Last night my lovely bride and I braved a Nebraska snow storm to attend an event hosted by our friends Curt and Merissa Knight. The Knight’s are a wonderful family from our local church who, by the grace of God, are making an impact for the kingdom of Christ. The purpose of the event was to view a documentary film by Dan Merchant called “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers“, and then discuss it afterward.
The point of the movie, in my opinion, was to point out one of the primary, and often neglected, commands of Christ followers. The command to love your neighbor as yourself. I use the term Christ followers because, as the movie pointed out, the term Christian has become a negative term in our society. The term Christian has been associated with folks like Westboro Baptist Church and their pastor, Fred Phelps. You’ve heard of their famous tag line “God hates fags”. It is also the web address for their churches web site. They completely neglecting such biblical verses such as:
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)
They get the verse nine part, but seem to have forgotten what Paul states right after this. He states that those he is addressing were also among those who practiced the same unrighteousness.
Granted, Westboro Baptist is one of the extreme cases against the term Christian but the point is they are totally missing the second greatest commandment which is to love your neighbor as yourself. Loving your neighbor was exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ. When we, as Christ followers, point our fingers at those unrighteous folks practicing those things condemned within scripture without showing them the grace and the love of God, we indeed fall short. This is the very same love and grace that God has shown you even when you were His enemy. Yes, I said it, His enemy. Or do you not know:
9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:9-10 ESV)
To summarize the film, I would have to say it did a great job of pointing out this often neglected discipline of loving our neighbors. I would have to agree to disagree with some of the theology director Dan Merchant expressed briefly in the film. But the premise of the film was very successful. The concensus of those in attendance last night was that although those who focus only on the love discipline of Christ followers but neglect theology are doing harm to their neighbors by not also telling them about their condition before a holy God. In like manner, those Christ followers who only focus on theology and the doctrine of Christ and scripture without showing the love and compassion for those called enemies of God are totally missing the second greatest commandment. I would definitely recommend viewing this film. I would also recommend that you view it with others because it will prompt some interesting and stimulating conversation. I know it sure did with us.
March 2, 2009 at 9:34 am
This post hits home with me on so many levels. God, for the longest time, has been dealing with my heart when it comes to showing His Love to others. All too often, we are too concerned with what people are doing that is wrong more than showing them the same Love that changed us and set us free.
March 28, 2009 at 7:36 pm
I need to buy that picture!! Where can I find it? Who is the artist? What is it named?
April 1, 2009 at 12:05 pm
Can you please tell me who the copyright holder of the picture is, and how I may get in touch with him/her?
April 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm
I have not been able to find any ownership of this image. I found it being used at another bog site. I would assume it is available to be used on the world wide web. Have at it.
March 13, 2010 at 10:50 pm
The only thing is the term ‘Christian’ is a biblical term, ya know. True Christ followers were named that in the early church, in scripture, and down through Christian history. Although, false professors have maligned the Way, the term christian is still biblical.
By the way, I happened to stumble across your blog 🙂
March 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm
Hi Amy, and welcome to BarryDean 4 Christ. Yes, I know the term Christian is a biblical term and I am not saying not to use it. I am just tryiing to point out how it has become a negative in our culture because many profess to be one and do not show true evidence in their life of their profession.
Thank you for the comment.
Please stumble back.
July 12, 2010 at 9:10 pm
hey, I love the image of washing the feet showing just the feet on your blog. May I use the image, is it your original? Is it copyrighted?
Thanks for letting me know. Its simplicity speaks loudly.
July 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm
Please see my comment to Kerri in the comments above.
July 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm
Anyone who has expressed interest in the image that was being used here can try to contact the supposed author through the the web sites mentioned below. I have received a couple of comments from someone claiming to know the author, and has left the web address. I have tried a few times to contact the person associated with the web site below to no avail, so I am removing the image from my site. If you wish to use the previous image maybe they will respond to your inquiries.