How we navigate this conversation will determine a lot in the future for the Church. I would say this is a critical time and one that we must take very seriously. Here are a few things I believe we must keep in mind as we converse with people about this subject:
- Make God’s transformation priority. The only thing guilting or shaming people into conforming their behavior accomplishes is bitterness toward Jesus or us being attacked – or both. In this conversation we have to embrace our theology at very practical levels. Sanctification is God’s job (Philippians 1:6). We cannot confuse God’s transformative work in a persons life with a person who conforms their behaviors so that they look like they’ve been transformed.
- Be careful to not judge non-Christians. 1 Corinthians 5:12 is very clear that it is not our place to judge people “outside” of the Church. We cannot expect people who are not believers to act like believers. Additionally, there are countless people within the Church that need to be walked with in this struggle and wrongly judging people severely hinders that.
- Truth is a Person. In John 14:6 Jesus says that he is the truth. In other words, truth is not morality nor is it simply doctrinal statements. Truth is summed up in a Person and his name is Jesus. That to say, as Christians, we proclaim truth (Jesus) to a lost world, not behavioral standards. This line must be walked carefully.
Tomorrow I will post one more blog on this topic and then we will be on to the next…