Summary: If you interact on the web, or with folks in your hometown you may come across Christians who tend to believe that Jesus Christ was the nicest of nice person who ever walked the planet.
If you interact on the web, or with folks in your hometown you may come across Christians who tend to believe that Jesus Christ was the nicest of nice person who ever walked the planet. This Jesus apparently never offended anyone. This Jesus was all inclusive. This Jesus endorsed gay marriage. This Jesus doesn't give truth, but only gives love and acceptance. This Jesus accepted everyone. This Jesus never said anything mean. This Jesus embraced every ideology. But it turns out... this Jesus never existed.
Let's look at some of Jesus's all inclusive statements:
In Matthew 12:36 (ESV) Jesus said,"I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak."
In Luke 14:26 (NLT) "If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison--your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple."
In Matthew 5:10 (NIV) "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
In Matthew 19:21 (ESV) Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
And finally we see in Matthew Chapter 23 the quintessential tepid, all inclusive Jesus having a few words with the scribes and Pharisees, including: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness." -Matthew 23:27 (ESV)
Jesus was awesome. In fact Jesus is presently awesome, seated in glory and majesty at the right hand of God the Father. He is presently completely awesome. Why? Because he was very loving. But he was also so truthful. He was a warrior for truth. He took a stand. And as a guy, I love that. I love the love of Jesus, and the mercy of Jesus, but more and more so I appreciate the defiant, courageous, truthful Jesus who stood against the corruption of those times.
Jesus was God in the flesh, when he walked on Earth. If God himself took a stand 2,000 years, we must be in good company when we take a stand today. But watch out for those nicer than nice Christians. They are the ones who will stand up and call you out when you take a stand on some key issue like bathroom policy, marriage laws, pornography, human trafficking, abortion, or other issues. I've seen this, they stand up and say, "Hey you can't do that. You can't say that. Who are you to tell others what they should do? Jesus said do not judge!" Now my first response is to reply, "Well, if you think Jesus meant never stand for anything, and to never judge anything or anyone, then why are you judging me for judging? Aren't you violating your own standard?" This gets them rather flustered, let me tell you. But ultimately the issue is: I'm not called to judge, as in condemnation. But I am called to judge in terms of discernment and standing for the truth. The word says "discern all things." The word also says "you will judge all things" (Hebrews 5:14, Philippians 1:9-10). Jesus said in John 7:24 (ESV) "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Why do they stand up to attack those who stand for the truth? Very simply, because they aren't standing for anything. They carry the same arguments progressives and atheists use to attack what they call the "religious right." It is a favorite past time of some Christians and bloggers to go after the "religious right" and bash them. Why? Because it gives them a false sense of moral superiority. In the cultural debates of our time and age, often what we see is various groups of individuals attempting to take the moral high ground from one another. One group says they're standing for "LGBT rights" then the next group says they're standing for "Religious liberty" and on and on it goes. With liberal Christians they disdainfully critique the "religious right" as hateful, when they have no idea what they're talking about. And even worse, they're shooting their own and attacking those who are fighting for their rights, rights that are in peril every single day. In fact, if it weren't for "religious right" organizations like the Alliance defending Freedom taking on the ACLU in court time and again, we'd have lost our religious liberty by now. That's how critical this struggle is. Ultimately, it goes to a lack of understanding of the scriptures and how they are applied. But it's not entirely the fault of the person, the problem often is that pastors and leaders are too concerned with filling their church seats, and they don't address key issues like religious freedom, the Constitution, abortion, gay marriage, and such concerns. They're too concerned with being "loving and cool." And many of them are more concerned with attendance numbers and the dollars coming in. Sad, but true.