If You’re Not Like Them, They Will Not Like You
Posted on July 2, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, To minister to Him, and love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath, and holds fast My covenant” — Isaiah 56:6 (NASB)
It must have been some sight to see when Jesus cleansed the Temple by kicking over tables, scattering money and chasing animals outta the Gentile court with some sorta whip. So much so that we can find the account in all four Gospels. In three of those Gospels Jesus will repeat what we find in Isaiah 56:7d, “For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” Basically, Jesus had had enough of what He was seeing going on and decided to take action. Not that He wasn’t beforehand but this is the infamous moment where we all think this only time Jesus lost His cool. Oh, you of little faith.
I was recently reading the introduction to a new book out titled “What Made Jesus Mad” by Pastor Tim Harlow. In it I read that the Barna Group did some research on whether Christians were more like Jesus or more like the Pharisees. Now if you are sensitive to this kinda stuff, stop reading this ‘cos you ain’t gonna like the results.
They found out that 51% of Christians were Pharisaical with only 14% being those with a true Christ-likeness. Now you can find these results on the interwebs just like I went and did and you’ll see the criteria they used to make this determination. As a side note here, if you wanna fall back on your denomination affiliation you may wanna think twice on that as well. But getting back to the introduction to the book.
Pastor Harlow shares about a friend of his named Caleb and an experience he had been through. Now for me the whole illustration gives me the willies because it tells about the bad behavior of all parties involved (including the Christian viewpoint and action taken) but there was this statement made by his mother that really hit me, “Caleb, they’re Christians, and Christians hate gay people. If you’re not like them, they will not like you.” WHAT!? Now I really got the willies but isn’t this how Secularland is seeing us now?
It was funny to have watched the presidential debates on television recently. It looked like those people had some serious hate going on. I mean they just turned on each other at one point or another and it seemed like they weren’t even on the same page but on a few issues that Christians have zealously opposed they were all united in this one thing…Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Any opposition to this meant your identity is found in bigotry and hatred. This mindset is picking up speed and we need to be careful to watch the direction it goes in. Anyway…
It’s in all this that I ask myself this question…Do I represent the Gospel to other people in a way where it’s important to know God is for them, than it is to make sure they know they’re sinners OR does it only help me stand against people who are against Christians values? Now I realize that as a member of the Freedom Fighter team being apologetic (having the ability to defend the faith) goes along with the territory but if all I am is clanging brass what good am I to furthering the Kingdom. I might as well give this stuff up if all I’m doing is being a legalistic extremist with no ability to extend the same grace that was imparted to me. The word “hypocrite” comes to mind, doesn’t it?
If there is anything I can say, as I wrap this up today, is that we need to be careful that its Jesus publicly cleansing the Temple and not us. It’s not a bad thing to be zealous for the standards of God but it is another thing to be obnoxious or even careless about them. It is true that we are called to make a stand for the Gospel but it’s the name of the LORD that’s the strong tower and not “Chris Hughes, the mighty Christian solider of YHVH.”
We don’t want the unsaved driving around with bumper stickers that say, “Jesus, save me from your followers.” On the contrary, if we’ve done our part for the Gospel’s sake their bumper stickers should agree that “Jesus Saves.” We may not like what they do and that’s fine, Jesus didn’t either, but He didn’t kick them to the curb. He met them at their level and showed them the most excellent way. If you say you’re His, then do likewise. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “What I’m saying is, if you or one of your friends are having a hard time following Jesus and being in a relationship with your Father in heaven because His followers have been badly representing Him, there is still hope for things to be different.” — Tim Harlow
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. – Romans 5:18
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.