Why Does Jesus Turn Decent People into Jackasses?

Donkey_Jackass_Mule

One of my friends in college had a very personal relationship with Jesus, one that, on occasion, led him to wake up at 4:30 in the morning and spend 90 minutes of quality time with Jesus before class. When I first met “D,” I was sort of jealous of his spiritual discipline. At the time, I was experimenting with Calvinism and easily shamed by the intensities of other people’s relationships with Jesus. But overtime I stopped being jealous of D’s close relationship with Jesus. Because I began to notice that the more time D hung out with Jesus the bigger jackass he became. We could always tell when D and Jesus were engaging in “bro” time, because that quality time always seemed to make D angry, prideful, and intoxicated with his own spiritual certainty. As a recovering Baptist who, at the time, was a young and flourishing Presbyterian, I didn’t want to end up being one of Jesus’s jackasses.

Why do close relationships with Jesus turn some people into jackasses? That idea seems counter to everything that Jesus taught about God’s Kingdom. Still, sometimes Jesus comes into a person’s heart and makes them shape shifters.

I’ve known lots of people who Jesus has helped. I’ve seen Jesus help alcoholics to begin recovery. I’ve seen Jesus help fix marriages. I’ve seen Jesus make rich selfish people into rich giving people.

None of those things surprise me at all, because I believe that Jesus saves, that Jesus heals, and that Jesus changes people’s lives.

But let’s face it: how a relationship with Jesus affects people seems to vary a good bit. Because as much as Jesus brings some people hope, healing, and resurrection, that same Jesus also makes some people turn into intolerant name-calling Christians who seem downright entitled to utilize the Bible as a device to be mean and hateful. If engaging scripture and prayer and going to church makes us act like nasty, self-righteous jackasses, we’ve completely missed the point.

Engaging God’s story in scripture should not make us certain, but it should help us to be merciful.
Trusting in Jesus should not make us intolerant, but it should help us to be peaceful.
Spending time in prayer should not make us angry people who are bent on shouting our opinions from the rooftops, but it should help us to be gracious and thankful.

A lot of us Christians, rather than being followers of Jesus, we’re defenders of religious certainty. And having certainty about what is and isn’t true, good, and holy is actually not faith, it’s just certainty. And certainty regarding matters of faith isn’t Christian.

So we end up acting like jackasses, kicking and galloping and trolling around like we own the place. All the while bellowing scripture and unfounded statistics…

We can’t love people when we’re intoxicated with certainty. We can’t serve people with a pure heart if we’re burdened by certainty. We can’t be anything remotely close to “Christ-like” when we’re certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that we know what’s up regarding God. Why?

Because we’re too busy defending our rightness to be kind, thoughtful, and good.

So instead, we kick, stomp, and wake up the neighbors shouting. And then we blame Jesus for the messes we make.

142 comments
mikedavis0408
mikedavis0408

cool article! alot of truth is said in just when you have power and cannot cannot contain it. its a learning process if you ask me. read more on truth in this free book called the "present" at www.truthcontest.com

Marks still here
Marks still here

I am certain of many things regarding my Christian faith, and for that there is no apology.

However; that being said we are at all times to demonstrate the love of God torwards both, believers and non believers alike that they too may become certain of if nothing else: GOD LOVES ME, CARES FOR ME, AND HAS A PLAN OF REDEMPTION FOR ME.

My part is to continually draw closer to God that I may become conformed closer to the image of His Son whereby we are better equipped to demonstrate the love of God towards all mankind.

And yes teach them ALL things that He has commanded us. Not bible-bashing but loving to life.

May The God of ALL HOPE comfort and guide you all the days of your life as you seek to follow and know Him closer.

IM CERTAIN THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD TO DRAW ALL MEN UNTO HIMSELF IN TRUTH AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.

TCoats
TCoats

This is nothing short of brilliant.  I want to hear more.

JojoRuba
JojoRuba

If we don't have certainty, then we can't be certain that we should love our neighbours or our enemies; Without certainty, we can't advocate for justice or be intolerant of injustice; Without certainty, hope becomes meaningless and trust becomes unwise.


It isn't certainty you have a problem with, it's what some people who are certain, do.


The Jesus who said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me (John 14:6)" wasn't confused or uncertain. He knew what He was and is. If He wasn't certain about that, then those of us who follow Him have a meaningless faith.


I am certain (just like you) that there are many bad Christians (and others) who behave unChristlike because they are sure of their ideas. But it is only because I am certain that their behaviour is ungodly, that I can in anyway attempt to correct them.


thesauros
thesauros

Thankfully Jesus wasn't certain, which allowed Him to be the compassionate person we're to emulate. 

JojoRuba
JojoRuba

"A lot of us Christians, rather than being followers of Jesus, we’re defenders of religious certainty. And having certainty about what is and isn’t true, good, and holy is actually not faith, it’s just certainty. And certainty regarding matters of faith isn’t Christian."


Just wondering if you are certain about this and if not, then why are you publicly attacking fellow Christians when you aren't even sure about what you believe.

Mhvest
Mhvest

I can't get people to read this whole thing on FB. Can I cut the last five paragraphs, post it in parenthesis with your name and a link to this page?  This is really important and I want to share it.  I know I'm like that sometimes and I know it's because  want validation which other people can't usually offer. 


CherieBartlett
CherieBartlett

When the Pharisees and the Sadducee nitpicked Jesus with their interpretation of the Torah, Jesus led them to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ To follow these two commandments is very difficult and leaves no time for finding sawdust in the eyes of others.   

JaisonJRaju
JaisonJRaju

I think this sums up the author's intent very well.

"Engaging God’s story in scripture should not make us certain, but it should help us to be merciful.

Trusting in Jesus should not make us intolerant, but it should help us to be peaceful.

Spending time in prayer should not make us angry people who are bent on shouting our opinions from the rooftops, but it should help us to be gracious and thankful."

An article like this gives me hope that people are starting to discern the patterns between gracious believing Christians and the subtle and insidious qualities of religious Christians (mock humility is another pattern!)

JohnNLizP
JohnNLizP

You write "having certainty about what is and isn’t true, good, and holy is actually not faith, it’s just certainty. And certainty regarding matters of faith isn’t Christian."  Isn't it interesting how "certain" you sound about that?   After reading several of your posts i am now more certain than ever that you seem much more in love with your own opinions than the Truth of Scripture. 


"Professing to be wise... they became fools."   I am very certain of that. 

RicoElRosales
RicoElRosales

When I was young, before I had FULL understanding of BEING HIS BODY, I TOLD my GOD YHSHWH/JESUS, 

my CREATOR and SAVIOUR, that I wanted to BE HIS STALLION and HE SAID, "FINE but first 

I NEED to TAME you, to MAKE you RIDEABLE." 

I SUBMITTED.


I have to deny the "jackass" that lives in me

and let HIM WHO LIVES HOLY and ACCORDING 

TO HIS WAYS, Genesis to Revelation,

LIVE IN and THROUGH me.


pride keeps many "jackasses" alive...


Pride is being with GOD YHSHWH

and wanting everyone to know

that I am with HIM.

I try to show everyone how much

I know about HIM.

I try to protect HIM and HIS WAYS

I try to argue for HIM.

I will tell myself and others,

“If it wasn’t for me,

HIS MESSAGE would not get out.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

HUMBLENESS is being with GOD YHSHWH

and directing everyone to HIM.

And if anyone disagrees with me,

GOD YHSHWH SAYS,

“Let them, I will take care of it.”

So I keep directing everyone to HIM;

even if they have to walk over me.


LOVE, RICO EL 

JohnZulauf
JohnZulauf

and when we are jackasses we fail the Gospel.  If people are going to trust us enough to believe us, they have to observe that we love them more than we love our agenda. 

kkollwitz
kkollwitz

From the title I thought this was going be about the decent people who turned into jackasses and crucified Jesus.

DavidBalesdeGraaff
DavidBalesdeGraaff

When you browbeat people with morality you push them away. You don't have to ACCEPT sin, but 'be in the world but not of it',  so that people see your light shine and will want to be a part of that. Jesus just told us to spread the word of the gospel not to go around brandishing our morality and thus doing the opposite of what He commanded. GOD is judge. Boundaries are important ... a necessity even so that your own belief isn't compromised, but doing that in a spirit of love can attract people to your faith. And one last thing is that it's God's place/ job to draw people to Him and plant the seeds of faith in their hearts. We're just supposed to love them and be there to share the gospel with them when the Spirit of God prompts them AND us. Let's get off of being Pharisaical over our own trophies of morality and get down to truly studying the word and what Jesus meant exactly as to what we are to do until He comes back. The EXACT brand of moral brandishing displayed here in this thread is exactly why I've slid so far away from my faith out of fear of God and the unbearable weight it became in my life. The authoritarian dictator that God still is in my heart's understanding is a direct result of this self righteousness from others in my life that I experience from some posts here in this thread. My two cents worth.

Tonydasinga
Tonydasinga

@VeronicaZundel @KellyW2010 @pickupmylaundry @MichaelRigby @EllieRavinsky  


Forgive the repost… I had a hard time replying below, so restarting the discussion up here!


Thank you all for the excellent discussion! There is no way to verify the existence of God. Kelly… the quote "we run the ramp of reason before we take a leap of faith" is a great way to look at the fact that we look at all available evidence (history, archeology, prophesy, etc.) as the basis for faith. We all have faith in something… the existence of God, Atheism, or anything inbetween. Based on the evidence I've seen in regard to spiritual matters, it all seems to lead to God. More specifically, the God of the Bible.

@pickupmylaundry Gravity is no longer a "theory" but a law of nature that has been proven, as you said. That being said, it is a force that is not literally visible. We simply know its existence because of how mass interacts in the universe. I CAN, however, choose to not believe in it. (I know we are talking about something proven and something unproven... Bear with me!!) Just because I (hypothetically) don't FEEL like gravity exists, or at least not in the way others say, doesn't necessarily make it NOT exist! If you and I decided to go to the 12th story of a building and stand on the balcony, you might be concerned about the stability of the balcony, whereas I couldn't care less because I don't believe in gravity! Ultimately, there is truth about whether or not we would drop from a failing balcony, regardless of what I believe. The point is not that I am comparing God and gravity, the point is that simply believing something - anything - doesn't necessarily make it TRUE. That goes for Christians as well, btw. Just because I believe Jesus is God, doesn't make it true. I happen to think that with the "balance of evidence", put quite well by @VeronicaZundel, it seems that what is true is causing me to believe! I would love to start another post about evidence, and am happy to, but I would love to stay on topic!

I think it is worth noting… we can talk about all of this, and I could be right on ALL accounts… But speaking to Matthew's original point, I don't believe that being "right" makes me a better person than anyone who disagrees. The things I have stated inform the way I live my life, not for a medal or a pat on the back, but as an overflow of my heart in gratitude to the God in whom I believe. 

1 Corinthians 13:2 states "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." 

To be a "D" as Matthew put it, is to be one who may have "the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge" and "a faith that can move mountains", however the "D" is one who "is nothing" without love.

I am grateful to meet you all on here! Keep 'em comin'!

DavidNoahParker
DavidNoahParker

Also your pic is of a mule not a donkey  :P  interesting fact the Ass was domesticated almost 4000 years before Jesus was born but the name donkey was first coined in the 1700's  Jackass literally means "male ass"  this is of course of no consequence or bearing upon the topic at hand 

BrentDill
BrentDill

> But let’s face it: how a relationship with Jesus affects people seems to vary a good bit. Because as much as Jesus brings some people hope, healing, and resurrection, that same Jesus also makes some people turn into intolerant name-calling Christians who seem downright entitled to utilize the Bible as a device to be mean and hateful. If engaging scripture and prayer and going to church makes us act like nasty, self-righteous jackasses, we’ve completely missed the point.


Protip: That's not Jesus. Check your Matthew 7:22-23. "I never knew you" is a pretty straightforward statement.


EllieRavinsky
EllieRavinsky

Being a jackass and being cruel is not loving someone to Christ, end of story.

JordanGoldberg
JordanGoldberg

This is not a very good article at all, both Biblically and logically. You assert that if we're "certain" then we somehow are incapable of being kind, thoughtful or good. Well you shouldn't even be saying "good" anyway, because Matthew 19:17 tells us plainly that no one is good but God.

And why are you saying that intolerance is bad? How about intolerance of sin? Is that bad? Oh, maybe we should be "tolerant" like this article implies, and tolerate as much sin as we like. When it's pushed to it's logical conclusion, it's absurd.

How can you say that it's not Biblical to be certain that the Bible is a true revelation from God? In fact, the opposite is true. John 8:31-32 "...Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We CAN know the truth, and we CAN be certain IF the Biblical worldview is true.


The problem with this article is that there is no substance to it. It's just all wishy-washy, emotional rambling that speaks against Christians who defend the faith and implies that philosophically astute Christians are nasty towards everyone. This article is NOT supported Biblically at all. In fact, the opposite. 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ". The writer of this article seems to be one of those people who doesn't want to show people that the Bible is true and accurate... and if people think that the Bible is just a collection of myths written by goat-herders, then what is "loving people" going to do? Do you think non-Christians are really going to start believing the Bible if they believe all of the evidence is stacked against it, and that the Bible is just a collection of stories?

Ultimately it's entirely up to God whether he will unveil the truth to people and soften their hearts, but it is our job to defend Biblical authority. That's Biblical - this article however, is not.


Even people who profess a hatred for God are capable of love. I'm not saying that we shouldn't love people at all - we should love people as much as we possibly can. But the writer of this article implies the fallacy of false choice. It's not a choice of "Either you're certain of the Bible, or you love people... can't be both". That's just ridiculous.

DavidNoahParker
DavidNoahParker

Except Jesus didn't ask us to correct anyone... That's not our job, our job is to love. And loving doesn't mean changing others

yolf65
yolf65

@thesauros I don't know you well enough to detect tone in typing.  Are you perchance being sarcastic?

Marks still here
Marks still here

IM CERTAIN OF THIS.... ALL HAVE SINNED ALL FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.

Marks still here
Marks still here

I am certain of many things regarding my Christian faith, and for that there is no apology.

However; that being said we are at all times to demonstrate the love of God torwards both, believers and non believers alike that they too may become certain of if nothing else: GOD LOVES ME, CARES FOR ME, AND HAS A PLAN OF REDEMPTION FOR ME.

My part is to continually draw closer to God that I may become conformed closer to the image of His Son whereby we are better b-ball let to demonstrate the love of God towards all mankind.

And yes teach them ALL things that He has commanded us. Not bible-bashing but loving to life.

May The God of ALL HOPE comfort and guide you all the days of your life as you seek to follow and know Him closer.

IM CERTAIN THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD TO DRAW ALL MEN UNTO HIMSELF IN TRUTH AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.

EllieRavinsky
EllieRavinsky

@JojoRubaI totally agree. I got beat up really badly last week from people who supposedly share my faith/denomination.  I am always told I'm not "really" my religion because I deny certain truths and you have to believe 100%.  I will never be against these things and tried to be kind about how I felt.  The problem is, I believe most things but not all.  That's not good enough.  I am going to hell and not a true believer.  

I love Jesus, try to draw closer to him daily, and seek to grow in my healing from a horrible childhood and abuse.  They are horrible and relentless in their arrogance and hatred.  They launch vicious attacks that really hurt me and were cruel and had nothing to do with Jesus or his life.  Someone stood up for me and asked them if this was how Jesus would act and when confronted about how cruel they are to me, they became angry and said how dare this person ATTACK THEM?!  They even said that Jesus would do this and tried to use the Bible.  To make it worse the super elite running the page blocked me from responding so they could launch more attacks and they were allowed to do this and say that I obviously 'ran out of answers' when they knew I'd been blocked from defending myself.  They called me horrible names and I never once called anyone a name but because I said I didn't believe the "canned answers" I was blocked and they were allowed to taunt, name call, and be hurtful (in the name of Jesus of course).  They also told one defender I deserved everything I get for not being obedient to Jesus.  Good grief this sounds more and more like a cult.  I wonder if they are flying to Guyanna next week and drinking kool aid.  What are they afraid of and why so freaked out when someone says they don't agree with a few things? 

I guess I should lie.  How can I affirm what I sincerely don't believe?  They say I am uneducated about the topics.  That's a lie.  I have a master's in theology and I study in detail what troubles me and I actually feel justified in my beliefs based on those studies.  Then I'm told I'm following Satan.  I wish I could find a church that meets in people's homes, a casual spiritual community that helps each other grow as a Christian as I'm sick of punching a time clock at a church and only being judged and condemned by the "CHURCH" people who are orthodox and better than me.  

I truly hate myself when I am there because I will never ever measure up.  They wouldn't have the guts to say this stuff to my face but they said things that HURT like, "Go ahead and leave.  I'm sure God will put a new convert in your place."  God save me from your followers.  I am done with the institutional church, but I love Jesus and seek to be like him; loving, humble, embracing all. 

JohnNLizP
JohnNLizP

@JaisonJRaju Can you point to a single time that Jesus advocated "tolerance"?   Mercy is a much much different response than tolerance. Mixing the two is a false representation of Jesus' entire message. Jesus offered mercy to sinners...  but felt the sin was so incredibly egregious that it required the death penalty. He therefore offered Himself in their (and our) place to pay this penalty. That is not "tolerance". It is justice... and mercy rolled into one. 


Even after He stopped the woman who was caught in adultery from being stoned to death for her sin, He told her "stop sinning". He also never said that she did not deserve to die for the crime, He simply reminded everyone in the crowd that they too were guilty and deserved the same punishment. That is the message that we as Christians bring to the world. "The consequences of sin is death" We all deserve eternal punishment for our sin and nothing we can do changes that. The mercy of God made a way for us... He sacrificed His own Son to pay our well deserved death sentence and give us life. Do you think having to see His son suffer that torment, which He did not deserve, brought about by our sin made Him more or less tolerant of sin?


The Word makes it perfectly clear that God hates sin. He has no tolerance for it at all. On the other hand He has a vast love for us. It is His desire that "all men come to repentance and be saved". To repent means to acknowledge ones sin and turn away from it to God. No one will ever bring their sin into His presence and find tolerance for it. Many have already come to Him for forgiveness and found mercy.

AndrewImlay
AndrewImlay

@JohnNLizP  

John (again): Your endorsement of spiritual certainty, and judgment against people who regard such certainty with suspicion, just begs for a restatement of a quote from Pope Francis:


"In this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions – that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble...If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God."

JaisonJRaju
JaisonJRaju

I disagree with your response and your tone.

DavidNoahParker
DavidNoahParker

@BrentDill I believe he addressing the issue of people claiming Christ in it.  actually other then the acknowledgment of Jesus's ability to do great things I don't think this is about Jesus at all.  Its about what some people do in his name believing that it is his will.


DavidNoahParker
DavidNoahParker

@JordanGoldberg you are reading certainty into the authors words which is exactly his point.  he isn't arguing that the kind of certainty that ...only God is good, and that all of man kind is sinful ... is a bad certainty.  he isn't saying that to be a good christian you need to tolerate Sin he is simply pointing out just as Jesus did in Matthew 7 that brow beating people will not help them and might just come back and bite u in the ass.  This crazy fixation by the church on calling out sinners and labeling them as less then is directly the antithesis of what Jesus himself said to do that is his point.  its also a reminder that you and I are idiots who think we know how God would have us deal with a sinner's sin. the reality is that we are not here to wash peoples sin away we are here to love and serve and in doing that point to Jesus and not pretend that Jesus is pointing peoples issues out through us.  The Holy spirit does not need our dulled and imprecise tools to do its work. 

WilliamShelton1
WilliamShelton1

@JordanGoldberg You totally missed the point of the article and, I suspect, did so intentionally. It is people like you who have totally and completely turned me off to Christianity, It could be such a beautiful religion, and it is when expressed by people who understand that a little tolerance and kindness go a whole lot further than your self-righteous chest-thumping brand of Christianity allows. * smh *

JojoRuba
JojoRuba

@DavidNoahParker  Oh and if love doesn't mean changing others, than how can we ever do the Great Commission? Certainly (there's that word again), the Holy Spirit saves us but consider what Luke says to his friend Theophilus:


Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of theword, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-4


If certainty is against biblical love, then does that mean Luke is telling Theophilus right at the start of his gospel, how to be unloving because he says Theophilus can "know the exact truth" of what Jesus taught? He sounds pretty certain here, doesn't he?

JohnNLizP
JohnNLizP

DavidNoahParker   really?  Where did you get that idea?  

thesauros
thesauros

@yolf65 @thesauros Yes, it's sarcasm. All of the essentials to Christian life and belief, starting with the certainty of Creator God's existence and including the certainty of our salvation are found throughout the Bible. It's how we live out that certainty (eg. sarcasm) that causes such hatred and loathing for Christians. 

Marks still here
Marks still here

@Ellie Ravinsky I don't know where you live but I would encourage you to find a Calvary Chapel church near you.

AndrewImlay
AndrewImlay

@EllieRavinsky @JojoRuba  I'm really glad you wrote and that I re-read your post four times, each time catching a nuance I had missed previously.


First: It takes a lot to put it out there that you had a horrible childhood and abuse. As a child, you had no choice but to depend on the adults around you to show you what are acceptable ways to be treated. You deserved better than what you got. You deserved safety, physically and emotionally. You deserved to be cherished. You deserved the freedom to explore your world, without condemnation, to learn more about it. You deserved that others rearrange their priorities so you could learn to be vulnerable, trusting, and unafraid. You deserved pride and support as others watched you grow.


Second: Could you do me a favor and re-read that last paragraph, this time thinking not of the adults in your childhood, but rather thinking of the members of your current church? Please take the time before I go further.


Do you see what I (think I'm) seeing? Patterns established in our childhoods are very, very hard to change. (I wonder if you've experienced emotional abuse or betrayal in romantic relationships, or avoid them altogether). In any case, I feel very, very sad reading about your experiences, because the churches I've been a part of do not (dys-)function like the one you've attended. And you have much, much more to offer a community of faith than I do.


So allow me to step out a little more and offer suggestions about where you might go from here; pardon me if you're already doing these things or if I'm being presumptuous. 

--Is there a particular professor from your Div program whom you trust? Could you tell him/her your story, and ask for references to another church? This is urgent, and they will see that. Your present "church" is damaging you, and reinforcing damage with every interaction. Your prof will want to stop that right away.

--Are you in regular counseling, Christian or otherwise? It sounds like your childhood experiences are still writing the script for your emotional life today. It takes literally years to learn new decisions, habits, and perceptions, and we might need a professional with whom we can be vulnerable and who will gently press us into new ways of thinking and acting.

-- I'm not actually Christian, so this is a little strange: I hope you don't give up on the institutional church. I imagine you taking a break. But there are so many churches which will treat you with dignity; I imagine you literally crying the day you realize you're in a new community where you can be genuinely vulnerable and trusting and be loved in return.


I'd like to end with a quote from Pope Francis himself -- I think Matthew paraphrased it above. I know you're Protestant, but it feels so right for you. From a long essay by Andrew Sullivan, Deep Dish, Dec. 17 (behind a $12 paywall, but worth it! It addresses so much you speak of!). Note that Pope Francis is the head of arguably the most orthodoxy-bound, legalistic denomination, and listen to his astonishing condemnation of unbending piety:


"In this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions – that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble...If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God."


God and peace be with you,

Andrew Imlay.

P.S. Feel free to let me know how things go...


AndrewImlay
AndrewImlay

@JohnNLizP @JaisonJRaju 

John:


It sounds like you don't know the dictionary meaning of "tolerance", or as Matthew used it, "Trusting in Jesus should not make us intolerant". "Intolerant", from the dictionary, is "not showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with". For Jesus or God, "opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with" means "sin". Does Jesus or God allow the existence of sin? From scanning the newspaper this morning, I'd say, certainly. Therefore, God and Jesus tolerate sin. Even if they hate it.


Maybe you're confusing "tolerate" with "advocate". For instance, you tolerate your Hindu neighbors, but you don't advocate Hinduism. Since Matthew was talking about Christians, not God, I'd say that in a nation of many religions, it's crucial that we citizens tolerate other religions or beliefs even though they (may) constitute sin. The alternative to toleration is conversion or, failing that, eradication of other people. Cf. the Inquisition. 


Oh-- the parable of the woman caught in adultery not being stoned to death has always been a favorite of mine, so I was disappointed to find out that it was written by a transcriber centuries after the rest of the gospel.


I hope you see that given the definition of "tolerance", Jesus' message was consistently one of tolerance -- of not using force, shame, or power to change people. Cf. the Samaritan.

JohnNLizP
JohnNLizP

@JaisonJRaju Thats your right...   but the point I made still stands... its amazing how many times people claim that they are sure that no one can be "sure" about anything.... that is hypocrisy and a false argument. Sorry, if it burns down one that you agree with... but that changes nothing...  Turner is wrong in spite of what he says "feeling" right.

NathanielChap
NathanielChap

I see a both sides. Although we are no better in and of ourselves in comparison to those in sin; sin does need to be brought into the light. Not for our own self good but for the spiritual growth of the brother in sin. The Apostles and early church were not afraid to point out the sin in others, but at the same time they did not view themselves as being high and mighty. Paul revealed much sin to the Church in Corinth but at the same time he considered himself the chiefest of sinners and the least of all the saints. It is not wrong to point out sin and to be confident in where we stand as long as our purpose in doing so is to bring glory to God, drawing others to the Father and revealing the love of Christ to the world. In the end, it's not about us........it's all about Him!

Tomkent1
Tomkent1

@WilliamShelton1 this kinda turns the whole thing on it's head! Matthew writes that religious certainty makes people unchristian and unloving. @JordanGoldberg disagrees, and then you post a comment that seems based in some kind of certainty, and which is unloving and intolerant of @JordanGoldberg

Does this mean that you too ought to be less certain so that you can be more loving?

thesauros
thesauros

@JojoRuba @DavidNoahParker Since his, "It's not loving to change anyone" was so outrageous, I thought DNP was just trolling. I think he was trolling. You can't know all that Jesus and others in the New Testament say about "correct" judging / correcting and say what DNP said without it being tongue-in-cheek. 

JojoRuba
JojoRuba

@TerriKnoll @DavidNoahParker So should you try to change our minds if we don't understand this article?


If we can never correct anyone, we can never help them become better people - in fact, we can't help them be more like Christ. That's not just in the gospel, that's the heart of the Great Commission.

Marks still here
Marks still here

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

1:7 And our hope of yoIu is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

WE SHARE IN BOTH YOUR SUFFERING AND ALSO IN THE EARNEST AND JOYFUL EXPECTATION OF THE COMING OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.

DO NOT LET THE TRIAL WHICH IS INTENDED FOR THE PERFECTING OF YOUR FAITH BECOME A TEMPTATION WHICH DRAWS US AWAY FROM OUR LORD.

LET NO MAN SAY WHEN HE IS TEMPTED I AM TEMPTED OF GOD.

EllieRavinsky
EllieRavinsky

@AndrewImlay Thank you --that was a very caring email.  I will give that some thought and ponder what you've said.  I did change churches but have been too afraid to reach out or be honest about my doubts over certain teachings.  I guess I was burned bad and it's going to take time to open up.  Thanks again, I will deeply think about all you said.

JohnNLizP
JohnNLizP

@AndrewImlay It sounds like you have missed the point. It doesn't matter what the "dictionary" definition of tolerance is. We are talking about current societal trends. I am using the word tolerance in the same sense that groups who demand it have been. Tolerance has ceased to be a "live and let live" ideal and morphed into a demand for acceptance of certain behaviors as normal, equal and even preferable in some cases. This is political correctness and its not a Biblical virtue. 


You have given no evidence of Jesus teaching either the "dictionary" version or pc version of tolerance. You have allowed yourself to be deceived and discount the scripture which is the only place that you can find the truth about who and what Jesus is. In those very pages we find Jesus using force, teaching about sin and the "shame" it brings, and warning people about the power of God's wrath that will change everything. 


i hope that you repent, turn to God and allow His Spirit to guide you in understanding His Word. 

DavidNoahParker
DavidNoahParker

@NathanielChap agreed though there are guidelines straight from the teachers mouth (well from someone who heard him say it but didn't write it down till 50 or 60 years afterward) in Matthew 7 Jesus himself warns against "casting pearls before swine" and not giving what is holy to dogs.  of course he is parable speaking about how correcting those who don't care or don't want to hear it is not beneficial to them or you.


Tomkent1
Tomkent1

@WilliamShelton1 now you are sounding a little intolerant of me too.
No I don't think I fit in those groups.

WilliamShelton1
WilliamShelton1

@DavidNoahParker No need to apologize, David. You are very close to being right in those assumptions, but instead of someone, it would be many ... 

WilliamShelton1
WilliamShelton1

@Tomkent1 No, it doesn't. I have little patience with the blatantly intolerant and the willfully blind. Should I include you in one of those groups?

DavidNoahParker
DavidNoahParker

@Tomkent1 @WilliamShelton1 @JordanGoldberg if I may hazard a guess William has been burned by the church and its people, I know I have.  to the point that when I think about and speak about what Christians do I almost never include myself in the title "Christian"  what is so profoundly hard about all of this is that realistically Christians in most cases don't act any worse then nonchristians with the major exception of towards LGBT people but because Christians are called to be loving and kind, and supportive, and Christlike .... when they don't do these things they not only magnify there failure but also actually hurt other people and often claim to do so in Jesus name.  Williams reaction seems to be one of anger at someone who just doesn't get it, and worst of all because they feel (so William believes may possibly be the case) so certain that they are right and in no need of a heart/head check.  and that is a frustrating prospect for sure.


@WilliamShelton1  I certainly don't want to make assumptions about you or what you were saying.  I apologize if I have done you wrong :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] Paul Turner’s piece on Why does Jesus turn decent people into Jackasses? is worth a click. I think there are things believers CAN be certain about, but we are always called […]

  2. […] A friend just drew my attention to this post. The author is Matthew Paul Turner and this is where it came from: http://matthewpaulturner.com/2013/12/23/why-does-jesus-turn-decent-people-into-jackasses/ […]

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