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Haters Gon Hate

Published on August 3, 2012

Haters. Haters. Haters. It seems like they are all the rage these days. Anyone that shows an ounce of criticism or dissent has got to be a jealous hater trying to pull people down. Well, I think the haters are on to something.

I checked my Facebook after church last month, and I perused through the usual inspirational tidbits across several statuses, likely derived from the day’s earlier sermons. Then another interesting status update caught my attention— It went something like, “I can’t stand Sundays on Facebook. Fake Christians with their fake religion saying fake things.” Ouch. I was about to update my status too. First thought, she’s just a hater. Second thought, She’s right.

A police officer once stopped me when my car was smoking terribly. Young and fearful, I asked if I could sit on the curb. “I’m not going to do anything crazy” I said, “I’m a Christian.” He answered, “The last Christian that I met pulled a knife out and tried to stab me.”

Ouch.

The term ‘Christian’ has become so immensely diluted, that even Christians are running from it! It merits notice that the trend of saying ‘Follower Of Jesus’ has far overtaken the traditional ‘Christian’ nomenclature.

I saw a survey done asking streetwalkers their opinion of Jesus, and their opinion of Christians. More often than not, they held high regard for the former, and disdain for the latter. Who can blame them? The news is filled with highlights of Christians’ folly, from embezzlement and fraud to sexual abuse. And oh, who can forget the watchmen and women of Westboro Baptist Church— the Christians who use abrasive language to call down God’s wrath on homosexuals, and carry picket signs to the funerals of US soldiers, stating that their deaths are part of God’s punishment for America. Yes, those Christians.

It always perplexed me how people that don’t follow Jesus would have any inkling as to what a real or fake Christian looks like. They don’t read the bible. How would they know? Then I read Romans 2, and my answer jumped right out of the text. Everyone knows that they need to follow Jesus. Everybody knows what sin looks like. The only difference is that some people are bound, and some people are free. And the bound people are desperate for someone that’s really free to come and show them some love. They don’t need someone to get their hopes up, parading as a free individual, only to later unmask their bondage. They don’t need someone to flaunt their lack of chains without presenting an opportunity to be liberated as well. They don’t need anything but the unrelenting love and selfless grace that saves, the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anything else isn’t love at all, it’s hate.

So yes, I at least partially agree with the haters. In fact, I’m a hater too. I hate the fact that my Savior’s presence on earth is marked by a few outspoken people that look nothing like Him. I hate the fact that people are turned away from what they need the most because of the very people that were sent to deliver it. Most emphatically, I hate that this person, the source of all this hate, is me. I’m the one not living out my faith as hard as I could. I’m the one brushing sin under the rug, repenting when it’s convenient. I’m the one abusing grace and denying it to others.

So this is a challenge, for myself and everyone else that claims the name of Jesus Christ. Sunday morning statuses on Facebook are not the extent of our call. There is an everyday obligation to show what freedom looks like, and attract others to the good news that Jesus is real, Jesus saves, and He is all fulfilling in love, grace, and forgiveness. And if they hate on that, well, haters gon hate, right?

Osato is a rap artist who currently resides in Arlington, Texas. He serves in youth leadership at Grace Community Church and also participates in efforts to disciple college-aged men, all while spearheading the independent recording label WTK Music. Follow him on Twitter at @osatoWTK

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