Even atheists seem to grasp the apostasy of the religious right—with or without biblical affirmation of their observations. The religious right has, in effect, become an antinomian religionist cult of haters who have forgotten Christ’s teachings. Then again, they may simply not have learned the lessons.
Principal among the teachings is the doctrine of Christian Charity, as defined in The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas. Most succinctly, the doctrine is one of unconditional love for God and all His creation—yes, including the sinner and apostate. Whether cursing President Obama, Nancy Pelosi or liberals in general, the actions of many religionists make it clear that too many who call themselves Christian violate the doctrine. As for others, only they and their Maker know with any certainty whether their repetition of lies they have been told and repeat, and admonitions against sin are out of love, or vicious blasphemy rooted in hatred.
In Exodus 20: 6-7, we see the earliest scriptural warnings to observe God’s will, as He revealed His commandments to Moses:
. . . showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
And then, in Exodus 20: 16, He commands, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor,” which is the most frequently violated of His commandments. How often have we heard slanders from “birthers” and Tea Party Republicans who also call themselves Christian. And is it any wonder, given statements like that of the likes of Pastor Robert Jeffress, who declared on the O’Reilly Factor that President Obama is paving the way for the antichrist via ObamaCare, same sex marriage and the contraception mandate.
In Revelation 2:2-5, Jesus directs that the messenger for the church in Ephesus write:
I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Then, in verse 6, Christ acknowledged a redeeming quality, “But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate,” that Jeffress also lacks. By his own hand, the pastor reveals his sole motivation to be the promotion of his book on the end times.
Jeffress and others who blaspheme and repeat the blasphemy of false witness and hatred thus imperil their mortal soul, forgetting that He taught us in 1 John 3: 7-17:
But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
Lest anyone who professes to be a Christian believes they can attain salvation through accepting Jesus Christ as their savior, they should recall the statement of John the Baptist revealed in Luke 3: 7-9:
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.’
And again in 1 John 3: 7-10:
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
The true measure of faith and grace then is that we obey the Lord’s commandments, and seek salvation through Christ by living as He taught. Can you say that your judgments are rooted in love, or hatred that moves you to the blasphemy of slander? The end time draws near, and one other knows your heart.