The recent big brouhaha surrounding Chick-Fil-A really put me ta thinkin’. Actually, I didn’t think too much about it until I started seeing such hateful posts pop up on Facebook…and then I started hearing a lot of hateful comments in cubicle-land where I work. And I’m sure there were mean things said from Christians, too, I’m just fortunate enough not to be friends with any of the mean ones.
One of the most common things I kept hearing (well, reading mostly) from anti-Chick-Fil-A people was that Dan Cathy should try to attempt to model Jesus more. It was usually pretty clear that most of them had never cracked a Bible and only knew about Jesus from other sources, but it reminded me of a guy I knew in college who was fond of saying that Jesus didn’t hang out in churches, he hung out with sinners. Now, knowing this guy, he was just looking for a reason not to go to church and a reason to hang out in the bar…but once I became a believer, his words echoed in the back of my head.
And I realized he was right.
But it was only a partial truth. Jesus actually DID go to church; scripture is full of references to him teaching there. But he also hung out with sinners (“hang out” is probably too loose a translation, but hang with me a bit because that is the exact terminology he used to use). The difference is when Jesus hung out with them he always ended up saying, “Hey dude, you’re sinning. Stop it.” (Roland’s paraphrase, of course)
The reactions were generally that the person hearing Jesus said “wow! You’re right. Please forgive me.” Then, Jesus would tell them their sins are forgiven and for them to go and sin no more. That’s the biggie here. Jesus spoke the truth in love and He is indeed all about forgiveness (which is what the hateful voices on the left continue to shout), but he also told those forgiven to stop doing whatever sin they were doing (and they were many). That’s the key.
Forgiveness is about stopping the bad thing you’re doing. I mean, if I steal your car and you find me and you decide to be like Jesus and offer me forgiveness, everything will be fine—so long as I don’t steal your car again! (or someone else’s, for that matter) You’re willing to be forgiving if I stop the bad thing I do, right?
But you gotta stop doing the bad thing.
The problem with the whole homosexual argument these days is that both sides almost seem to suggest that homosexuality is the only sin that should be dealt with today when in reality there’s a whole bunch of other ones too: gluttony, envy, greed, anger, sloth and pride…just to name a few.