I’ve been wondering why the Church of Jesus Christ appears to be embracing the “let’s all get along” mentality more and more. Sometimes I’ve thought it’s just the liberals peddling the ideas, but, no, that’s not the case. Churches and individuals alike are crusading for everyone to “just get along.”
Please don’t misunderstand me.
I really do want to get along with others. Honest, I do. I want to be friends with everyone, if that’s possible. I believe in “friendship evangelism”, and I try and treat people like I want to be treated.
God loves this world as more than just a trophy, or something He’s conquered. He genuinely loves people because they deserve to be loved; not because of what they do, but because of who they are. And, as His child by virtue of the New Birth, He expects me to do the same.
I get all that.
But, as I said, it finally dawned on me why the Church is so adamant about getting along and fitting in with the world…
We want to be liked. We want the world to like us.
The thought is, “If we can get the world to like us, they’ll listen to our message”, or something similar.
But there’s a problem with that mentality. Big time!
Jesus said just the opposite! “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.” (John 15:18-21 NLT)
He told those who didn’t yet believe on Him: “The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.” (John 7:7 NLT)
Jesus accused the world (that He loved) of doing evil! That’s quite a way to make friends, eh?
Here’s a promise to underline in your Bible: “And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22 NLT)
And how about this passage; just a few short verses after the beloved John 3:16: “All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:20-21 NLT)
Finally, Pastor James had a thought on the subject: “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4 NLT)
It’s wonderful to be liked, even loved, by those around us. It’s nice for people to think we’re not stupid, or out of touch with society. But we will not please God by merely pleasing man. We must believe God knows what He’s talking about, and love the world enough to tell them the truth. Not in a mean-spirited kind of way, but the way Jesus did.
God’s eternal plan for this world is too great to be compromised…just because we want to be liked.