Another week as passed and it seems that another round of the culture war has been waged. Hobby Lobby has argued in front of the Supreme Court. World Vision has changed its moral code to include both legally married homo and hetro couples. Truth be told I could go on and on with the different battles where this has been fought. Article after article has been published shaming both the conservative and liberal and twitter has jumped on to slander those authors.
As a believer in Jesus it is EXHAUSTING to navigate both what to believe and how to interact with a world that seems new and odd every day.
From the church’s perspective we are given dueling paths.
On one extreme the church is called to go lite on the sins of the modern day culture war. Its told that it would be a hypocrite if not since it has gladly welcomed in the sins of previous generations. The church is full of sinners right?!?! Shouldn’t the church be a hospital of grace?
The opposite path seems just a treacherous though. We call sin what it is… SIN. When that happens, the church will fall out of favor with the culture, dollars will drop, numbers will dwindle. Dealing with sin makes people uncomfortable and isolated. The church of America can’t afford black eyes. It’s already in decline.
What to do? What to do?
God has really been working on my heart lately.
I want to keep the doors of the church open for all, but at the same time I know that where scripture speaks I cannot compromise.
It seems that believers in Christ are forced choose one of the two roads. The middle ground has dried up.
As I have chewed on this idea over the past few weeks I came across a section of Romans that we quote more about baptism than anything else. In just a few words it encapsulated all l had been thinking through.
Romans 6:1-4What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Before knowing Christ all you know is the sins that you serve. Truth be told, in many ways, they are the demi-gods that you serve.
Coming to Christ is an act of repentance and faith. It is an act of turning away from the sins in which you once served to a savior who loves you enough to be punished for you. It is trusting that God’s way and His power are far better than the life you once lived.
Salvation is free to anyone who struggles with any sin. It is open to all. That said, part of trusting Christ means leaving both our sin and our way of thinking behind to embrace a new life and a new way of thinking given by God. Jesus doesn’t want to make our old lives better, he wants to replace them.
How does the church relate? It is a body of people who are unashamedly sinners, given grace and a new life so that they might embrace the things of God and leave behind the idols of a previous life.
God desires to heal the hearts of men from the cancer of sin that we embrace. He desires to cure the sins of lying, adultery, gluttony, pride, homosexuality, abortion, murder, hatred and gossip. The list can go on and on. That said, you cannot keep the cancer and have the cure as well. One or the other must be chosen.
The Church is open to all men in order to lead them to a Savior that can cure them, redeem them and give them new life that is drastically different than the one that brought them death.