There are many today who call themselves “Christian” who bring harm to the name of Jesus Christ and His message of love and redemption. I realize that is a bold statement to make as fact, but I believe it to be so.
For example, in Michigan this past week, FBI authorities arrested members of a militia group referred to as Hutaree “because they were planning to kill a police officer and then slaughter scores more at the funeral, hoping it would lead to an uprising against the US government.” Fox News reports that the website for Hutaree says its name means “Christian warrior.” The group quotes several Bible passages and declares: “We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. … Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.”
Ready to defend using the sword of truth – His Word? Yes. Ready to attack with swords of violence? I don’t think so. God has not shown this directive to me in the pages of Scripture.
According to Fox News Radio, “Captain Hutaree” is David Brian Stone of Clayton, MI, who has been running this group with one of his sons. Stone’s ex-wife, Donna, told the Associated Press: “It started out as a Christian thing. You go to church. You pray. You take care of your family. I think David started to take it a little too far.”
Ms. Stone alleges that the Captain’s motives were rooted in his “Christian thing”. If so, then whatever was his “thing” was not under the control of the Holy Spirit of God. God does not lead us to hate or to do evil. He leads us to spread His message of love to the world.
As believers in Christ, we receive His grace for salvation and His Spirit for guidance. Paul taught the Galatians about walking in the Spirit in chapter 5.
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. (Gal 5:19-26)
Sadly, our daily news holds many such examples of men and women proclaiming the name of Christ as they act out their own fleshly desires rather than allowing the Holy Spirit of God to bring forth good fruit for His Kingdom.
Question: In your circles of influence, what can you do to reframe such bad news into the good news of Jesus?