A dialogue that I was watching on Facebook yesterday reminded me of how often our dialogue as Christians toward unbelievers (or about unbelievers as often times we like to talk about them and not actually dialogue with them) puts up a barrier to the Gospel.
How much of evangelicals’ political rhetoric toward those on the opposing side of the “culture war,” under the guise of “speaking the truth” is unloving and not Christ-honoring.
It reminded me of a sermon clip from Matt Chandler that I watched awhile back, and posted on Caffeinated Thoughts, but I thought it was apropos to post it here.
Friends, I haven’t arrived. I struggle with this. I’ve likely been that pastor and have been a noisy gong when I’ve preached or blogged. I’ve seen the other side when I’ve met with the 14-year-old prostitute in a juvenile detention center and the 17-year-old homosexual boy who has a lousy relationship with his earthly dad, but needs so desperately to hear about his Heavenly one.
They’ve been passed around, used and abused, and often we look at them on judgment. In our battle against sin are we actually engaging sinners? Are we loving and serving them? Do we realize that though some of the least, the last and the lost who often have little regard for themselves, and society doesn’t place any value on them that Christ cherishes them?
They are the broken, battered rose whom Jesus desperately wants. We were that rose as well at some point in our lives. Consider what the Apostle Paul said to the Corinthian Church who also had their fair share of sexual immorality:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God, (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, NIV).
Jesus wants the rose, and we would do well to remember that as we engage people who don’t yet know Christ because we were in the same boat.