Tag Archives: church

What is Jesus Writing in the Sand About You?

“Jesus, friend of sinners. Break my heart for what breaks yours.” ~ Casting Crowns, “Jesus Friend of Sinners”

Here I am, awake at four o’clock in the morning, grieving and with a broken heart.

I have my opinions, in regards to politics, religion, morality.  Some based on fact, some based on faith, some on a certain moral standard I try to live up to.  But they are just that; opinions.  I’m not knowledgeable enough about all issues to weigh into the public forum without coming off half-cocked; self-righteous; or, in fact, dangerous.

So it weights heavily on my heart when I see what is written in (very) public forums by so-called Christians about issues such as this latest touchstone: President Obama’s comments on gay marriage.

I’ve seen multiple comments from Christians equating homosexuality with child porn, child abuse, murder and so on; as if there is a hierarchy to sin.

“Well yes, I may be a sinner, but at least I’m not THAT!”

Yes, you’re that!

At least according to the Bible I read.

God hates sin.  Sin is sin.

Did you lie to your boss today (bearing false witness)?  Did you notice the latest Kardashian bikini pix in this week’s tabloid and maybe linger a little too long on the cleavage (lust)?  Did you have a few choice words for the guy that cut you off in traffic (using the Lord’s name in vain, anger, pride)? Maybe with your seven-year-old daughter in the back seat who’s an excellent mimic?  That’s called sin! It’s missing the mark! You too are a homosexual, child-raping, murder!!  So let’s get off our damn high horses and reach out to these people! In love!

We’re asked to be the light of the world, shining into the darkness.  That doesn’t mean you get to shine it into their eyes and ask for the secret password before they can approach . . . just to make sure they’re on our side.

We get so stuck on Galatians 5:19-21:

NLT: 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

. . .that we conveniently forget the rest of that passage.  It’s time to start living verses 22-26 instead of just mouthing the words while our butts sit in the pew on Sunday:

NLT: 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. (emphasis and underlining is mine)

The “passions and desires of their sinful nature” are not merely carnal instincts my Christian brethren. It includes pride and ego as well.

When I see those who profess to be Christians saying things like: (on same-sex marriage) “By definition, the only way they can procreate is to steal children from heterosexuals”; or, those who claim it’s just a small step from gay marriage to bestiality; or, the venomous names our governmental leadership are being called; all I can think of is:

John 8: 7-10 (AMP): However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.  Then He bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger.  They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court.  10 When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?

What would Jesus write in the sand about you, I wonder?  About me?

Listen Christians; those who are far from God, and those who consider themselves “irreligious” or “non-religious” are laughing at us!  And you have the audacity to wonder what it is they don’t see.

THEY DON’T SEE JESUS!!

“The world is on its way to you, but they keep tripping over me . . .Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers . . .”  ~ Casting Crowns “Jesus Friend of Sinners”

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“Getting Right Before Getting God”

Philippians 2:12b-13 (NLT)Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

If this is your idea of perfection, you need to aim higher . . .

Reading Philippians, this verse struck me for some reason.  I feel so many believers hold to the misunderstanding that we have to be a certain way, strive to be “good enough” before we can ask God for forgiveness or into our lives at all.  (Which is different than the desire to be good enough to enter the kingdom of heaven which is; a) unachievable; and, b) a whole different subject matter.)  This misunderstanding is more like feeling the need to achieve a certain moral/righteous standard before we can even knock on the pearly gates.

That is ssooooo backwards.  It would be akin to having the already finished pot say to the potter, “Okay, now you can begin to make me.”

God WANTS the raw lump of clay that is your old life!

God WANTS to be the master potter!

A good friend of mine put it this way:

“I think the “I need to get right before getting God” is the Devils way of deceiving folks from the truth of getting right with God by receiving Jesus as Lord and savior.   We can’t come to the Lord when we’re good enough and clean enough. Because we will never BE good or clean enough. But when we’re forgiven and given the Holy Spirit, we begin to change out of gratitude . . . “

But let’s go a step further and break down the scripture even more . . . Continue reading “Getting Right Before Getting God”

“Church”

My brother-in-law asked an intriguing philosophical question the last time he was here.  “Do you have to go to church in order to go to be saved?”

I thought it was a great question.  Of course, the pizzas were just coming out of the oven, and the Kansas/Ohio State game was just getting underway, so it never did get explored in any detail.  Never really got answered at all, honestly.  But I still thought it was a great question nonetheless.

It actually got me thinking of another one, ironically while I was sitting in church this past Sunday: “What exactly IS ‘church’?”

Is it that place we (who actually go) spend our hour+ each weekend so we can say with self-righteous authority, “We’re Christians!!”?  (Sorry, the cynical side of me had to get that one out.)  Is it a place we go to get fellowship, give worship, submit to Lordship?  Is it a building?  A meeting of fellow “believers” (Acts 2, anybody?)

What exactly is this thing called “church”?

Well, I have an answer . . . Continue reading “Church”