Your Church +Portland


Christians are Jerks

I don’t understand how Christians get away with thinking it’s okay to be a jerk. How’s that for an interesting topic? Seriously though, is it just me or has anyone else ever thought this? I guess you can say I’ve got issues with Christians who for whatever reason, get off on being rude to others. Of all inhabitants on this planet I think it ought to be people like us that exemplify Christ-likeness and the Golden Rule the most. But for some Christians, they only remember eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth – which to them means they make sure they take out your eyes and teeth first! I’d like to write an entire blog about my feelings on the matter but then I’m only pointing fingers – and as the saying goes, you always have 3 fingers pointing back. I guess that means I can be a jerk too. Darn, this was just starting to get good!

Enter Jonah: Prophet of God swallowed by the whale. This guy has been on my mind these past few days. Jonah was given a huge task by God – to tell an entire opposing city that God was not happy with them. As the story goes, Jonah didn’t want to tell them so he ran and boarded a ship in the other direction, was thrown overboard, swallowed by a whale, then spit up on the shore after having consented to do God’s will. What becomes interesting about this Bible story is when you go deeper as to why Jonah ran from God in the first place.  

The name of the opposing city was called Nineveh. Not only was Nineveh against God’s people, they killed prophets like Jonah. So when Jonah received the command from God, it was sort of a death sentence for Jonah. That makes things a little clearer doesn’t it? Knowing Jonah is a dead man, I’m thinking he ran from God for fear of his life…right? Well according to Jonah, no.
Let me try again. So history tells us that Jonah was the only prophet that was ever required to give all his prophetic messages to Gentiles – otherwise known as the ungodly.  So I’m thinking Jonah got tired of being different than other prophets and just didn’t want to be that voice to the ungodly anymore so he ran from it…right? Well according to Jonah, nope.
Okay one more shot. How about this. Jonah didn’t feel like doing it. No rhyme or reason, he was just obstinate. Kind of like waking up on a Sunday morning not wanting to go to church. You wrestle with voices in your head saying, “Think of how blessed you’ll be in going today”, yet your body is telling you how great the bed feels, how a stack of pancakes and hot coffee in your PJ’s makes way more sense than church, and how you should never get ideas on Sunday mornings from my blogs! So in light of Jonah, maybe it was Sunday and Jonah just didn’t feel like obeying…right? According to Jonah, that’s not why he ran.

Jonah tells God straight up why he ran and why he wasn’t happy with God’s command. He told God he ran because God is gracious to people and because God always relents on doing harm to anyone. Say what? Yah, you read that right. Jonah was royally ticked at God for being gracious to people who deserved to die. To me that’s incomprehensible and now Jonah just topped the charts for being a royal jerk. The guy, a prophet have you, literally wanted to see sinners suffer for their sin. How is this any different than Christians who act like jerks? So just because Jonah was a prophet of God that somehow made him better than the people he gave God’s commands to? That’s maddening. I would never have run from God for this reason nor would I want to see sinners suffer regardless of how much they deserved it. I’ve got every reason to point a finger at Jonah on this one…but why is there still 3 other fingers pointing back at me? The truth is, being a jerk is the result of selfishness. You and I may not have done it like Jonah, we would have probably picked one of the other 3 reasons to run from God. In the end it’s all selfishness. So no matter how you slice it, welcome to the category of jerk.  

Exit Jonah: Two things to take away from this Bible story; God is gracious and we can all be jerks. Regardless of the degree of selfishness (sin), God wants for us to turn from it because it doesn’t please Him at all.  When we live to please only ourselves we end up doing things our way and it never ends up good, so God in His goodness brings a message our way; ‘rethink what you’re doing.’ When we say yes, He removes us from danger and His grace helps us live in a way that’s pleasing to Him. It’s pretty awesome.

Dear Christian, if you happen to be the messenger He uses to warn someone, don’t be a jerk about it. Let your heart define the words you speak.

Pastor Shian

Pastor Shian1 Comment