No Modifiers

Rembrandt Self-Portrait

Rembrandt Self-Portrait

“They will know we are Christians by our love”. That song leads to some big mistakes. What Jesus actually said is:

“Now I am giving you a new command – love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.”

Christ’s disciples will have such love for one another. That is how the world will know we are Christ’s disciples. Allowing your brothers and sisters in Christ to walk around carrying any “identity” other than Christ is not love. No modifiers before the word Christian can stand, no matter what the Buzzfeed video says: Swearing Christian, Gay or Straight Christian, Liberal or Conservative, Rich or Poor, “Cool”, “Non-judgmental”, Black or White or Hispanic or Asian… multicultural. We are one body. If it was not possible to speak the truth in love, we wouldn’t be commanded to do it. We must speak the whole truth. The love part is patience and kindness, no pride or rudeness, no envy or boastfulness, no self-seeking, not easily angered or keeping a record of wrongs, not delighting in evil, but rejoicing in the *Truth*. Always protecting, always trusting, always hoping, always persevering. There is a lot here. Some of these things result in seemingly contradictory behavior. If I’m trying to protect someone who is standing in the direct path of God’s wrath by stridently stating they are a sinner in danger, is it true that I am being unkind? Is it true that I am being rude? Or am I hoping they will finally hear me and rejoice that I told them the truth! It happened to me. I was shouted at on the street in front of a whole crowd of people by a young man holding an open bible. I was mortified. I was mad. 6 months later, I was saved. It takes all the extremities doing their own work.

Love is in the eye of the Creator:

“Any man who believes…is not judged at all. It is the one who will not believe who stands already condemned…” – Jesus

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