This is so good I had to re-post it here on WordPress.
FROM MATT WALSH BLG:
Jesus deliberately did …and said things that He knew would upset people. He stirred up division and controversy. He provoked. He didn’t have to break from established customs, but He did. He didn’t have to heal that man’s hand on the Sabbath, knowing how it would disturb others and cause them immense irritation, but He did, and He did so with ‘anger’ [Mark 3:5]. He could have gone with the flow a little bit. He could have chilled out and let bygones be bygones, but He didn’t. He could have been diplomatic, but He wasn’t.
He could have told everyone to relax, but instead He made them uncomfortable. He could have put them at ease, but He chose to put them on edge.
He convinced the mob not to stone the adulterer [John 8], and you’ll notice that He then turned to her and told her to stop sinning. Indeed, never once did He encounter sin and corruption and say: “Hey, do your thang, homies. Just have fun. YOLO!”
The followers of Nice Jesus love to quote the ‘throw the first stone’ verse — and for good reason, it’s a beautiful and compelling story — but you rarely hear mention of the exchange that occurs just a few sentences later, in that very same chapter. In John 8:44, Jesus rebukes unbelieving Jews and calls them ‘sons of the Devil.’ Wow.
That wasn’t nice, Jesus.
Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you can catch more flies with honey, Jesus?
Of course, you’d catch even more flies with a mound of garbage, so maybe ‘catching flies’ isn’t the point.
While we’re often reminded that Jesus said, ‘live by the sword, die by the sword,’ we seem to ignore his other sword references. Like when he told his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy a sword [Luke 22], or when He said that He ‘didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword’ [Matthew 10].
Now, It’s true that He is God and we are not. Jesus can say whatever He wants to say. But we are called to be like Christ, which begs the question: what is Christ like?
Well, He is, among other things, uncompromising. He is intolerant of evil. He is disruptive. He is sometimes harsh. He is sometimes impolite. He is sometimes angry.
He is always loving.
Christ was not and is not a cosmic guidance counselor, and He is not mankind’s best friend, nor did He call us to be. He made dogs for that role — our destiny is more substantial, and our path to it is far more challenging and dangerous.
And nice? Where does nice factor into this?
Nice: affable, peachy, swell.
Nice has nothing to do with Christianity. I’ve got nothing against nice — nice is nice — but even serial killers can be nice to people. They generally are exceptionally affable, except when they’re murdering. That means they’re nice to, like, 97 or 98 percent of everyone they meet.
I guess they’re following Christ almost all of the time, right?
Tolerance is easy. Any coward can learn to tolerate something. Tolerance is inaction; intolerance is action. We are called to refuse to tolerate evil. We are called to get angry at it and actively work to destroy it.
Who’d have guess it — anger is far more godly than tolerance ever could be.
Obviously I’m not suggesting that anger is automatically, or even usually, justified. Christ exhibited righteous anger; righteous anger is the sort of anger that naturally fills our soul when we confront the depths of depravity and sin. It is wrong to seethe with rage because someone cut us off in traffic or gossips about us behind our back, but it is also wrong to feel no anger when babies are murdered and the institution of the family is undermined and attacked. Anger is good when it is directed at things that offend not us, but God. Just as Christ’s intolerance, like the intolerance we’re commanded to have, stems from a desire to save souls and defend Truth.
Even when we have righteous anger, we do not have carte blanche to act on it in anyway we please. But, according to the Bible, there are times to use strong language, there are times to cause a scene, there are times to hurt people’s feelings, and there are times when we might need to use physical force.
Jesus told us to turn the other cheek when we are personally attacked; He never told us to turn our backs entirely and let lies spread and evil grow.
So, enough with the niceties.
Christians in this country sound too similar to the the Golden Girls song, and not enough like the Battle Hymn of the Republic. There’s too much ‘thank you for being a friend,’ and not enough ‘lightening from His terrible swift sword.’
We’re all hugging and singing Kumbaya, when we should be marching and shouting Hallelujah.
We’re nice Christians with our nice Jesus, and we are trampled on without protest.
I think it’s time that Christianity regain its fighting spirit; the spirit of Christ.
I think it’s time we ask that question: ‘What would Jesus do?’
And I think it’s time we answer it truthfully: Jesus would flip tables and yell.
Maybe we ought to follow suit.