Friday, November 4, 2016

Who's gonna throw that first stone?

So, Lifeway Christian bookstores are refusing to carry Jen Hatmaker’s books anymore because they say she is supporting the gay lifestyle.

I read what she wrote. I saw where she is supportive of those in the gay lifestyle, I support and love those in the gay lifestyle as well, but not because they are gay. Except at the end where she said that gay relationships could be holy. THAT I differ with her on. But not because they are gay.

Because sin, any sin, Jen, can’t be holy. Nope, just won’t work. 

Homosexuality is a sin, just like lying, gossip, malic, cheating, anger, hatred, selfishness, murder, adultery, stealing, fornication, coveting……….and the list goes on.

We like to categorize sin however, some sins are worse than others we tell ourselves.

 Nope, ALL have sinned.

And don’t tell me that because homosexuals continue in their sin that is the problem. What about those of us that sit in the pew every Sunday that are addicted to food, alcohol, pornography, working out, spending money we don’t have, gossiping at work, complaining and being bitter every day. That would cover most of the people I know. Doesn’t that have to stop? Everyone has failures in their lives that they continue to do Every. Single. Day. If someone followed you around for a day, just what do you do daily that would be sin? Discipline is the issue for most of us, but doesn’t that fall under lack of self-control? That's listed as a sin too. We all struggle with that.

My mother in law was confined to a wheelchair for over 30 years. Being the wife of a preacher put her in situations many times where people where offering to pray for her to be healed. She related to me that one time when a group of folks gathered around her wanting to pray for her healing, she told them: 

“All of us need healing. Emotional, Spiritual, Mental, and Physical. Mine is just outward where you can see it. But just because you can’t see the sickness in others doesn’t mean that they don’t need you to pray for their healing just as much as I do.” 

I loved my mother in law. Wise woman.

The story of the woman caught in adultery comes to mind. Who is “without sin”, and able to cast the first stone.  MERCY!!!

Sin is sin. Paul wrote that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” People use the “all” when it suits them, but they don’t stop to think about the glory; and falling short.

Who is God that he deserves the Glory? He is Holy. A Holy God deserves all the glory we can give him. But we fall short. Perhaps we are more focused on the sinner and the sin, than who they are really sinning against.

In the story of the adulterous woman Jesus directed everyone’s attention back to who it was who was REALLY being offended by the adulterous woman’s sin, and it wasn’t anyone in the crowd, and Jesus didn’t stone her.

We all have fallen short, and are all sick and in need of healing. We are all failing in our lives in one way or another. When you throw your sin in my face, and tell me you don’t care and you will continue in that choice, yes, I am going to tell you you are wrong, not because of your particular sin. Not because I’m perfect. But because God is a Holy God.

We are exhorted to restore and be gentle in the exhortation of those who have lost their focus on God. And that is what it is. When someone has lost their focus on our Holy God, a God of love, compassion, and mercy, we are supposed to be sign posts, and helpers to lead them back.  

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Gal 6:1-3

It is my job to love you, and encourage you, even admonish you, to not look at the wind and waves about you but to look to Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. The one who, because we fall short came to save us. He is the author and perfecter of my faith as well. My weak, failing, banged up faith that I work daily to strengthen at the foot of his cross.

 I’ll go there with you, fellow failure, and we will seek to give our Holy God the glory He is due. And we will seek the healing that only He can give.

May God have mercy on us.......