I have missed writing on a regular basis. Life has been so busy the last several months that I haven’t had much time to sit down to organize my thoughts. Sometimes I wish I could actually see the processes that take place in my brain. Then again, maybe it’s best that I cannot see them. I already deal with dizziness and mental confusion. I don’t need anything else contributing to it! One recurring theme to my thoughts lately has been the state of the world around me. I realize that’s a very broad topic to tackle in a blog entry. After all, people have written books about this subject. Still, it has bothered me enough that I decided to put some of my thoughts down so I can refer back to them if I need to do so.
I have not ever tried to hide the fact that I am a Christian. I believe that while Jesus loved all people while He walked this earth, His love does not equate to acceptance of sin. For example, when Jesus stopped at the well and asked the Samaritan woman to get him a drink, he was breaking all cultural norms at the time. Jews did not talk to Samaritans, let alone Samaritan women. Also, the fact that this woman had come to the well at the hottest part of the day tells us that she was ostracized by the women around her. Drawing water from the well was the job of the women in the house. It was a difficult task and one that took much energy. Most women, because of that, went to the well in the early morning hours while the weather was still cool. This woman, though, was at the well in the heat of the day. Perhaps the other women “bullied” her (a term that is WAY overused today but that’s for another entry). Perhaps they just ignored her but talked with each other and that made her feel left out. Whatever the reason, she was not following the typical pattern. Jesus asks her for a drink–which surprises her. She questions Him as to why He would talk to her. Jesus tells her He can give her living water. This confuses her and she asks if maybe Jesus knows of a different well. Of course, Jesus was referring to Himself and His saving power. This is where it gets interesting and where people tend to take this whole encounter out of context. Jesus tells the woman to go get her husband. Now, Jesus is all knowing so he knows full well that the woman is not married. He knows she had been married several time and that she is living with a man who is not her husband, yet He asks her to get her husband. Why? Why did He ask that if he knew the woman was living in sin? The simple reason is because Jesus wanted to give the woman grace and mercy, but He needed her to see that her way of life was sinful. Jesus pointed out her sin while loving her in the process.
In the last few months, several cultural issues have been forced to cross paths with religious freedoms. The most popular has been the debate on gay marriage. There is a large group of people who refer to themselves as Christians who believe that this lifestyle is okay by Jesus. In fact, many have said if Jesus walked the earth still that He would be baking gay and lesbian wedding cakes left and right. What this group does not see, besides the fact that they are wrong, is that Jesus cannot tolerate sin. Any sin. He just can’t. He is perfect and holy and cannot have fellowship with sin. He said so Himself. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Basically, you can’t have a light on in your living room and still be in total darkness. Jesus is light. “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) If Jesus is light, than He cannot reside with darkness. Darkness represents ANY sin–theft, murder, coveting, lying, lust, homosexuality. Yes, homosexuality IS a sin. God destroyed a whole group of people because of it when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The New Testament says that God gave them over to their depravity when they exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. Homosexuality was NOT condoned by God. Never. Jesus loved people, yes, but He never condoned their sin. He called out the sin of the woman at the well. He didn’t shame her. That was His love. He doesn’t shame me for my sins. When I get angry or complain or be lazy or any other sin that I commit–Jesus doesn’t shame me for it, but He doesn’t tolerate it either. He called for the woman at the well to repent so that she could receive the living water He offered. I can only have fellowship with Him if I repent from my sins. This is the case for all people. The problem is, many churches have given in to the cultural pressure that this is normal and unsinful behavior. They have bought the lie of Satan that homosexuality is okay in God’s book. If one truly reads and studies God’s book, though, there is no escaping the fact that the aforementioned behavior is nothing but sin. Does that mean I hate those who are part of that lifestyle? Absolutely not. In fact, I have a friend who is gay. I love that friend dearly. I pray for that friend. I do not in any way hate that friend. I do disagree with how that friend lives and would never condone that behavior or excuse it for any reason. I can’t. Jesus doesn’t so I cannot.
I am so thankful for my church that loves people yet is not afraid to be bold for the truth of Scripture. I know there are other churches like ours, but I fear those numbers are dwindling as Satan has his way with believers who have not stood firm or have been incorrectly taught Scripture. The Bible never changes. Homosexuality was wrong in the days of Abraham and it is still wrong today. To say anything other than that is to deny the truth of Scripture and, in a sense, deny what Jesus taught. Love people? Yes. Love covers much. Accept the sins as okay? No. The two cannot coexist. Will I engage in argumentative behaviors? No. I have stated my beliefs and realize that those bent on accepting this sin will not be swayed by my words. Arguing does no good and I will not stoop to that level.
Of course this is not the only issue facing Christian churches today. There are many, and I will most likely touch on others in the coming weeks. This one, though, has been a source of angst for me as “Christian” friends try to defend this sinful behavior. I will not back down on what I believe. Jesus warned his followers to stand firm in the face of persecution. That is often difficult. It is easier for me to retreat from a fight. BUT, to do and say nothing is actually doing and saying something and that something is the wrong thing. And I know some day I will stand before my Creator. I do not want to have to explain why I bowed to cultural pressure on behaviors and lifestyles that are sin and have clearly been laid out for us in Scripture as such.