How to let Him know you don’t care
In downtown West Palm Beach, everybody’s saved. The community is full of Christians, just not ‘little Christs.’ I wish this story wasn’t epidemic, but it is. Just as Julie Clawson has described, the Jesus to admire, even adore, (but not listen to or follow) is still quite popular, thanks to some very selective reading of Jesus by the people who teach and represent him.
Here’s the guts of a story I told to our highschool bible study a while back, based mostly on 1st John, though several teachings of Jesus say the same thing:
“You guys know I have two daughters, Ruby who is 4, and Brooke who’s 1. Now, imagine for a second that I had to go do some things and leave them here with you guys. Now, when I come back, let’s say it comes out that yall have been mean to one or both of them–teasing them, picking on them. If you tell me then and there how much you love me, will I believe you? (I pause to let them answer, “No.”) Of course, any fool would know you don’t care for me. If you had loved me at all, you would have been kind to my daughters, or at least not been mean to them.
That’s exactly how Jesus talks about being kind to other people. He loves all people more than I love my girls. But what good is it to tell him how much we love him and not be kind to those people? About as worthwhile as telling me you love me and being unkind to my daughters. If your idea of ‘loving God’ doesn’t include being kind to those that he loves, which is everybody, you need to wake up now or be in for the worst kind of surprise later. Worship is kindness. Worship is kindness.”
I realize that worship of God includes things other than how we treat others, but what are the arguments from Jesus’ own teachings that he cares as much about those things as how we treat others for his sake? I don’t think they’re there.