But do we get Him?
He Gets Us is a movement to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness.
Jesus is described by the folks at He Gets Us as…
…a man who taught and practiced unconditional love, peace, and kindness; who spent his life defending the poor and the marginalized; a man who even forgave his killers while they executed him unjustly…
They are not looking at the same Jesus I see, the one found in Scripture. More precisely, they are looking at only one aspect of Jesus, dividing Him from the whole and therefore turning Him into a weapon against Christ and Christianity.
Let’s take a look:
Matthew 11: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
These cities did not repent; the day of judgement for them will be troubling, but at least not as troubling as it will be for Chorazin and Bethsaida. In any case, His love cannot be separated from His judgement. And He will judge righteously.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Brought down to hell. This sure fits the “confounding love” part, but not in the way modern society understands the term. Jesus’s love is confounding, because it requires righteous judgement.
Matthew 12: 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Vipers! This doesn’t sound kind.
Matthew 15: 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Cursed to death?
John 3: 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
So much talk of condemnation, fire, and judgement. Condemned for loving darkness, because of their evil deeds.
John 8: 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
To describe someone as a son of the devil doesn’t fit the “He Gets Us” caricature.
John 15: 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Revelation 2: 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
Sounds mild compared to what is forced down His servant’s throats today.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
No sign of repentance today either. So, what are the loving, righteous consequences?
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Yes, He does get us. But do those who say this actually get Him?
Revelation 3: 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Those whom Jesus loves, he rebukes and chastens. I haven’t seen this message in the He Gets Us literature. But love includes rebuking and chastening. To be followed by repentance.
Revelation 21: 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Here we go again with the fire and brimstone.
And we haven’t even come to the Old Testament Jesus. OK, a couple of examples:
Judges 6: 16 And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
Joshua 6: 2 And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
And when the wall fell? Love, in any wormy way that term is used today? Hardly:
Joshua 6: 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
Yes, Jesus offered “confounding love and forgiveness.” But His love required truth and justice.
If we want to speak of Jesus for our time and in this world, perhaps the focus should be on His message to the sinner, the unrepentant. Perhaps the focus should be on how the sinner is called to live by Jesus:
Matthew 5: 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Instead of allowing Jesus’s message of love to be turned to acceptance of and even affirmation of license, perhaps some focus on sin and hell could be offered. The word that keeps coming to mind is repentance.
Repentance: this is what those who claim He Gets Us should, instead, be calling the world to.