Tuesday, June 17, 2014

If You Hate Jesus

One of the things that "gets my goat (I have no goats, actually, but I understand this term to imply frustration and aggravation)" is to see "Click if you love Jesus," or "'LIKE' if you love Jesus," or worst of all, "If you love Jesus, you will forward this."

Maybe it's just me, but these things seem the "religious" equivalent of the "Double Dog Dare." Instead of cowardice (or perhaps, in addition) they suggest that if I don't comply, I am a moral reprobate.

That's probably the pride stinging.

At any rate, as I viewed a "Christian" website, some time back, I noticed a large red button at the bottom of the page and the label "Click if you HATE Jesus (yes, it was that kind of website)."

Let me state right here and now that, contrary to what some may think or say, my clicking the button was motivated not by hatred of Jesus, but by (idle?) curiosity. Which I understand may be a sin in itself.

What followed was a dire warning in large red letters (larger than these, even) and a graphic rendering (rather skillful, really) of the flames of hell.

Theologically, I could find no fault with this, though the lack of loving concern in the presentation troubled me.

So what's my point? Well, like the folks with the above website, our intentions might be good. But we should be careful, don't you think, of the manner in which we express ourselves. That what we say should be in line with Scripture. Take this excerpt for example:

The Remonstrant Articles
Article 1
That God, by an eternal and unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.
What's wrong with the above paragraph? Obviously written by some folks who love Jesus. In fact, they loved Jesus so much, they sought to defend Him from the charge of being arbitrary and unfair. Rather than viewing God's grace as "irresistible," they thought of it as merely restoring man's corrupted will to a neutral state, able to choose Christ or reject Him.

Historical context, and the other four articles, here:

"God is a gentleman," is how it's phrased these days. But I don't find that in Scripture.

What I do find is that Jesus chose us and not vice versa (John 15:16); that nobody could come to Jesus unless drawn to Him by the Father (John 6:44 & 63-65). Paul provides specific examples of this choosing and drawing in Romans 9:10-29 (and elsewhere).

Does not the notion that God would supernaturally intervene in a sinner's heart merely to give that person the option to reject Himself seem extremely illogical as well as wildly improbable?

Here's the question, finally: Do we really love Jesus if we represent Him as something other than what he has shown Himself to be in Scripture?

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