Jars of Clay have a beautiful song called “Love Came Down At Christmas”. What I observe among some of my fellow believers makes me wonder if this is true.
I am afraid we have forgotten from where we have come when we feel justified to condemn those who sin differently than we do.
Two recent stories in the news are very disturbing to me. There is a couple in the UK who have been forced to sell their business due to anti-discrimination laws that require them to allow gay couples to stay in their bed and breakfast.
The Supreme Court deputy president, Lady Hale, said the Bulls are free to “manifest their religion” but by refusing to allow homosexual men to share a double bed in their establishment, they were breaking the law. (BY HILARY WHITE Thu Nov 28, 2013 Lifesitenews.com)
Due to the fine imposed, court fees, and bad press that has cost them customers, they are on the verge of bankruptcy.
In Colorado a judge is forcing a Christian baker to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding despite his disapproval of gay marriage.
Do I feel that government intervention in these cases is justified? No. Do I feel that the civil liberties of these business owners are being violated? Yes.
What disturbs me most is that these believers in Christ have made a choice not to do business with people who do not share their morals. The Bible has something very different to say about this.
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. I Corinthian 5:9
Do we forget that it was said of Jesus Christ whom we claim to follow:
New International Version (NIV)
11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus view of sin was more far reaching than the Law of Moses in which the condemning of homosexuality originates.
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’(Loser) is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The point He was making is that none of us can call ourselves more holy than anyone else. Our salvation is not about what sins we do or don’t commit. Our identification as Christians is because of a Savior who was willing to take all our sin in His sacrificial death. Our hope is in the power of His resurrection from the dead. The same power that will raise us up to eternal life.
What should be our reaction to those who do not share our values?
14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. I John 3:14
Love for Enemies
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I think it is time for Christians to live up to the name they bear and not choose who they will and will not love, but be obedient to the words of the Lord. By showing love rather than hate they will follow their Lord’s example. Perhaps in loving, they will be the difference of one soul’s journey from death to life.
Love came down on Christmas Day and His name is Jesus.