Monday, July 9, 2012

A different way to love

We are really asking the Holy Spirit how is the best way to be living, breathing Christ in the earth today. This has been an extremely hard (and beyond) way of living. Where we personally been at is studying, reflecting, and going deep into the life of Christ in the gospels and allowing our lives to reflect the same thing. What a challenge in every way. The cost is high and the sacrifice is great.

Chicago Gay Pride Parade
The deeper we minister to own convictions, it seems the more conflict we run into, and its not from unbelieving folks. This is probably where many different Christians disagree, which is ok. Not everyone will see eye to eye, but working together despite it speaks great volumes in the least. When we observe the life of Jesus, the only ones he ever rebuked were religious people, the believing people of that day. But when I look at how he ministered to the lost it was really different. I'm not speaking about a message of tolerance or intolerance, because He would tell people to stop from sinning. But the love we observed was how He ate, He drank, He went into their (sinners, tax collectors, adulterers) homes. He loved them where they were at. And when he was confronted by the pharisees about his heretic acts, he said "is it not the sick who need a doctor?"

There's two problems we have found in the Church when ministering to the lost. The first is, the lost dont want to listen to our message of "intolerance" because they feel hated, judged and misunderstood by us. (Truth is, many of us as believers have looked to the lost as projects and not people). They indirectly hate us and have already closed their hearts to our message. What if we actually came to people like Jesus did with the Samaritan women, gave them a life reading and then told them the way to true life? There is a huge brokenness and disconnect from the Church and the lost. We believe in order to even get them to a place where they can receive our message, we must be willing to love them where they're at. The "I'm Sorry" shirts, shouldn't be mis-read. The man who started that was not a tolerant man. He didn't agree with homosexuality (like so many churches are allowing these days) but he was looking for a solution. He was looking for the mending of broken hearts to the spirit of Christ, which is always LOVE. The man who started it was accused by every religious figure about his tolerance, but when you read his story you will find that it was not the spirit he was operating under. He was truly a man looking for a reconcilation, for a solution......and we need one, really bad.

The second problem we have found is that many Christians (who preach an intolerance message) do NOT actually have friends that are lost. Most believers will tell you that homosexuality shouldn't be tolerated and when we ask them if they have a homosexual friend, most do not. Were not talking about you know someone who is gay, or you have a relative who is gay. We're talking about having a friend, someone you hang out with, have gotten to know, gotten to appreciate in your life. The problem lies in that we would rather preach intolerance then actually get to know these individuals, with hearts, with minds, with feelings. They believe their beliefs are as real as our own. So how do we become all things to all men without compromising the message? Do we have a meal, hang out, get to know these individuals the way Jesus did before we cast the stone? By putting love on first, by word and action, the other stuff will follow. I DO NOT believe a message of love is tolerance. I DO believe that has been the fall of the Church in this case. But I also believe we need to put on love and the spirit of reconcilation and begin reconciling people's heart to the love of Christ. This will come in asking for forgiveness in where we have erred. And we have; we have judged, condemned and even told people they are not loved by God for their lifestyles. Maybe not us personally, but we need a man who will stand in the gap for such self-righteous accusations. Who is the accuser of the brethren but the devil himself. I am a woman that is not without sin and I cannot cast a stone at another because of it.

 I was hestitant to share all that, but I felt it was important that you hear our heart in that. To judge a group by saying they are being over-zealous and mis-led is a big accusation. But that is what is happening with the group of "I'm Sorry" believers at different gay pride events. And I can tell you that if we were to ever do something similar there would have been a lot of thought, a lot of prayer and a lot of biblical confirmation to go along with us when we make a decision like that. I understand that not every Christian is going to agree on certain things, but my hope is that honor would still be among believers even when they don't agree. We can't sustain new wine in a old wineskin. We believe, in this time and hour, God is doing a new thing if we will let him. We're going to have to think outside the box and try different things if we want to truly reach the lost.

What do you think? What do you think it would look like loving people the way Jesus did?

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