For or Against

The Christian Hypocrisy

 

 

 

 

In Gethsemane, after Peter tried to establish his idea of God’s Kingdom through the violent use of a sword, Jesus rebuked him, “If you live by the sword, you die by the sword!” 1

Another way of saying it—is if you live by ‘for or against thinking,’ you will die by ‘for or against thinking.

Then, Jesus modeled the way of eternal life by taking up a cross and laying down His life for His friends.

Today, much of the church—including her leaders, because they are obsessed with retribution—often behave like Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, swinging their swords in defense of ideologies absolutely contrary to cruciform love.

Much of the church—specifically, many of her leaders—exult in the knowledge of good and evil. We pick sides for or against a politician, a pastor, a movement, a group, a race, a country, a specific sin, or a specific sinner, and then justify waging war on behalf of our devotion to our side or point of view.

And war makes cruel hypocrites out of even the best-intentioned Christians.

And nothing undermines trust quicker than this hypocrisy.

Do you know why Jesus can be trusted? It’s simple. He laid down His life on our behalf, not counting our sins, political affiliations, tribalism, cruel ideologies, or punishing theologies against us.

He was not against us!

There is no for or against in Christ crucified and risen.

Yes, there is great evil and injustice in this world. And yes, we are in a battle, but not against flesh and blood. Our fight is against the dualistic nature of Satan, against the hierarchal thinking that empowers us to swing a sword at another person in defense of our certainties about God. 2

The Christian devotion to a leader, institution, ideology, or theology in the spirit of for or against has birthed a call to arms that is counter to the gospel of Jesus. Today, the church is often better known for our abuses and whom we are against than for being a living expression of Greater Love.

The whole world is looking for somewhere to place their trust. We look to our politicians, government, news media, and institutions—including the church, and they are all failing us. Sadly, when the world looks to the church, they often see sword-wielding, spear-flinging, untrustworthy Christians justifying their punishing devotion to for or against.

Whenever Christians defend cruelty and condemnation in the name of a punishing God, people’s ability to trust the church is compromised.

The church’s unwillingness to leave retribution has birthed a hypocrisy that suffocates—and people are leaving. And that may not be a bad thing. You see, today, the church is being sifted like wheat. But Jesus has prayed for our faith…

Christians are rethinking the doctrines we’ve been taught about God, the Bible, and the meaning of being a follower of Jesus. “Sixty-five million adults in the U.S. have dropped out of active church attendance, and about 2.7 million more are leaving every year.” And that statistic is from 2018-19, before the pandemic. 3

Meanwhile, the United States has more atheists than ever…

 

This article is excerpted from my book, Leaving and Finding Jesus
Order Now At AMAZON.COM

Jason Clark is a bestselling storyteller who writes to reveal the transforming kindness of the love of God. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children, Madeleine, Ethan, and Eva.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE…

BRENT LOKKER / Experiencing God’s Affection

Brent Lokker talks about a personal God, a Father who wants a relationship with us, our identity, how to approach scripture to encounter God, how to discover freedom from sin, brain science, and early childhood development. This podcast is an invitation into wholeness.

AWAKENING! with DEREK TURNER & JASON CLARK

An infinite love, the nature of revelation, a kindness that changes our minds, the joy of our salvation discovered as we awaken to the resurrection, the risen Christ within us, in this podcast Derek and Jason discuss how all creation is awakening to the transforming certainty of sacrificial love and resurrection life.

What If…

What if we began to discover God as a measureless Love that has all authority and is the most powerful revelation on the planet but never controls.

What if we live, move and have our being to grow sure in Love and to become love?

FRANCOIS DU TOIT / JESUS IS WHAT GOD BELIEVES ABOUT YOU

Francois is an author most known for his current work, The Mirror Bible. In this interview, Francois talks about our Father’s great affection, inclusion, grace, intimacy, ministry, and the unveiled revelation of love! He also shares some of his story and how he came to write The Mirror Bible.

Adoption as Transformation with George MacDonald

In MacDonald’s sermon “Abba, Father!” he defines spiritual adoption as transformation. For him, as it was for St. Paul, adoption was not our familiar western version of taking a non-family member into our family, but an eastern one of a spiritual coming of age, a Jewish bar mitzvah. For us, it is a transformation from within of both an internal and external nature…

CHERITH FEE NORDLING / FINDING OUR HOME IN JESUS

Encountering Jesus in the Gospels, studying Scripture in community, embracing a relational theology centered on the love and grace of God, Gnosticism, confession, repentance and restorative justice, Jesus, the temple and a whip, the prophetic act of Jesus, the wisdom of Love, the concept of inclusion, the importance of embracing diversity, and the meal where everybody’s “in;” in this conversation, Cherith shares personal transformative stories of faith and trust and hope, and invites us to find our home in Jesus.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!