So, we have a serious problem in the Church, and just in our world in general.
This is something I’ve talked about before, and I’ll talk about it again and again, because we always need a refresher course in something that we struggle with the most. As a matter of fact, before Jesus’ crucifixion, He told the apostles that when the Holy Spirit comes, “He will remind you of all the things I have told you.” (John 14:26; The Message) So, it makes sense that I talk about this again.
I spoke about this in my last post regarding judgment and how we don’t have the right to judge anyone in this world, primarily because we ourselves struggle with our own sins and problems. After that post, I got to thinking.
I began to wonder, “If we aren’t supposed to judge others for their sins, then how are we supposed to respond in a world where sin abounds?”
That led to another question that practically answered the first one, “How did Jesus deal with the sin that abounded in the world and community around him?”
When you look at Jesus’ earthly ministry, His most “judgmental” language was toward those who thought themselves better than everyone else, those members of the religious elite, the ones who were supposed to be leading the people to God. When it came to everyone else, Jesus was nothing but loving and caring and understanding.
Not once did Jesus every criticize a single person who came to Him for the sins they had committed or the way they lived their lives. You never read about Jesus saying “God hates fags” or “You’re a slut, you’re going to hell” or spewing any words of hate toward the sinners and tax collectors who approached Him for teaching and healing and forgiveness.
Instead, Jesus just loved them. That’s all. It was simply the fact that they spend time with Someone Who loved them instead of judging them, like the Pharisees and the religious elite did. It was the mere amazingness of being in the presence of Jesus and being cared for by Him that caused many to change their lives radically. No one who came into contact with Jesus as He truly is ever walked away the same again. They were changed simply by His love and presence.
Church, let me tell you that *THIS* is how we should respond to a world that is drowning in sin and disregard for God and His Word. Instead of being like Westboro Baptist and going to military, police and gay funerals and protesting them and screaming words of hate and judgment, we should be loving them, mourning with them in their loss, and loving them, not pointing out their sins and failures, but showing them the God of love.
We need to deal with sin the way Jesus dealt with sin: not necessarily ignoring it, but loving despite the person’s sin(s) and allowing our love, our example of the true and loving Christ, to wash over them. And we need to hope and pray that we show Jesus as He truly is and that it will cause curiosity in their lives and cause them to turn to Him as well and that simply being in His presence, their lives will change and they will be transformed.
Remember, Jesus was and still is a friend of sinners. As a result, we should be the same