I am not going to name the “church” that make these signs and stand on street corners, but I cringe at their methods. To be honest, it angers me.
Allow me to preface that I am far from perfect. I confess I make mistakes, and fall into sin. I am thankful for a forgiving God to where I can repent, learn from my mistakes, and strive to improve. I am not making judgements, besides some ONE has that job, and I surely do not want it. However, I have never met anyone that came to a knowledge and understanding of Jesus by these abrasiveness, abusive, and basically caustic methods.
Granted, Jesus was direct at times, He even called the “religious” of that day, “Vipers”, and yes He turned over the tables of money changers in an aggressive manner at the temple, but I never read where he held up signs, screaming at people, or demonstrating a level of hate towards others living in sin. It was nearly the opposite to where he came alongside, spoke in terms they understood, and basically loved the hell out of others.
I do believe Jesus spoke with authority and confidence, but not out of hate, but that out of the love of God to be about His business. Even on the cross, suffering the ridicule, persecution, and eventually death, He said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
I confess when I was a new Christian and attended a certain denomination of church, I was rather aggressive, and spoke rather directly, without first being empathetic. Without first putting myself in the other person(s) shoes to understand their walk, and circumstances. I regret it. However, after I sought wisdom from digging deeper into the bible and the life of Jesus, I strived to be more like Him, not like any man made denomination. To me it is truly about a relationship with Christ, and not religion. There is so much wisdom in the way Christ lived, taught, led and served. This is the example we are to follow, and not screaming hate, beating someone up side head with a sign or a bible. It’s about loving someone to an understanding not just in words, but in actions and deeds. The way you live your life, is as loud as a message as any.
I have a friend who has a t-shirt that reads:
“Be a man, live like Jesus”
To live like he did, as well as the many examples of the apostles, to me is, being a real man. A man after God’s own heart. I have been known to re-quote this quote often by Johnny Cash,
“Being a Christian isn’t for sissies, it takes a real man to live for God, more than to live for the devil.”
It’s not easy, in fact it is tough, but it is good. To me it is what is right, sound, and it is all to be done in love. And, yes, sometimes love has to be tough, but it is never hate.
So what is love? What Jesus did on the cross He did out of love. But what does the bible define as love, well here you go:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Unfortunately, this particular church and it’s members seem to have forgotten this verse, or how to apply it.