On the Good Fight

aka HATE THE SIN!

Another Idea that I can live without. I am sharing based on personal experience. 

Hate it Hard!

What sin? Addiction to cigarettes or peanut butter? Lets all congregate to boycott peanut butter, out of love for our brothers and sisters that find peanut butter a weakness! The sin of desiring love, like every single person on the planet? The sin of hanging with folks that encourage, and avoid others that have a knack for fault finding?

The Good Fight isn’t against our neighbors. The Good Fight isn’t against the People of the “world”. It isn’t against our sisters and brothers.

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Hate the Sin- Love the Sinner

Oh brother. Man, I don’t like this mantra. I think this one deserves a drop kick.

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

 

I have heard people say this to and about others. How about let’s not worry what their sin is? If they battle with cigarettes, but haven’t smoked dope in a year; I think they are walking in the right direction. If God is working in their heart with something more pertinent, (like where they might live, staying away from friends who do dope, or anything for that matter) why bring to their attention something that God is fully aware of?

If they were homeless and working out their living situation, their “newly discovered” sin could be the least of their concerns. It might not even be what God is dealing with them about. Is it our place to say to a person’s face what they need to change here and now, just because it is “obvious” to us? Having eyeballs doesn’t equal great discernment. If we see someone, and the only thing we have to offer is where they don’t measure up, we aren’t helping. They have their lives, their family, their struggles, and so much more. Lip service isn’t resolution.

Greeting people now-a-days as a sinner is fighting words. They don’t have enough problems, or hear in some form how they don’t measure up? Throw on another weight! I can carry it.

What the Good Samaritan Didn’t Say:

 “Breh! You are naked and hurt and stinketh! Laters! Hate the sin! Each man reaps what he sows! Watcha do to deserve this one man!?” 

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Intentions of the Heart

 

I think God looks at the intentions and motivations. I have stuck my foot in my mouth before and hurt others, with that being the last thing I ever wanted to happen (I have also done it on purpose before…). People bump up. I cannot think of one day in my life where everything was perfect. I am sure almost every day, I have made a mistake in some form. Even if the mistake was as minute as dropping something on the ground.

Not Judge

We cannot judge justly. I find it really simple. As far as church jargon goes, here is my take on the “body” and the “world”:

The Church: Sisters and Brothers

Accountability!!!! Hold them accountable!!

Galatians 6:1

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

I have been on the receiving end of this. I am talking about from people around my age, that weren’t church leaders. It was easy for them to say what they considered “sin” since it was so different than their own weaknesses. It was different than other good docile Christian Americans (just my experience). I could have picked out some for them too; I just didn’t. Annoying. Unhelpful. Didn’t fix the problem. They normally didn’t stick around. I just heard one more reason of why I was faulty, broken and helpless, from another imperfect human. Awesome sauce. 

This doesn’t say set a bar that reveals inferiority, or point the finger and walk away. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses…really. It also refers to brothers and sisters indicating relationship. Not just a big smile once a week, then spiritual insight to point out a fault. Think about it. If there is something that needs improvement in one’s life, pointing out a fault and moving along doesn’t offer resolution. It just indicates that they aren’t good enough. If that were the case, I don’t suppose Jesus would have come and washed them clean. Right? He determined we were worth it, all of us in the “church” or “world” alike. Balance maybe…

Who is the accuser?

Forgiven, except when… Better confess in front of me, just so I know you did it right…

Acts 10:15

The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

If Christ was made sin for us, either we are or we aren’t clean. It didn’t say perfect. Who is? Guess that is why the Word talks about growth so much. Life is a step by step process. Someone doesn’t wake up with a dream to be a doctor, and instantaneously have a fancy title and stop learning. Even doctors continue their education throughout their career. Life is a journey? Even Pastors and priests are fallible. They still wake up human. They still put their pants on one leg at a time.

The World

Non-believers? Other human beings like myself? Others that share my same needs? Talking about the flesh and blood part. I have that stuff too. The part we don’t pistol whip…er sword whip.

John 3:16-17

He loves them. He didn’t come to condemn them. We shouldn’t either. It is finished? He did the work. Do they really know that? Are they accosted with their shortcomings? A good holy bashing?

Sir, I see you are a sinner (you suck, I am better than you, my life is perfect, I have grace and you don’t! I automatically know what you believe; your face gave it away, I know your future, you are below me, I know better than you do in regards to your life) and would like to tell you about Jesus…

Fail.

What if they had a family member in the hospital fighting for their life, and the only hope we offer them is hell? Awesome! Sad face.

Proverbs 13:12

Good news or Bad?

Thanks man…

Our sight is biased. Our sight is limited. Guess that is why our title isn’t Judge.

I am not talking about how we observe things and form an opinion. I am talking about how we treat others, based on things that really aren’t our business. Based on a gauge that is faulty. We really don’t know what is best for others. Some things may seem painfully obvious, or common sense, but fault finding still isn’t a solution.

James 4:12

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?

Matthew 7:3-5

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Cover vs. Expose

God isn’t afraid of people that carry a nasty stigma due to our culture, or for whatever reason. I swear God isn’t this big wuss. I just don’t see Him that way.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

We should be happy for this. If not for this, even the “perfect” that grace away having extra pie for dessert (moderation) would BURN (Romans 3:20)!

God had a dream when he designed us. He had a purpose. He gave people strengths that no one else has. Why not encourage and try to develop that? Why stifle it because it isn’twhat we think they are “supposed” to do? Says who? The good people sitting in the pews? The witnesses? 

If God had a dream for me, if He died for me; He did for everyone (world?). So I suppose when I look at people that are categorized as “sinners”, or “second class”; I think that label is bull. Their true design was that of family. They are my brother and sister. That was the point right? He already paid the price. Their ransom was paid. Why should I flog them if they see things differently? What shall I ever do if they are “deceived”?! Fight them? Use my mighty sword against them? Hurt them? Use my spiritual who-doo to change their minds? Use my fancy pants magical fingers to change their heart? I don’t accost people with my personal commandments for their life. I ask God to move for them, if it is in health, money or whatever. He knows oh so much more than I do.

The Sinner Title

People have called me that. I had to practice patience not to knock their head back on straight. If people call me names that aren’t positive, I don’t know about you, but it hurts. It makes me feel inadequate. Like I don’t have enough problems, now a sin barker? Move it or lose it sir…It doesn’t make my efforts easier. I wonder what makes them so special. I wonder why they feel the need to inform me of shortcomings, like I might not have already know and been battling them daily. I notice things in them and didn’t feel an overcoming need to tell them who do what. Solution? Nope just a point and pass…

If we really believe that God is ultimately the Judge, whose opinion matters most? Judge or Witness?

I thought he made me a part of his family? Not his slave. Not his little pathetic sinner. That would be a job undone…

Wanna Try?

I try to look at the good in others. That is what I strive for. I try to be conscious of it. I try to be conscious of how I would feel in reversed roles.

I guess that is where the fruit of the Spirit come in: Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, meekness and self control. It doesn’t say the fruit of the spirit is great-hate-sin detecting and exposing in church flocks.

Why fortune telling of a hellfire future? I personally have never glanced on the lambs book of life, or don’t have the foggiest idea of someone’s past from their future. I try not to go there. People have done it to me, before and after I have believed. All it really did was test my patience, because I could have imagined 101 fun things I could have done to them. Jesus paid the price. He made us holy as He is holy. That was for the “world” too. The debt is gone. Do they know it? Or do they know that they are second-class and essentially we hate them? We want them to jump through hoops because we said so? They need to confess in prayer to us, because just to God wasn’t enough? We want them to act exactly like we do (“Be a platypus.” said the platypus to the dolphin)? We don’t think they are good enough? We lifted a big holy finger to get to where we are. And? We accepted a gift. That is all. We live. We grow. One step at a time. Everyone’s opinion is different. If we tried to live by the conflicting list of other’s decrees for our lives, we would go crazy. When can we start to follow our own heart? When Brother whodid gives us permission? When Sister whatdo tells us her interpretation of God’s timing and plan for our life? After they call the prayer circle and get more opinions? Think they stand up on “judgment day” to say, “I told you so! God they just wouldn’t obey me!”?

Sin is subjective. Our expectations on others are unfair judgments. We didn’t create them for a specific task. I try to let God deal with what is His. If He is working in someone’s life, I am sure He knows what is pertinent for them to change. I think He knows what might be a first issue to deal with. I think He understands why they feel the need to do what they do, or why they perceive things in their own unique way. I think He understands where they would grow and strive.

Back to Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

See, none of these scriptures I look at end in: unless the person is an abomination. By which denominational standards? What church? They vary.

Except love for gays? Not in this scripture either. 

Sheppard’s guide. If a lamb was lost, would the sheppard find it and beat it to death? With the rod and staff that comfort?

 

Do unto others… AGAIN

I wonder if the original translation of that word indicates a difference, as we do. I mean whether it is reserved only for the church or the world?

Being a mentor and loving someone holds a lot more water than fault finding. Anyone can find fault. Blame is not a solution.  Isn’t that kind of along the lines of the rock throwing that Jesus stood in front of? Regardless of the woman’s title.

Enemies?

Matthew 5: 43-47

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?

Jesus said it. Along with the commandments (Mark 12:30-31) that hold all the laws of the prophets.

A God of Judgment!!

 

I’ve also heard people say God isn’t just a God of love and grace, He is also a God of Judgment. What does that have to do with us? We aren’t witnesses to inflict eternal damnation and hellfire. 

God of Judgment. Right. He is. Not us. He is Love too. He is motivated by love. That is what He commanded us to do: love. He also commanded us not to judge.

I don’t know about you, but when people accost me with my shortcomings, or the battle of I’m right vs you are wrong, it makes me feel terrible. I get angry. I want them out of my face so that I can finish whatever errand I was running. So I can get to work on time. I cannot think of one time that it happened, where I became perfect as soon as they walked away. I cannot think of one time that it happened, where all of my problems fixed themselves. 

The good fight isn’t a free pass to hurt people that are different. It isn’t a free pass for insults and flog on people that have different strengths and weaknesses than us. It isn’t a free pass to measure people against us, because they are on a completely different path to their journey. It isn’t a free pass to hurt someone that understands life and believes differently than we do. It is not a free pass for people that are “deceived” and walking in sin, or at least a weakness that offends us. We have never walked a day in the life of their shoes. It isn’t a free pass to forget the good Samaritan, give them a good kick when no one is looking, and finish our walk to church.

Free for All

Grace is free. Love is free. The Gift from Jesus is free. It is for all. It doesn’t specify except. Except people that eat shellfish? Except people that wear a polyester and cotton blend? Except for people that are menstruating? Except for people that have a different family dynamic than MEMEMEME? Not.

Seriously, He had them in mind too. Is He so shortsighted and uninformed that we have to help Him be God?

Ring Ring Telephone

Hi God, I think you don’t realize what is going on in so-and-so’s life. Just figured I’d call you up to let you know that they are an abomination…

I try to remember when I look at other people, that God designed them to be part of a big family. That was the plan. They are my brother and my sister. We are all human with very valid human needs. Maybe nobody told them the family or righteous part.

I have a hard time believing that my “witness” role is to go around witnessing sin. I thought God sees all? Isn’t it to be a witness to the gift of God and what He did in my life? What He did for me despite the “real world”, my weaknesses, my failure, my strengths, or even my current position on my life’s journey?

Revelation 12:11

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…

More incoming…

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