The Unlovable Jerk

Borrowed from The Jerusalem Connection (www.thejerusalemconnection.us)

A few weeks ago I discussed the Lovable Jerk.

The unlovable jerk comes in two varieties.

Haters

The first group came first, arguably starting with Cain or, at the very latest, during the time of the Apostles in the first century A.D. (or CE, for you PC folks … letters are fun).

These are the people who take offense at Christianity, whether for good reasons (abuse, deception, and/or bigotry from Church leadership, amongst other things) or not-so-good reasons (boredom, disagreeing with something/someone, having an ax to grind, etcetera). Cain was offended that Abel’s offering was accepted over his. The Jewish kings did not like prophets speaking of repentance and doom. Herod did not like John the baptizer saying his marriage to his sister-in-law was wrong. The Jewish leadership did not like being told by a carpenter that they messed up God’s Laws. The people and Roman emperor did not like these Christians telling them that their gods were not real.

In each of these listed, righteous people were killed. The response for these people:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Romans 12:14

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 5:44

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:11-12

Un-lovers

The second group of unlovable jerks are those who are called to love but spread hate.

A group of unhappy former slaves were not happy about walking around in a desert and demanded a change in leadership. The nation of Israel was called to share God with the nations, but for centuries tried to cut themselves off (while and after mixing beliefs with surrounding nations). Judaizers demanded that the only true Christian was one who was circumcised. Church history is rife with people who demanded other people believe exactly as they do or be killed. Westboro Baptist Church preaches that God hates … basically everyone!

These are all people who were called to “Love your neighbor,” and instead they have caused dissension, hatred, and chaos.

You might not believe it, but the Bible has the response we are to show them, as well:

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.
Galatians 6:1-5

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17

Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:25-26

And in case they will not listen:

When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 5:4-5

In other words, no matter what, we need to love the unlovable jerks. From Matthew 5 we know that we should rejoice that we can suffer like our Lord, for He received ridicule, hatred, beatings, and death for being the Righteous One. This is why they are jerks: as I mentioned in “The Lovable Jerk” they bring us to give glory to God.

Likewise, if we love those who persecute us or are the Un-lovers, we may jerk on their heart-strings and lead them to give glory to God. This is why we should expel them if they are one of us, because, perhaps, the shame of being expelled will bring them to repentance.

So, “come on, people, now, smile on your brother! Everybody get together, try to love one another, right now!” Let us love each other, all people.

To make it more manly (for those of you who worry about such things): GET OVER YOURSELF AND LOVE OTHERS!

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  1. April 23rd, 2013

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