WARNING! This post will offend you… particularly if you are an evangelical Christian church member.
Christians had better look at themselves first before they say anything to people outside the church. Christians need to learn and practice repentance and confession before they call for others to repent and confess sin. Otherwise their message is not credible… it is not believable… people will not listen. The problem is inside the church of today, not outside!
Consider that the following sins are equal in God’s sight: Gossip, Adultery, Greed, Drunkenness, Gluttony, Fornication, Racism, Divorce, Jealousy, Theft, Bitterness, Homosexuality, Murder, Lying, Covetousness, Unforgiveness, Apostasy, Laziness, etc… etc… etc.
Sin is sin in God’s eyes, one is not worse than another. Every and all sin can be forgiven by God… except one… the sin of rejecting Jesus so as to be saved (Also known as The Unpardonable Sin).
Christians are to love all people. The person who… gossips, commits adultery, is greedy, is a drunk, is a glutton, fornicates, is a racist, gets a divorce, is jealous of others, steals, is bitter, is a homosexual, commits murder, is a liar, covets, is unwilling to forgive, commits apostasy, is lazy, etc… etc… etc. Why? Because God Does!
According to Scripture, a person’s conduct reveals the condition of their heart. Paul makes it clear who is saved and who is lost based on their conduct… which is an expression of the content of their heart. He also says that those who are saved USED TO be in that category.
Now let me meddle a little bit with those who identify with Jesus, but single out groups, attack them, and carry signs like (And similar to) the ones in the picture above.
Let me focus in on one particular issue. If/when a person does not love others (The people in the list above, AND other Christians.)… then God’s love is NOT in them! In other words, they aren’t saved! This is found in Scripture most often in 1 John…
2:10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light (Is saved)…
3:10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
4:20-21 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
As I read the Scripture and apply it to the church today (Christians), I come to the conclusion that if believers in Christ are to have a credible witness with those the Scripture describes as lost, then we had better begin by examining ourselves by the standard of love. If we don’t love people, why should they believe the message of love?
When I see people who are supposedly Christians holding signs condemning people groups to hell or that God hates people or yelling and screaming hateful things… I GET ANGRY! My anger is directed toward those holding the signs and yelling condemnation at others. That is not what Jesus would do! It is not Christlike! It is NOT CHRISTIAN! In fact… because of the verses in 1 John above… I doubt those people are saved!
I’m not saying we are to condone what Scripture condemns and accept people who are living lives in open rebellion to God. What I am saying is this… we are to reach out to those who don’t know Christ with mercy, love, compassion, patience, peace, and grace. Consider what Paul wrote in 1 Cor 5:9-11…
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
The problem is that the Church is not what the Church ought to be! The problem is that people say they are Christians and yet they commit adultery and fornication… they steal, lie, and gossip… are greedy, covetous, and full of jealousy. Christians are the ones who need to get their house in order! THEN maybe the lost will at least be willing to listen instead of seeing us as enemies…