Sometimes I try to look at the world and listen to the world as if I were not a Christian. It's a challenge for me since I have been a Christian since I was a fetus. But sometimes it really pays off.
This evening when I was listening to the radio, I gave it a try. There was this radio preacher preaching about love. He said something like this:
"You do the right thing in relationship with that person because you love God, even if you don't love that person..."
Wait a minute here. This is something I have heard before, but it always sounded so spiritual, so good. But tonight it hit me all wrong. This is opposite of the teachings of Jesus. Jesus did not say, "Love God and be nice to your enemies because God really likes it when you fake them out with fake love." No, Jesus said, "Love your enemies."
This radio preacher just gave his audience to hate their enemy, so long as they are nice to their enemy. He just gave his audience to reject the teachings of Jesus. He just gave his audience permission to disregard the second greatest command. When God said that Christians should love people, he did not say that so God would get the benefit from it. It was so that person would get th benefit from it. I think Christians sometimes got so interested in impressing God that caring about people gets lost.
Here's the deal, God loves that person just as much as he loves Christians, so we don't really get on God's good side by being nice to the person without investing love.
As I was pretending to be not a Christian, this preacher sounded like he was talking to his insiders club who have special access to the Divine and teaching them the tricks of how to hate people without them knowing it, or maybe how to get in good with God without really caring about people. Ugh, the more I think about it the worse it gets.
When I hear things like this the more I realize why Christianity has a bad name with so many people.