orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

May 18, 2013

Haters

John Warren
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Have you ever had to deal with someone that you really do not care for?  They may be a good person or the person may have many admirable qualities but they just do not strike a note with you?  

For example, I don’t care for the movies written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, even though he has won awards and a following, including my wife who drags me to all of his movies.  I think his work a little vulgar, disrespectful of life and there tends to be too much gore for my taste.  I don’t mean to complain, but aren’t we as Christians meant to set our standards a little higher?  I walk a tightrope because one of the reasons our young people say they are “religious” but do not go to church is that “church folk are negative and complain too much”.  

In 2003, the movie “Malibu’s Most Wanted” coined the praise my youth group at the time picked up.  The movie, an outrageous comedy is about a rich white boy who wanted to make it in the black rap world.  When the character faced ridicule from his opponents he would reply, “Don’t be hatin’.”  So the persons delivering the negative comments are called, “haters”.   

The person in the Bible that I have had a long standing problem with is Paul.  Paul is the original “hater”.  Paul then known by his Hebrew name, Saul, made it his life mission to eliminate from the Temple and society a group of radicals named after their leader Jesus Christ.  Saul of Tarsus struck fear in the hearts of the Christians of the day.  After Saul saw the light, so to speak, and going through a time of blindness that was not only in his perception of the Christian movement but the physical lose of vision came to have a new understanding of the world and Christ.  Saul’s life changed and he became one of the most dedicated of Christians, if he was not speaking of Jesus he was writing about Jesus.  He was so prolific that he had his own followers, and there lies my problem.  

I think there are Christians today that put more stock into what Paul said; than Jesus.  Paul was a man, but Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the World.  I will forever place more emphasis on his words.  Maybe my problem is not Paul at all but those who seem to follow him more closely than Christ.