In the last ten years, I've noticed a new teaching permeating the Church, which I call "The Love Gospel." We are simply to love everyone all the time.
We must accept everyone and welcome them with open arms. If we are kind to those who disagree with us, they will return to church and have the opportunity to hear the gospel. If we befriend them and invite them into our homes, they will eventually become followers of Jesus, just like us.
Most importantly, we're not to offend anyone. For example, we should avoid potentially inflammatory topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and anything remotely political in nature.
Recently, prominent and formerly respected pastors have taken this teaching to a whole new level.
Even when someone displays hostility towards the Word of God, we are to apologize for our behavior.
Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly agree with the need to be kind and compassionate to everyone. I have had lots of friends who think and act differently than I do. As a family, we support struggling individuals with our time and resources, both in our local community and throughout the World. Our love for each other is, after all, the trademark of a true believer, according to John 13:35.
But something isn't adding up in my mind. If Jesus really was the tolerant, passive, mild-mannered gentlemen we would like to believe He was, would His own people have killed Him? If He loved everyone all the time and without judgment, why did they hunt him down like an animal? Asking for a friend.
Is it possible that Jesus wasn't always "nice," as some have presumed? He called out the church leaders as being white-washed tombs full of dead bones; He aggressively confronted temple vendors who were cheating and exploiting the poor and underprivileged; He disregarded virtue signalers who opposed Him healing a paraplegic because of their legalistic traditions.
The Son of God didn't come to earth to lead a worship service; He came to lead his disciples into battle. In Matthew 10:16, He said to his followers, "Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves." He warned they would be betrayed and persecuted. He told them to look out for those in authority who would try to kill them.
Jesus trained and commissioned his early followers to be activists, not choir directors.
This begs the question, why were He and his followers so hated? Because they spoke the truth. Jesus said, "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs" (Matthew 10:27). Later in the same passage, Jesus boldly declares that they should not suppose that He came to earth to bring peace but rather to bring a sword (verse 34). Say what? That doesn't sound nice.
Personally, I think some have mistaken cowardice for kindness. Are we lulling people to sleep with a false sense of security when we should be shouting the truth from the mountaintops?
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