Our misguided war on the world

MakingtheWorldBehaveI find it interesting how we want the world to behave, as if this is doing what Jesus did…or what His New Testament followers did, for that matter.

Here’s my question about this activity…how’s that working for us?

And why aren’t we wondering why most people don’t seem to have a problem with Jesus but they have a very low view of Christians?

This honestly perplexes me…just how do we expect the world to behave? Like they’re not sinners?

We love to quote Jesus chastising the Pharisees, turning over the money changer’s tables, but we seem to forget who He was chastising.

So, here’s my question…

WHO did Jesus chastise and to WHOM did He show mercy and compassion?

For that matter, how many verses can you give where the New Testament writers told their followers to make the Roman Empire behave?

I’ll save you the trouble…you won’t find any.

Neither will you find Jesus yelling at the Romans, condemning prostitutes, or turning the tax collector’s tables over. His wrath was directed at those who thought they represented God–the religious people of His day.

Beloved, the biggest hindrance to God’s kingdom advancing is not the world, it’s a religious spirit.

So, if you feel compelled to point your finger anywhere…a good place to start is in the mirror.

The religious “right” of Jesus’ day weren’t representing Him because they didn’t know God’s love, so they didn’t really know God.

They confused religious zeal with God’s will. And because of this, they actually worked against the Father’s initiatives.

For God is love, and when we don’t demonstrate it, we only demonstrate that we know nothing…actually, nothing more than a lot of noise (1 Cor.13:1-3; 1 John 4:8).

We love to applaud those who “preach hell hot”and say a hearty ‘amen’ when they shoot down the “reprobate” of Romans chapter one, but we won’t point this same gun at ourselves with Romans chapter two.

We simply seem oblivious to the fact that Paul, while not condoning the sinful behavior, was actually reprimanding our selectively condemning, self-righteous, double-standard form of Christianity.

Here’s what Paul said to those who thought they had the right to demonize anyone who practiced such things (bold-text added for emphasis).

“Therefore you have no excuse,
everyone of you who passes judgment,
for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself;
for you who judge practice the same things.” (Rom.2:1)

He was trying to show them that they weren’t defending God’s standard for holiness, they were proving their own ignorance of the depths of His kindness, tolerance, and patience toward them, as well as toward these people.

“Or do you think lightly of the riches of
His kindness and tolerance and patience
,
not knowing that the kindness of God
leads you to repentance?” (Rom.2:4)

Kindness, tolerance and patience comes first; repentance comes afterward.

Got it?

Does that mean that I’m advocating ignoring sin? No, I’m advocating the only thing that will ever make people change–encountering God’s outrageous unconditional love and scandalous transforming grace.

Does that mean we can’t have a voice in our culture? That we can’t be salt and light to the dark world around us? Actually, I’m saying the opposite.

We ARE salt and light and have a voice when we represent the Father’s heart of kindness, tolerance and patience.

And those aren’t my nice sentiments, they are God’s.

We rightly represent God’s kingdom when we represent the Father’s love for the people of the world, a love that made Him bankrupt heaven for us when we didn’t want Him at all (John 3:16; Rom.5:8).

If He loves the world this much, why do we make them our enemy?

Does that mean that God won’t judge sin. Certainly not! There will come a time when sinners who have not received Love will be judged.

He’s just not judging them right now.

How do you feel about that? Does that mess with your religious dogma? Right now, even the most wicked sinner receives God’s undeserved kindness, tolerance and patience.

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you,
not wishing for any to perish
but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Pet.3:9)

Paul said it this way…

“For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?
Do you not judge those who are inside?” (1 Cor.5:12)

We see Jesus’ followers in the New Testament judging themselves and showing grace and mercy to the wicked world around them. We see Christians today wanting grace and patience for themselves while pronouncing judgment on everyone else.

Can anyone see something wrong with this picture?

Can we just lay down all our frustration and anger with what’s wrong with the world and put on love?

And can we please stop needlessly becoming the object of scorn because of our ignorance of God’s unconditional love? Our misguided zeal is not doing Jesus any favors here.

And can we let the Father open our eyes to this “love blindness” and see the great undiscovered treasure that He is passionately wanting to reveal in them through us?

Beloved, this is our mission…the GOOD news!

“…And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,
no longer counting people’s sins against them.
And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.
We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Cor.5:18-20)

Keep it simple. Show them how the Father loves them and let Him clean them up.

It’s not that hard.

For those of you who wish to continue thinking that trying to make world behave by telling them what’s wrong with them is effective, here’s a video for your edification…or if not, for your entertainment. Either way, you are loved!

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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12 Responses to Our misguided war on the world

  1. Heidi Viars says:

    ouch … but very true! Thanks for sharing, Mel!

  2. Good article, Mel.

    The churches model is normally: first Believe, then Change, and then you Belong. Father’s model is much more simple. It’s first you Belong, then you’ll Believe, and then you’ll Change. This is the shift that is coming in the body of Christ, and the latter model is how Jesus operated. For those that stick to the first model, lamp-stands will be removed.

    It’s the holy spirit’s job to convict the world, not ours. And the only sin the HS convicts the world of is the sin of Unbelief. That’s it. Jesus never came to condemn the world but to save it. Most of the church are religious nut-cases, who don’t know God. Sorry, just being honest. Judgement happens at the end…

    He who loves, knows God. We’re meant to love the world in the same way the Father does. I know we’re not of the world, but we need to love like Father does & stop trying to straighten the world out with scriptures. The Father shoots seed at the world, not bullets. We need to lay down our need to be right, and build relationships with people. We need to love love, more than we love our understanding of present ‘truth.’ That’s where real truth is found.

    I am also mystified (and additionally embarrassed) how many Christians cannot debate their beliefs and faith with others (muslims, JW’s, homosexuals etc), without getting into an argument. We need to listen to others views and not judge them as people. Love never fails.

    Also, our present understanding of ‘truth’ changes over time, as revelation unfolds with intimacy – or at least it should do. We should bear that in mind, when trying to straighten the world out with the ‘truth.’

    Peace

    AR

    • Mel Wild says:

      You said a lot here and I don’t think I could’ve said it any better. Amen!
      And you’re right about the shift that’s happening in the body of Christ right now. We’re finally encountering the Father’s love and He is advancing our understanding of who we are and our mission on this earth. And we’re moving from being paranoid, scared religious orphans–who antagonize out of fear with an “us vs. them” mentality–to beloved sons of our Father, who do what Jesus actually did. And when the world sees us they will see the Father. Like Jesus, we will think like and move with the Father’s heart and prove to them what God is really like–that His will for them is good, acceptable and perfect (Rom.12:2). And many will want Him because He is what they’ve been looking for all their lives, even though they didn’t know it.
      Thanks for your insights here. Much appreciated. Blessings.

  3. Michael says:

    Great article, Mel. And the video…o-okay-y, I was edified a little but I was entertained a lot! 😀

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks, Mike. I’m glad you en-joyed the video. Giddy-up!
      I have learned that it’s good to not take ourselves too seriously sometimes and just laugh at the dumb things we do in the name of Christ. Hey, I was a “cat-herder for Jesus” for 25 years of my Christian life. I should know. 🙂

  4. Yep. You know how much I appreciate this one, Mel. And, yes, I’m looking in the mirror myself today picking out what’s left of the log. 😉 Thanks as always for your convicting messages and the gentle spoon to help them go down easy.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You’re very welcome, Susan. Things like your recent “ordeal” and other things I’ve read probably prompted me to write about this now. It’s one of those things that I used to be so wrapped up in myself, that I thought was so important, but now I find so annoying. But, again, I must look in the mirror myself when I get annoyed. We’re ALL learning how to love and show kindness, patience, and tolerance, even for our brothers and sisters who don’t. 🙂

  5. TK says:

    This is beautiful and, as with most of what you have to say, spot on with how I view Divinity. I only wish others could see this. Even if you remove God from the equation, it makes sense that a person will respond better to kindness and love than to hate. Excommunicating someone, condemning someone does nothing to help them. Showing them love and patience, even when it is hard to do so, is proven to turn people around.

    Take a very simple, non-sinful example: obesity. There have been studies that show negative comments only worsens the situation. Those who receive love and support are more likely to lose weight and keep the weight off. Love is the one thing that motivates us to see the world differently… and God is love. If only more people chose to show that love to those they chose to condemn.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You make a good point, TK. People respond to kindness and love even without bringing God directly into the picture. And this is because people are inherently wired this way. We see this over and over in studies you mention. So what we’re demonstrating is that the most perfect expression of that kindness is the Father’s love for us through Jesus Christ. That everything good comes down from the Father (James 1:17). Therefore, to show the very nature of God is to show love and kindness to others. Our wrath toward the world does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20); but God’s compelling love motivates one to live for Him (2 Cor.5:14-15).

  6. dcummuta says:

    Well said! 🙂 and the video was hilarious!

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