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Being "hated"

The other day, my pastor said that if we are not being hated then we are not being Christian. Now, I think I understand where he is coming from, but....

I think he is referencing the following passage:

The World Hates the Disciples

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

I think that this statement needs quite a bit of unpacking before we can make general statements about being hated by the world. What did Jesus mean when He said these words? Frankly, I don't really feel hated by the world due my being Christian. Does this mean I'm not being Christian? Would being like Jesus cause the world to hate me? Obviously it did in Jesus time and also in the time of persecution of the early church. But what about today? The people I have come across are generally kind to Christians. Does that mean we (I) are not actually living like Jesus? I'm struggling with this.

I worry that some Christians take this as, "well I gotta make sure I'm hated by the world, cuz that means I'm doing right." And unfortunately, the reason they are hated by the world isn't because of anything having to do with being like Jesus. This reasoning seems backwards to me.

If I'm hated because I love unconditionally (still working on that), then fine. But, I don't want to be hated for being rude or arrogant, or acting superior or perfect or being a cheapskate. I think what Jesus would want us to do is follow Him, be like Him, and I think these words are a warning. Kind of like, "Hey, follow me, but just beware, alot of people weren't to thrilled with me, I pretty much turned things upside down. So don't be surprised if you get the same response as I did. But, just follow me."

Mmmm coffee

I just recieved a new coffee from Dean's Beans yesterday. It's a Mexican Chiapas, fairtrade organic. It is nice, though next time I might go for something a little more darker. But, right now, I shall go have a nice cup, french pressed for maximum enjoyment.

I'm really liking the new show Brat Camp on ABC. It's about this group of troubled teens, who were sent to this kind of behavior rehabilition camp. It all takes place out in the middle of nowhere in Oregon.

There have been a few episodes so far, and you can begin to see some change happen in several of the kids. The thing that I have noticed and found intriging is how the process of change is not an isolated one. The camp instructors realize this and use it. But, I just find it so interesting, watching this unfold.

As the world continues to move further into post-modernism, the aspect of community seems to be gaining more recognition as a key part of being human. This is apparent in both the secular culture as well as in the world of Christianity. I've noticed in my own life and in the lives of my friends how community has become more and more important. It seems that we've been created with this natural pull towards other human beings.


I recently took one of those self evaluation tests to help me well evaluate myself, particularly my character. This particular test was developed by a college vp, whom I have heard speak and he is a very cool intelligent guy. He actually uses this test in the corporate world as a tool for sharing the Gospel.

So, its set up in a way that once you total up your scores you put them on this chart that has four quadrants; leadership, emotional, stamina, and spiritual. You put dots corresponding to your scores in these quadrants and once you're done, connect the dots to see the "shape" of your character.

It turns out that the area of most need for me is in stamina. This is defined as "internal energy to do the right thing repeatedly without giving up during difficult times." In other words, it's like endurance or self-leadership. And apparently I am lacking. I guess I can see that. I can tend to lack motivation and self-discipline.

I wonder why this is. Why the lack of motivation?

I'm currently going through a book called Habitudes. It is about learning how to first lead yourself, so that you can then lead others. I think that it will be a great help to me. We shall see.....


We went to the Drive in movie theater this weekend and saw the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I've always liked the original and this re-make wasn't too bad. I did miss some of the stuff from the original (like some of the scenes and songs), but I thought they did a good job at changing it up enough to make it fresh. Jonny Depp was pretty freaky but funny, and they cast the kids very well. The plot and message was also very good. Overall 3.5 stars out of 5. Great time with friends though, you can't beat a drive in movie!

I wish Wonka bars were real, cuz boy did they look tasty!


The weekend is finally here. I love weekends. Though this one is going to be quite busy. Oh well.

"John of god?"

I watched a report on Primetime Live last night on a man who calls himself "John of god." He lives in the middle of Brazil and supposedly channels the healing power of dead doctors and is then able to heal people himself. He's been at this for 30 some years. People from all over the world travel to see him in hope that they might be healed of their ailments.

As I was watching this, I was fascinated at the 4 people they followed who were traveling from far off places in order to be healed by this mysterious man. Three of them from America, one from South Africa. They all had either fatal or severely life altering problems and they all believed that this "John of god" could heal them.

I won't dwell on the details of the story, rather, the thoughts that ran through my mind as I watched.

One thing I couldn't help thinking about was the issue of miraculous healing and Christianity. All we have to do is read the Gospels and Acts and we will see that physical healing was a significant part of the early church's ministry. And I can't help to think, "what has happened?" Now, I am positive that God still works in and through His people as He did before, but why does it not seem to be as much a reality? Am I just not seeing it? Or has something been lost? Did God just do more miracles in the beginning of the formation of the church? Doesn't He still desire to change people's lives?

Another thing that struck me was the whole attitude of those hoping for a healing. They sincerely believed. It was almost like their hope had turned into a sort of disillusionment. Their hope had grown so strong that it totally changed who they were. I was amazed at the desperation that would cause someone to travel across the globe, to deny sound medical advice, to put their life on the line, all due to the hope they have placed in some wacko. These people were hungry for the supernatural.

What does this mean to us as Christians? If people are willing to go to such great lengths due to what I would classify as a false hope, what could happen if they encountered the true hope of God!? Have we as a church stifled the supernatural aspect of Christianity?


I think that God is attempting to teach me about obedience. I'm not so sure its due to some disobedience either. I almost feel like He is teaching me this as a prep. for something coming. It's almost a little bit scary, because I don't know how my obedience will be tested or if it won't come in a big test, but in the many small ones. I've been reading about Abram (which I just happened upon), and before that Noah, and how obedience was such a huge part of their stories. Abram, of course, screwed it up everytime he tried to take matters into his own hands. How will I respond to the voice of God? How do I?

"God, help me to hear you. Help me to follow you. Lead me in the obedient way. Help me to trust you. Amen."

bullhorn guy

The other day in our young adult Sunday school we watched "Bullhorn" from Nooma videos. Man those are awesome videos! A couple things stuck me as I processed.

1. Loving people is how we love God.

So simple sounding yet so profound. Sometimes, I think we forget this essential truth of Christianity. But, this is the command that Jesus gives us. Love.

2. As we mostly agreed, relational, friendship evangelism is the more effective way to reach the world today. However, I think we have to be careful lest we begin to use this as a cop-out for not sharing the gospel. Perhaps what is needed is some time spent thinking through the pratical ways of relational evangelism. I mean how do we share Christ by just our being. How do we let our light shine without annoyingly shining it in peoples eyes? Perhaps the best place to start looking is at how Jesus worked.

"Preach the gospel at all times and when neccessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

I think Francis was on to something here...