to the choir. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve statused something only to go back and delete it.
But I also can’t tell you how many times I had to shut up and listen while people unleashed pent-up anger they had because the church hurt them in some way. I hear people blaspheme God because His church doesn’t represent Him like Jesus expected. Incidentally, He expected them to know us by our love (John 13:35). I can’t be a part of that any longer and I can’t sit silently while I watch my brothers and sisters behave that way either.
It’s time we stop making excuses for our childish behavior. It’s time we stop angrily defending our cases on social media and in public. Jesus didn’t come to establish a kingdom on earth but one in Heaven (John 18:36) so let’s try to keep that priority in check.
I challenge you to think carefully before each status you post, each blog you publish, each tweet you… well, tweet.
Is what you’re about to say aimed to establish an earthly or heavenly kingdom? Will it draw people to God or will it make them blaspheme His name?
Everything we say should be good, edifying and most importantly, it should minister grace to all who hear it.
Ephesians 4:29- “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”