Thursday, June 18, 2009

Woe to You!

It is weird what God is showing me right now, it’s weird how disgusted with people I’m supposed to have something in common with, and it’s weird that I even have to write this blog. I worked the Indy Pride Festival this year, just walking around a picking up trash. Although a little uncomfortable at first because of differences, I had a great time and enjoyed the nice people, for the most part. On a street corner across from where this was happening though I saw a “preacher” yelling at everyone about their sin. I have been following and participating in this online community of bloggers on The Boundless Line and found myself personally offended and ashamed of even being a part of their community. I’ll post this link for you because I think you should read the blog and all the responses for yourself, this may take a while, but well worth it.

Here is what I see, a young man, who is in leadership at a church, crying out for help because he struggles with sexual sin. As I read the responses to this problem all I saw was judgment and condemnation. There were no signs of grace whatsoever. I am very concerned and broken hearted over a truth I have seen over the last year or so journey God has been taking me on. The American gospel goes a little something like this, “Change your ways and be perfect like us, then you will know Jesus and be saved.” So much, too much, emphasis is put on change and sin. Before you go assuming things, let me clarify what that does not mean. That does not mean living a sinful life is within God’s will, that does not mean I condone any sin or think it should be dismissed so easily, that does not mean that once you know Jesus you should live any kind of lifestyle and sin all you want, abusing the grace of God. Justin Timberlake asked it in a very artistic way when he sung, “Where is the love?” Is the point of following Jesus to just do good? Is this really about how much good I can do and how much bad I can avoid? If that is what this is all about I want out! If the point is living a life that is good and perfect then what is the point of Jesus at all? Christians assume if someone is sinning that they are not saved. Christians assume that if someone is not in a church ministry that they are not serving. Christians assume that if a person’s faith looks different than the majority then something is wrong with it. You know what I say about all these assumptions…I think all these assumptions are what make me cringe to even call myself a Christian. Not because I don’t want to be a little Christ, for that is what the word means, literally, but because I do not want to be affiliated with such a religion that hurts people and oppresses people with a message that is meant to be liberating.

Who are we to condemn sin? If we are to be like Jesus shouldn’t we follow His example?
John 8:1-11. Jesus does not condemn this lady, he tells the crowd after that who He is, the Christ, the one who will forgive sins for good.

I’m so tired of having to feel like I fit in with the people who have the same faith as I do, what if their wrong? I know for sure most are. The American Church is bigger and stronger than the Roman Empire could ever have dreamed of. We think we have it all together when in truth we are all too cowardly to admit we don’t, we are too prideful to admit our need for forgiveness and to follow the example Jesus set. So instead of admitting brokenness we cover it up with a faux perfection that we project onto others, who will always disappoint (because no one can be perfect) and thus become more concerned with someone being imperfect or good enough than we do with them knowing the love of Christ. I think if Jesus were here today He would do what He did back in Matthew 23.

Woe to you, you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.

Woe to you, you travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell.

Woe to you, blind guides!

Woe to you, you hypocrites, you give a tenth of what you have, but you neglect the more important matters, like justice, mercy, and faithfulness.

Woe to you, you clean the outside of the cup, but the inside is filthy, like beautiful whitewashed tombstones, beautiful on the outside, but dead within.

You snakes, you brood of vipers!

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