SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE NICE?

"What would Jesus do?" is the de facto Christian slogan. So, we should ask: would Jesus be nice? The answer might surprise you. On many occasions, Jesus was not nice.

In Matthew 23, Jesus delivered a sermon containing many unflattering references to his earthly rivals the scribes and Pharisees. He refered to them as "hypocrites" eight different times. He called them "fools" twice. He said "woe unto you" eight times. He called them "Serpents, brood of vipers!" He pointedly described them as "blind" five times. He accused them of "devouring widow's houses," murdering the prophets, being "full of extortion and self-indulgence," and compared their inner souls to "dead men's bones." Our Lord also told them there was little chance they would escape Hell.

In a similar incident, recorded in Luke 11, Jesus told the crowds they belonged to a "wicked generation." Later in the chapter, he called the Pharisees "foolish ones" and "hypocrites." A lawyer objected to Jesus' language, and our Lord turned his fury on him. He accused lawyers of loading men with burdens.

In the most notorious incident of Jesus not being nice, he fashioned a whip and used it to drive out the money changers and their animals from the temple. He violently kicked down their tables and benches.

What would Jesus do? Apparently, he wouldn't always be nice.