Christ’s “Strong” Side

In much of my work, I have been called to be a voice of warning. Repeatedly, people whine and complain and say I should be more Christlike. That used to wound me deeply. But now I am very clear and very centered on this. Many people perceive Christ as “take the children in His lap” or the “neither do I condemn thee.” In other words, they look to the loving aspects of Christ’s character — His ability to connect with the ones who didn’t fit the norm, Hs loving outreach of healing, His compassion and love that flows freely from His arms. That is a wonderful, amazing, and critical part of His nature.
But Christ also has what I will call a “strong side” to His nature. His first act in arriving in Jerusalem for His ministry was to boldly throw the moneychangers out of the temple — physically! “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple . . .” That was also His last act in the temple at the end of His ministry. He was bold and clear in His constant calling out of the Pharisees and Sadducees. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” Remember – those were the Church leaders of His day! He did NOT mince words! And he chews them out (and the lawyers:) a LOT.
And even though He told the woman taken in sin that He did not condemn her, He then said clearly, “Go and sin no more.” 
So this is also Christlike. How do we reconcile this? I believe everything Christ did and does is motivated by love. Everything. So when He’s being compassionate and healing people, that seems very clear. What seems less clear is how his “strong side” was also motivated by love.
Christ protects His Father and His Father’s house. So out of love for Him, He cleansed the temple. Out of love for the humble followers who were being led astray by the Church leaders of the day, He called out those who were leading them falsely. And also out of love for the Pharisees, He spoke out as well calling them to repentance.
Is it truly loving to let someone continue to go down a wrong path or to sin? Is it loving to stand by and say, “Well, I support their right to choose.” “Well, to each his own path.” or all the other platitudes we say today? Christ wants us all to become like Him–and to live with Him. He knows that the path to doing so involves lots of repentance and obedience. So He is very clear in calling all of us to repentance and urging us to abandon sin. BECAUSE HE LOVES US.
It’s like when I was raising my kids. They would have loved to eat candy all day every day. Would I have been a loving mom to let them choose that? NO. Because we have to look at “Where will this lead?”
So in the work that I do to protect and promote the family, to protect the sanctity of life, and to protect the health and innocence of children, I am also a voice of warning. I speak out–clearly and boldly. I flat out speak truth: Unborn babies are precious and have dignity and the RIGHT TO LIVE. Women do NOT have the right to choose death of another human being – no matter how small. Marriage is ordained of God and is only between a man and a woman. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
I make no excuses for speaking truth.
There are many who disagree (sometimes quite violently and with personal attacks and foul language!). But there are those who agree, but want to tiptoe around and not offend anyone. They urge me to “be more Christlike.”
And I smile and say, “Yes, that is EXACTLY what I’m trying to do.”
And others wonder why I do what I do and how I can be so bold and blunt (I like to use the word “clear” )
And I will tell you — it is because I love people. I love babies. I love mommies and daddies. I love families. And I KNOW that these truths will lead them to happiness now and in the long run. And I want that for everyone.
Some may say I have to agree with them to love them. I disagree. Christ loved and loves everyone–even if He disagrees with their behavior. I strive for the same.
So I shall continue to try to be like Christ — loving, compassionate, kind to those who are different–AND bold, clear in declaring truth, urging to repentance and encouraging obedience to God’s laws.
So continue to encourage me to “be more Christlike.” And I will continue to try:)