Disclaimer: The second paragraph of this post contains a link to a news video which contains aggression, explicit language, and graphic name calling. Click on the link at your own discretion. You will need to scroll down a ways to find it.
Sometimes I wonder where some Christians get their ideas and beliefs from, particularly when their behavior does not follow that of Christ’s. The apostle Paul boldly said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” He was able to say this, and say it boldly, because his behavior was that of Christ’s. He did as Christ did. In fact, Paul considered everything about himself “dung” and went on to say that the only thing that really mattered is Christ and being found in him, not in his own righteousness.
I watched a news video this morning of a street preacher preaching to and against the homosexual community in Tampa. While a few of the things he said lined up with biblical truth, such as “God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah largely due to their sin of homosexuality,” (paraphrased) the vast expanse of what this preacher said was not only untrue and non-biblical, but hateful and unloving.
Jesus always told the truth. He was and is the Truth. When he talked to sinners (and ALL have sinned), he said it like it is. He still does! He never sugar coated his words. He called things as they are. If something was an abomination to God, Jesus said so. The difference is that Jesus loved them. He loves us. In fact he loves us so much that “while we were yet sinners”, he laid down his own life, willingly on a cross, and allowed himself to become sin in our place. He took the sin and the sentence so that we wouldn’t have to. That’s what I call LOVE!
The longer I listened to this street preacher, the more my heart hurt; the more my eyes filled with tears for these people. Luke 19:10 says, “The son of man came to seek and save that which is lost.” We are all lost without Jesus. Some might not know it or even believe it, but still, it is biblical truth. 1 Peter 4:8 says, “above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
How can a person believe and profess themselves to be a christian and say the vile, hateful things that this preacher said to this community? While talking with sinners or not, Jesus would never have exhibited this kind of behavior. As Christians, we are called to win souls for Christ. How does this man think he is going to do that? With vinegar? No, with honey! He is the very representation of Christ. No wonder this community wants no part of God! In Matthew 9:36 it says that when Jesus saw the multitudes of lost people that he had compassion on them. Matthew 7:16-20 says we will know whether someone is a christian or not by the fruit they bear.
Because the lost do not know God or normally even read the bible, all they have to go by is us. We who call ourselves Christian. We may be the only bible that some people will ever read. We are representing Him, the God of all gods, the Lord of all lords, the King of all kings. What does our fruit look like? Is it pleasing to the eye or is it rotten to the core?
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. (Galatians 5:22-23)
When I see and hear things like in this video, I have to question. Is Jesus smiling that this preacher and others like him, are out there “telling the gospel”, or is he crying because he knows his lost sheep are not being drawn to Him, and instead being driven away?
God have mercy on us all. We will all stand before him one day to be judged by Christ. Will we hear him say, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was hungry and you fed me, come in”? Or will we hear him say, “depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you?”