Monday, September 3, 2012

Not Wrong, Just Different

There is something that has puzzled me in recent years.

Not just puzzled, but...disturbed.

I have seen our churches move towards this idea that.....nothing's wrong.

How difficult it is to raise my children in a world where nothing is wrong! Where people are just different, whatever feels good is OK, and our conscience or heart can be our guide.

And where are our churches?

Right, I'm afraid, in the thick of this.  

So, I'm going to stand up for something I believe in.

There is such a thing as right - and wrong.

The argument I see most often for the stubborn refusal of Christians to call out sin is that God (Jesus) tells us to Love and Not Judge. Words like tolerance and acceptance and humility abound in these discussions.

Now, aside from the fact that these verses are usually taken wildly out of context (especially Romans 10), there is some merit to the argument - just not precisely the one so many are using them for.

God does tell us to love one another! In fact, it is one of the few outright commands we are given in the new testament.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

                                                     John 13:35

The key here is that we are to love one another as Jesus loves us.

Is God's love free from correction? No, it most certainly is not! 

As any loving parent with their children, he disciplines those he loves.

When Jesus healed people, absolved them of guilt or defect...what did he do? 

To the woman caught in adultery...."go and sin no more."

To the paralyzed man lowered through the roof..."Son, your sins are forgiven."

Did he ignore the sins of the woman at the well? No, he didn't. He taught her, and she became an agent for change in her village.

People want to be loved and liked. I understand that. I am cursed (or blessed, depending) with this desire for everyone to be happy and fulfilled....and like me. But, that does not mean that I can ignore the wrong in people's lives or in our churches.

We are told to be a humble, loving, forgiving people.

But we are also told not to tolerate sin in our midst. We can speak the truth humbly, lovingly, and we can freely give forgiveness when true repentence in present.

We cannot, though, ignore sin because of our own discomfort.

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