It seems like I opened up Pandora’s box last week when I posted the Hey Haters video from our Honorology series.
A lot of people loved it. Some people hated it (Go figure).
Either way, a good number of people found it ironic.
“Doesn’t hating on haters make you a hater?”
“Is that what Jesus would do? Doesn’t he want us to love haters?”
We knew when we posted it that people would make these arguments. And I wanted to make sure that they weren’t right. That I wasn’t stooping to that level. In short, that Jesus would do something similar to haters if He were here today.
So to check myself, before I made the video I went and looked at Jesus’ reaction to His haters – the Pharisees.
Here’s a sample of what I found:
Matthew 15:7-9, 12, 14
7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”
12 “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
14 Leave them; they are blind guides.
In Matthew 21, Jesus got creative and made up a whole parable just for his haters. And in it He called them murderers.
Matthew 23:15, 25, 33
15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. 25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers!”
44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.
Call it ironic if you want. What’s ironic to me is that people keep asking me if passionately calling out haters is what Jesus would do when it’s exactly what Jesus did. Was He hypocritical, arrogant, or immature?
Some people might say, “But the haters could just as easily say they’re doing what you claim to be doing. They think they’re like Jesus and you’re the Pharisee. They’re calling people out. Standing up for what’s right.”
I really don’t want to get into a competition over who wears the bigger WWJD bracelet. Barely anyone’s wearing them anymore anyways. But when I read this…
4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
…and see so many critics naming all the problems of every church and pastor but their own without bothering to give solutions.
And when I read the context of this verse which haters love to quote…
23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
…and realize that it’s actually Jesus responding to Pharisees who have been questioning the validity of what God has been doing through His ministry.
I feel completely confident as I move forward. And you should too.
We’ve got too much to do. Too many people to reach. Too much that God wants to do through us. Too much that we need to be known for.
To waste even one more nanosecond hating on other churches and pastors and being known for what we stand against.
That’s the real message of Hey Haters. Even if it’s ironic.
Resource of the Day:
One of our favorite Christian pastimes is trying to peg pastors and churches into categories. It makes them easier to hate or write off. Personally, I refuse to choose a category to be pegged into. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have boundaries. For more on how I try to maintain this balance, check out this old post: Gotta pick a track to run on