Updated: Aug 7
Choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord - Joshua 24:15
Given the current events, I think it important to remind people what it REALLY means to be a Christian (i.e. person of faith, believer of Christ, follower of God). And to encourage believers who struggle with what they believe while still loving others with different beliefs.. You can, in fact, accept people for who they are, and their choices, while also not condoning or agreeing with their behavior.
In recent months I've been asked whether I am pro-life or pro-choice? My answer, I am pro-"let people do whatever the (insert word) they want to do". Why? Because there are more important things we need to focus on instead of policing human rights and being the sin police (like fighting for justice, caring for the sick and poor, spreading the gospel, etc). And... its very condescending to weaponize the Bible in a way that does not reflect Gods grace.
We have one job: To win souls
Well, two jobs, to love God, and win souls.
Well, there are more jobs, but you get the point. One job we do NOT have is to determine if people go to heaven or hell. That is not on the list…
We have a responsibility to preach the gospel and give people the opportunity to hear it and respond. It should be our mission to live a life that reflects Biblical principles, especially people's right to choose. We should not be distracted by political talking points or church leaders abusing their power. We should understand that weaponizing the Bible actually has the opposite effect on our assignment.
This is BECAUSE:
It makes us seem like extremist
It makes us seem not inclusive
It contradicts Jesus message (folks know)
People are okay with being corrected, but not condemned
All of this causes people to immediately stop listening (hence, the opposite affect of brining folks in.)
Regardless of what side of the political aisle you sit on, or what you personally believe about the Bible, remember that we are not, in fact, God. We are children of God with the responsibility of bringing others in. For example, in the key text, God gave Joshua a message to remind the people all He had done for them and their ancestors. Joshua then basically tells the people, you can do what you want…but I'm still going to serve God. That should really be our response to people. He tells them they have a choice, but if they do choose to serve God, there are some things they cannot do anymore. Which is part of being a good teacher and leader.
Now, there is a difference between teaching and condemning. We can (and should) teach what the Bible says with grace and mercy and understanding. (like Joshua did) Not with self-imposed damnation and especially not by restricting people's human rights. Whether people choose to follow God or not, again, not your business or within your control. Remember the 1 Corinthians 3:8, we can plant sees, but God does the water and makes things grow!
So, Lead with Love and extend Grace!! This is the best way to win souls. You will have much broader reach! (as opposed to supporting people and polices that oppress others and restrict basic human rights.
Live outside the box. Live in purpose. Live on purpose.
Peace. Blessings. Love.