“Love Won”, they say.
The path of least resistance is to remain quiet if you don’t agree, or else be accused of bigotry and hatred.
But what do we say in response to a ruling that is a mockery of God’s laws, a ruling that many believe will tear away at the moral fabric of this country?
I submit to you today that it isn’t ultimately about speaking our minds or having a right to do so. I believe at the heart of the stereotyping and name-calling towards Christians is a rebellion against God, but it is also a backlash on Christians that perpetuate that image by the way they relate to those who have different beliefs.
We are told to speak the truth in love, which is a loaded statement. It’s a balance of conviction and compassion that can only be practiced through God’s work in our own hearts. My simple perspective is to look to Christ, to Him as our example. When He came upon a woman about to be stoned for committing adultery, (and just for clarity, homosexuality is just as much of a sin, Romans 1:26). What was His reaction?
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”(John 8:1-11)
It’s important to remember that Jesus approached this woman with kindness and genuine love, yet He never shied away from speaking the truth. Notice what He said next: He said go and sin no more. It was not ok that she committed adultery. It was not ok if she continued in her sin.
Jesus was in balance. His love for this sinner wasn’t just with words, it was demonstrated. Yet He was bold to speak the truth. I see two extremes among Christians: If we say we love, but don’t do anything to speak the truth, we can’t win anyone to salvation. There is also no salvation with a display of condemnation to someone else. It only breeds hate.Yes, I believe we as Christians must be involved politically. I will say this strongly.
There is no doubt that the government is a God-given tool to keep society from going completely berserk, and we must fight to put the right people in office. Yet spiritual change will not ultimately come as something pressing upon the masses. It begins in the heart, in preaching and sharing the Gospel. It begins from the inside out, as it does with all of us.
Then love will truly win.
I’m challenged to examine my heart first. We must ask ourselves:
- How do we really view those who don’t know the truth? Do we genuinely love them as human beings?
- What is the motivation of a condemning spirit? Is it Fear? Anger? Our own guilt?
- Are you and I prepared for the testing of our faith ahead? What should we be doing right now to understand the challenges ahead?