Thursday, January 15, 2009

Liberal and Christian - that is me.

I have written about my liberal views before, but for whatever reason I feel like I need to revisit the subject and put down some more of my thoughts on the subject.

It seems as though a few people (namely Christians) have a problem with my liberal views, and have told me so over the last couple of days. It has been said that I am not a true Christian, that I do not appreciate the truth and that I do not truly love the Lord.

These conclusions were drawn based on the fact that I disagreed with someone on biblical interpretations of sin, judgment and homosexuality (among other things found sinful). Wow is all I can say. My fate is sealed I guess.

I find it interesting that Paul had this same discussion with the Romans some 2000 years ago. In Romans 3:20 he says that no one will be declared righteous by observing the law. No one. Read further: Paul states God has a made a path, for us, to become right with him apart from the law - righteousness is faith in Jesus Christ - open to all who believe.

The passage also goes on to say that we are justified freely by his grace, God brought Jesus to us as an atonement. There are no good works that will bring us to salvation. None.

There are a lot of things that are sinful in our nature, for sure. Some of us are liars, gluttons, adulterers, murderers, fornicators, cheaters, slanderers, gossips, I could go on and on. There is no one, from the beginning of time until the end who has not erred in some way.

Why must we placate ourselves and say - well, at least I didn't do x,y,z? Or yet proclaim - I turned away from my sin and [those other people, whose sin I find repugnant] can't (or don't) turn away from theirs.

Yes, we may repent and then never lie or cheat again, for exapmpe, but we may end up gossiping next week. It is the same thing, just a different manifestation. We will never completely turn our back on sin for as long as we have breath. It matters not whether it's the same sin we commit daily, or a different one that crops up tomorrow, or the next day, or the next... Our fate is indeed sealed. We will err no matter who we are.

This same illustration is one Jesus pointed out to the Jewish leaders in Luke 18. The Pharisees stood up and said in essence "Thank God I am not like those other people." Jesus stopped them cold when he showed mercy to the reviled tax collector instead of them, calling the leaders hypocrites.

This is what I see happening a lot of times today; Christians say 'well at least I am not a homosexual, prostitute, drug addict, pervert, etc - I can rest assured that my soul is going to heaven because I have been saved'. What would Jesus say to this? It is my belief that he would round on us and say "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18:14.

So, go ahead and chastise me for my liberal ways. Tell me that my beliefs are what is wrong with the world today. I am secure in my relationship with my God. I pray daily, that my life will be lived as a sacrifice to him; that when I enter a public place (or, as I go about my business in my own home, with my own family) I would bring his light with me, leaving a bit of it behind as I exit.

I also pray that the words of my mouth and the deep thoughts of my heart will be pleasing to him. I ask forgiveness when I stray off his path for me and plead that he test my heart, know my anxious ways, and lead me in his way that will endure forever.  I don't however, spend hours a day chastising myself for my sin.  Choosing rather, to focus on the things I do right, and glory in the grace and mercy of Jesus. It's a much more positive way to live, I believe. 

I can only take care of myself. I can't be the conscience of anyone else, nor do I want to be. Hearts are judged by God and God alone.