Part 3: Why Are [Some] Christians So Mean?

Part 3: Why Are [Some] Christians So Mean? August 13, 2019

 

In response to my comment: “If you would shoot your enemy in the head, you might not be a Christian”, I recently received a few deeply disturbing responses, like:

“Bulls**t!”

Keith Giles is soooo wrong”

and my favorite one: “This Keith Giles is a gut-shooter, not a head-shooter, a dumb-ass playing games.” 

[Nice].
It starts to make you wonder, “How can Christians who follow the One who said ‘Love your enemies’ respond to my comment in this way?”

Are they unaware of their Savior’s teaching?

Are they willfully ignorant of what He meant by this statement?

Or are they mostly confused by how to apply His teachings in everyday life?

This leads us to Part 3 of my series “Why Are [Some] Christians So Mean?” –

Christians in America are confused about the Old and New Covenant.

As one person on that particular post said, “I get a little confused with Old Testament vs New…is everything in the OT about war and defending (oneself) null after Jesus died?”

See, I think it’s this fundamental misunderstanding of how the Old Covenant and the New Covenant work together that’s sometimes the problem. This confusion allows us to call ourselves “Christians” without actually following Christ.

Yes, Jesus said that He came “not to abolish the Law and the Prophets” but to “fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

But, in what way did Jesus “fulfill the Law and the Prophets”?

Most Christians are taught that this statement implies that the Old Testament Scriptures are still intact. However, that’s not at all what Jesus meant. As the writer of Hebrews explains:

“By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13)

So, when Christ fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, He accomplished what they were pointing to and prophesying about. The point is this: Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant, and now we are under a new and everlasting covenant.

Rather than become enslaved again to the Old Covenant Laws, we are free to follow Jesus and we therefore are bound to obey Him.

This means that when Jesus says, “Love your enemies” we need to actually do that – and not shoot them in the head (or anywhere else).

And when Jesus says, “If you do not forgive those who sin against you, then your Heavenly Father will not forgive your sins either” we need to start forgiving people. (see Matthew 6:14-15).

Want further proof that Christians today don’t understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant? Let me ask you to tell me what the New Covenant is.

Honestly, most Christians I ask have no idea what the New Covenant actually is. (Hint: You can find out in Hebrews 8:8-10; and Jeremiah 31:31-34).


See, when we fail to obey Jesus we start to act mean, and the reason why is that following Jesus is meant to transform us into the image of Christ.

In other words, if we’re not following Jesus there’s no hope of ever actually becoming like Jesus.

It’s a little frustrating to me that I even need to write this down or explain this to anyone. It should be such a simple, basic idea to everyone that a follower of Jesus would be like Jesus.

How in the world have we gotten the idea that one can be a Christian but not follow Christ? This would be like a Muslim refusing to obey the Koran. Or a Jewish person who has no clue about Moses or his teachings.

Either you’re a follower of Jesus and you take Him seriously, or you are not following Jesus and you should just go ahead and call yourself a humanist who does what he feels like.

You can’t have it both ways.

We act nothing like Jesus because we have not been told we should follow Jesus’ teachings. We do not obey Jesus because we do not think of ourselves as “Disciples” but as “Believers” who accept a certain set of doctrines and we dare anyone to say we’re not really “Christians” even though we don’t act like Jesus.

For the record, the followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” in Antioch back in the first century. You want to know why? Because they were all so much like Jesus that their enemies called them “Little Christs” – which is what “Christians” actually means.


If those Antioch pagans could come to America, I don’t think they’d call us “Christians” today.

Yes, I’d say that the Church in America is some serious trouble, and if we don’t start embracing the New Covenant that Jesus died to initiate, and die to ourselves to receive it, then we will be nothing but a nation of Mean Christians who have no idea who Jesus is, or what it means to follow Him.

[END PART 3]

**

Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.

Keith’s newest book, “Jesus Unveiled: Forsaking Church As We Know It For Ekklesia As God Intended” released on June 9, 2019 on Amazon, and features a Foreword by author Richard Jacobson.
Keith’s Podcast: Heretic Happy Hour Podcast is on iTunes and Podbean. 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Herm

    Matthew 7:12 NIV

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 22:36-40 NIV

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” [37] Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ [38] This is the first and greatest commandment. [39] And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ [40]All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    What’s so hard to understand about what the Christ said summed up ALL what is now our Old Testament and what ALL our Old Testament hangs on?

    Luke 14:25-27 NIV

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: [26] “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. [27] And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    That is what it takes for ANYONE to become an eternal sibling student of Jesus, period.

    I witness that on that day you will realize that Jesus is in his Father, and you are in Jesus, and Jesus is in you.

    John 14:20 NIV

    On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    There’s a certain desperation in attempts to make “fulfill” mean “abolish”, when it actually in the original means “complete” or “perfect”. The Hebrews passage is taken hopelessly out of context, since it is referring to the obsolescence of the old covenant’s reliance on a human priesthood and animal sacrifices by the new covenant’s reliance on Christ and his sacrifice on the cross. It is clear that the new covenant is a renewal and perfection of the old, with the Law not scrapped and no longer to be obeyed, but rather written on people’s hearts and obeyed in perfection.
    As Herm points out below, love of God and neighbour is the fulfilling of the Law, and always has been: the idea that the Mosaic Law contradicts Jesus’s teaching or that Jesus was contradicting it is simply wrong, as Jesus himself said in the very passage the article above quotes. What Jesus preached against was allowing the letter to contradict the spirit of it, or that thinking lip service and apparent compliance with the letter of the Law was enough. The Law has to be read in the light of Jesus’s teaching and understood accordingly, especially the passages that appear to be at odds with it, and we also shouldn’t assume that just because the people in the OT stories are described as engaging in violence, violence is OK. We are, after all, reading in the OT of how the Israelites lost their kingdom through failure to properly understand and comply with God’s commands.
    The reason Christians are not required to comply with Mosaic law is set out most clearly by Paul in Romans: it is simply that we are not Jewish. The Mosiac “covenant of Law” (as Paul called it) only ever applied to the Jewish people, never non-Jews. We as Christians, Paul says, are co-inheritors of the “covenant of faith” – God’s promise to Abraham, which predated the Mosaic Law. We are required to faithfully follow Jesus, not the Law, and how to do that is described perfectly in the article above.