Are Christians Hateful?

To do a quick survey on any subject, google it, and Google will automatically suggest what others have already searched regarding that subject with the most popular searches appearing at the top of the list. Anyone with a computer can immediately tell the most popular thoughts on a subject. With that in mind, I just typed in “Christians are . . . “. Every time I do this, the results are different, but sadly they are seldom positive. A good friend, Michael Cheshire, pointed this out at one of our Roundtables on Life-Giving Leadership. I knew that we Christians had a major public relations problem, but Michael’s suggestion confirmed that many believe that the positive image we project is not, in fact, authentic. So today I did it again, and the results were “. . . hate-filled,” “. . . annoying,” “. . . delusional,”  “. . . so narrow-minded,” and “. . . like manure.” I’ll stop there. Point proven.

I used to think that we were good, loving people and that the world hated us because of scandals. But that has not proven to be the case. I’ve ministered as a very successful, highly respected pastor, and as one considered to be among the chief sinners. I can say, without qualification, that ministering Christ from the position of an embarrassed and humiliated sinner who is gratefully redeemed is much more effective than ministering as a religious leader.

Maybe that’s why Paul chose that position for himself.

But even though we all value integrity and holiness, the reputation of Christians is poor even among Christians. It used to be that, “He is a good Christian man,” was a high recommendation. Now it’s common for even Christians to be cautious about doing business with someone who professes to be a Christian. What happened?

I think that in the midst of our Evangelical fervor, we’ve forgotten some of the core virtues Christ taught us and have neglected to do what he did. As you may understand, I am sensitive to how we as a church respond to those identified as “sinners”. More important, I believe our response to “sinners” reveals whether or not we are authentic according to God’s New Testament standard.

I also think that our willingness to surrender to Jesus’ Lordship is best demonstrated by how we respond to another’s sin. It’s those perceived to be morally inferior, like Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, that cause those who think they are morally superior, to become like Javert. Right, but dead right. This is the situational twist that causes Christian leaders to become enemies of the Gospel in the lives of those desperately needing life and light. Our moden church’s revelation is wanting. Maybe Paul can help us regain our bearings.

While Paul was in prison, he wrote to Philemon, a slaveowner, about his runaway slave, Onesimus. This little letter communicates the ideas that, if incorporated into our churches, might keep us from ever being called hate-filled again.

According to Paul’s letter, Onesimus is the sinner. He was wrong. He ran away and deserved to be killed under the law. Though his name means “useful,” as a runaway, he became “useless” and would have probably been killed if Paul had not rescued him by being Christ-like, or Christian.

Paul, on the other hand, is the restorer. He understands the application of the Gospel and is working toward Onesimus being forgiven and thus, becoming “useful” again. As a restorer, he applies the Gospel in his plea to Philemon, Onesimus’ betrayed and disappointed owner. He does so in a letter to Philemon.

1. Note that Paul became an advocate for Onesimus by writing to Philemon, “I am boldly asking a favor of you” (1:8), just as Christ advocates for us.

2. Note that Paul invokes Philemon on the basis of love, which I define as “living for the good of another.” Here Paul establishes that love is the bedrock of the discussion involving the guilty one, Onesimus (1:9), just as the basis for Christ’s work in us, when we sin, is God’s great love for us.

3. Note that Paul’s belief that God places all of us in a family of faith actually has significant, tangible meaning (1:10) that demands a change in course. Paul indicates that God placing us in his famly is not simply good sermon material, but an idea that should dominate our discussions when dealing with another believer.

4. Note that Paul does not believe that Onesimus’ sins and shortcomings have excluded him from usefulness in God’s kingdom, but that because of his shortcomings, he came into relationship with Paul, in prison, and is now more useful than before (1:11).  Jesus’ imagery of God the Father welcoming home the prodigal, or the good shepherd leaving the ninety-nine to retrieve the one who wandered away, forces us to re-evaluate our common practice of discarding those who, in our view, have forfeited their value in the family.

5. Note that Paul, the Apostle, does not hesitate to connect personally and emotionally with Onesimus, the lowly imprisoned slave. Instead, he boldly states that “with him (Onesimus) comes my own heart” (1:12). Paul does not keep personal distance to protect himself from the potential of Onesimus’ future failures. Instead, he invests his own reputation in Onesimus and takes the risk of embarassment should Onesimus do what he did before, flee.

6. Note that Paul expresses his desire to keep Onesimus with him, indicating Paul’s respect for the value and skills Onesimus possessed (1:13). Very often the skills of those who fail are discarded because we believe, in some sad way, that that their skills are tainted and no longer useful. Jesus does not believe that about us, and Paul did not fall into that trap in regard to Onesimus.

I’ll not take space here to comment on the fact that Paul wisely deals with the reality of Philemon’s exalted social position in contrast to Onesimus’ and, probably Paul’s as well. But we do know that when we as a church deal with those with whom we disapprove, or those who have embarrassed us, we communicate our own moral superiority and want the other’s inferiority made clear. Our willingness to be Christlike and be “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12 KJV) is rare in our modern church culture.

7. Note that Paul communicates that the status contrast between Philemon and Onesimus are irrelevant since both are in Christ. If in fact Philemon was an educated, wealthy, and well-respected landowner, as many scholars believe, and Onesimus was an uneducated, poor, disreputable slave, as is probable, then Paul’s request is profound. His request could only be required by a genuine application of the Gospel. “He (Onesimus) is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, . . .” (1:16). Note that being a brother actually means something material. It mandates a certain behavior toward another.

8. Note, then, that the Apostle Paul makes this truth profoundly personal, “So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me” (1:17). Paul gives to Onesimus his own reputation, credibility, and in this case, his relationship.

The  implications of these ideas are profound in today’s church culture. Think of those we’ve discarded! If we would inculcate these ideas into the culture of our churches, we would actually become what we say we are, which would not only revolutionize our practices with one another, but also our reputation.

9. Note that Paul takes responsibility for the sins and debts of Onesimus! When we have a grievance against someone else, we are essentially saying that they owe us something. Typically we want an apology, or for the fallen to demonstrate more humility, or sorrow, or simply to disappear so we are not reminded of the pain they caused us. Sometimes we want them to demonstrate what we would consider a greater commitment to integrity, or maybe even to repay us or the church or business for the costs their problems created. In contrast, here Paul states that if Onesimus has wronged Philemon or owes him anything, that he, Paul, will make it right (1:18-19).

10. Note that Paul does not ask Philemon to give Onesimus a favor for Onesimus’ sake, but Paul uses some of his relational credit by asking Philemon to do him a favor by treating Onesimus with respect (1:20). Think of this, Paul is fully invested in using his credibility with Philemon for the benefit of a lowly sinner, Onesimus. That is exactly what Christ does for us, expecting all of us Christians to model our faith by doing the same for others.

11. Note that Paul trusts that, because of his influence with Philemon, that Philemon will do even more than Paul is asking (1:21). This is EXACTLY what Paul encourages every spiritual Christian leader to do with those who have been overcome by some sin (Galatians 6) when he exhorts them to humbly help that person back onto the right path. Paul is, in effect, Onesimus’ savior, healer, redeemer, and intercessor. Paul demonstrated by his response and intervention for Onesimus that he was, in fact, a Christian.

12. Note that in conclusion, Paul makes this profoundly personal and strong. He tells Philemon he is coming to his house for a personal visit.This, in my view, seals the deal. He doesn’t say that he’ll follow up once Onesimus proves himself over time, or that he sheepishly hopes Onesimus will make it, or that their relationship is solid regardless of Philemon’s decision. He respectfully makes his plea based on his own integrity, and then, having confidence the matter will be settled, says he’s coming to the house for a visit. That is EXACTLY what Christ does for us, and what we can courageously do for others.

Are we Christians hateful? For many, we are, but we are not compelled by Scripture to be that way. I maintain that another’s sin is our opportunity to demonstrate that we are loving, healing, and restorative Christians. Paul demonstrates this for us. It’s time we forfeit our modern Evangelical culture with our lightly starched shirts unstained by sin, with pristine, lotioned faces and nicely pressed suits, and become Jesus for someone in need.

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35 thoughts on “Are Christians Hateful?

  1. Deb Shaffer says:

    Thank you for this posting. It is refreshing to know that others in the body of Christ search out the Word for truth instead of just going on what they have been taught. Recently, we were told that it is our job to “judge the tree by it’s fruit” and then be seperate from them. No wonder we as the church look and act dismembered.

  2. Preman says:

    Just a great article. “so today I did it again and the results were………”

  3. Thomas Pedigo says:

    This article was a good exposition of Philemon and Onesimus and is great preaching for individuals. However, I disagree with some of the setup for this presentation. First, why should I, or any true Christian, be affected by what the world is saying (on the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, or other media outlets) concerning their feelings about Bible-believing Christians? The spirit of antichrist has always been present in our world – it’s just that they have a media outlet and easy access now to voice their hatred or repulsion of biblical values. Having served in an activist social/moral parachurch organization for almost two decades, I am confident that Christians have not become more unloving or judgmental; our culture has become more unrighteous and intolerant of anything sacred or holy. In my lifetime, I’ve seen this transition and erosion from the sacred to the secular in our nation. We know from the New Testament that darkness doesn’t like the light. Christians will always be recipients of persecution – not for being “unloving” but for simply loving God, loving the Lord Jesus Christ, loving His Word and believing. “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse…” (II Timothy 3:12-13) I believe we are seeing our society moving from bad to worse in terms of our Judeo-Christian heritage and we will be persecuted simply for our beliefs. Believers love that which is holy and godly and biblical…that sets a standard and causes conviction and threatens lifestyles. Therefore, the enemy’s goal is to silence the messenger. How? By namecalling! I hear it all the time. We can lovingly say, “I don’t agree with this action or behavior or lifestyle…but, there is a better way.” And then, the follow-up reaction: “You are hateful… intolerant… mean-spirited… judgmental… non-inclusive… narrow… living under a rock… out-of-step…and so on.” Does it surprise me that the Internet is filled with Christian haters and defilers of God’s Word? NO!! I expect it. Jesus warned his followers: Remember what I told you: “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…” (John 15:20) Would Jesus of Nazareth have survived in today’s culture? He said to the woman caught in adultery, after having forgiven her, “Go and sin no more.” Today’s response would be: “What is sin?”… “So, who are you to tell me what I did was sin?”… “Don’t tell me what to do, it’s my own life and I can live as I want…” “Everybody is doing it!”… “Oh, so, you think you’re better than me!”… “Shut up, keep your values and morals to yourself!”… and just morph out from all of these. Isn’t Jesus doing what we know as “loving the sinner but hating the sin?” That distinction is being erased in our society. It’s more like: “Love the sinner and accept/love my sin!” And, if you simply say “Your life can be better if…” or seemingly disapprove of any action, “YOU ARE BEING JUDGMENTAL!” Ahhh, every Christian’s Achilles Heel…the fear of being accused of judgmentalism. It was also Jesus who said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) What’s involved with the concept of “righteous judgment?” That is a sermon in and of itself. If our country continues to slide into the moral abyss as it is, we will see an intensification of persecution toward Christians. I’m not better than any other sinner – but I am better off with Christ. Various people will always verbally abuse Christians – so why should I change my convictions or core beliefs because some disgruntled and lost Internet abusers? I end my jeremiad with the Apostle Paul’s teaching: “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God…” (II Tim. 1:78) I don’t want to provoke “suffering” by what I say or do…but I also do not want to avoid suffering for the sake of Christ.

    • Pastor Pat Sharkey says:

      I understand but the world sees the lack of love among us and hurts Christ’s cause.

    • Tom, you make some great points here, as usual. Thank you! I do want to mention, though, that my intent was to teach through Paul’s book and how it applies to restoration. I wrote that, then added the modern view of the church to add interest, relevance, and authenticity for our modern audience. I would never argue that we should compromise biblical values for popularity, but I would, as presented here, argue that we practice biblical values, because that communicates authenticity and, thus, is persuasive to many. When we violate biblical values, it become a stumbling block to those who are sincerely seeking. That’s my argument here.

      Also, I believe the requirements for Eldership are in the Bible, not because God needs them, but because people need them. If one would take your argument, we would just say we’re righteous because of the blood and, therefore, have no need for requirements for Eldership because we are in a declining culture and they are going to hate us anyway. But because God cares about people, and knows how we human beings think, his hope is that our weaknesses and failures do not become the issue and that, instead, his message of redemption and healing is the issue.

      In my blog, I think our response to another’s failures profile and model the Gospel for others, thus making a potential weakness a strength. To use Paul’s model is appropriate, and to frame it with our need to communicate authenticity to the lost and dying world is also appropriate.

      • Thomas Pedigo says:

        I agree with everything you just said in your response and I understood your article dealing with “failure” in a fellow believer, how we respond to sin, restoration and “love for the brethren.” In fact, it was the best exposition of Paul to Philemon I’ve ever read. Indeed, in terms of the church understanding the full “Gospel” and the “redeeming” work we are all called to live out and apply, we have radically missed the mark. I, more than most, understand this biblical concept that is often hidden by the varying church and social issues that have sidetracked many in the Body of Christ. However, within the “Love Reformation” that many Christians are eagerly embracing (and rightly so), there is a fear of “speaking the truth in love” for fear of the accusation of judgmentalism. Any kind of confrontation of/with the sinning individual is perceived as unloving as I mentioned in my response. Is there a balance? How does the “sinner” interpret biblical love? The pendulum usually swings one way or the other in this love application. if you’ve been hurt by rejection and judmentalism, then biblical restoration is a sensitive issue. Can the restorer be loving and yet leveling at the same time? Can the advocate be caring and still confronting? Reminds me of a book my seminary professor wrote entitled “Caring Enough to Confront” (David Augsburger). Restorative love seeks to help rebuild the fallen person’s life but what if there are blind areas? How is love exhibited if the person we are standing with is unrepentant in various areas? I think of Dr. James Dobson’s book “Love Must Be Tough.” Will “toughness” or reality therapy be considered as “unloving” by the person we are walking beside? On a personal level, I thoroughly enjoyed your exposition of Philemon. On a cultural and social level, I have witnessed a trend on the Internet (and other social media) to intimidate Christians into silence. Again, the worldly attitude of “You can’t speak out or call what I do a sin, however small or large, so just accept me and what I do or you are being judgmental, hateful, mean-spirited, and intolerant.” That’s what initially tripped my trigger in the beginning of your article – of course, the world system will rant, rave and rail against believers because we have “a standard” that goes against their lifestyle. My default response is that there has been a cultural morphing of the idea of to “love the sinner but hate the sin.” Today’s response is: “Listen, if you claim to be a Christian, you love me and you love my sin as well.” I think many believers will willingly condescend to “who am I to judge anyone or any action?” How can a society be restored to Judeo-Christian values or sound, biblical ethics without voicing God’s views of “right and wrong?” This could be interpreted as flowing in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and not the Tree of Life. On the other hand, Jesus in the Gospels as well as Paul, Peter and John, still had lists of “do and don’ts” for living life. How does this translate to those who are doing and loving the “don’ts” and trying to remold our society into acceptance? I remember talking to Pastor Stephen Brown who wrote the book “No More Mr. Nice Guy: Saying Goodbye to Doormat Christianity” who dealt with this whole issue of trying to find a godly balance. No matter how loving we are towards “the lost and fallen”, believers will always receive blowback! Loving, personal restoration – the Church is lacking in understanding and application; biblical, cultural confrontation – the Church is lacking as well. Again, great job on the personal exposition of Paul to Philemon and the role we are called to in terms of personal restoration and advocacy for a fallen or outcast comrade.

  4. graywills says:

    Another great item Ted. I am always staggered ( should I be? ) when I hear people use that word in church: “I hate that hymn!” “I hate what that person is wearing!” “I hate what the pastor said!”
    It seems very strange to me that the Children of [the] Love ( an expression I believe initiated by Desmund Tutu ) should desire to so freely use the opposite.
    There is a lot to digest in your item, and the comments. Let us not lose sight of that other four letter word – Love – and promote it over and over and over.

  5. Linda Tennies says:

    Great explanation, Pastor Ted. I came to Christ in my mid-20s, not because I wasn’t exposed to the Gospel but because those doing the evangelizing were “church types” who’s attitudes and lives represented everything that was the complete opposite of what they were preaching to me – hypocrisy at it’s highest form. They were extremely poor representatives and had little if any fruit of the Spirit on their tree. It wasn’t until I met some local Christian business leaders who loved me unconditionally, warts and all, that I started to understand the true idea behind Jesus’ teachings of grace and love. To this day I credit my spiritual growth to my personal time with God but also those men and women who chose to LIVE OUT love and grace. Unfortunately, I have to say that those men and women exist mostly outside of the church walls. I pray that one day the church itself can become a haven to the hurting and the lonely.

    • Excellent insight Linda. I could not agree more. I am convinced, though, that those inside the church are sincere, but our structures put pressure on people that are unnecessary. I have always believed that church structure is to serve the body of Christ, the people, the true church, but that the church people need not serve the structure. Too often, people are authentic Christians until it comes to dealing with the sins of another or a position in the hierarchy, then they switch into a blame and judgment mode, with a touch of arrogance. But if we can stick with the Gospel and let it live, we can’t lose.

  6. Pastor Pat Sharkey says:

    Christians have been unforgiving and unloving. I agree if we reflected Christ’s love and restoration we would be much more effective.

  7. FETS says:

    My experiences are that not Christians in general are not hateful, it is the Fundamentals and Evangelicals who are the hateful ones. And they hide behind the excuse of “I did not say it, God did”.

    • Thomas Pedigo says:

      Said what? I am a staunch “evangelical” but I try to flow Christ’s love so I need to know what qualifies as “hate.” Most Bible-believing Christians are: fundamentalists, evangelicals, charismatics, and Pentecostals which is a good percentage of Christianity.

  8. Thank you Pastor Ted for your thoughts on this. I have often been grieved that Christians these days seem to be known more for what we hate than what we love. How sad. Jesus told us that people would know that we were His disciples because we had love for one another. This is His commandment to us. Wow, wouldn’t love be a lot simpler concept than some of these other complex ideas on the Christian “to do lists.” “…if I don’t have love, I’m nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2 It’s truly as simple as that.

  9. graywills says:

    Thomas says: “Loving, personal restoration – the Church is lacking in understanding and application; biblical, cultural confrontation – the Church is lacking as well.”
    You are so right Thomas. It is a great shame, a mighty shame, that the Church – the institution – so often fails people. Is it then any wonder God’s children wander away and do their own thing? I confront people daily on their faith and spirituality – their great love of Jesus – but begin to talk about the Church and one has lost them.
    How does one restore the Church – how does one re-store it? For the most part, the Church’s store cupboard appears to be empty.Because I think/feel the Love has gone out of the Institution – something I am aware Jesus was familiar with as he engaged with the religious leaders of his day.

  10. Ernie Plumleu says:

    I really appreciate what you have to say as I always do! I have been “shunned ” not because of sin but because of the attitudes of the pastor who could of handled things a lot differently if he operated out of love instead of arrogance and pride. I have not been back to church since the incidents that happened over three years ago but I still love God and I don’t blame God for what happened. I and my wife have just been so hurt by what has happened that it has been hard to do so. I wish all pastors had the heart that you have. I know of the things you done and the aftermath but I believe in your restoration and have full confidence in you! I love you brother and pray that you are truly blessed and continue with what you are doing!

    • graywills says:

      Ernie, may I be so bold as to suggest that you do not give up on finding a congregation/family of Christ where you feel at home.
      I have been there – abused, hated, hurt ( and it still hurts ), unloved, unwanted, ignored, forgotten – most just ‘walked by on the other side’, and still do. But you know, God doesn’t give up.
      Ted’s bold example of not giving up is a fine testimony to us all. I admire him very much – his courage is a very bright beacon.

      • Ernie Plumleu says:

        Thanks Gray. I haven’t given up totally. It’s just that my wife and I were so involved in the church. I played sax and sang on the worship team. My wife sang on the worship team. I thought the pastor was my friend, our friend. I don’t won’t to get in the specifics but to say he humiliated us publicly amongst a bunch of other ridiculous things. It was really ridiculous. I even wrote him a long letter after talking to him. He didn’t respond to my letter with any “how about you and I talk through this and get it straightened out”. Nothing. I wish we could have expressed our concerns and done whatever it took to smooth things. But I guess he didn’t care. I pray for him but I guess that’s all I can do. I was bitter for a long time. I have asked God to help me forgive him despite his lack of response or concern. I know Christ love for me will never fade so I take hope in Him and am assured that total healing will come in me.
        Thanks again for your encouragement. I will take to heart!

  11. Preman says:

    Just a great article. The Church was intended to be a caring hospital not an institute associated with hate. The Bible leaves RESTORATION to the SPIRITUAL and not to the JUDGMENTAL.Oh for a visitation of DEVINE LOVE upon the CHURCH.

  12. Garrett Robert Gustkey says:

    This article as well as the responses is a lesson in every word to me. My ability to Comprehension the depth of such writing is usually the key weakness for me. how ever I read and digest every word. Restoration is vital to me. one area of restoration is financial restoration is one area I just can not get the handle on. How does one become restored financially? i would greatly like to know. Garrett

  13. Linda says:

    I see that one of the reason that Christains sometimes are not looked favorable, is because they can quate the bible, use all kinds of scriptures, but when there is someone right in front of them who could use support, it is analized as to should they help or not, not seeing that maybe God put them there for a reason. Do we need to belong to the church to get help or get a email response? We spend so much time preaching, instead of really seeing what God has asked us to do. Maybe the problem is, that they believe if you are not with them, you are part of the devil, in their mind. Just like the Muslims, Jews etc…who
    think they are the chosen ones. I sometimes wonder what kind of a God do they have, that their God doesn’t have enough room to love everyone? Its easy to preach Jesus, but it’s another thing to live the life he proposed. Love heals, everything else keeps us separate.

    • graywills says:

      Linda, your points are very valid. Too much of many Christian communities is preaching the Gospel instead of ‘doing’ the Gospel.
      I think too it is important to remember that there are plenty of Christians who also believe they are the chosen ones – and plenty of atheists and agnostics who believe they have it right, and all faiths have it wrong.
      I agree – if a Christian shows hate, ( while preaching the God of Love ), what kind of a God do they believe in? Without wishing to sound judgemental, it is not the same God that I believe in.

      • Thomas Pedigo says:

        “Hate” is a pretty strong word that we throw around rather casually. I’ve noticed people using that term a lot in this blog. To me, it sounds like we are using or borrowing the label the world is presently using to silence and demonize believers.

  14. […] Interesting that God would create imperfect beings, then punish them for being imperfect. Makes a thinking person think. This too: https://www.google.com/search?q=Chil…iw=944&bih=487 Are Christians Hateful? | The Pastor's Pen […]

  15. frankiethemc says:

    In the novel, “The Exorcist,” W.P. Blatty has Fr. Merrin ask the people assisting with the exorcism in the Georgetown house who the target of the demon is. When they say the girl upstairs is, he disagrees. He says, “The demon’s target is everyone in this house. The demon is trying to get the message across that God couldn’t possibly love us.”

    I see a lot of Ersatz Christians who give that message out daily. Happily, in my parish and the monastery I often visit (St. Anselm’s in D.C.) have people who treat others differently, just like Pastor Ted does in Colorado Springs.

  16. At the beginning of the article Mr. Haggard says, “I can say, without qualification, that ministering Christ from the position of an embarrassed and humiliated sinner who is gratefully redeemed is much more effective than ministering as a religious leader.“

    I have so much more respect for someone who ministers, or teaches or guides from a position of falibility, than from one who ministers from a position of moral superiority. I mean, who am I going to take seriously? Someone who says that their sins are minimal, or that their sins are mitigated? Or someone who speaks from a humble, even humiliated, EXPERIENCED position?

    Then he says, “I maintain that another’s sin is our opportunity to demonstrate that we are loving, healing, and restorative Christians.“

    I would like to add a personal caveat to this observation. I think that when observing another`s sin, FIRST, you`ve got to keep in mind that sin to you may not be sin to them. So judge them as softly as you would have them judge you. And SECOND, I don`t think it`s only an “opportunity“ to demonstrate the loving restorative effects of Christianity. Indeed, if Christians want to loose that nagative image Haggard is talking about, it is a neccesity.

    A tangent, a more critical observation. Almost all of Ted Haggards article, and arguments, are based of off scripture.

    I would hope that he, and everyone in the world, can come to their compassionate and logical conclusions using more than single sources as guidance. I would hope that they use their own pure mind and heart, unaffected by dogmatic external influences, as appealingly or infalliable as they may seem.

    To become a TRUE human in God`s image, you`ve go to look at many, many things. You`ve got to foresake the dogma of another. You`ve got to take advantage of your powerful heart and mind. You have to be the bigger man by being the more humble one.

  17. pnearle says:

    Pastor Ted you hit it out of the park. My favorite part is when you said that another’s sin is our opportunity to display Gods love. I’m interested if you have any thoughts concerning Pastor Mark Driscoll and what he is going through right now. Thank you again for the post.

  18. […] Ted Haggard back after his utter disgrace; he’s a pastor again, but if you read his blog, you’ll see a very different picture than you might have watching Mr. Haggard in action in his glory days. There’s a humility […]

  19. Russell Tennant says:

    Ted, I remember you talking about this one morning at the men’s group a year ago. I’m not sure I agree with everything your saying. I’m sure John the Baptist could’ve been considered a “hate group” person and was beheaded because of it. The Bible also tells of the persecution that Christians will go through, saying that they will think they do God favor by putting us to death. Bottom line is I’m not trying to please men but God. I do see and appreciate the call to a higher demonstration of love, but that is reserved for the brethren and not so much to those that have and refuse Gods grace.

  20. Bob Horvath says:

    Who is without sin let him cast the first stone. If there was a time that we need to remember this message it is now. The Body of Christ needs to repent for their judgements. Instead of encouraging and giving hope the institution is condemning and causing people to leave.
    What happen to the days where hope mercy and grace were given out freely. What about compassion on the suffering.

  21. (EACHES OWN)…BUT TBN SICKENS ME NOW WHEN I TURN IT ON. I FIND MYSELF CHANGING THE CHANNEL WITHIN SECONDS OF WATCHING IT. BUT THEN I WILL FIND JIMMY SWAGGART AND SEE AND HEAR HIS HUMILITY AND FEEL THE HOLY SPIRIT COMING THROUGH THE SCREEN…:-)…I rather listen to a Preacher that had a GREAT FALL while in ministry, then sat down from preaching and then came back and HUMBLED himself then these Preachers and false Prophets who believe their DOO-DOO don’t stink like the rest of us. JIMMY SWAGGART and TED HAGGARD are now doing what God instructed them to do in the body of Christ and are no longer concern with being popular. MAYBE THAT’S WHAT SOME OF US NEED IS A GREAT FALL TO REVEAL WHAT IS TRULY IN OUR HEARTS TOWARD JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. THIS WALK IS NOT ABOUT PROSPERITY SAINTS. ITS ABOUT YOUR HEART.:-)… 1 Tim 4:1-2 (KJV)1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
    2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;…:-)…Mark 4:19…And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful….:-)

  22. MJ says:

    I have no use for christians, period. A group filled with hate and hypocrisy and determined to make the USA in to a theocracy.

    • Interesting. I know or have known many, if not most, of the leaders in Christianity throughout my lifetime. I do not know one, not one, let me emphasize not one who has any desire for America to be a theocracy. I do think that all people, regardless of their religious position, has a responsibility to participate as citizens in our democratic processes. So there is no reason for MJ to spew hatred while condemning the group for hatred that has given more money to the poor and needy, built more homeless shelters, provided more food banks, hospitals and hospice care facilities than any other group in the world. Shall I talk about wells for villages, malaria medications and nets to protect poor people, and orphanages in AIDS ravaged portions of the world? Seems to me that MJ and his group might need to stop the rhetoric and get to work showing compassion and love in a practical way. I’m not saying Christians are perfect, but I am saying we try.

  23. […] used more nails on his own closet door than were ever put into all the crosses in Rome…) even claims that “ministering from the position of a humiliated sinner is much more […]

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