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"Mean Christians"

Updated: Apr 22

Romans 2:4

By Drew Zuverink

"Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4)

What leads a sinner to repentance? Many of us would say truth. Fair enough. God's truth certainly does bring people into his love because his truth is perfectly and always utterly good. However, when Christians aren't careful, we can easily present the truth in a way that makes it look bad - sometimes really bad.

God doesn't just care about truth, he cares about people. The truth is actually there for people. Here's the problem: too many Christians are passionate about the truth but they don't seem to give a crap about people. Too many Christians don't really care if people accept the truth, they just want to make sure that they know the truth. They seem to believe that as long as they speak up (or hide behind their keyboards and type) then they've done their duty. This seems to be particularly true for Christians who have intimately merged their faith with their identity as a voting republican. Clearly not every Christian who is also a republican falls into this category but some definitely do. They believe they're advancing God's kingdom, I believe they are hindering it.

John 1:14 explains that Jesus came from heaven full of both grace and truth. Unless we also embody both of these virtues we can hardly claim to be "fighting the good fight." I have no doubt in my mind that there are some Christians who truly believe they're fighting a righteous culture war on God's behalf by attacking "sinners" and "satanists" online - when in reality God would tell them they're just being jerks. On behalf of my brothers and sisters who are acting this way, I'm sorry. If you've been hurt by someone like this, please know that their actions do not reflect the attitudes, beliefs, and the heart of every Christian.

It is absolutely vital for Christians to remember what our God given calling actually is. God did not charge us with simply fighting for truth, he wants us to bring people into the truth. 2 Peter 3:9 says, "God does not want anyone to perish, but he wants everyone to come to repentance." Repentance is the goal and God's kindness is what brings people into it. If we are to be the tangible hands and feet of Jesus here on earth then we need to embody God's kindness. We need to embody grace and truth. We need to embody a heart that humanizes people - not one that demonizes them.

Very few moments call for Christians to cast kindness aside in order to do good. It is true that Jesus got a little "mean" towards people a couple of times and I'm not ignoring those passages. I'm actually doing the exact opposite. I am asking you to prayerfully consider if the kind of person Jesus would get stern with in today's world might be you.

To conclude, for those of you who feel a little defensive after reading this. The same kindness I am asking you to show to others, I will embody towards you. I believe you are in sin and I believe you should confess your wrongs to the people that you've hurt. I also believe you should seek to understand just how much hurt you have caused others - but I am calling you to repentance from a place of love. My heart longs for redemption and reconciliation, not just a "gotcha moment." Repenting of sin is a beautiful example of the transformative love of Christ and it's something I greatly desire to celebrate with you.

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