Friday, June 26, 2015

You May Not Be Mean And Unloving Just Because Someone Thinks You Are

We didn't even know our four year old had an ear infection until his ear drum burst, and we saw blood running out his ear. He was a tough little man. After several weeks of treatment at his pediatrician, he started complaining of pain in the ear. That didn't make sense, so the pediatrician sent us to a specialist who found that he had developed a fungal infection in his ear canal. Treatment required scraping the canal and treating it with a medicine that burned. After several painful trips to the specialist, his ear was cured. About a year later we were driving past the specialist's office, our son saw the office, and began to cry "no, no doctor." Even though the doctor saved his hearing, he really thought the man was mean.

We are living in a culture in which Christians who believe in the goodness of God, in the goodness of His design for life (including His design for human relationships), and who insist on proclaiming His design are considered mean. Certainly some have been. Some have pridefully condemned certain sins and sinners while ignoring others. Yet, many have lovingly proclaimed that unborn children are human beings, worthy of the same right to life as those whose lungs are developed enough to survive outside the womb, not because they hate women or liberty but because they love God, unborn children, and those who practice abortion.

There is a new challenge, another reason to call them mean. Some who claim Christ have been and will be mean-spirited about homosexuality and so-called same sex marriage. Many will not. They will recognize the dignity of all people because God created all in His image. They will lovingly proclaim the life-giving design of God for human relationships, and the power of the Gospel to save any and all sinners. They will be called mean and bigoted. They will be rejected, penalized, and possibly persecuted or prosecuted. Just because they are considered mean doesn't mean they are. But, they could be, and they could quickly become preachers of condemnation, rather than proclaimers of the truth, and the Gospel. 

It is important for them to remember five things. First, the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Second, God loves sinners. Third, "you cannot hate a people and reach a people at the same time" (Ed Stetzer). Fourth, rejection of God's truth is status quo for the human race. Fifth, the only hope the world has is the proclamation of the Gospel, for only God's truth can set the sinner free.