Friday, August 3, 2012

truth in love

All the comments, posts, pics, blogs, etc about Chick-fil-a CEO, Dan Cathy, this past couple of weeks has spurred on this blog.  
Let me start by saying, just in case you don't know, that I am a born again believer in Christ.  He is my LORD, my boss, my everything.  

This week I have seen post after post, comment after comment, about how, because I am a Christian, I am a hypocrite, a bigot, and that I hate gays.  I will readily, and humbly, admit that I have acted in hypocritical ways on several occasions.  Everyone has.  We're human.  It's in our nature.  It's not something I am proud of nor intentionally do.  Ever.
I do not, nor have I ever, hated gays, or any other person.  Not only do I have friends who are gay, my brother-in-law is as well.  I love them all dearly and completely.  
The only thing I hate is sin.  I hate my sin, because I sin on a regular basis.  I hate all sin.  I have to because sin is in opposition to God and if I love God I have to hate all things against Him.  

I am no better than anyone else.  Jake often says, "there are 2 types of people in this world-sinners and sinners- the only difference is one has been forgiven of those sins."  That's the only difference.  Every single person on this planet has sinned.  If you're breathing, then you've sinned.  Young, old and in between.  All of us.
And Christ died for everyone, but not everyone accepts it.  

So often I hear quoted, "Let he who has no sin cast the 1st stone."  However, people neglect to go on with 'the rest of the story' (as Paul Harvey would say).  After the religious leaders dropped their stones and walked away Jesus turned to the prostitute and said, "Go, and sin no more."  He loved her in-spite of her sin, but He didn't say, "continue on with the way you're's all good."  No, He told her to walk away from her life of sin.

Jesus did hang out with "sinners", because He wanted to change them.  In every single encounter with Jesus, people walked away changed.  Prostitutes walked away from prostitution, tax collectors paid back what they had stolen, adulterers left that life. That's what happens when you have an encounter with Jesus.  You will never be the same again.  You may choose to walk away from Him, but the choice is all yours, as are the consequences.  Either way, once you've truly met Jesus, your life will be different.

Something that has rung in my head all week is that we, as followers of Christ, are so afraid of offending people--so afraid that if we speak out against sin, that people are going to call us haters, bigots, close-minded hypocrites--that we are going to wind up "not offending" and "loving" people right into hell.

The thing is, if I truly believe there is a real hell, full of unimaginable torture, if I truly believe that people who haven't turned their lives over to Christ and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior are going to die and spend eternity there, and I don't tell them how to change their destiny, then maybe I don't truly believe it.
Because if I really believe it, I would be shouting it from the rooftops.  I would be telling every person I came across what I believe.
If I believed I had found the cure to cancer but chose not to share it with anyone I would be wrong.  If I saw a multitude of people blinding walking toward a huge cliff and said nothing, I would be wrong.
How much more so should I share the only way to avoid an eternity--something we can't even comprehend--of burning agony, of unending pain and torture.  Why wouldn't I share that?

I am commanded to speak the truth in love.  And it is because I love--not hate--that I share Christ.  If I hated, then I would say nothing at all.

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