Why Did Christians Threaten John Lennon?


Manage episode 288007001 series 1391089
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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire. (Luke 24:32) Why did Christians threaten John Lennon? He was a 20-something year old pop star for the Beatles in the 1960’s when he made an offhanded comment about Jesus. It stirred up the ire of many Christians, even to the point of John Lennon getting threats, even death threats. Why would Christians threaten John Lennon? Maybe they were thinking, “Who does he think he is, making cracks about our Lord and Savior? We can’t let him get away with it.” Interestingly, we find a similar story in the Bible. In Luke chapter 9, Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem, and they were going through various towns. Verse 52 says, “…and as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans...” So the disciples enter this Samaritan village and guess what happens. They reject Him. They don’t want Jesus coming to their town. I can see why the disciples would be angry. Jesus does nothing but good everywhere He goes, and you reject Him? How dare you! And that’s what some Christians were saying to John Lennon in the 60’s. How dare you! Back to Luke chapter 9, the disciples James and John are so angry that they go up to Jesus and say, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” Wow. That’s not just a little threat on a single perpetrator. That’s a threat to wipe out a whole town. And Jesus responds accordingly. He turns on them and rebukes them and says, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” That’s a lesson we all need to learn. What do we do when someone speaks badly about Jesus, or about the faith, or the Bible, or the church? We love them. We speak the truth in love to them. We treat them honorably as humans made in God’s image. We shine the light and hope and peace of Jesus. And one thing we don’t do is threaten them, because Jesus did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. Did all the threats on John Lennon lead anywhere close to saving him? Do any threats we might make today lead anyone anywhere close to salvation? The goals of Jesus are redemption, salvation, freedom, hope, and a right relationship with God. And these do not come from threats. So how did the story in Luke chapter 9 end? Verse 56 simply says, “And they went to another village.” And that’s the lesson for us. If someone is speaking ill of Jesus, we don’t threaten them. We don’t get all worked up about it. Jesus didn’t. What He did get worked up about was His own followers making threats against those who reject Him. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is what should be shining through all of God’s people out to everyone, even to celebrities who make less than positive comments about Jesus. May God bless you today. I’m Doug Apple.

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