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A few years ago, Laurie and I lived for a year in Mexico. We made friends with a man who owned and operated a bakery and coffee shop, and we enjoyed his delicious mochas. Once while there, we ran into a man named Peter from Germany. He was delightful to talk to. In our first encounter we talked for about two hours and did the same the very next day. After I mentioned Christianity, however, he turned a bit sour. He dismissed Christianity entirely. I don’t remember all that was said except for his parting shot out on the sidewalk after we’d said our good-byes. “Be human,” he said, as he turned and walked away.

There wasn’t time for a rejoinder, which would have required more discussion, starting with, “What does ‘Be human’ mean”? He had told us earlier about when he was in north Africa and lost his wallet. A Bedouin on a camel eventually caught up to him and returned it. He was impressed by this act of honesty and sacrifice. I would have been, too, and I thought honesty would surely have fit into Peter’s definition of “be human.”

I was reminded about this encounter in Mexico when I read the recent rejections of Jesus by former Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson and former pastor Joshua Harris. If I had the chance I would ask the same questions I didn’t have opportunity to put to Peter that day.

Here is the latter part of the former worship leader’s post: “All I know is what’s true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point. I could go on, but I won’t. Love and forgive absolutely. Be kind absolutely. Be generous and do good to others absolutely. Some things are good no matter what you believe. Let the rain fall, the sun will come up tomorrow.”1

In his rejection of Christianity, he finishes up by laying out the ground rules for the life he wants to live and is recommending for others. Here are the tenets he listed:

Love and forgive absolutely.

Be kind absolutely.

Be generous and do good to others absolutely.

Some things are good no matter what you believe.

What will happen to us if we don’t obey this man’s advice to love, be kind, and do good to others or if we don’t obey Peter’s admonition to “be human”? Will I be punished if I don’t? What moral authority do these men have to lay a moral law upon us?

The answer to the first question: Nothing will happen to us.

The answer to the second question: No moral authority whatsoever.

But there is One who does have moral authority to command us, and that is the One they reject to their peril.

But why should I obey Jesus’ commands to love, be kind, and do good to others among more? (There is no command to “Be human,” by the way, whatever that means.)

These men and much of the world maintain that you will be fine if you reject Jesus.

But you won’t be fine. I’m sure these men aren’t lying, but they are tragically ignorant.

Why do I obey the Lord? Simple answer: Because I love Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).2

But I love Him not only because He told me to do so. I love Him because He gave me life—not just life and purpose and meaning here in this life, but life eternal. He has given me a relationship with Himself, liberating sinlessness, a sonship, a shared inheritance with Jesus and in His kingdom, in which I will live forever. He humbled Himself in death to accomplish this.

All free. All free. I did nothing to earn any of it.

The “Be human” and “Be kind” bromides are boxed up in flimsy fairy ships crowded with cultural philosophers and dreamy unicorns. They happily toss these Hallmark cards and shallow bumper stickers to others as they navigate sad lakes, devoid of truth. Ships of fools.

Therefore, we call upon these three men to repent and come home to Jesus. Although you have tossed Him away as so much nonsense, He remains your sovereign Judge—who loves you. Disembark from the lost ship you think you navigate. The rainbows on your horizon are false angels of light concealing the darkness and evil that lay ahead.

Come home.

 

1https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/entertainment/2019/august/im-genuinely-losing-my-faith-hillsong-worship-leader-rejects-christian-beliefs.

2The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

 

 

 

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