I heard a story today about a Kentucky church that decided to cut ties with the Boy Scouts. As you probably can guess, the decision was made after the Scouts recently voted to allow gay members.
The Pastor of that church told WDRB, that his church “did not desire to get caught up in the new direction of the Boy Scouts.”
There was another story recently on the news, about a NFL player whose speaking engagement with a church was cancelled after he openly supported Jason Collins, one of the first NBA athletes to come out about his sexuality (read the full story on USA Today).
Honestly, stories like this break my heart. Because when it comes down to it… It’s the exact opposite approach a true Christian church should take.
The Bible says "there is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10). Remember when Jesus said let those without sin cast the first stone? (John 8:7).
Romans 6:23 says "for the wages of sin is death." It doesn’t say some sin is better than others… or if you just sin a little you get a pass. It says for the wages of SIN is DEATH. For me that says we are all just as guilty as the people the church seems to want to distance themselves from.
I am not perfect. I still struggle with sin. And because the Bible tells us, I’m pretty sure you do to. I don’t know what that looks like for you, but what I do know is that it doesn’t matter. Jesus forgave all when you and I asked Him to. The blood of Jesus covers all sin.
Jesus didn’t turn away people who were different. He didn’t reject those who were living in sin. He ran to them, with arms wide open, promising them life… because those of us in sin, which is everyone, are the ones who desperately need His love!
Furthermore, we as Christians have no right to judge those who have not signed on to the life we have. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to correct those who have not first accepted Jesus.
Paul writes "what business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside." (1 Corinthians 5:12)
Paul makes it clear. It’s not our place to judge non-believers. It’s not our charge to correct those who have not agreed to abide by the same laws we have, who have not made the same choice we have for Jesus.
I have friends who are openly gay. And I love them with all my heart. The same way I love all of my friends. Because to me there is absolutely NO difference.
Now let me be clear, in no way am I saying the Church should accept, allow, or be okay with homosexuality. What I am saying is that the Church should accept people. All people. From all walks of life. No. Matter. What. Why? Because that is what Jesus did.
John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
I am also not saying, that once we make the choice for Jesus, that it is okay for us to continue living in sin. We are to battle it with all our hearts! But our ability to truly and whole heartedly go to war with sin, comes from a true and genuine relationship with Jesus. In no other way is that kind of change possible, except through God.
As Christians we do not get to pick and choose who to love. All people are children of God. Jesus loves every one of us, regardless of what sin we’re wrapped up in. So instead of telling people what is wrong with them… why don’t we tell them who is in love with them?
The fastest way to turn people away from Jesus is through rejection. Rejection leaves scars that cut the deepest and last the longest. So what would happen if instead of rejecting people, the church began to love people? To invite them in, instead of pushing them away. Like Jesus invited us in…
Imagine how radical that would be. Maybe as radical as a man from Galilee, who changed the world with one simple idea. Relentless and unconditional love.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) ALL of us.