Many Christians want to change the world not because they love it but because they hate it.

homeless man in parkThat provocative statement is made by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola in their new book Jesus Manifesto. (Read on to see how you can save 40% or even win a free copy.)

Think about it.

If you’re a Christian, do you want the homeless guy who sleeps in your park to know Jesus, find his purpose, and get off the street because you love him? Or is it because having a homeless person sleeping in your park scares you?

Do you want the murder to find Jesus in prison because you love him?  Or is it because you don’t want another bad dude out on the streets when his sentence is up?

Do you want to reduce poverty because you really love people who are poor?  Or is it because you hate the world economic system that allows for such disparity in wealth?  Or is it because you resent your tax money going to government programs?

We can even look within the church…

For those of us who champion discipleship and spiritual growth, is it because we genuinely love immature believers and want to see Jesus formed in them more completely?  Or is it because we hate the people who just show up on Sunday and never serve, never put more than a couple bucks in the plate, act irresponsibly, smoke, drink, swear, screw around, and really don’t get it like we do?

Upon further reflection, all I can say is…


I’m guilty.

How about you?  When you examine your motives for wanting to change the world, is it because you really love people?  Or is it because you hate the unsafe, unpredictable, unfair world we live in full of unsafe, unpredictable, unfair people?

Jesus Manifesto is available on Amazon for 40% off today. Also find out how you can get a free copy of Jesus Manifesto by @LenSweet @FrankViola

[image by lab2112]

14 Responses to “Many Christians want to change the world not because they love it but because they hate it.”

  1. Another ouch.
    Been looking forward to reading the book.
    Great post Paul.

  2. I think many evangelicals just want to “get the bad out of people”.. They don’t really care about “saving” them.. They just want less bad people around..

    Which is sad, because that’s not our calling..

    And what’s wrong with smoking, drinking or swearing?!! come on.. I do that with my pastor!!! haha

  3. I think I need to change some motives. Sometimes it’s because I want them saved, while other times it’s because I just want to feel safe.

  4. Hmmm, this way of looking at it hadn’t occurred before. Something to reflect on…

  5. I think it’s good to continually check our motives. I do want to see people know Jesus and find their purpose… tap into the greatness inside! I purpose that HIS LOVE will always be my motivation…

  6. We only want people “saved” so that they’ll “straighten up”.

    Pretty much this is right on. I’m guilty, too, but I’m pretty sure this is the biggest reason the church is so ineffective.

  7. This is such an eye-opener. Not looking at it in general but on a personal level. It’s hard to commit on being a follower of Jesus when love’s not there.

  8. Im actually talking about this subject this week. My text is Phillpians 1:7-8 and Matthew 9:35-38. Key word is compassion or affection. or the Greek word Splanchna. Which means basically guts. We won’t be committed to a cause, a city, or a person unless it move us in our splanchna. Its the compassion or affection that Jesus had for us. When we find that something moves our guts, we are committed to change it. Its why I can’t stay away from Kenya. Not because I dislike it, or fell guilty for having more than they do, its because I love them with a love I can’t explain.

    • That sounds great, Rusty! It all starts with understanding God’s love for us. When we begin to grasp that, we can’t help but be filled with love for Him and compassion for others. I’m praying that God moves through your talk this week.

  9. OH this is awesome. Alot of the reasons listed are why I don’t affiliate myself with a denomination as such. I am a Christian, doingmy best to follow Christ, and sometimes I fall way short. but usually my anger fallson the side of rooting for the underdog. I would say righteous anger has to be my shortcoming if that makes sense. things that should be happening not just because it is the Christ thing to do but it seems to me it would be the right thing whether you follow Christ or not.. Does that make sense??

  10. Sadly, most Christians believe someone has to behave, believe, and then they will belong. That is completely out of order. We have to let people know they belong (right where they are!), then they will believe, and then the Holy Spirit will lead them to behave.

  11. I am guilty too.
    I want to change it because I want to be more comfortable. For me me me me.
    To truly change it, means to get out of the comfort zone and focus on relationships – which means time and effort, not ten bucks and an apple.


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