Please Don't Hate Me


The world can't hate you, 
but it does hate me 
because I accuse it of doing evil. 
John 7:7


Jesus spoke those words to his unbelieving brothers.

Jesus accused the world of doing evil. He spoke up. He told the truth. And the world hated him.

Wait.

Who hated him?

I thought it was the world that followed him wherever he went. The world that he came to heal and to save. The world that crowded him into a boat, that pressed in on him so hard in the streets, just longing to touch him and be healed. The constant cry for help that caused him to need to go apart and rest awhile. The world, the sinners, the reprobates, the diseased, the lepers, the tax collectors, the pagans, the lost, the hurt, the blind, the needy, the adulterers, the liars, the whores, the outcasts. I thought it was the world that he impacted so hard. The world that he turned upside down to make it right. The people in the world that he loved so well and that loved him back. (You can read about all of this in the Gospels)

Wasn't it the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, Wouldn'tsees and Couldn'tsees that hated him?

But Jesus says that it is the world that hates him. I think I've got something wrong here.

These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship is a farce,
for they teach man-made ideas 
as commands of God.
Mark 7:6-7


I just read something that knocked me to my knees, actually made me tremble a bit. I am trembling at God's Word. I think we are supposed to do that, but I rarely do. Pretty much I read it, believe it, try to do it. You know, morning devotions a short prayer and I'm off for my day. But now, just now, I read something that MAKES ME TREMBLE.

Truth is essential.

This is it, it is kind of long, but just read it, okay?

Jesus said:

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? 'A slave is not greater than the master.' Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all of this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me also hates my father. If I hadn't done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my father. This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: 'They hated me without cause.'John 15:18-25


So who is Jesus talking about here? The world? Since when did the Scriptures belong to the world?

Maybe the world isn't the reprobate sinner, the rebellious one, Hollywood, rock music and the Gay Pride Movement. I'm not saying that we can live any way we want and be assured of salvation, but I am saying that these were Jesus' people, not the religious.

Are you getting it?

I wonder, would it be right to say that Jesus is equating the world with defiled religion?

So just what is religion anyway? I hear a lot of grumbling about religion these days. I too hate religion, but do I really want to take such a hard line stance, on anything? I mean, James referred to religion in a positive sense when he spoke about pure and undefiled religion. (James1:27) So maybe what I hate is religion gone bad. Dirty defiled religion. The religion of man made ideas that has so effectively infiltrated our pulpits, our churches and our homes

Who said?!

That is what I feel like screaming! If only someone would listen. It is everywhere. All over this country that I love so well. Religion. Walk into just about any church in America and experience the familiar comfort of religion. This is all most of us know, and so we just accept it. But wait! Says who? We need to wake up people. We need to start asking some questions. Why are we doing what we do? Why do we have church like this? Where does it say in THE BIBLE that we should be doing it this way or that way or should we be doing this at all?

What are we doing? And for God's sake, why?

The more I read about Jesus' life and the words he spoke, the more convinced I am that we need to make some major changes in what we define as Christianity. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. 1John 2:6

One day all too soon we are each going to wake up on the other side, and judgement will be upon us. We may make it in, but we are still going to answer to God about what we did with Truth. We are without excuse. One day we are going to have to give an account of our lives, to God. Some of us won't even make it in. (Matthew7:21-27) Truth is essential. Living the truth we know is essential. Knowledge is something to approach with fear and trepidation. Once we know something, we are accountable for it. To him who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. Ouch. (2Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 5:31-46, James 4:17)

Just because we have always done it this way is not going to stand on judgement day. All of our works will be tested with fire. Only the pure and undefiled will remain, the rest will burn up. We might be saved, but our works will burn. (1Corinthians 3:12-15)

Truth is essential, and it is essential that we get it right.

Let's think about this.


Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 1John 3:18-19

With much grace and love,

Renee

Comments

Aritha said…
Thank you for this radical, refreshing blog.

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