…”For decades the Christian community has moved in love, which we should. But nothing about love says to leave right from wrong behind. Nothing about love dictates that we neglect the obvious in hopes of not offending people. We extend grace while living within the realm of right and wrong and using common sense. There is nothing that says we cannot do both. And this concept is where society has now lost. Jesus preached on grace, forgiveness, mercy and repentance. So should we. There is a ‘but’ here, when it comes to safety, and also in following what scripture says is truth. I will not compromise truth…”
The preceding comment was in response to a social media debate regarding boundaries of known, and convicted, sexual predators. However, it is a true and honest opinion about life in general in the 21st century world.
This last week has been a bit hectic. As worldly issues have penetrated my work within the church, my mind has literally been on overload about how exactly we’ve reached this point. I’m fairly vocal that in the last four decades we took the message of love and turned it into a message that has become distorted, twisted and flipped and turned into a three ring circus. So many words of opinion have been spilt over into the subjects, that we’ve lost sight of the main truth.
Jesus Christ once walked this earth. Back then he spoke to the lost. He visited those who needed a spiritual or physical healing, he chastised those who ultimately feared him; he disciplined, through forgiveness, those who were living in sin. He became angry with those who abused his house, who left no room for prayer and worship. He called them out, He called them in. He loved like no man has loved since. He wasn’t quoting a new truth, He was the truth. Jesus Christ ushered in a new way, and yet we debate and argue until anger flows through words on a screen, tempers flare and love is the last thing we see.
It seems many today don’t want to rely on scripture, use interpretation differences as excuse and blatantly refuse to incorporate God’s Word in attempt to justify an opinion.
We have overused terms such as “offended”, “offensive”, and “judging” in place of using scripture.
We have become afraid to remain black and white on the issues of right and wrong, because that right and wrong may offend those who don’t agree, may push away those who don’t want to accept truth, and lower the numbers in pews on Sunday morning. Newsflash- those numbers have dropped anyway!
So here’s my opinion.
Here’s my truth.
I am a sinner. Every day I pray for the Lord’s forgiveness, every day I seek His face. My living testament to the goodness of my God is that I am forgiven. The Bible tells me so. I am also a slave. The Bible tells me so.
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I do not have time to worry about your sin. I am too busy dealing with my own. So when I point to scripture to share God’s truth, as we have been called to do, I’m not attempting to judge you, offend you or be offensive. I’m merely sharing the good news of God’s love. That He sent His son to die for my sin, and your sin, that we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and that we are invited to live in a freedom unknown in this world.
That freedom calls us to some responsibility. In those responsibilities is the response to living a righteous life- and this, my beloved, is when God said something like this (as imagined in my own mind), “Here is My Word. I give it to you. In this life you will face many hardships, but I have overcome the world, and I give you my help through my Son, by my Word, and by the Holy Spirit..”
The Bible has withstood time, debate, and burning defiance (literally). The Bible is our manual for life, the only one out there that has remained the same over the centuries. Parenting in this world has changed numerous times since parenting began. A new book makes it to the top 20 list every decade. The Bible has never left the number one spot. It is the ultimate guide. It opens the door to a deeper relationship with God and sets our path straight.
So the debates surrounding social issues don’t matter. We don’t have to take part. It’s all about conversation. If we do engage, we must share truth… His truth. Our words must remain in Him, as he remains in us. Our hearts must remain devoted to God in all we do and say.
His truth must NOT be compromised. In the many fired up discussions that take place, let His love shine through, and let HIS truth do the talking.