September 4, 2007

What WOULD Jesus Do?

Earlier this year, my CLB (church left behind) sent out a advertisement to all of the members for a Sermon that the pastor was giving on homosexuality. When I received it, I thought, "It will be just another scathing attack on those poor people", and ignored it. But since I am still on the mailing list, and they have a monthly news letter, I got it anyway. They printed it in the newsletter. What it said, almost floored me. It said that they are the way they are, and we do not have to like the behavior, but we should love the person. That has prompted me to think about talking with the pastor again. He really is totally committed to God, and what God wants. To the point of going against the popular tenants of his denomination. Then I thought, what would I need to be persuaded to go back. Then I thought of a question.

Pastor, if a woman came to you, and told you that she cheated on her husband, what would you do?

Why choose this question, because we have a perfect example of how this should be dealt with. Jesus gave it to us. This is the abridged version of course. The pharisees brought a woman to Jesus caught in the act of adultery. They said by the law of Moses, she should be stoned, and ask Jesus to pass judgement on her. He knelt down to write in the dirt. Then stood and ask, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." Then being convicted of their own consciences, left one by one. Then he stood, and "saw none but the woman" and ask,"Woman, where are your accusers?Hath no man condemned thee?" She said "No man, Lord." Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more." Would your church, and pastor be that way. Would you be that way. Could we really accept a prodigal son home. One that went on his own into sex, drugs, and rock and roll, only to come home when he ran out of money. Would we with our "christian" reputation go where the sinners are. Would we be able to stand up to the establishment that has changed our faith in God, into our "God" being the faith they stand for. Would we do what our father asks, no matter the consequence to us.

The example of Jesus has left many with the question, "If Jesus is the example that we aspire to, why don't I see it ANYWHERE? Why don't I see it where it is supposed to be?" That is the troubling thing of our time. If we don't see it, how do we get it. Through the bible. Watch what Jesus DID, not what our faith is based on. Let me take you through the example above.

When the pharisees brought the woman to Jesus, he understood a few things. One, the woman obviously knew that what she did was wrong. So he did not need to tell that it was wrong, that would have been redundant. He knew that the men bringing her to him were not pure, that did not need to be said either. What he did know, was that he was not her judge yet. John 8:15, after the incident, Jesus said, "Ye judge after the flesh, I judge no man." Since he was not the judge, he sent her away without judgement. "Go, and sin no more." Did she really need the "adultery is bad lecture. The "you should be punished lecture." He just gave her the opportunity to do better, and went on his way. He knew she did not need it, and that the people who were not clean, should not judge. He taught them both something.

How many times in life do we act as the pharisees. I do it with my children all of the time. They are hiding something from me that they knew what they did was wrong. When I find out about it, I give them a lecture about how wrong it is. Then continue to bring it up for the next few hours or days. I am going to go back, and read the gospels with a new eye. Watching what Jesus did and why. Then I think I can understand him better. Then I think I will begin to know what he expects of me.


faintnot said...

Yes, Nate, yes...this is the way I read the Bible. It is, for me, the way to watch how Jesus handled things, how the promise of God remained true throughout history, that theme of who He is is so much greater than just find scripture to back up our belief systems. I love this about the word and that is what I meant about it being sharper than any two edged sword...your going to love reading this way, I just know it. Try not to back off when your heart cracks wide will never be the same :)

Valorosa said...

:-) He did not come into the world to judge but to save the world.

The world will know that you are my disciples because you love one another.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

For God so loved the "world" ... that pretty much includes everyone ...

jON said...

i agree with faintnot. when you begin to delve into the psyche of jesus, things change drastically. not just looking at "what" he did. but looking for, what you feel, is the real bedrock, the motive, the "why" of the "what".

that's when things get good. and suddenly you're pissing peopleoff left and right without even trying. you just have to be honest about what you feel and think.

i remember reading that there came to be a time that jesus couldn't even enter a town "publicly" because he was such a wanted man.

i wonder what that's like. and if i truly believe in anything so strongly that i'm willing to follow that example.

faintnot said...

Jesus is my Lord. I serve Him and He is very alive. I am not trying to be like Him. I am trusting that He will perform in me to will and to do His good pleasure. I needed to say that least anyone think that Jesus is just an idea I am trying to attain to...I love Him dearly and want to lessen that He may increase in and through me. Lord and my God, thank You for what You have done on the Cross for me, your undeserving servant...

Susan said...

In Australia I find we tend to have the opposite problem we love the sinner but don't get around to saying, "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:11)

Nate said...

Faintnot, thanks for the encouragement. Twice.

Thanks for the quotes, as always you have alot of them. That always amazes me.

I would like to think that I would be willing to do that if asked. I don't think I willed be ask to until Sherri no longer needs doctors so much.

If your churches love people so much, now I know why you have not had the experiences some of the others of us have experienced in church. We are always told to stop sinning.

Valorosa said...

Sherri? Doctors?

I think when the Lord calls you to do something really radical as He does when His plan needs to get on with it ... He gives you the assurance and the boldness to Go. There would be close communion with Him ... He would draw you to that place where He prepared you ... there would be no question as to what your mission was at the time ... so sit tight and enjoy the abundant life He has provided for you and your family and when He calls you, He will not do you the diservice of not being "clear"
Look how many things He did for Moses to build confidence in a mere man to live and move and have his being in the Lord.
Why are you afraid of missing Him? Don't you see that He will commune with you in a way you have never known when and if the time comes for you to do what He wants you to?
look at Jonah ... :-) He does not let you go when He knows you are the one for the job at hand ... and that job may be as simple as raising your cildren in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Nate said...

Sherri? Doctors?

Sherri is my wife. She has been on dialisys for 23 years. She goes to different Doctors at least 3 times a month for different things.

Lee said...

Great post. I live in Australia and I have experienced the Pharisee approach to grace in previous churches. Many churches, and Christians, seem so concerned with image now-a-days that we have forgotten the whole point of Christianity.

I thank God that Jesus never treated the average Joe Blo the way I have seen many troubled souls treated in church life. Talk about kicking someone when they're down!

It is interesting that Jesus was so accepting of people that the tax collectors and prostitutes wanted to hang out with him even before they were "converted". How many prostitutes do you know who want to hang out with churchies? We have certainly taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way, and I pray that God forgives my own narrow-mindedness, and finds a way to bring to himself those walking wounded church rejected vagabonds that we the church have gutted.

Thanks for bringing this to light. Lee

Valorosa said...

Wow .. 23 years .. dialysis is no walk in the park ...

Prayers and blessings to you while you battle and may the joy of the Lord be your strength.


jON said...

happy birthday by the way. sorry i missed it yesterday. hope you had a great day.