I read an opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel today by Yanis Rock Click Here that made me think of the following passage:
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. (1 Timothy 1:5-8)
It amazes me that Mr. Rock would write with confidence about what Jesus would do when he himself is apparently ignorant of Jesus' teachings.
Astoundingly, he writes:
Well, Jesus wasn't arrogant or pompous, so he wouldn't deliver his message in such a way to exclude rather than unite. The very idea that Christianity or any other religion, for that matter, has a monopoly on morality or divinity is absolutely preposterous.
Was Jesus arrogant? No. Did He have a message that excluded? Absolutely! And did He claim a monopoly on morality or divinity? Without a doubt!
Jesus preached in public, much like the man Mr. Rock derides, and he demanded repentance of sin (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15, and others) and proclaimed that those who would not repent would perish (Luke 13:3 and 5).
Jesus also claimed divinity and that unbelievers would die in their sins (John 8:24). Not only that, Jesus claimed to be the only way to salvation, a clear proposition of an exclusive message (John 14:6).
The one who is preposterous is Mr. Rock. He wrote that piece using Jesus as a model in order to proclaim the opposite of what Jesus actually taught. Mr. Rock, through his utter lack of knowledge, research, and credibility, has held up a flashing neon sign that says, "I'm Ignorant!" and he doesn't even know it!
This is sad. This is tragic. In our culture, the teachings of Jesus have been reduced to a popular consensus of opinion that is the opposite of truth. Most readers, and apparently the editor of a major newspaper, have no problem accepting this ridiculous notion that Jesus taught a sweet, let's-all-have-a-group-hug kind of message that wouldn't offend anyone, when, in fact, Jesus made this amazing declaration:
Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)
To those who don't believe, this is a divisive and offensive claim. Either love Jesus more than anything and be willing to die for Him, or you will die. The words of Christ cut, and they cut deeply. They expose the soul and demand repentance of sin and adherence to His teachings. There is no other option.
Mr. Rock is just one of many who believe his nonsense. It's up to real Christians to shout the real teachings of Christ from the rooftops and expose ignorance like Mr. Rock's for what it is.