Do We Look Like Jesus or the World?

I look at my social media feeds and watch the hate and disinformation fly. I’ve heard someone say they follow Q of QaNon. That person claims to follow Jesus. 

You either follow Jesus exclusively or not at all. 

This gets to my next point in this overly-politicized time. Christians are making America an idol. It’s called Christian Nationalism.

The Church—born-again believers worldwide—are a separate nation called the Kingdom of God. We’re to be salt and light instead of just salty. 

Our mission is to get more people into that nation.

As I said in an earlier post, we’re not of this world. We’re just in it, passing through. 

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:15-17

Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount gives what some call the Constitution of the Church. Notice the keywords in Matthew 5:1-2:

“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.”

Not the public, his followers. The Sermon on the Mount is for Christians.

You may say that everyone is just messing up, or it would be better to follow Jesus.

Amen to that. However, I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t follow Jesus to act like a Christian. I expect Christians to act like Christians. 

Here’s a quote from a book I’m reviewing on Friday.

“Dallas Willard was once asked why Christians are so mean. He responded by saying that Christians tend to be mean to the degree that they value being right over being like Christ. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but we can make them that way when instead of receiving the words of Jesus and the writings of Paul as love letters from God to those who are chosen and loved, we use them as verbal weapons to wage war against people who don’t yet believe. I don’t want you to rush by that last sentence. 

God’s directives and “rules” in the New Testament aren’t intended to be verbal grenades that we lob at people who don’t believe. When someone doesn’t accept Jesus’ authority, we can’t expect them to listen to what the Bible teaches. When God has won over our hearts, we understand that his revealed words regarding appropriate behavior are birthed in love and ultimately given for our best interests. We won’t love God’s words until we first love God, so keep first things first. Taunting people even with the truth can become toxic in a controlling sort of way. It’s still taunting. Methods matter.”

Don’t antagonize people purposely. It’s like Ellen Page changing their name to Elliot Page. That raised a stink. 

It doesn’t matter; call them by whatever they want to be called. The goal is to win people, not make a point. 

In the Corinthian Church, they had a guy having sex with his stepmom. They were okay with it. But they were condemning people outside the church for sin. Paul wasn’t happy. 

Why? Because while Christians are a work in progress, we still have a standard to reach. We won’t reach it until we die, but every decision is a step toward it or away. 

This guy was unrepentant, so Paul said kick him out. 

The guy repented. The Corinthians asked what to do now. In 2nd Corinthians 2, Paul said welcome him back and comfort him. Reconciliation is always the goal. 

Paul said this about the Church compared to the world: 

“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13

Worry less about the state of affairs in America and more about the state of affairs in the Church. Do we look like Jesus or the culture?

Because if we look like the culture, why would they bother to come to Jesus as we represent Him since they have what they want now?

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