The person who doesn’t really love or want what God says in His Book, but claims to be a Christian and is giving advice.
Making moral statements. Facebooking or chatting or blogging or conversing about what governments and individuals and “the church” should do, and acting like he does any of these things as a Christian. Whether he really is a Christian, a truly and Spiritually reborn follower/lover of Jesus, or not is secondary at that moment. What is primary is this: beware of him because he can make you think God loves or cares for something He does not, and because he does not much care what God loves anyway.
We’re all idolatrous at times. But the person I’m describing has no actual affection for Jesus. He loves only causes. Debates. Movements. Morality. He may love good things, but he does not love the Best Thing.
Those are harsh words, but I think they are accurate. And the Bible uses harsh and accurate words often to convict people of sin or to warn people. I’m mostly warning Christians, here. In this country where so many claim “Christianity,” there is a type of person who roams the cultural landscape who does not love or desire to submit to Jesus and yet claims to speak for our faith.
I’m not talking about someone I disagree with on a theological matter. I’m a Calvinist in the broad sense, but I don’t think everyone who isn’t a Calvinist doesn’t love Jesus Christ. I’m not talking about a Jesus-follower you or I disagree with. I’m talking about someone with a different heart than the genuine Christian’s. The real, Spirit-indwelt Christian’s heart, as a general rule, wants to find out what God loves and wants to submit to it. The type of person I’m describing already has ideas and motives, and will simply superimpose them on the Christian faith. If his life’s interests aren’t Christ but gun rights or patriotism, he’ll weld them to Jesus or the Bible or our faith. If she’s a feminist or into social justice and those are her idols, she’ll put them under the label of Christianity.
The problem isn’t that gun rights are stupid. The problem isn’t primarily that feminism is wrong. No, the reason I’m warning Christians about this type of person is that he doesn’t believe in his cause because he thinks it’s what Jesus would have him do; he simply doesn’t care what Jesus would have him do.
And if called on it, (apart from a work of the Spirit) he will not repent. It doesn’t bother him that he doesn’t seek Jesus’ will or heart. He may get defensive about being called out on this, but he won’t be sorrowful. He is not trying to please his Father. He does not love Jesus, at least not at the moment. He loves religion or morality or politics or social justice or rallies or attention. His life’s passion is the Tea Party or MSNBC or gender equality or perhaps even the Bible, but not Jesus. And not the Abba Father Jesus offers peace with.
Jesus told some Jews of this stripe that their father was the Devil.
It wasn’t, I think, because He didn’t love them. They needed to know how blindingly, awfully wrong they were. They loved something, but it wasn’t the Father. They hadn’t been adopted. God wasn’t their Abba, their Dad.
But they acted and conversed and argued politics and chatted religion as though they did know God.
Do not trust someone who uses Jesus as a means to an end. Do not trust someone who doesn’t ever sound like Jesus. The Jesus who was and is all about His Father’s will, and not His own.
I think at any given moment there are probably only 4 responses our hearts can have towards Christ: hate Him, ignore Him, use Him, or love Him.
The person I am describing claims to speak for Christianity but simply is trying to use Christ to preach what he really loves.
We should, each of us, repent of the times we have done it.
I’ve wickedly tried to use ministry and church planting as a way of feeling like a somebody. And God has ripped it from my hands the way a good Dad snatches dangerous things from His little boy, despite the fact that they looked harmless to his little eyes. I need to repent of this sin idolatry, too.
But there is a difference between the one who has forgotten the love of his Dad and the one who never wanted it.
We need to be praying for and witnessing to the ones who speak in Christian lingo or talk as Christians but don’t want the Father. Not seek their counsel.
They may like some Christian things. They may want to consider themselves “Christian.” They may love the Father’s house and His backyard and His pool, but they don’t know His tenderness, want His ways, or pray for His glory.
Look out for the one who claims to speak for Christianity but has no passion for Christ. And share the Gospel and the goodness you know with them, rather than receiving advice or ideas about God from them.