I was dumbfounded when I actually discovered these were real websites. At first I chuckled in disbelief, and then my heart grew sad, very, very sad …
Whenever I am asked “what’s the hardest thing about being a pastor” I often think of all the hell fire, brimstone and doomsday prophets and preachers that make my job so incredibly difficult. You see I am on a mission to share God’s love for people, and I am always frustrated when I see others doing the opposite in God’s name. John 3:16 is the most famous of all passages “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” [NIV].  While I too love this verse, it is not my favorite, I like the next one John 3:17; “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” [NIV]. 
Go to any major entertainment/sporting event and you will undoubtedly see someone with a placard with John 3:16 on it, unfortunately outside the venue you will see bullhorns and picket signs declaring things like, the end is near, God hates fags, Repent You Sinner, God hates the world etc. I am not the picketing/placard type, but if I ever do get the urge, you will see me with a John 3:17 sign.  Maybe I could start a new trend, sell T-shirts, mugs, and even bumper stickers.
Oh wait, that’s another group of “Christians” that make my job so incredibly difficult, the money makers. I have often tried to watch televangelists but I can’t seem to make it through a show without getting extremely irritated at their obvious money making schemes, all done in the name of God. There was one time Jesus got so frustrated he actually fashioned a whip and drove people out. What made him so angry? Apparently, there were televangelists back then. 
John 2:13-16; “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” [NIV].  
So if I chose to go with my new John 3:17 marketing idea, it would make me a hypocrite ­– a rich one, but a hypocrite nonetheless. Hypocrites are generally thought of as people who say one thing and their actions portray another. That is the final group that makes my job so incredibly difficult. 
So many people have construed Christianity as a set of rules to follow. Unfortunately, so many people who verbally enforce the rules often break them. They forget that while they are pointing the finger they have three pointing right back at them. Matthew 7:1-3; “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” [NIV]. 
The premise of salvation is not based on some rules to enforce and follow. It’s not about what you do; it’s about what Jesus has done. He died for all of us, so that we can be restored to relationship with God, and it’s free. We are then motivated by a loving relationship to become more like Jesus.
As a pastor I realize so many people have developed a view of Jesus through the eyes of the haters, money makers and hypocrites. I have often said Jesus is the most misrepresented guy in all of history.
Love not hate, charity not greed, and relationship not rules, that is the Jesus I know and love. Maybe someday I will get the chance to introduce Him to you.             
(Shawn Harnish is the pastor of the Dansville Foursquare Church.)