Thursday, 3 March 2011

Who decides who loves Jesus?

It has become popular to talk about Christians as people who love Jesus. This is a great definition of a Christian and it is not new. This is surely the definition Jesus gives when he talks about the importance of loving him more than anything else (Matthew 10v37-38). Christianity is not primarily about the things you do, the things you say or anything like that it is about a relationship of love with Jesus Christ.

However, today someone said to me how come such a person gets to decide who loves Jesus and who doesn't? You see if it's about loving Jesus then surely I am the only person who can say whether I do or not and everyone else should just get their nose out of other people's business. You see the idea behind this statement is a really popular one which states that as long as I love Jesus (by my own definition of love) then I'm o.k. and no-one can tell me that I am or am not a Christian. So what we end up with is a group of people who can say anything, do anything but still claim to be Christians because they love Jesus. What we end up with is a community whose only response to any teaching, lifestyle choices or anything is to say 'well they seem to love Jesus' or 'well as along as they love Jesus' or 'they seem to love Jesus more than these other people'

So Christianity has become about nothing. It's become about whether people say they love Jesus and whether they talk about Jesus in a loving way and nothing else.

So back to the original question. Who get's to decide who loves Jesus and who doesn't? Well let me suggest that Jesus does. What does he have to say about the matter? Let me quote but a few things he says on the matter?

1 - John 21v15-19 - When Jesus meets with Peter after the resurrection Jesus asks Peter if he loves him, Peter says yes and so Jesus tells him to 'feed my lambs/sheep'. Jesus here says that people who love him will feed his people.
This means that you can't lead people astray and love Jesus. You can't teach people things which leads them away from Jesus and still love him. So people who talk about loving Jesus but are teaching error can and should be confronted because what they are doing is not loving Jesus.

2 - John 14v23 - Jesus here clearly says that those who love him obey his teaching. This means that it is a contradiction to pursue a life of disobedience to Jesus whilst still claiming to love him. This means that disobedient acts can and should be confronted because what they are doing is not loving Jesus.

3 - 1 John 4v20-21 - Here John says that Jesus taught that it's impossible to claim that you love God if you don't love your brother. This means that it is impossible to say that 'I love Jesus I just don't love Christians/the church'. How can you love Jesus but not love the church he purchased with his blood? So this means that a disregard, indifference or hostility towards God's people is incompatible with love for Jesus. Therefore yet again this attitude towards Christians can and should be confronted because this is not loving Jesus.

That's just a few examples I'm sure there are more but my point is that although Christianity is about loving Jesus this should not make it the subjective wishy washy thing which it seems to have become with so many people and so many Christian communities!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't commented for ages!! So comment!

    Realistically though its like Paul was saying on the Sunday before he left following Jesus means actually following! It means listening to what the Bible says and doing it.

    Anyone can say they love someone, but surely the way you really love someone can be seen in the way you behave towards them, spend time with them, care for them. So to say you love Jesus and then never follow, pray, spend time with Him and his people surely means you don't love him! Man I feel convicted as I write this I will stop now!