Jesus, for many, is a positive according to modern polls and other research. The church, for many, is a negative word. The trend has grown in strength in recent years. Why?
So many reasons really. I’m sure you’ve already thought of a few, if not many.
Let me offer one solution Christians could do well to change it.
Really commit to understand and follow Jesus’ teachings recorded in four books of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Among Jesus’ teachings, he says many times to love everyone, and he means everyone—even enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-45
This is one of Jesus’ teachings that many people most love. Yes, it is difficult, but Jesus doesn’t offer us another option. It is truly what is called a hallmark of Jesus’ teachings. Jesus doesn’t offer us an excuse for not loving everyone.
The New Testament word is “Agape,” which is best translated as unconditional love with reverence.
Agape is a word that we really come to love when studying Jesus closely. He says God loves everyone this way and we are to love God and everyone else with the same love. It’s easy to see how the world is a better place when we adopt this teaching.
If this Jesus is positive for you, whether you are Christian or not, I would love to talk with you. Though honestly, I enjoy talking with anyone. If you’re in the smaller number of the research, the offer still goes. Love in Christ and God bless you.
It’s a great life, “Loving God, and Loving Everyone, Everywhere,” isn’t it?
Ron Hunt is a spiritual director, ordained pastor, and recently retired psychologist. He currently serves Friendship Center Church here at Robson Ranch, leading worship at 9 a.m. on Sundays and offering mid-week study and support. Both are open to all. You can contact him at 218-330-5306 or [email protected].