Fast forward 10 years. In that time I have become a Christian, married the love of my life and have one precious daughter. I am sitting at home, channel surfing and lo and behold, the crazy woman is on TV. She is a guest on the Sally Jesse Raphael show. Naturally, I had to see what she was up to. And there she was just as I remembered. She was pointing her finger at a young man on the front row and calling him derogatory names, simply because he was wearing an earring. At that point Sally screamed, “Enough! I have never thrown anyone off my show but I want you off my stage right now.” At that point, the audience went wild with approval and she was escorted off the show. And I was glad Sally did what she did! I wish I could say that this crazy woman is an anomaly but we all know that is not true. Sadly, there are plenty more like her and sadder still, they really believe they are speaking for God. Yes, God chastens or corrects those He loves (Rev 3:19) but His correction is intended to get the junk out of us so that nothing will hinder our relationship with Him.
Over the past 27 years as a Christian, I admit that I have said things that I should not have said. I may have meant well but I was wrong nonetheless. What concerns me as of late is, in order to correct the wrongs of the zealots in the Christian community, many Christians seem apprehensive to say anything that would contradict the current world view. Some pastors have gone as far as to say they won’t preach on sin. While screaming and yelling at the lost world is not representing Christ properly, neither is our silence. Ephesians 4:15, Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. The very word of God says we are to tell the truth but the caveat is in LOVE.
Sadly, those of us who do not agree with the current world views on topics such as abortion and homosexuality are called “haters”. I am not a hater because I don’t agree with the acts that are contrary to God’s word. In fact, it is LOVE that compels me to tell the truth. I know what it is to be in bondage to sin and I know where I would be if I had died without giving my life to Jesus Christ. John 3:3, In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” There is a very real hell awaiting those who refuse to believe. And I do not want my improper representation of Jesus to add one person to that population.
I now have two beautiful grown daughters. But what if, when they were children, one of them decided to walk into a busy street? And what if I just watched and did not do or say a thing to stop her? Would the court of public opinion approve? No way! People would expect for me, as a parent, to do whatever I could to save her. And rightfully so! In this hypothetical situation my inactions could have killed one of my own children but in reality many of us are watching silently as our family, friends and neighbors walk into oncoming traffic. In our fear of hurting someone’s feelings or having an unpopular view, we say nothing. How exactly is this helping? As Christians, our silence and inactivity is a death sentence for those who are not born again.
So, what are we to do? How do we help those around us? Let’s learn from the greatest teacher of all, Jesus! John 8:1-11 (NIV), 1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus showed, through his words and actions, that he valued this woman but that He ALSO loved her too much to let her stay the way she was. He was affirming and correcting at the same time. He called her behavior what it was – sin. Yet she did not get offended. Why? Jesus did not put her down. Instead, He showed her His love for her when He protected her. I realize that not everyone wants to receive the love of God but that should not stop the church from being the church. We need to accurately present Jesus to the world. Let none of us be like the crazy woman screaming at people and pushing them away from the very God who wants to have a relationship with them. And let none of us be silent and inactive, refusing to help the lost find their way. And may we all endeavor to be like Christ – to share the truth in love.