The Skin of Their Teeth

More and more, I encounter folks who say, “I am a Christian,” but who live with both feet firmly planted in the world. God’s Word has no more weight to them than the latest magazine they are reading. His standards are adopted only as they don’t interfere with the lifestyle they’ve chosen for themselves. They pick and choose what aspects of God’s character they will believe. Several times over the last few months, I have been frustrated to find friends and family members alike who say they are Christians, but who are practicing sinful lifestyles–mostly in the area of sexual immorality. One person said to me, “Yes, I’m a Christian, and I know I shouldn’t be living with my boyfriend. I don’t plan to ever marry, and I don’t plan to ask him to leave. But I do love God. People live together all the time now.” Hmmm, what’s wrong with that picture?

How do we help them understand that God is not One who changes with the whims of society, that His Word is eternal and unchanging? It seems that even the thoughts I share with them from the very Word of God only serve to anger them and bring out the most famous verse in the Bible–“Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Ugh. What I am finding is that I must just let them go. I pray for them, I continue to love them, and after we have had an opportunity to discuss our differences–based on the Word and not my personal opinion–I continue our relationship as before the conversation (as much as they will allow, understanding that I have a problem with their lifestyle). I want to be available if or when they want to talk.

The Bible has some very specific instructions for dealing with wayward brothers and sisters–all with a view toward bringing them back to the Lord. Sadly, in this world of political correctness, it’s becoming more and more common that it doesn’t bring them back, but places them in the league of the bitter and disillusioned. They choose to believe they were wronged–judged (ugh)–unfairly. And they absolutely refuse to accept that their lifestyles have caused Jesus to be dragged through the mud. Rather, it is those who attempted to point them out of their wayward behavior who have embarrassed God with their ‘judgmental’ (ugh) attitudes.

So, do we give up? Do we stop trying to be a witness? We do have our own feet of clay, you know…

Of course, I don’t believe we should give up. God has called us to be His witnesses. When Jesus told us to be His witnesses to the world, I thought He meant for us to witness to the lost…

now I see He also meant for us to witness to those who’ve lost their way…

(c) January 2007

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