This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.”
Let God teach you what is good... or don’t. But don’t think you get the good “paths” too!
I’ve recently had the opportunity to talk so some “unchurched” girls in our jr. high girls Bible Study at church. I think they were trying to get a rise out of me and trying to get me to react to their curious sexual orientation and homosexual relatives. I simply explained to them that Christians don’t hate gay people at all; they are perfectly welcome to come to church. What they seem to misunderstand about Christianity is that we want God to decide what is good for us and lead us along good and right paths. We’re not the ones determining the sins or plan on changing with the times.
God decides what behaviors are sins and what aren’t. These girls said they believe in God and they believe in the Bible. Lots of people do. The part they don’t like is the fact that God says there are some things a person should not do. But they readily agree that murder, adultery, lying, and cheating are sins and things they don’t feel right about pursuing. I told them that God, not our church, put homosexuality in the sin category too. Simple. God teaches us what is good even if it’s contradictory to what society says is good.
People want good and right paths to follow WITHOUT the proper instruction from the Lord that actually gets us there!
I hope those girls come back to class. They need to learn about how kind and forgiving and full of grace God is; that’s what will give them a desire to have a relationship with him. The Bible says so; His kindness leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) Coming to church with an agenda for God to accept our ideas only leaves a person angry and viewing following Jesus as a big list of don’ts. It makes their view of God very, very small. The people who think they have no reason to repent are the “intolerant” ones and the ones with the “problem” not the Believers in the church.
If Christians had a problem with sinners, homosexuals in particular, we wouldn’t tell them what the Bible says about the matter at all – we’d want them to end up in hell. And these days pastors are sharing passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 at their own risk as the political correctness machine is taking over. Personal risk! Does that seem intolerant and hateful? Actual hatred is letting someone think what they’re doing is ok when it’s not ok and letting them get punished for it for all eternity. Telling someone what sins are is not hatred or intolerance. It’s kind. It’s letting God be the teacher who leads us where to go not vice-versa.
I pray for those dear, sweet, misguided girls who showed up in our class. They are obviously seeking, and I pray that they would seek you with all of their heart – ignoring the socially accepted – so that they would actually find you! Help them, even as I’m praying for them right now, to open their hearts to the truths they heard from the worship music and our study time. Give them things to think about before they go to sleep tonight so they would have a relationship with you even if no one else in their family wants to. You can make them strong and brave, and you want them to be with you forever. And that is what I LOVE about you. You are so kind and good, and I just can’t thank you enough. And I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
By the way...
“Separation of Church and State” goes both ways.
The Founding Fathers had left a country where a long time ago King Henry VIII intertwined government and religion. The government had made their state religion a personal and financial requirement for everyone. In America, the desire to prevent the government from forcing citizens to pay taxes to regulate the religion of the government was top priority. In no way does it mean citizens are prohibited from talking about their religion in public places. Society has mistakenly believed that prayer in school or the Ten Commandments displayed in courthouses is a violation of that. It’s not. In no way is student prayer around a flag pole forcing people to financially support a state run church. But we are being led to believe such a public act is a violation of church and state when it absolutely is not.
Fine. Let people think that... BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!
If the government intends Christianity not be allowed to seep into the public, then likewise the government can’t seep into Christianity. Separation of Church and State goes both ways. The government is unable to dictate what sin is. God, the head of our religion, decides what a sin is. For the government to do so would mean that it is the head of our religion, and that would be against the law.
A religion is not allowed any authority to mandate anything from the government, AND vice versa. The government is not allowed any authority over a religion. Not ever. That is keeping the two separate. So, the government can label teaching from the Bible as “hate speech” if it wants same as I am free to say it’s not. But in all actuality the government has no authority to tell Christians what constitutes a sin - that would be establishing a state religion like Hank 8 did centuries ago. Stand firm, Believers. The law is actually on our side. For now.