To read social media and media in general today you would be hard pressed to find an article which portrays the Church in any light that conveys even remotely the love that Christ has commanded us to convey.
From the pundits to the pulpit, this faith is being portrayed as a faith entrenched in a battle against pretty much everyone, but especially against gays.
From headlines stating, “Christianity under attack” to “Traditional marriage under fire”, the lines seem pretty much cut and dry.
Apparently we have become a faith of rules, regulations, restrictions and absolutes..
A far cry from this faith at its foundation.
A faith of love, compassion, inclusion and grace.
Can you imagine the shock and dismay at a woman not being publically shamed for having been married five times and now living with a man who was not her husband being invited to speak to a noteworthy pastor? (John 4:17-18)
Or how about the Pastor who chose to have dinner with thieves, and many other sinful people, and actually engage in loving, civil conversations with them! (Luke 19:1-10)
Or, how about someone, grasping for something which did not belong to them reaching selfishly for what others had to work hard for, and wait for? (Luke 8:40-49)
Everyone seems so certain that they know what side of an issue Jesus would fall on, and they are certain it would be on their side.
Everyone speaks John 3:16, and speaks of love and unending grace but no one wants to extend same said Grace to those of us who are in the most dire need of us.
When did Christ ever say, go get cleaned up, straighten up (No pun intended) and learn to fly right and THEN I’ll heal/restore/reconcile you?
Never, not ever, not even once..
Forgiveness ALWAYS precedes repentance based on the desires of the heart.
We seem to forget about the heart, so content to pigeon hole people by the theme of their actions.
Christ never did, and he has called us to do the same thing.
And since I don’t know of anyone who can decipher the contents of a mans heart upon meeting him, and since words never convey the depths of a persons heart it looks like you’ll have to get to know some people.
It looks like you will have to invest in another person’s life, even and especially people who have nothing in common with you.
This is the great commission, isn’t it?
Imagine if you will how much more abhorrent the early followers of Christ were by the great commission than you will ever have a right to be.
They were, through obedience to laws and commandments, through adherence to the most seemingly miniscule minutia ritualistically clean.
They did not as a rule, cavort with gentiles, as these people were unclean..
And here is Jesus calling them to go out into all the world..
You remember Samaria, where Jesus had encountered that woman at the well, that… Samaritan woman!
These people had been at odds with each other for generations.
They had even gone as far as to create ANOTHER TEMPLE to sacrifice at, apart and aside from the temple in Jerusalem.
And they were to go out to them, to go to THEM!!
Makes your soapbox seem pretty petty doesn’t it?
Now before you go out there and make a sign that says “REPENT”, or “GOD HATES FAGS” remember sparky, that we have also been instructed to pray to God to “Forgive us of our debts, as we for give our debtors”.
You know what the most powerful weapon against this great threat to Christendom vis-à-vis the Gay Alliance is…
Love, my friend, love.
Think of what it took to bring you to your knees, to an alter call, to the foot of the cross my friend, and I am pretty sure it was love..
Shame has never made a heart melt..
Hatred has never moved anyone as much as compassion.
Until you can actually live out the redemption that at one time was the only thing you knew of this Jesus whom you claim to adore, no one will love him as they should.
And until you actually show the world who this Jesus is, by your words, thoughts, deeds and love, no one will ever care about Jesus.. At least not anyone that you have had contact with.
One of the most prevailing words and themes and needs in all of the words spoke by this Jesus of whom we are all so deeply in love with was..
Forget the rules, laws, regulations and restrictions..
And simply LOVE, even when, and especially when it is difficult.
Love like your life depends upon it my friend, because one man actually gave his life for that love..