Sep 16, 2008

Clear and Gracious

Is it possible that you can be crystal clear where you stand when it comes to controversial issues like abortion, capital punishment, war in Iraq, gays and lesbians, Biblical sexuality, and still be wide open with grace and love to those who stand on the opposite spectrum on these same issues?

I don't know how you answered that question but I am going to tell you not only my answer, but the only answer that is right - not only is this possible but this is how every Christ-follower must live because that's the way Christ lived.

Jesus never was wishy washy when it came to morality. He always told it straight. There was never any beating around the bush.

However, that truth was accompanied with such love, grace, genuine concern and acceptance that the very people who needed to hear the truth welcomed such truth.

I think it's a good thing that Trinity makes it clear that we are against abortion as a birth control. But if we are going to be against abortion as a means of birth control, then we have to be wide open with love and mercy for those women who have had abortions and for those women who have are living daily with the pain and guilt that comes from having made that decision.

Because if that is not who we are, and all that people ever hear is that abortion is bad, how many times do you think that a woman who has had an abortion can put up with hearing how much her life sucks? Is there any hope for her? Is there any hope that she might not suck so bad? A woman who's already suffered through an abortion is already dealing with guilt and the pain of that decision.

It is a good thing that Trinity makes it clear that the only sexual relationship that God approves of is between a husband and wife. No other sexual relationship - pre-marital sex, sex outside of marriage between husband and wife, gay sex - no other sexual relationship is right before God.

Because this is our position, we must also be wide open to those who have already failed sexually. And if people have failed, how many times are they going to hear how they've messed up? When will they hear God's call for transformation and hope?

Judgment doesn't change people. Grace and mercy changes people. Only when people know that God cares for them are they ready to hear God's truths.

Grace and mercy must come first. And once we've developed a relationship of love are people ready to hear about the truths of God.

James <><

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