Don’t Blame Jesus—
The Lord invites men to come to him,
but weirdly enough, we have no one to invite.
JUST look around. There are lots of weird Christians. And worse, they parade oddity as a badge of faithfulness to Jesus. With little encouragement one will declare: “Well, we are supposed to a peculiar people.” They emphasize peculiar.
There are lots of harsh —just basically mean brethren. They are proud of it. They gleefully recall how they “got someone told” —“worked them over” —“whipped their ears down.” Brethren do that, but do not blame Jesus. They did not learn that from Jesus. He is not mean and made no one else mean.
Surely there is a time to be direct and pointed. We must “tell it like it is”. Yet you can “tell it like it is” —compromise no truth —avoid nothing that needs saying, and still be considerate of people and their feelings. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,” (Eph.4:32).
There are hard-hearted brethren. People’s woes never move them. People are hungry; “Their fault —tough! Can’t help everybody.” They help no one —if they can get around it. These never err from being overly compassionate. The limitations on church benevolence become excuses for ignoring people’s needs. Many do not care at all —and are proud of it. “We just run off the bums.” They really are tough and hard, but do not blame Jesus! Jesus was compassionate and never made anyone hard hearted. Learning from Jesus point a man in exactly the opposite direction from hard hearted.
Other brethren are anti-social. They proudly withdraw from society —become social recluses. They have no friends other than Christians and would apologize if they did. If fact, they have no friends who are not absolutely correct Christians. So —they really have no friends at all. And they thank Jesus for it! Wait! Don’t blame Jesus; it is not his fault.
Jesus was criticized for being a “friend of tax collectors and sinners!”(Lk.7:34). Jesus attended the wedding feast at Cana (Jno.2:1). He ate with sinners(Lk.15:1). Though he rebuked their lifestyle, he associated with them socially —eventually taught and converted many of them. Don’t blame Jesus because we have no social ties with neighbors; we did not get that from him.
With such a disposition brethren do not reach the lost. Many congregations cannot figure what to do with a stack of meeting announcements; they have no friends to invite. They know no one to discuss the Bible with —no one to lead to obey the Lord. Backing away from people was learned somewhere, but do not blame Jesus
. Follow him. He will lead you to the doorstep of sinners; he will introduce you to the lost in your community.
Currently many religious people are political rebels. Watch interviews on TV. Obviously they learned rebellion well —both in attitudes and practice. They challenge the authority of government while holding an open Bible and quoting scripture. It surely sounds like they follow Jesus in rebelling against government. Wrong! Do not blame Jesus. Jesus was never a rebel; he never made rebels of his followers. Jesus taught them: “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two”(Mt.5:41). He also expected them to pay taxes saying “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt.22:21). People listening to Jesus understand “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities”(Rom.13:1). Some are proud to be rebels, but do not blame Jesus. They did not get that from Him.
“Republicans for generations and proud of it! How could you be a Christian and vote for liberal Democrats?” Another brother is sure no one can be faithful and reject those same liberal Democratic policies. Both attach politics to their religion. Do not blame Jesus. He never told them how to vote —or even that they must vote at all —or imposed any kind of political standards. They did not learn from Jesus.
Now, back to: a “peculiar people”(1Pet.2:9-). That verse has nothing to do with being weird. It is better translated “His own special people”(NKJ). Those who “once were not a people”(v.10) —just nobodies but are now changed. They “are now the people of God”(v.10) —God’s sons. Come on brethren; we were not called to be odd-wads —weirdos. Do not try to be weird. We were called to be sons of God —and God’s sons are not supposed to be weird.
Bible Comments, 31, a publication by Joe Fitch originally intended for distribution among small congregations in Texas.
Used here by kind permission.