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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Why are Christians hated? I’m not talking about church people in general. I’m talking about real Christians. I don’t care their denominational tag any more than God cares about their denominational tag. I’m caring about the living-out-Jesus-believer who knows His Bible and seeks to breathe it out.

Now why is it that the world by and large hates this Christian? His Christianity? His Jesus?

It’s because Jesus doesn’t fit in here. He never did fit in here. Therefore, till the end of world spin there will never be a love affair between the world in general and Jesus in particular.

But what’s the reason?

The reason is because Jesus is no fancy fellow who dances around ambiguities. I just got finished reading my recent issue of HARVARD DIVINITY BULLETIN. I get that publication because I once attended Cambridge’s Harvard Divinity School.

I note that once again in that publication there is not much of a liking for Jesus — the real Jesus of the Gospel accounts. Now that is quite alarming to have to type that considering that I’m talking about a seminary. Nevertheless, ‘tis true and has been true for decades upon decades. There is not much of a love for Jesus as the Bible presents Jesus at HDS.

Now of course there is the liking of the demythologized Jesus at HDS. That’s the Jesus whom anyone can carve out to fit his or her theological liberalism. But I’m not talking about the liberal take on Jesus. I’m talking about the Jesus in the Gospel records — just as they read, not as they are sliced up for theological convenience sake.

Back to Jesus not being a fancy fellow who dances around ambiguities. HDS is built upon ambiguities. The more confusing a theologian can get at HDS the more he is considered intelligent and socially acceptable.

The more ambiguous a HDS religion instructor can present himself / herself, the more he / she will likely remain there on the faculty — and be invited to speak at conventions in Hawaii and have several books published with his / her name as author / authoress. Check out Harvey Cox for a real life example.

Because real Christians don’t believe in the HDS Jesus, they are not liked all that much. They don’t accommodate their Jesus to the sweet society of religious relativism. They take Jesus for who He claims to be — the One hated and despised, the Moral Measure for the disciple’s life, the Final Judge of every soul, the God Incarnate who decrees what is right and wrong.

Now that’s a tough Jesus to deal with, let alone live for and confront at the last breath. Nevertheless, that in reality is the Jesus of the Gospel records. He calls for an ethical life of holiness. He does not tolerate moral compromising. He will not stand for an individual writing his own religion and calling it baptized by Jehovah.

Jesus says “those who love Me will keep my commandments.” So that’s a Jesus who makes a soul accountable — not to his own moral code opportunistically molded to his own situation ethics — but to the morality of the divine revelation.

Jesus says that “they hate Me, they will hate you.” So that’s a Jesus who warns His own that the culture will be hostile, the society will not kiss up, the liberal church will be so pharisaical that it will seek to burn alive the genuinely devout.

No wonder the world hates Christians, Christianity and their Christ.