Jesus may love you, but we sure don’t…

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I’m sorry. I was eavesdropping on a conversation at Starbucks.

Two men were talking behind my back, one much louder than the other. As Loud Man trespassed my sonic space box, I heard him say, “I lit him up!”

Tell me you wouldn’t be intrigued.

He continued. Loudly. Boasting about all the times that he had fought the imbeciles in the public school system. And won.

The principal wasn’t doing enough to curb the spree of lunch box theft. The softball coach didn’t give his kid enough playing time. And the teacher who had embarrassed his kid by asking him a question he couldn’t answer – well, he taught his kid more in 5 minutes that evening than the teacher had been able to do all semester and forced a public apology from the teacher besides!

“And these are the ‘professionals!’” he exclaimed. “Who’s paying for all this? The taxpayers! We deserve better! I could do better!”

Then he told his friend – along with all but the deafest of Starbucks’s customers – how he “lit” those incompetents up! I can only imagine the scenes…

Of course, I don’t judge this man because 1) that’s not my job, 2) I didn’t hear the whole conversation, and 3) he calmed down enough for me to tune him out.

But then a new subject arose…

All of a sudden I heard Loud Man confessing the Christian faith! (I would call it “evangelizing,” but…well, you’ll see.)

I heard him talk about spiritual warfare and pontificate about the symbolism of the Revelation. Then he brought C. S. Lewis’s trilemma to bear on his friend, to whom he said, “I don’t know where your faith is, but…” From there, he constructed a purely reasonable defense of Christianity that you’d have to be a fool to disagree with.

I mean that.

He made the Gospel sound like a mathematical formula on the level of 2+2, contemptuously scorning anyone too stupid to believe it. As with his public school skirmishes, he was absolutely right beyond question, and all others were buffoons.

Dumbfounded.

Here was a man who had just bragged about his monstrous behavior, now talking about the simplicity of believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I couldn’t help but conclude that here was a man who had the Bible on the brain but not in the heart.

So I left Starbucks that day thinking hard. Not about Loud Man, but about my own words spoken with his voice. I’ve been him.

Dear God, please let me never repeat that phase of my life.

But then I got on social media, and there he was again. Not him specifically, but his kin. Raging Republican Reverends. Men (and women) who confess the Gospel of Christ professionally but then use their personal accounts to denounce Democrats, Socialists, Muslims, and LGBT activists (among others).

Not discuss, or even debate.

Denounce. Denigrate. Despise. Decry.

And I wonder: just whom do we expect we will win to Christ?

If I were to judge by the temperature of opprobrium, these must be the “lostest” of the lost. So why do we seem more eager to “curse the darkness” than to enter it bearing the Light of the world?

I feel certain that if I were a Democrat, I would never darken the door of a church that considered me a “stupid, godless liberal.” If I were a Socialist, I wouldn’t spend much time with people who considered me part of an evil global conspiracy. If I were a Muslim, I wouldn’t want to hear about the love of Jesus from someone content to let my children starve in the squalor of a refugee camp. If I belonged to any part of the LGBT acronym, I know I would oppose any group that lumped me together with child molesters.

What’s our mission anyway?

These aren’t neutral subjects, and Christians should work to think biblically about them. But we should never let our opinions stand in front of the Great Commission and the Great Commandments. Unfortunately, I think sometimes we confuse the Constitution for Scripture and Columbia for the Kingdom of Christ.

Then we become the Loud Man.

And all the world hears is: “Jesus may love you, but we sure don’t.”

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10 Responses to Jesus may love you, but we sure don’t…

  1. Terry says:

    Amen! I was talking to a friend the other day who stated that they would give any gay couple who wanted to use their business for a wedding a piece of their mind and refuse to serve them because she was a Christian. I said I would feel that as a Christian I would have to give them the best I had and tell them that I was doing this out of my lkve for Jesus. This could lead to a chance to tell them of salvation and why they need to change their lives. My friend was not in total agreement,but I feel we do drive away more of those most in need by our hard line stand and need to show- no do- more loving things to win the lost to Christ.

    • Great answer! I appreciate the struggle of Christians trying to love sinful people (we’re all sinful) without approving of their sin, but I simply don’t understand the use of unnecessarily alienating the very people we’re supposed to be reaching.

      Now here’s a question for you: what if you never get the chance to evangelize? Is it enough to glorify God by representing Christ well?

      • Mneel says:

        Short answer, yes. Even Christ didn’t preach to everyone at the first opportunity, sometimes He was just kind and let them come to Him.

  2. N. Jones says:

    Wow, convicting! Great post.

  3. Tim Hartman says:

    I had never considered this until I began working with an atheist three days a week. The way he had been treated by “Christians” was shameful and in no way reflected Christ. Even “Christian” co-workers would make snarky comments in front of him, supposedly defending the faith. I can’t argue him into believing. I can treat him as Christ would treat him.

  4. Jim Taylor says:

    Reminds me of the song, “If you want to lead me to Jesus,” by Grover Levy. Here’s the chorus:

    If you want to lead me to Jesus
    you better find a better way
    ‘Cause your life is speaking so loud
    I can’t even hear a word you say

    Sadly, too many Christians don’t get “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

    • Thanks for sharing that! And it’s so accurate. Except in this case, we might say, “Your Facebook posts are speaking so loud I can’t even hear a word you say.” What’s that Gaither song? “I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven…”

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