I believe we have a growing epidemic in our culture of a failure to admit that sin is sin. All too often, our identities are so wrapped up in what we DO that we cannot differentiate between what we DO and whom we ARE. How do we calmly and rationally explain to a person whom we truly love that we still love them, even though we disagree with what they are doing? If we firmly believe that a loved one’s choices are leading them to a path of destruction, we are obligated to tell them, but we MUST do so in a kind and loving way.
Unfortunately, we often get push back from the very people we are trying to love by telling them that they are headed into trouble.
“Don’t judge me!”
“This is just who I am! I can’t change.”
“You need to accept me the way I am!”
“I don’t need forgiveness.”
“You’re such a bigot.”
I could go on...
And on and on it goes. Yes, the Church has failed to love people the way they should be loved. Yes, we are often too quick to throw stones for small offenses. The Church has inflicted deep wounds on marginalized people groups and harmed some irrevocably...but if we are to be salt and light to a dying world, we must be careful not to swing too far the opposite direction. Sin is still sin. Call it what it is. Sometimes, love hurts. Often, the people who love us most are the only ones willing to tell us that we’re in the wrong.
That’s why we NEED forgiveness. That’s why we NEED a Savior. That’s why Christ died, so that we could be made perfect THROUGH HIM, not because we ourselves are perfect. Church, if we can’t get this one Truth right, we cannot expect people to WANT to come to Christ for salvation.