SCOTUS and the love of Jesus Christ

As many of you know I’m all about learning the truth and then implementing practicals.

Here are two of the “better” articles I’ve seen about the SCOTUS decision:

However, even these miss the point to some extent.

The absolutely correct decision I have only seen one article mention. That is the government should not be in the marriage “business” at all and leave it as a religious/moral decision. This would hail back to the 1700s and 1800s before “marriage” was tied into government. This all started long before then.

Obviously, the main problem with this is that marriage is intimately tied with th tax code and courts at the moment which means in the quest of “fairness” and “equality” marriage would inevitably fall one day. It was guaranteed because democracy is a flawed government system.

However, all of this is beside the point in my opinion. What is done is done, and how Christians should approach the situation I’ve seen everything from protest, to prepare for the worst, to whatever. I think most of these are short sighted in what it means to be a Christian. Fundamentally, being a Christian is about preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and making disciples of all nations.

The Church’s criticism is aimed in the wrong direction.

For the most, I see discussion of homosexuality from a Christian point of view fruitless. Engaging those who believe homosexuality isn’t wrong only alienates those whom God wishes to save. This goes back to the point that the Church’s criticism/admonishment/rebuke should be those inside Church or those who claim to be Christians that do wrong and not those who are outside.

Having done some street evangelism before a much better way to win those who are non-Christians is to emphasize commonalities. For example, instead of coming out and being confrontational about particular issues such as homosexuality or abortion it is much better to share the hope that is in Jesus. That is we all mess up in one way or another, but Jesus was sent by God to die for our sins so that we can have a relationship with the Father. It is AFTER they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and His transforming power that we start to point out potential areas that may need to change in their lives.

Likewise, Paul at Mars Hill in Athens doesn’t go out and preach that people are engaging in idolatry. Instead, he brings he talks about the statue to an unknown God which the Athenians know and uses it as a commonality between them. Then he uses that to preach about the hope in Jesus.

Acts 17:22 So Paul stood in the midst of the [s]Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and [t]exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge [u]the world in righteousness [v]through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men [w]by raising Him from the dead.”

32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you [x]again concerning this.” 33 So Paul went out of their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

The last part is the most important. Some sneered at him, but he won some for the gospel that day. Paul emphasizes commonalities and shares the hope of Jesus through these commonalities rather than being confrontation and calling the non-Christians out as sinners in their idolatry.

Let’s face it. Everything but worshipping God is idolatry. Placing money over God is idolatry. Placing women over God is idolatry. Placing happiness and divorce over God is idolatry. Placing your “sexual identity” over God is idolatry. However, that is not what Paul aims to discuss.

For some reason many Christians think that we must confront “homosexuals” about their “sin” because we are the salt and light of the earth. While this is true, it does not win peoplel for Christ but rather is self righteous. In other words, we need to tell them that they’re sinning. Nothing can be further from the Truth.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin but that making it known is foolish in the grand scheme of winning others to the gospel. The time and place to win people for Christ isn’t to guilt people or shame people that do not believe in Christ of their sin. That is why people turn away from Christ because many times His so-called followers are so judgmental of non-Christians when we are not supposed to be.

1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under [h]the Law, as under [i]the Law though not being myself under [j]the Law, so that I might win those who are under [k]the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

To the sinners I became a sinner that I might win those in sin. Even though I myself am no longer bound by sin in Christ.

This is the whole point of your testomony! Hey, here’s what my life looked like when I was in sin. Then I met Jesus Christ through these circumstances, and my life has changed.

As a Christian I still sin. What separates us from non-Christians isn’t that we don’t sin but we acknowledge that we blow it and repent and turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction. This is because God has allowed Christ to be revealed to us through His grace, and so we share that grace with others. It’s not an “us or them” mentality. After all, we were once them in our own sin.

The love and hope of Jesus Christ to the unsaved

People are hurting everywhere all the time. People are searching for answers. There are many people who believe that their sexual identity and affirmation of their sexual identity is what will solve the pain and hurt in their lives.

  • PUAs and players believe that if they are desired by women or have lots of sex they will have peace.
  • TRP believes that ultimate fulfillment is in maximizing your own happiness with women, career, hobbies, and whatever else.
  • Perhaps homosexuals believe that people affirming their homosexuality and being non-judgmental of them will make them happy and fulfilled.

We know that this is not the case. No one will ever fill the hole in their soul except Jesus Christ and the Father. Yet, if we can’t see past their hurt and pain that we once experienced ourselves we have failed as Christians to understand the love of God in our own lives. We have failed when we express God’s stance on homosexuality when they express their hurt and their pain of being judged, scorned, and hated because they want to be fulfilled and accepted.

It is not their “sin” that we should be pointing out rather the love of God that can take away the hurt, the pain, and the unfulfilled longing. It is only after that their eyes have been opened to the love of God, and they receive His Holy Spirit that their eyes will be opened to their sin.

I intentionally hide my opinion on homosexuality, abortion, divorce, premarital sex, and other controversial topics when discussing it with non-Christians because it is non-productive and it is unwise to share that. Instead, I use the opportunity to discuss identity, lack of fulfillment, lack of happiness, the hurt and the pain — even that other Christians may have CAUSED by proclaiming  that God hates their sin — to share the love and the hope of Jesus Christ.

Here’s the hard Truth. Jesus is the only thing that can transform hearts. Exposing others to what is sin in God’s eyes does not transform hearts.

In effect,  most Christians are emphasizing a particular attribute of the Father at the wrong time — His righteous and just nature versus His loving and merciful nature. This failure on emphasizing the just nature of God instead of His love drives them away from the Father when they need Him the most.

I believe that pointing out non-Christian’s specific sin misses the point of the gospel of Jesus Christ altogether. It fails to acknowledge the brokeness that we all once were in, and the hope that Jesus has for them in love. Those who are hurting need Christians who relate with them in their pain and hurt not those who condemn them and shame them. That is how we show the love of God that we all have received.

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21 Responses to SCOTUS and the love of Jesus Christ

  1. Elspeth says:

    Excellent post, DS,

    I think you’ll appreciate this. Quite relevant to the discussion and ties into your post well:

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/57536

  2. Pingback: SCOTUS and the love of Jesus Christ | Manosphere.com

  3. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ DS,

    Am I misunderstanding your post, or are you really saying that we shouldn’t be upset about the Supreme Court’s ruling? That we shouldn’t be concerned about the wrath of God in response to such things? (And yes, there WILL be some form of manifestation of His wrath in response to this. It’s only a question of when and how.) That we’re not acting like Christians if we point out that homosexuality (and other politically incorrect things) is indeed a sin?

  4. @ FBNF

    Am I misunderstanding your post, or are you really saying that we shouldn’t be upset about the Supreme Court’s ruling?

    Being upset is fine, but it should be used constructively or not at all.

    Does the Supreme Court have the power to change the law of God? No? Then why are we acting like it’s a big deal.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/transcend-your-circumstances/

    We are to be in the world, but not of the world. We already have His law written on our hearts, and no earthly power will change that. However, this ruling opens up the opportunity to share about the hope and love of Jesus more if we are careful to act wisely.

    That we shouldn’t be concerned about the wrath of God in response to such things? (And yes, there WILL be some form of manifestation of His wrath in response to this.

    Correct.

    It’s short sighted to believe the gay marriage is any worse than: Abortion, premarital sex, divorce, churchianity, gluttony, pride, pornography, lust, and every other sin out there that this country has in spades. Judgment will indeed be poured out, but it is not our concern as Christians about the judgment of God that is poured out.

    Instead, our mission has always been clear as Christians to do what Jesus commanded: go and make disciples of all nations, love God with everything, and to love one another as He has loved us.

    That we’re not acting like Christians if we point out that homosexuality (and other politically incorrect things) is indeed a sin?

    Correct, IF you are speaking to non-Christians. You need to approach various populations specifically.

    Christians are to police other Christians through teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness. This is also what Scripture is for (2 Tim 3:16).

    We are to win the harvest of non-Christians to Jesus by showing them the hope and love of Jesus. Not telling them what is and what isn’t sinful as if they were already Christians.

    As I said: The hope and love of Jesus Christ transforms hearts. Telling non-Christians about their sin doesn’t transform hearts.

  5. @ Elspeth

    Yes, Christians have always been too quick to go to an “us versus them” mentality not realizing that we were also sinners before we accepted Christ. There are many planks that need to be removed.

    We were won to the Father through love and hope in Jesus Christ. Not in fear of judgment, shame, or condemnation but of the power of the only Love that transforms hearts. It was the Love that made us aware of our wickedness, and it was the Love that called our hearts to repentance.

    Or rather, it is God’s [loving]-kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4) and not His judgment.

    I was also reminded of this, which I suppose is pretty clear for those in the manosphere:

    Revelation 2:2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and [b]perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have [c]perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the [d]deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

  6. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ DS

    It’s short sighted to believe the gay marriage is any worse than: Abortion, premarital sex, divorce, churchianity, gluttony, pride, pornography, lust, and every other sin out there that this country has in spades. Judgment will indeed be poured out, but it is not our concern as Christians about the judgment of God that is poured out.

    This is where you’re off here. There are levels of sins, such that some are worse than others to God. Mortal Sins are worse than Venial Sins. Homosexuality is among the worst. It’s one of those [4] sins that “cries out to Heaven for vengeance.” Keep in mind, God completely destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah specifically because of their rampant homosexual activity. And God is the same yesterday, today and forever. It would be very foolish of us to believe that He won’t inflict something very serious and catastrophic as punishment for something like this. God is Love, but He’s just as much a Righteous Judge. The more off course our society gets (especially in areas like this that have caused other societies to be razed to the ground in the past) we SHOULD be extremely concerned. Why aren’t you?

  7. @ FBNF

    Keep in mind, God completely destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah specifically because of their rampant homosexual activity.

    Not the whole story.

    Ezekiel 16:46 Now your older sister is Samaria, who lives [x]north of you with her [y]daughters; and your younger sister, who lives [z]south of you, is Sodom with her [aa]daughters. 47 Yet you have not merely walked in their ways or done according to their abominations; but, as if that were too little, you acted more corruptly in all your conduct than they. 48 As I live,” declares the Lord God, “Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not [ab]help the poor and needy. 50 Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them [ac]when I saw it.

    This also jives with James on what pure religion is:

    James 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not [ab]bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained [ac]by the world.

    The more off course our society gets (especially in areas like this that have caused other societies to be razed to the ground in the past) we SHOULD be extremely concerned. Why aren’t you?

    Worrying about things you have no control over is fruitless. I have control over myself, and God has told me to love Him, love one another as He has loved us, and to spread the gospel.

    I may be persecuted more or less because of circumstances in society, but the “decay of society” around me does not change the commands of Christ that I am to obey.

    I’m not off track at all.

  8. Taylor says:

    Deep Strength, I agree with you in part. Christians should not be in the business of talking to non-Christians about the politics of social issues or social conservatism’s positions. This is best kept in Christian settings that intimately concerns the interaction of the godly in the surrounding secular culture.

    I cannot fully justify the rest. The Christian conscience is rightly directed at preserving religious liberty in these dark times in speech and action. The first main issue I see is with divorce, child custody, adoption, DNR orders, inheritance. These are all issues directly tied with the State (in fact, I say specifically state governments and not federal governments). The current environment in the US means we need a way to know if you’re divorced, who gets to adopt orphaned children, and how to protect children of divorced parents.

    We have had in the Christian sector of the blogosphere long discussions about the family courts. I don’t think anyone can debate for a Christian removal from the upbringing argument that state courts can no longer adjudicate, since they would be removed from the marriage business. Christians owe it to future generations to fight civicly against perversions that bring misery to young kids (speaking of adopted kids raised by gay parents, single motherhood by government paycheck/child support), even as we aim to save souls in public discourse, not win arguments.

    It isn’t about confronting homosexuals. It’s about fighting to preserve vestiges of liberty in dismal times. That’s properly-directed civic responsibility and duty to children yet unborn. I don’t want to have difficulty explaining to my grandchildren what I did to keep pastors and their parsonage free to marry and free from taxation and fines. Why I have to search out gay couples as employees to avoid discrimination fines, the shutting down of my business, and imprisonment. Was I fatalistic to assume this was the final descent to end-times generousness, and sit idly by as these laws were passed, for fear of being seen involving myself in the democratic process at the cost of the soul-saving evangelism?

    I still think my mission in life is to spread the gospel as Christ’s commissioned agent on earth. My actions in participatory republicanism aren’t even visible on the same scale of intensity. I don’t have the full breadth of this worked out. I’ll have to wait until the first gay acquaintance invites me to their wedding, or to perform at their wedding, to decide if that was “consenting to those that practice them” or “[going] to the Pharisee’s house and sat down to eat” (as examples, Ro 1:32, Lk 7:36). I can only say I agree when my pastor told me he would refuse to marry two gays, despite what others might say about that not showing the love of Jesus Christ.

    Regardless, God has given us his Spirit as a guide to work out these things in our hearts. God does not condemn us for moving in one direction with prayer and fasting. As Paul preached to the church at Corinth, a town steeped in pagan rituals, that it’s God’s wisdom we declare, not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age (that proclaim it wise to declare wonderful these unions of love). Right now, I regard a full seclusion from public activity on this topic to be too far for my conscience. The persecution of the Church will come, and to some extent that’s the unavoidable course of things. I think that exists alongside current attempts to preserve an easy atmosphere to spread the gospel through pastors at liberty to obey their conscience and schools turning out free-thinking individuals (aka still legally allowed to homeschool, teach kids the truths of the bible free of consequence of hate crime accusations).

  9. @ Taylor

    You may be surprised, but I agree with you.

    I think that Christians should do everything within legal means to fight for rights because we can according to the law.

    However, fighting for rights does not mean condemning or shame others for their lack of so-called morality. That turns people away from being able to witness to them.

    These two nuanced positions are different than each other, but because “fighting for rights” often goes with “shaming the opposition and condemning their morality” it’s hard to distinguish between them.

    In the OP I only approached it from the aspects of no condemnation, but I agree that we should fight for rights.

  10. Don Quixote says:

    Great post DS.
    I agree that we should focus on the commands of the Lord for us. As we are moving quickly into the times described in the book of Revelation, we’ll do well to consider how we should prepare for what is coming.
    I wondering how long before we see militant homosexuals suing churches for not marrying them, I know there are already a few cases involving florists and cake decorators, but I think we will see a ramp-up now.

  11. meh
    the gospel coalition does not even believe in Gender roles
    and calls men providing for their families a stereotype and not biblical

    can’t really take a group a christians who ignore parts of the bible seriously

  12. @ jonakc1

    True, but they can be right on one thing and wrong on others.

  13. hearthie says:

    -like-
    Wrote this yday… https://hearthtobelovely.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/a-tree/

    I completely agree with you – our work is getting out the Gospel, not pricking peoples’ consciences – that job is the Holy Spirit’s.

    This will be good for the church. In time. We’re getting purified, and that’s good. May we get centered and focused on Him.

  14. feeriker says:

    Having done some street evangelism before a much better way to win those who are non-Christians is to emphasize commonalities. For example, instead of coming out and being confrontational about particular issues such as homosexuality or abortion it is much better to share the hope that is in Jesus. That is we all mess up in one way or another, but Jesus was sent by God to die for our sins so that we can have a relationship with the Father. It is AFTER they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and His transforming power that we start to point out potential areas that may need to change in their lives.

    Exactly. The “belching fire and brimstone” approach invites only ridicule and hostility from non-believers. Then again, so neglectful are most churches of apologetics (i.e., teaching the Bible to the point where intimate familiarity with its contents is second nature, leading to highly effective evangelism), that F&B is probably the fallback route of least resistance (and certainly least effectiveness). Indeed, for all the lip service it is paid, outreach is probably the lowest priority on most churches’ lists.

  15. Looking Glass says:

    It should be pointed out that the Fire & Brimstone approach is almost wholly a strawman argument. It’s only ever rarely been a part of Christian Evangelism, and that’s mostly confined to the Great Awakening. Which was sermons given to technically Christian churches that really didn’t want to live very Christian. (Jonathan Edward’s classic “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was given at a Church, for instance)

    Be mindful not to project the cultural refrains & media narratives of Christianity with the actual practice. We can’t sit here and be concerned about Churchianity, while then buying into an utter strawman of the World’s creation. Far too much of this discourse is predicated on a mound of lies that have been built up, which we reinforce by not being “one of THOSE Christians”.

  16. JW says:

    John the Baptist was very specific in his denunciation of Herod’s sin. He was continuing in a long prophetic line before him of calling evil evil. In terms of inviting hostility from non-believers, so what? Would you have counselled John the Baptist to back off his incest claims and denounce Herod in less specific terms?

  17. Pingback: SCOTUS and the love of Jesus Christ Part 2 | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  18. Dave says:

    It is not their “sin” that we should be pointing out rather the love of God that can take away the hurt, the pain, and the unfulfilled longing. It is only after that their eyes have been opened to the love of God, and they receive His Holy Spirit that their eyes will be opened to their sin.

    I don’t agree with you and neither does the Scriptures. When a sinner continues in their sin, or are not under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, offering such people God’s love and forgiveness is a wrong move; it only produces unconverted “converts” who do not even begin to appreciate the great work of redemption that Christ did for them on the cross. It is like offering a lifejacket to a man who is sitting comfortably in his house, watching television. “Yeah, I want one; put it anywhere there in the kitchen; I’ll take a look at it later”. He does not appreciate it, because he does not see his need.
    But when a man is drowning in the middle of the Atlantic, a lifejacket becomes a godsend.
    Go through the NT and you will see that Jesus Christ never offered God’s love and forgiveness to those who were not already convicted of their sins and under heavy shame and guilt. Instead, He offered denounciation after denounciation, and threats of God’s impending judgement. To the woman taken in adultery, Jesus offered forgiveness, because she was already convicted of her sins, and covered with the shame and guilt of her actions. But how about the Pharisees and the Sadducees? He never once offered them God’s love and forgiveness because they never saw their sins. But Christ repeatedly brought their sins and and hypocrisies to bear, and would not go until they either broke down or went away.
    It is impossible to get a sinner saved without addressing their sin problem. You might as well talk of pardoning Edward Snowden without talking about the state secret he took with him.

  19. @ Dave

    I don’t agree with you and neither does the Scriptures

    Take for example the Samaritan woman at the well:

    [..] John 4:15 The woman *said to Him, “[c]Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He *said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus *said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 19 The woman *said to Him, “[d]Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is [e]spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman *said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus *said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

    Jesus does not go up to this woman and say… “hey, you’ve been divorced 5 times and you’re living in sin with a man who isn’t your husband” even though that is the truth. Rather, He gives a prophetic word about her life and sticks to explaining about who He is rather than condemning her.

    Directly calling out people in their sin tends to not work out that well at least with the population(s) that I’m talking about — the “middle class protestors.”

    However, I do agree that fire and brimstone preaching can be useful depending on the particular population and situation. A commentor on the next post made the comment about how some of the population who were alcoholics and drug addicts need that kick in the butt to be saved.

  20. Pingback: Shaming doesn’t work Part 2 | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

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