When the greatest edict of Christianity has become ‘Be nice’, the Cross has become an offense to believers. Since when did Christianity become emasculated, stripped of all power, force and ultimately truth? Was it through Sunday School lessons where children were given pictures and stories of Jesus as the sweet lamb-holding man with soft hair and eyes? Or was it through the churches when psychology and humanism crept in under the banner of healing, and loving your neighbour, brother enemy or whoever by being agreeable and well mannered, even if it meant denying the truth at all costs...because heaven forbid we mustn’t upset anyone. Or was it when believers were told that those in leadership had precedence over one’s personal leading by the Holy Spirit, because who knows what the everyday believer might be listening to?


Jesus was and is not a weak willed wimp. He spoke harshly to His disciples when they were thick-headed, misunderstanding Him. (for example: “How long to I have to put up with you?” style) or the preferred “You adulterous and perverse generation.” “Or you of little faith.” Now who among us would want those descriptions attributed to us? Then there is Holy Spirit whom the churches have labelled as a gentleman; kind and tender...He would never say or do that ___________fill in the blank. Well let’s examine what He really did do and say. If God is the same today, yesterday and forever and Jesus, Holy Spirit and the Father are ONE, that means what one displays in character is true for the others. Let’s take the assumption of being a ‘gentleman’. Hmmmm, does this sound like a gentleman? Does a gentleman blind someone who is thwarting the spread of the Gospel? Does a gentleman make a whip and cast people out, who are perverting God’s house into a money making venture? Does a gentleman make the earth to shake and the sun turn dark, frightening all the people, as the Father did at the Cross?


What about the claim He would never be harsh. God is love. Does this mean He is only ever sweet, nice, gentle? Love (Whom God is) is the greatest force in the universe. It was by love that the world was saved by the most diabolical form of execution. It was by love that the Apostles spread the Gospel and were persecuted, beaten, berated and executed in return. It was by love that the very words of the New Testament were written in jail, under duress, and exile as John, Peter and Paul yielded to Holy Spirit. Love is never weak, nor always nice. It is truth worked out, revealed and spoken. This is not an excuse for arrogance, in the guise of truth; with the attitude of “If Jesus got mad at His disciples, I can yell at my brethren.” NO! This is to acknowledge the true character of our God.


What is the beginning of wisdom? “God is always nice.”? No, fear the Lord. Why fear? In the Hebrew and Greek fear relates to being in awe, honouring, reverence and respect. When, the Scripture, “Perfect love cast out fear.” , it is often misquoted as all fear. But it only says, cast out fear. The fear not of God. We are encouraged to fear God. Why? Because,  the removal of that fear (awe, reverence and due respect) from our relationship with God, will leave us with a flimsy, soppy picture of Christianity. Where offense or fear of offense becomes our main motivation for what is said and done, it has becomes an idol. This then is the barometer for living as a Christian, rather than being led by the Holy Spirit (who is not always a ‘gentleman’). Even in modern history those who spoke the truth paid with their lives, assassinated. The truth that sets us free comes with a great cost, greater than losing popularity or favour...but is not the cost of this truth worth giving/living?  Freedom in God’s eyes has always been worth the cost.