What Does Following Jesus Look Like?

It’s been a while since I actually wrote a post on my blog about my thoughts on something, but it’s time. I have to admit that I am very, very perplexed when I see evangelical leaders supporting and endorsing a man who speaks constantly with hate to “others”. So, I asked myself, “What does following Jesus look like?”

It was Jesus who said in Matthew 5:43-47:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

I don’t see wiggle room in this statement by Jesus. In other places Jesus taught us to treat others the way we would like to be treated and he told us to love our neighbors, but this passage is the most direct of all those teachings. Here, he says we are to love our enemies. He even said that the world would know those who follow him by the love they show.

This is hard stuff. Loving is so much harder than hating. And why did he have to go so far and tell us to not just love the world or love our neighbors, but to actually love our enemies.

Now, you can make all kinds of arguments about which candidate for president is worse, and I can follow those arguments. I can even understand a Christian leader saying that we might have to vote for someone whose values are not those of Jesus, but that is entirely different from endorsing and supporting a candidate who blatantly stomps on the teaching of Jesus. Let’s be fair. The other candidate has serious problems and some positions which also go against Biblical principles and neither candidate has any integrity.

So what is a Christian leader to do?

I don’t think that anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus can publicly endorse and support either of these candidates. I ask myself: “Why would an Evangelical Christian leader lend his name and support to someone who so clearly is in opposition to what Jesus clearly taught?” None of the things which pop into my mind in answer to this question have anything to do with the gospel or with the kingdom of God. That alone tells me that what these Christian leaders are doing is in service to something else.

Pragmatism is not a Biblical principle

Think about that for a moment. No, REALLY. Stop and think about that statement. Pragmatism is not a Biblical principle. Nothing in scripture teaches us to do what is most practical or most useful or most pragmatic. Instead, scripture teaches that we are to do what is right. That is not the same as what is most pragmatic, and in fact, is most often the opposite of what is most pragmatic.

You may have to vote for one of them (perhaps),

but you do not have to give your name and your reputation and influence to support someone who publicly says we should not love our enemies, and furthermore that we should not love the needy, the refugee, the poor and anyone else who doesn’t fit neatly into our nice world view of what someone should be.

You see, while we were sinners, Christ died for us. There is no greater love than to lay down your life for someone. Those are words you will not hear from the platform, of either party, but Jesus said that following him would not be easy.

Share This Post: