If we call evil for what it is today, we are accused of being “hateful.” I saw this clearly portrayed last night in a popular TV show. The “evil” one was the one who stood against what used to be called “evil.”
In many ways this is to be expected in a culture that has been persistently turning away from the Lord. The surprising thing to me that it has infected the church as well. As the greater community of faith has drifted from the Bible being the authority, culture is dominating our beliefs and subsequent actions. To call evil as such is “unloving,” “hateful,” and “bigoted.” Granted there are a lot of people who do not know how to call evil for what it is and still love those who do evil. But by and large, anyone who stands for anything is labeled a hater, regardless of how loving their actions may be.
Jesus understood this.
“The world…hates me because I testify that what it does is evil” (Jn 7:7).
The world hated Jesus because he testified that it’s works were evil. Ironically in this the sinners ran to Jesus and the religious people ran to grab their swords.
There are many times Jesus loved and called people to turn from their ways.
- He told the woman at the well, “You have had give husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband (Jn 4:18).
- At the pool of Bethesda he healed a man and that told him to “stop sinning or something worse may happen” (Jn 5:14).
- Jesus told the crowd, “Stop judging by mere appearances and make right judgment” (Jn 7:24)
- Jesus said to a man who watched another man get healed. The man asked, “What? Are we bling too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” (Jn 9:40-41)
Jesus never extracted sin and wrongdoing from his calling people to repentance, life and faith. And they hated him for it.
It’s tempting to take the easy route and wash down sin, avoid talking about the issues running rampant in our culture or more. It would equally be wrong to talk only about these things and not offer the open arms of repentance with love.
It’s one of the things I really admire about Jesus. He really knew how to speak truth plainly and also love deeply. Some responded. Many hated.
We should expect no different.