January 22, 2009

Dag Jesus, make it rain!

When I became a follower of Christ at 19 I was taught the "nice gospel"(nice gospel i.e.- Christians are to be sweet to everyone, respect their elders [even if your elder is not a Christ follower... but still a deacon], behave correctly in church, wear your sunday best, don't be liberal, etc...).  

Where in the world did we get this "be nice" gospel mentality? Did Christ come to save us so that we could just be liked by the world? Many people say, "Well, Jesus was meek and mild and He was just so darned friendly to people." Really?!?!? Really?!?! 

I was reading this scripture and I ran into Luke 14. If the gospel of Jesus is about "being nice people" then he is really screwing it up here. He bluntly confronts the "nice-church people" (i.e. pharisees) in their grill.

So he is kickin' it with church people and they invite him to this really nice (pancake dinner) banquet. The church people plant a man that is crippled at the party right in front of Jesus, to see what He would do. 

FREEZE: *Now the nice gospel version has Jesus minding his own business (to respect the church people who invited you to the party) and maybe for him to go heal the guy after desert, in the bathroom, where nobody is looking. 

But Jesus looks right through their plan and asked them straight up, "Is it lawful to the heal on the Sabbath or not?" No one said a word....  Jesus saw through their plan and loudly called them out. 

If you read later in the passage you see one of the pharisees (nice church people) saying, "Blessed be the people who will eat at the feast in the Kingdom of God!" This sounds so pious and church-esque. But Jesus goes on to tell all these polished religious people that God is looking for people that really want to come to the feast, the broken, the down-and-outers, and the unlovely, not "nice churchy" people. 

Dag Jesus, why you so blunt and honest? Be nice... NOT!