Bible Studies/sharing the word
QUESTION: Hello Teacher Scott!
well this time I dont have a question. Actually, I was
talking to a neighbor from Maine. Texting actually, since I now live in Florida. He wrote me that his daughter is engaged to another girl!
They are both living in his home which I let him know I didn't agree with. He agrees it is wrong but we disagree with letting them live there.
so anyway, after a lot of back and forth, he decided he wanted nothing more to do with me.(that just breaks my heart-Not)
But I wrote back that it was a typical reaction.
At any rate it sure feels good to know Gods Word well enough to tell my neighbor what I believe.
Now I think that must be how you feel!
ANSWER: Hi Joyce,
I believe the Bible is clear on homosexual relationships. It's wrong. No question about it.
However, the question is, how do we treat those who violate God's commands?
There was a time that I believed it was best to speak up and let the world know what God says. It's easy to condemn others for choices that violate God's rules.
But then I asked myself, what would Jesus do? Case in point. When He met the woman at the well, did He focus on her sins? No. He treated her with an unbelievable amount of grace and forgiveness. He came to help her, not to preach.
Now, if you read the story, you'll find that Jesus did not condone her sin. He told her that He knew she was living with a man to whom she was not married. But He did not make that the emphasis of his conversation. Nor did He let that stand in the way of caring for her and meeting her needs.
We all know we're sinners. We need grace, not condemnation. And, when it comes right down to it, who are we to condemn others when we ourselves have violated God's laws ourselves ... and continue to do so?
I'm not saying we should be light on sin. However, sin in others should not lead us to our soap box. Rather, it should remind us that sin is natural for the unsaved person, and it still remains the tendency of even the saved. The sinner is not the problem. Sin is the problem. And sinners are the victims. So we should hate the sin but love the sinner.
I have three siblings. All three of them were kicked out of the house and disowned by my parents because of wrong choices. I think my parents believed that that was the best course of action. They made it clear where they stood, and that they would not tolerate wrong behavior.
The problem is that it didn't do any good. All it did was alienate them from their parents, the people who could do the most good in their lives--who could have the most positive influence.
Hate the sin, love the sinner. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Remove the beam in your own eye before commenting on the splinter in the eye of another. All of these verses indicate that, since God treated us with grace, we ought also to treat others with grace. While that person may not embrace Christ or His principles through such actions, it offers the best hope.
As the saying goes, you can attrace more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. And isn't that the goal--to win over the sinner to God's love, mercy, and grace?
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: You make alot of sense. I think you need to stand up for what you believe. My husband says"if you dont believe something enough to fight for it, then you must not believe it after all. What happened to your siblings is in no way your parents fault. What works for one person doesnt work for the other and they had no way of knowing.
ANSWER: Yes, but is fighting always the appropriate response? We need to look at the ultimate goal of helping people come to Christ. What will most help them to do that?
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Good point about fighting. I could name a few politicians you should talk to. Unfortunately, life isn't always like that. I think if you believe something you need to stand up and if necessary fight for what you believe. If you ALLOW things to go on under your roof, then one must ask if you really believe it after all.
This is the very same thing for which the Pharisees condemned Jesus. He was hanging out with publicans, tax-collectors, and prostitutes, and they assumed that, by doing so, He was condoning their sin. His response was that it's the sick, not the healthy, who need a physician.
We can win the battle but lose the war. Ultimately, what good will have been accomplished?