Thursday, August 13, 2015
One thing that puzzles me – and depresses me – more than anything else is simply that so many Christians today refuse to actually follow Jesus and put His words into practice.
I know, it’s nothing new. Even Jesus himself marveled that people wanted to call him “Lord” without actually allowing him to be their Lord. [See Luke 6:46]
It’s a little like someone saying that they are a Buddhist without following Buddha, or claim to be a Muslim while ignoring everything that Mohammed taught.
Being a Christian is about following Jesus and putting His words into practice in your daily life. (At least, it used to be).
Here are some of the more popular teachings of Jesus that Christians today love to ignore completely:
"Love your enemies and bless those who persecute you." (Matt. 5:44)
“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” (Matt. 5:38-42)
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matt. 6:19-21; 24)
“In the same way, anyone who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33)
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you.” (Matt. 20:25-26)
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matt. 23:8-12)
In short, many – if not most – Christians in America today are very comfortable calling themselves Christians while totally ignoring what Jesus commanded them to do.
The sad truth is that more Christians follow fashion, politics and the Kardashians than Jesus Christ.
These same Christians would be highly offended if someone were to flip Jesus the bird, but in essence, that’s exactly what they’re doing when they call Jesus “Lord” and then deny it with every breath in their body.
What’s especially troubling is that these Christians will quote Romans 10:9 which says “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord…you will be saved” without realizing that this confession needs to be a statement of an actual reality in their lives, not just repeating “Jesus is Lord” like magic words and clicking their heels together to be saved.
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” – (Matt. 15:8-9)
We can’t say we love Jesus and then ignore what he says.
What do you call a Christian who does not love Jesus or put his words into practice?
I'm not sure exactly, but I wonder if that person can truly call themselves a “Christian” at all?
“Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching..” (John 14:23-24)