Drinking Deeply

Monday, December 25, 2006 at 8:11 PM

It's not me, it's you

John 15

18"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,[c] but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: 'They hated me without a cause.'

Sometimes Christians are accused of being divisive and argumentative. "Why can't we all get along? After all, aren't all the religions basically the same, seeking the unity of humankind?" Sometimes being a Christian will require someone to take an unpopular position, putting the kingdom of God first. Sometimes being a Christian will cost one's close friends and family and the pressure to compromise will be great.

For those who call for compromise between light and darkness, the problem is with the Christian. But in fact the problem is with them. Unity with darkness (and we're not talking about people who agree on the fundamentals but disagree somewhere else) is never encouraged or permitted by Scripture. Unity of the human race is not the goal, the glory of God is. Remember that one of the greatest shows of unity resulted in the curse of Babel, where God scattered the people and confused their languages specifically to check their corruption (Genesis 11). The division that happens today within families is not the Christian's fault, it is the non-Christian's fault. The world hates us because it has hated Christ first. Let us remember that Christ was not some heavenly version of Mr. Rogers. Christ was crucified for a reason. He enraged a large group of people. And when they complained, he mocked them a bit more.

If as a Christian I do something in obedience to God, and other people object yet my conscience is clear, then I'm not sorry. I'm not sorry because the problem isn't with me, and I'm not going to apologize for something that Christ has commanded me to do (these are commands in Scripture and not subjective emotions). The problem is with them. I'll help them deal with it (if they want), but I'm not going to apologize for Christ or for what He's done in me.

This all doesn't mean it's no longer a Christian duty to love one's neighbor btw.


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