I am sick of pansy Christians who don’t read their bibles. I am sick of being one of these Christians.
Is that too bold? Well, frankly, I don’t care.
Why in the world do we shy away from truth?
Why do we let people continue down a path that we (should) know full well leads to death, emptiness, and destruction?
A couple days ago I posted a Tweet and Facebook status that said the following:
Buddha’s tomb – occupied. Mohammed’s tomb – occupied. Jesus’ tomb – empty. Argue as you will. There is no point in following a loser.
It begun a debate that went into many people’s faith lives, and belief systems.
One comment that stuck out to me – and frankly got on my nerves – was one that said this:
…Christians are supposed to be supportive and non-judgmental of all people….
Really? I don’t think this is the case…this is what the word ‘Christian’ has turned into..and it breaks me.
What kind of Christian (who truly loves Jesus, and knows his worth) would turn a blind eye to sin, destruction, and false ‘saviors’?
I get in these debates all the time (both on and off of my social media sites) and it makes me sick.
People telling me how I need to live out my faith…saying things like:
“You should love all people…no matter what…”
“The bible says not to judge…or you’ll be judged…”
“What would Jesus do…?”
You really want me to answer these questions? Well I am going to. Right now.
Let’s address the first one right now:
“You should love all people…no matter what…”
I do love people, no matter what. But love does not look like turning a blind eye to someone’s faith that is going to ultimately lead to destruction and hurt.
What kind of love would that be? — I would argue that it isn’t love at all.
I would liken it to you seeing a brother or sister stuck in a bear trap, fully knowing they are going to die, and you being released from a bear trap earlier, ask the person how they are doing — and with a big smile and happy face on, they say “I am doing really good…quite peaceful and loving actually…I do good things, and feel like I am doing good in the world”. You glance back at the issue at hand (the bear trap) but ‘lovingly’ walk away from them, fully knowing that death has them in it’s grips.
How could that possibly be love?
Simple answer – it isn’t.
Love would be this:
You walk up on your brother or sister in a bear trap…you see that they may be perfectly content in the bear trap, but know the better good for them would be to remove the bear trap (or get someone to help do so), and free them to truly enjoy life, and life to the full. Free from the death grip they were in. While it may suck – and hurt them for a while to be removed from that chain, the life that they will have is thousands of times better than the one they would have had chained to a trap. Free life, life to the full, life abundantly. If you want to take it a step further (and I would), love would be putting your feet in the trap instead, so that the person you are saving literally takes your place in freedom, and you sacrifice yourself (whatever that means to you) for them…sound familiar?
Next question I get quite often…or statement rather:
“The bible says not to judge…or you’ll be judged…”
Where most people get this quote or statement from is Matthew 7:1 – which basically says “Do not judge, lest ye be judged” (KJV Paraphrase for the win!). What most people don’t really understand when they throw this verse out there is that EVERYONE is going to be judged in the end. Everyone. Even them…for making the judgement that we shouldn’t judge…how’s that for irony!
Don’t believe me about the everyone being judged part? Well check out Rev 20:13 – pretty sure everyone means everyone in that passage. So – now that we have the fact that ALL MEN will be judged (including me)…let’s move on to how we should judge, if at all…and when/where is the correct way to judge someone.
To answer that one we should check out John 7:24 which talks about not judging based on appearance but based on heart. There are many other verses that we must take into account too…including Matt 18:15-17 which talks about how to deal with another brother’s sin if he is needed to be addressed by the church. How are we supposed to decide of that brother is in sin without making some sort of judgement first?
Or what about Matt 6:1-4 which talks about not being someone who openly displays their righteousness on the street corner and in church – but to be humble. How are we supposed to notice those who do this without first seeing their actions and making a spiritual analysis on them based on this verse?
And bringing it full circle – how does the person who says ‘not to judge’ base their judgement that there is judgement being given? You cannot say someone is being judged without first seeing the situation – and making the judgement/assessment that the person is judging in the first place…basically throwing the accuser in the same line as the judgement giver…hah!
What would Jesus do…?
Well I would say this is an easy question to answer.
Jesus would do the right thing. He was not scared to step on toes, he was not scared to tell it like it was.
He would have been bold – because he knew his purpose here on earth.
Jesus actually said some pretty gutsy things to some pretty prominent people.
Want some proof? Well then, here we go!
Let’s start with something light…Jesus calling the teachers of the day ‘a brood of vipers’ and pretty much laying down the law with how it was…what they would do, and how they would do it. Check out the whole chapter of Matthew 23. It will really show you the Jesus that I serve…one who was (and is) not afraid to tell it how it was. He didn’t shy away from someone’s beliefs because they were content in them. He wouldn’t allow that – because he LOVED them and cared more for their eternities than their temporary happiness. True love.
Or what about Matthew 7:15? Where Jesus likens the teachers of the day to ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’? Did you know that in middle-eastern shepherd culture, calling someone a ‘wolf’ was the highest insult you could give? Basically like me calling someone something super bad and demeaning in today’s world. Yeah, pretty intense. Not really a guy who would be ‘accepting of everyone…no matter what…’.
Now, please don’t hear me wrong. Jesus’ blood does cover everyone’s sin and welcomes them into the family…but that doesn’t meant we can do whatever we want. We must act on this cleansing. He has already done his part – we must now do ours.
Jesus commands us to take up our crosses and follow him. He also promises that we will be persecuted, and that we may be killed for our faith. People we know and love will leave us, people we share the ‘good news’ with will laugh at us and call us crazy, or judgmental, or whatever. But we must know that we are in the right.
Oh how I wish that people who claimed Christ as their savior would actually read and study their bibles. I am sick of these arguments that go on about what love is and isn’t when the bible is super clear and honest about what love looks like.
True love – not pansy-like tolerance of others’ beliefs. Respect the belief, and the person…but you must treat the belief for what it is…a deception.
Also, I am not saying go around yelling at everyone and calling them names. But I am saying to step out – do something about the lost people around you…the people with their legs caught in bear traps.
I always get comments on my Facebook statuses about ‘needing to chill out, and quit posting statuses like these, cause it only brings more division in the church…blah blah blah…’ — You wanna know what brings division in the church? People not reading the bible – and truly studying it, and accepting it for what it says, and not what they THINK it says.
We need to accept the Jesus of the bible, not of our culture or preconceived notions of who He is. Jesus was not some pansy man who was just an all-loving no-calling-out kind of guy. He knew when to do work…he knew when to lay down the law, and wasn’t scared to step on some toes. Most of the ‘fluffy words’ we have in the bible from what Jesus is saying – actually have deeper and more meaningful connotations that what we read – if you actually study the cultures and contexts of when/where he was saying these things…it will blow you away.
We must all come to terms that our thoughts about what love looks like is corrupt and not right. We must take up our crosses and follow Christ – while showing the same grace and mercy he showed to us, not shying away from the truth that is so clear.
Strangely enough your post reminds me of something I once heard Penn Teller (an atheist) say when he was talking about why he doesn’t find it offensive when Christians try to open his eyes to Christ.
Paraphrasing here – He equated the experience to a person knowing without a doubt that he (Teller) was about to be hit by a bus and killed but being too afraid of offending him to tell him this. Teller said if you truly believe he is going to die then you have a duty to warn him and if he chooses to discount your warning then it’s on him, however if you choose not to give him that warning then his death or damnation if you will is your guilt to bare.
What you are saying is right, it’s just not always what people want to hear in this go along to get along world.
“What you are saying is right, it’s just not always what people want to hear in this go along to get along world.”
And I am very okay with that. Thank you for your feedback! :)
I AM SO THANKFUL YOU ARE WILLING TO STAND UP & PREACH/TEACH THE TRUTH – LIKE YOU SAY THEIR IS A DECEPTION IN THE WORLD & CHURCH THESE DAYS ABOUT THE EASY GREASY GRACE & NO REPROOF, REBUKE, CORRECTION TO ANYONE & ESPECIALLY OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST – JUDGMENT BEGINS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD & WE SHOULD BE WILLING AS JESUS WAS/IS TO LAY DOWN OUR LIVES & WORLDLY REPUTATIONS TO GIVE THE TRUTH & THE ABILITY TO MAKE A DECISION TO THOSE WHO ARE DYING WITH NO ETERNAL LIFE OR JUST HELPING A SISTER/BROTHER WALK A STRAIGHTER OR VERY STRAIGHT LINE IN CHRIST JESUS. JAN
Amen! :) Thank you!
I think that this is what a lot of people,in and out of the church, need to hear. I totally agree with what you said. When will there be a sense of urgency in the church to STAND UP and fight these giants in the world. We have to die to ourselves to fully serve God, and to me, a part of dying to yourself means that you have to be willing to go to who God sends you to and speak without “filters” because you are scared to offend someone. When the church can get off their high horse and show that they to are human and just be real instead of living behind these facades, I believe we will see growth in the church because there is a generation on fire for God. Not a generation playing the church game cause it’s what everyone else is doing, nor to make themselves feel better. Thank you for posting this and not being ashamed or scared to step on a few toes:)
Thank you so much for reading it, and for the lovely comment! YOU ROCK!
John! This is incredible!! Preach it, brother! These are high points that come up all the time, and you nailed it right in the head! To those who say we shouldn’t judge because we will be judged, they’re already judging by asking you all these questions that you don’t love enough and you should be a good Christian! I am so proud of you!
Thanks Juan! Blessed to be in this with you! God is amazing, isn’t he?
He is truly amazing, John! God has blessed me for you to be in my life, and I am truly grateful for the stand you take. You’re highly inspiring and this only grows my love for God even more! Truly, ever since I did my fast in October, I had this immense focus and fellowship with God that in order not to be tempted with food, reading the bible was one of the best experiences of my life. I have been reading the bible daily since then; something I had never done in my life! I would read it here and there, but now it’s been daily! And I have 5 books left to go until I complete the whole Bible, and then jump on a book and dive into full study mode! GOD IS GOOD!!
Amazing! I was given advice to just read it like a book – you know?
To just read it…don’t study it…for the first few times.
Then to start digging in – because after 3 times you start to become a little more familiar.
And then you can properly start digging in and studying words, and context.
Just some advice :)
This is great advice!! Thank you so much! I bought “The Story” bible that flows like an actual story of the whole bible. I will read that and get more familiar! I do have to say after reading 1 Chronicles, I was, like, “So many names of people!!” LOL But this is a good strategy, John! I will truly take your advice.
Bold like Jesus. Yes, you are!!
Doing my best, doing my best! :)
You make me SO mad, John!
Mad at myself for not reading the bible even more. ;)
The good news is this: That is an easy fix! READ IT!
Indeed it is, my good friend. Indeed it is.
Peace to you, sir.
Dude, for real – you are a beast! Don’t EVER be afraid to tell it how it is. Continue being bold! And I agree, we need to get our face into the Word and get to know Christ deeper. “Judge not, lest ye be judged” is a favorite amongst many people. And what makes it really funny is when a Christian says that to you. And then that takes on a whole different response, because we ARE to judge those who claim to be in Christ. It goes back to love like you said. If I loved you, and if you loved me, we wouldn’t let each other walk down a path of destruction.
Bro, do you think it’d be possible for you to get up a little something something for a possible guest post on my tumblr sometime after the beginning of the year? That’s be awesome if so. If not, that’s cool too. :)
I would love to – but I am about to go on vacation and enjoy some time with my family and friends.
Maybe next year! ;)
John, thank you for not being ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. True love, unconditional love is to speak the truth, no matter how offensive it may be. It will bring division, Jesus even told us it would…but we need to be willing to make that sacrifice. Your post was right on, and encouragement to my soul. Thanks, and God bless you! :-)
Read your blog…this is dead on…I would agree to the best of my spiritual knowledge….but, will leave verses so to let God speak for himself….Like for ex. a basic idea for a disciple would be Romans chapter 12. Philippians 2:6-8….(cross) Galatians 5:17/Galatians 1:10/ Luke 16:15.
You have no idea what it meant for me to see this. That is the God we serve. I could hear the roar in every word and see the fire of passionate, violent love burning in His eyes. This is His love. A love as strong as death. A love that breaks chains, not a form of worldly watered down nonsacrificial love waiting for a chain to wear down in the lethal comfort of social norms, but a violent love to break away the restraints and powerfully restore the hearts that are just puzzle pieces of His own and the purpose that separates us from any other dust or decay on earth. This is the God we serve. It’s not right for us to be anything but militant. Our society is militant with the images it puts forth and attacks that nip at the heels and hearts of this generation. We can’t be anything less than what God created us to be. Society trains fighters but God has an army of lovers He created to lay down their lives and carry Him with the majestic beauty and fire that we are bind to Him in. An army to lay down their lives for Him and there’s nothing thin, weak, passive, or watered down about that.
Thanks for the blog post. :)
Thank YOU for the lovely reply! :)
If you look at a tree full of oranges can you then call it an apple tree? No you know the tree by the fruit it bears. So you can be a fruit inspector without casting judgement. Like you said ” The bible says not to judge…or you’ll be judged…” is meant as do not judge someone on background or appearance but by their actions. As far as the What Would Jesus Do? We should ask what WWUD, What Will You Do?, When Jesus finally decides enough is enough as burns the place to the ground. Great Read thanks
Thanks for the insight and reply man! Glad you enjoyed the read!
I love this post. Christians need to and have to start stepping up to the plate. Jesus was bold for us, and we need to be bold for Him. I call dying on a tree (which was considered a curse) an act of boldness. And it’s amazing how God used that “curse” and turned it into a PROMISE. But we have to be BOLD and step up! Christians need to get into the WORD and find out what God has to say to them
I live in a country where all my friends are Muslims. I can never put a status like this on my Facebook ”Buddha’s tomb – occupied.
Mohammed’s tomb – occupied.
Jesus’ tomb – empty. Argue as
you will. There is no point in
following a loser.”. That would be so insulting. … calling their sacred prophet a loser! !! Maybe if I were in their shoes it would hurt me to read this . I agree with you but sometimes we need to show Christ before we speak. Maybe when they see that we’re different they would come and ask why we’re like that and then we could speak. I wish you knew what I mean. But you live in a country where it’s normal to be bold about whatever you believe in.
I can feel you there. Praying for your own form of boldness. Stepping out looks different from person to person!
Thanks for your courage!
I wouldn’t call it boldness so much as truth-giving :p
By the way … anybody who wants to complain about what you write, I’ve got the perfect place for them to go: http://www.whine-list.com (check it out!)
hahaha! good one :)
I like your comment, “I wouldn’t call it boldness as truth-giving.” The truth is the truth is the truth and we have a duty to tell it, even if we risk being “murdered” for it. I think we shy away from telling the truth because we “love” our lives too much to step out and call deception what it is. But as the scriptures say, perfect love casts out fear. I love the David Wilkerson and Nicky Cruz’ story in that respect. Truth not told in love is not really truth telling, has no protection from God as David Wilkerson had and is likely to alienate rather than convict.
I believe that each person has a unique way of telling the truth and we just need to ensure we follow our unique way as led by the Holy Spirit.
I believe truth should be told with wisdom. Jesus said, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to gainsay nor resist.” I believe we can speak the truth in a way that will cut the hearers to the bone and they will cry “What must we do to be saved.” The important thing is to save the lost, not to alienate them and that is where I believe love and wisdom come in. I think one of the most outstanding truth telling was Paul’s speech on Mars Hill, to philosophers and idol worshippers – some mocked, some believed but he told the truth beautifully so their blood is no longer on his hands, and he lived to tell more truth.
True, we are not to judge others, however, we are to judge fruit, sin, actions… Remember the axiom, “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin.” We must love the sinner enough to tell him/her the truth in love. We must hate sin more than we dislike the sting of being rejected for telling the truth in love, if they do indeed reject us. We must trust Holy Spirit to fill our mouths with His Words instead of ours, so that true wisdom may be spoken in love; and even if it is only in the form of a mustard seed, it will grow and bear its fruit in its time.
Good article, passionate heart.
One other thing. A prisoner in a dungeon will pull away from someone removing shackles that have held them for years. Why? Because the shackles have worn sores and injury into the captive, and in the past it removing their shackles has often meant torture, of course it will hurt, and cause an apparently negative reaction. But when the salve of love is applied, and the doors are swung open, the freedom provided by the light of truth will heal their hearts.
Awesome post, John!
Keep belting out the truth John. I am told to piper down all the time. It comes with the territory. It came to Yeshua’s territory. Pansie, yip BIG misconception people have that is why the world, or shall I say the body has people lik you and me and others of the faith to say HAY this is how it is study it for yourself. I get dropped kicked all the time my skin is getting thicker:), by believers and non believers. For the truth gets people rumbling and uncomfortable. I say I rather someone speak the truth and me not like what I hear but I know it is truth. Because lieing is despicable to me:) Not that I am perfect of it but try my best to walk the straight line. I like the bear trap analogy. Great angle and metaphor. Oraleh!!! keep on keeping on Brother…..
I gather that the writer is frustrated, agitated, and blowing his top. I’m afraid the good intention is lost in the style of writing. sorry, I gave up serious reading after half way. Then speed read the balance. Not moved
Well, the writer is me. And I am frustrated and agitated…you are spot on.
Expected some people to ‘not be moved’ — that’s the sad part.
There are several things confused between patience, relationship, and judgement. The Religious Leaders of the Law did not even know Jesus they were scared to asked questions because they were stuck in their doubts of real relationship with the father. If they knew Jesus they would know the father. Jesus is controversial because he led people to faith in the father or not. Doing an exgesis of what the relgious leaders did in Matthew 23 and other similar text show you between the religious culture that wanted to self-justify themselves with works ultimately there is also another culture they led to Jesus and relationship with the father that prepared the way for Jesus that has always been. This is the culture that we need to see because it leads us to the father who is Christ.
Michael! It is so good to see you back on the blog!
Hope you are doing well buddy – your feedback is always so detailed and packed full of truth.
Thanks for taking the time to write this lovely comment – hope to see you again soon, man!
Thank you for this, John. Recently I have been convicted about not reading my bible or living out my faith at work.
I think there is a difference between trying to live without offending anyone, and living an authentic life that people will take offense too.
Jesus was the perfect man and yet many people took offense to his words and deeds. He wasn’t worried about if people were offended, He saw straight through to their souls.
Hi bud! top stuff!
your a blessing and encouragement!
stumbled on your site by twitter, watched your testimony, awesome stuff! how awesome is Jesus! and the grace and freedom he brings!
Keep doing what your doing big guy!
Blessings from Northern Ireland!
Thank you for checking out my blog over there in Northern Ireland! :)
God bless – hope to see more of you around these parts.
John, great blog, love in JESUS