- Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Dear Dr. E: A meme is making the rounds this week on social media. It says something like this: “And now a word from Jesus – I never told you to hate anybody. I don’t care where they’re from, what they look like, who they’re in love with, or who they worship. Why is this so difficult?” Can you tell me what your reaction to this is? How are we supposed to respond to the implicit messages in this meme? — SINCERELY, AN OLD COLLEGE FRIEND FROM MICHIGAN

Dear Old Friend: Yes, I also saw the meme. In fact, it was posted on Facebook by one of our old Christian college professors that both you and I know very well.

Here’s my response.

First, the meme is laden with the obvious straw man fallacy of implying that if you disagree with someone, you, by definition, hate them. This, of course, is nonsense, for if disagreement were synonymous with hate, then our professor friend would obviously be a very hateful person by virtue of his disagreement with us. He’s sawing off the branch upon which he sits. His argument is self-refuting at every turn. He has constructed a straw man – a fake boogieman – that he can flail away at, but this scarecrow isn’t real. The “hateful” enemy suggested by this meme doesn’t exist. Like Don Quixote, our professor friend is “tilting at windmills.”

Second, we can’t ignore the meme’s fallacy of false equivalency, which suggests that love and sex are synonyms. If you take five seconds to think about it, this argument clearly falls apart. All one needs to do to refute the “love is love” foolishness is to ask its proponents this question: “Do you love some people with whom you choose not to have sex?” I surely hope the answer is yes, for if it’s not, then those suggesting otherwise are very depraved human beings who belong in a zoo rather than in the company of polite society.

Now, let’s address something perhaps even more disturbing in the meme than these two fallacies: the contention that Jesus “doesn’t care who we worship.” Frankly, there is so much wrong with this singular statement that an entire book could be written on it. Oh, wait, I think one has already been written. It’s called the Bible.

Here’s a brief sampling of what Scripture says about Jesus “caring” about who we worship.

“Jesus said to them, ’Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’” John 8:58

“I am the Lord your God… You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:2-4

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ’I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.’” Isaiah 44:6

“Then Jesus said… For it is written, ’You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 4:10

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“Believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1

“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:10

“Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.” John 14:11

“He is the image of the invisible God… For by him, all things were created, in heaven and on earth… All things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things; in him, all things hold together… For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” Colossians 1:15-19

“There is salvation in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 

Simply stated, the religion of this meme is not the religion of Christ. Jesus makes it very clear that he cares a great deal about who we love, what we hate, and who we worship. In fact, he tells us over and over again that we are to love him, hate sin, and worship him and him alone.

Jesus is the alpha and omega, the king of kings, lord of lords, lion of Judah, and lamb of God. He is the first and the last and the creator of all things. Without him, was not anything made that was made. He is the savior of all who trust in him and he is the final judge at the end of days. Yes, Jesus does care very much about who we worship, and I am stunned that anyone calling themselves “Christian” would dare to suggest otherwise. One might argue such a person is literally playing with fire.

If you are seeking guidance in today’s changing world, Higher Ground is there for you. Everett Piper, a Ph.D. and a former university president and radio host, takes your questions in his weekly ’Ask Dr. E’ column. If you have moral or ethical questions for which you’d like an answer, please email askeverett@washingtontimes.com and he may include it in a future column.

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