When I became a Christ-Follower, early on I saw the churches I attended seemed to be very selective on what sins were the bad ones! Though we were regularly taught we were all sinners, it seemed there were no sinners that were church members. We pointed out sins in other people but never admitted to any in ourselves. I actually saw us take partial Bible verses and make them the worst of all. For example, back in the 70’s our church had a standard concocted from a verse in 1 Corinthians that said it was a shame for a man to have long hair. You couldn’t join the church if your hair was “Over your ears, in your eyes or on your collar.” I remember a 500 pound preacher giving us the evils of tobacco and why Christians “Don’t smoke or chew or go with girls who do!”
At the time and for all my years of study, I began to see everyone is imperfect. I am constantly seeing character defects in myself that need corrected. I see a God who is very patient with me. I see times I am an eager student wanting nothing more than God’s will for me. Other times, I wander and want what I want for me. He doesn’t disown me! I believe God’s desire is each of us comes to a place where we want Him, not coerced, not intimidated by religion’s practitioners but just because down deep I’m learning He is really what I need.
Morality cannot be legislated. Laws can be imposed but they never tame the human heart. Did you know most people in churches believe the sin of Sodom was homosexuality? Yet the Bible tells us what it was. In Ezekiel 16, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”
1,000’s of church leaders and members of good churches commit sexual sin. Adultery, looking at pornography and other things that are equally as wrong as homosexuality. 1000’s practice the things God says were Sodom’s issues. We are haughty, overfed and unconcerned. 1,000’s more are obese. Every sin listed in the Bible is regularly practiced in churches all across America.
Why do we want to pick out certain ones and make those the measuring stick whether someone can participate in our organization? What if we asked people before joining the church or the scouts, 1. Are you an angry person? 2. Are you proud? 3. Have you acted in any unloving ways this past week?
The bottom line is God is all-powerful and he chooses to let us choose our path. We work with Him as He wooes us to himself and shows us all the paths we choose for ourselves end up being dead ends, but He allows us to go down them anyway and is waiting when we come to our senses.
Let’s give God the right to be God while we do our best to be growing in our own lives, dealing with our own issues while letting others have the same privilege.
Food for thought,