Friday, April 3, 2015

Dear Outraged Christian

Dear Outraged Christian,

I am a Christian too.  By that I mean that I believe that Jesus was born as the Son of God, He lived a blameless life, died on the cross, endured hell for us, and then rose from the grave.  He is the reason we are able to speak with God.  He is the reason we are forgiven.  He is the reason we are able to attain heaven.

That being said, I am also a watcher of news.  I see the struggle Christians are facing - the choice to serve or not serve gays.  Homosexuals.  Sinners.  Flaunters of God's law.  Evil.  Bad people.  SINNERS!

Wait...did I go too far?  That sounded pretty extreme, didn't it?  It sounded a lot like hate.  Last time I looked God did not command us to hate, but to love.  Read an excerpt from Matthew 5:46-48.   46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

So you see, this is the problem that I have with these outraged Christians in the news.  This cry that has gone out to be able to deny service to someone because they have sinned has such a large following it seems.  I'll even go so far as to say once I was one of you Outraged Christians.  Why should we bake wedding cakes for a sinful wedding?  If we do this thing, are we saying we support this sin?

So I ask you, when Jesus allowed a fallen woman to wash his feet, did He support prostitution?  When He called Zacchaeus, the tax collector, out of the tree, was He supporting those who rip people off?  When He washed the feet of Judas, was He giving the thumbs up to those who sell people out and get them killed? 

We as Christians are called to love everyone.  Not just those people we are comfortable with, not just those we are easy around, but everyone.  We as Christians are NOT called to point out the sin in all mankind, but to love and support all and correct those who are in the church with us.  We as Christians are called to look to our own sins, before we point out anyone else's sin.  Matthew 7:3 says 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?

So, you might ask, would you have us support this most heinous of sins??  Here is what I say to that:  Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.  Matthew 23:23-24  Is it justice to condemn those who are not Christian, or those who have been led astray?  Is it mercy to cast people out for their sin?  Is it faithfulness to believe we must do the punishing for God?

I also point out to you this:  Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7  Jesus points out to us that who among us is worthy to condemn another human being.  We each have our own sins.  We all have our problems and we ALL need the forgiveness of God.  Are we really worthy to stand in judgment of those who's sin is simply different from our own?

But what about supporting sin, you ask.  Here's my question to you:  how many people have ever asked you if you think their lifestyle is pleasing in the eyes of God?  How many people have ever asked you if you think a certain act is sinful, according to God?  I bet you can count those people on one hand.  I bet you don't even have to use any fingers when you count.

I've NEVER had anyone ask me if I thought they way they lived was pleasing to God.  I'm pretty sure, if their mind is on God, then they will already know the answer to that question.  I've never had anyone ask me if a certain action, like homosexuality, is a sin.  I'm pretty sure they already know they answer.  I'm also pretty sure they don't want me to tell them the answer. 

If someone ever asks you those specific questions, by all means tell the truth.  If anyone ever asks you a question about the Gospel, then answer true.  Anything else is as good as denying God. 

Until that time, serve others with love.  Until that time, BE grace.  Until that time, look not for sins in others, but look instead to find God in your heart.  Pray and really be willing to listen to the answers the Holy Spirit gives you. 

Try to be a little less outraged.  It really doesn't do any good.  After all, our God can take care of Himself...He does not need us to be outraged on His behalf.  But He does need us to LOVE on His behalf. 

The world doesn't have enough love.  We, as Christians, can change that.

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