Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Rediscovering the Not Nice Jesus

It is not often one sees this, but it is the truth. Taylor Day has the story on Christmas Day, that Jesus Wasn't Very Nice. He also didn't press his message on everyone he met. He actually wanted to make people work for it. He wanted to make people think, and see God's commandments as God intended them, as things that made your life better, rather than as rules to keep people from enjoying themselves. Day:
Jesus wasn't nice, and I can say this with absolute certainty. Therefore, I get disgusted when I see a lot of churches and preachers trying to emasculate the teachings of Christ into a simple "just be nice" doctrine. When a Christian dares deviate from this, liberals pounce and call someone's faith into question, as we saw last week with Christianity Today's attack on President Trump. That is a deep perversion of the truth and the Lion of Judah's message.
Nice people don't make enemies, and Jesus Christ had enemies in excess. King Herod believed an infant Jesus to be a usurper. The Pharisees hated Jesus since His teachings often contradicted their actions. Because cancel culture was also a thing in the first century, the Pharisees ultimately saw their popularity plummet and wanted revenge. The Romans wanted punishment for calling Himself a King while the Jews called for his crucifixion because He was nicknamed the Son of God.
I have to say that I have never understood the beatitude that the Meek shall inherit the earth I have read a number of commentaries on the Beatitudes, but have never found a satisfactory answer until reading Taylor Day's post:
The meek remain one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Bible. Some Christians mistakenly assume that it means quiet and submissive; however, it is anything but. Edward Feser, an esteemed modern philosopher, writes:
"When Christ said, "Blessed are the meek," He was using a military term[.] ... Strength under control. Power under authority. Formidable determination in the face of the constant onslaughts of the enemy. The humble willingness to do what your Master commands you to do.
The exact opposite of feeble timidity."
One of the reasons I left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is because they have adopted the notion of the mamby pamby Christ. Whereas Luther himself wrote many martial hymns. Luther understood Jesus as a real life man, one who had worked hard and had callused hands, one who was afraid of no one, one who would do his Father's will no matter what. In this understanding, then, martial hymns are excellent metaphors for the faith. I joined instead the Missouri Synod, because these people understand that Jesus wasn't nice.

If we are to take up our crosses as Christians, perhaps we need to also stop being nice, perhaps we need to become soldiers of Christ.  I should point out that being nice about such things as abortion and infanticide, or the LGBTQxyz agenda hasn't made the liberals like us any more.  It may be better to be respected than liked.  Abortion after all is murder, infanticide.  The LGBTQxyz agenda is anti-life, and Jesus is the Lord of Life.

Of course, I am aware that Christians will be called hypocrites for calling out the sin of others.  How dare we, right?  Did not Jesus tell us to take the log out of our own eye before we take the spec out of our brother's eye?  Only someone who commits no sin can truly take everyone to task for their sins.  There was only one of those.

But this is where being "nice" may come in.  For as Christian soldiers, we can never condone sinful behavior, and we must constantly point out that such behavior separates one from God.  But as fellow sinners ourselves, we must always have compassion for our fellow man. We need to love the sinner while condemning the sinful behavior.  And while we would like everyone to join us, we must understand that we can never compromise Biblical principle.

And here is where Jesus found himself, in a world that is no different than it is today.  Man has not changed.  He always wants to do the wrong thing, and rejects God's law.  In such circumstances, Jesus could not be nice, he needed to be the muscular, militant warrior for His Father here on earth.  We Christians need to rediscover this not nice Jesus, and emulate Him in our lives.  But we also need to remain grateful that God did for us what we could not do for ourselves, took the punishment for our sins Himself, and now welcomes all to be with Him in Heaven

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