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.