Once again we’re paying a return visit to Done With Religion by Michael Donohoe. I really liked the insights here. To read this at source or leave a comment for the author, click the title below.
Have you ever questioned some of the things you were taught in church? I have been questioning a lot recently, but a couple verses have been on my mind and I am wondering if I may have been taught wrong or misinterpreted what is really meant. The verses are as follows:
Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.
I was taught this verse was talking about living as a Christian witness in front of non-believers and how that would upset them. They would insult you and say you were evil because you followed Christ.
The other verse is Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.
I was told this meant that I was not living as a good Christian witness. All non-believers would speak good things about me because I was just like them. I was not living my Christian witness strong enough, pointing out their sins and mistakes. Living like them meant it caused no guilt on their part because I was not being a good Christian example.
The Religious or Non-Believers?
I have come to think I was told wrong about these two verses. I wonder, could it be that these verses are actually talking about religious people rather than non-believers?
When we read about Jesus and how he lived while here on earth, I see something different from what I was taught about living a Christian life. Jesus loved the people who most religious people would not want to be around. I was always told I had to separate myself and stay away from non-believers. I should be ready to point out why they were wrong and that they were on the way to hell if they did not change their ways. This is not to say all these people were wrong or terrible people, but in the eyes of other christian people they were wrong. Neither does this consider the verse saying the Holy Spirit will convict the world and draw others to the Father. It is not our job to convict and condemn, but to love.
Funny, I just do not see Jesus condemning and staying away from anyone. Jesus loved all people, even those that religion tells me to stay away from. When Jesus spent his time around the people the religious people wanted nothing to do with, He was hated, insulted and called evil…..by the religious people.
Just maybe when men speak well of us, it may not be non-believers. Maybe this is talking about the religious people speaking well of us because we are just like them, religious, condemning, relying on good works and fulfilling the law, and isolating ourselves from the people they thought were evil. Maybe when we want to spend time with those the religious try to avoid, it makes the religious crowd mad and they will be calling us evil. That’s what they did to Jesus, so we can expect the same.