So many people have so many perspectives…
I don’t think I have experienced so many emotions as a result of internet browsing in quite a long time. In recent years, the Supreme Court made a decision to legally recognize gay marriage in all 50 states has produced the largest mixture of reactions that you could imagine. And unfortunately, a lot of it has gotten ugly, especially on the internet.
You have people saying what they feel, what they think, what they think they should think, and stuff that they don’t even really know much about. It’s like people have no filter when it comes to what they say online, in posts, in comments, and in direct messages even! And in the midst of all the proverbial dust that is getting kicked up, somehow we have begun to see so many different types of people saying all sorts of different things to other people “in Jesus name.” And as I look through all these comments, it is obvious that Jesus couldn’t have said all of those things, and most likely wouldn’t say most of it. At least not the Jesus I read about in the Bible. And as a result of these kind of people, Jesus is made to sound a lot like a judgmental, cold-hearted, hateful person who pushes others away when he doesn’t like them. And who is going to listen to or follow someone like that?
So I was super happy when my wife began to write down her thoughts on this complex issue. And with her permission, I would love for you to soak up her God-inspired wisdom.
Since when has our culture come to a point where you have to be perfect to be accepted in a church? If this is the case then, somewhere along the line, we have interpreted the Bible incorrectly. We have not gotten past the Old Testament to see the good news in the New Testament. Mark 2:15-17 recounts the dialogue Jesus had with the Jewish religious leaders. All they said was “How could he stand it, to eat with such scum?” (The Living Bible). Jesus replied by saying, “Sick people need the doctor, not the healthy ones.” But yet the Christian culture has been acting a whole lot like the religious leaders who condemned “such scum.”
I was raised in a Baptist church and background. I don’t have anything against Baptists except the fact that I feel like they taught me to condemn the sinner and not the sin. I still cringe when I hear that somebody is gay or has gotten a divorce. But what I have been learning is that Jesus would never do that. He would love them first. Brant always says that all we ever do is to get people to change their behavior before they ever know Jesus, and they die without Jesus, all we have done is sent them to Hell better behaved than before. We must focus on showing them the love of Jesus before we ever try to change their behavior.
I have also learned that a denomination should not define you. We are followers of Christ. No matter what church you come from, we should all work towards the same goal and that’s to bring lost souls to Christ with love. I can see that our culture is changing a lot but I also see the church changing. Christians are starting to realize that we need to end our bad reputation of hurting people and instead love people for who they are.
Now to understand love you need to know God. Did you realize that if there were no God, there would be no understanding of love? “God is love” is what we hear but for some reason I didn’t ever take it seriously. Real love is not the conditional kind – “If you do this for me then I will love you.” Real love is the sacrificial kind where no matter if they take it or ignore it, you still love them. Maybe all of the divorces and all the hurt in our world are because people don’t know what love really means.
I want to encourage you to take one step as a Christian and love somebody without knowing his or her background. That should mean that we treat everybody the same no matter what. And maybe, just maybe, that will change how people view Christians, and in turn bring people to Christ.