Ok, so I try to avoid super controversial topics on here . . . Not because I am avoiding the truth, but because I think some discussions are better had face to face.
But right now, as I’m reading through some posts made by some very popular Christian authors, I’m grieved. And I’m wondering . . . Can we pray for someone, can we hurt for someone . . . Someone we still disagree with? Someone who still desperately needs Jesus?
Oh, I hope so.
It is true that Jesus didn’t shy away from those with reputations, from those others avoided. The Bible says He was moved with compassion because they were like sheep without a shepherd (see Mark 6:34). So He spent time with the adulterous woman at the well, and He broke bread with a thieving tax collector. He loved them. Oh, how He loved them.
But He didn’t avoid the sin in their lives.
Jesus, the Word in the flesh, always spoke the truth. Not “truth” like we call it these days — truth that glosses over sin and makes us feel good. Jesus spoke life-giving, life-transforming truth. He demanded the death of their old lives and way of living. Why? Was it because He was prejudiced and mean or something worse? Not at all.
Jesus required change because He wanted more for their lives. Something oh, so much better!
Do you want to know a secret? He still does. He wants more for our lives. He doesn’t call us out of sin to punish us, but to love us.
Becoming a Christian? That’s simple. Ask, Believe, Confess. That’s the truth of Romans 10:9 and 10.
Following Jesus? That’s hard. It’s takes a death to our old selves and our fleshly desires. It’s a daily choice. But it’s the best choice.
And it is so worth it. A million times over, I have never regretted my decision to follow Jesus.
So why do we gloss over sin in our churches today? Why does the Christian community in America feel it’s necessary to deny the truth and accept someone’s sin to love them? We aren’t doing them any favors. We’re not.
So I will just say it. Sexual orientation and gender issues are addressed in the Bible. God does say that homosexuality is a sin. So is adultery and drunkenness. So is gossip and taking God’s name in vain. Sin is sin. And it needs to be addressed. Not because we are interested in shaming someone, but because we want to love them with the truth.
I say these words not as someone who has it all figured out, but as someone who has been there. I struggled with sexual addiction. I turned to homosexuality to fill a void, to achieve a high. I can’t understand everyone nor have I walked in their shoes, but I have been there. I feel the shame in the church circles when someone speaks with disgust over a sin they cannot understand, something they would “never do.” All the while, overlooking or minimizing their own “lesser sins.” Sin is sin. Plain and simple. Sin is like a leech on our souls. It separates us from God and brings harm to others. Don’t forget Achan (see Joshua 7).
Let us love one another in deed and truth (1 John 3:18).
My heart hurts for our nation, for those who are broken-hearted and grieving tonight. We are so confused, so lost, so like sheep without a shepherd. Can we speak the truth, God’s truth, in love? Can we pray broken prayers for a broken people?
Oh, I hope so.
Because we all need Jesus. Don’t forget that. Don’t overlook it. We need a Jesus that suffered for our sin, all of them. We need a Jesus that understands our weaknesses and gives us grace. We need a Jesus that loves us right where we are, but too much to leave us this way. Every single one of us. We need Jesus.