How Deep Is The Confusion?
We live in a pretty unsettled world. Our own political framework has created protest and demonstrations about new policy changes from medical care to immigration. It is amazing how conflicted our nation has become… and yet at the same time not surprising. I was listening to the radio this morning when I heard that the Boy Scouts of America have now decided to accept children who are transgender – the times are changing and it has become more complex to deal with every changing value system in our culture, and yet, at the same time maintain a sense of extending grace and truth into the lives of those around us.
The Necessity Of The Gospel:
What this does tell us is that our world is very broken and become increasingly complex. The gospel becomes more and more critical in a world that is moving further from, not just traditional values, but certainly Christian values. We will struggle with holding to truth and loving those who have no interest in a Christ-centered focus. Practically we are going to have to figure out how to speak into people’s lives who are setting their own parameters, on the one hand, but also, decide how important it is for us to enforce God’s truth or simply choose to let God be the final judge. The other problem is that we are discovering that some Christians “don’t really care” about some of these issues and are somewhat indifferent to the whole thing… at least for now.
What Is Our Role? What Is God’s Role?
We talk a great deal in Christian circles about accountability, discipline, and whether we admit it or not, how to enforce God’s truth without becoming legalistic. We have a high obligation to affirm God’s truth, but we are not always sure how we implement or impose that truth on others. While that sounds harsh this motif is driven by our understanding of the Scriptures when it advocates for “church discipline” – which at its core is focusing on resolving moral sin against one another. What may be interesting is that this activity of “discipline” is not spurned on overtly if we disagree on doctrinal issues but on moral offenses between people (Matthew 18:15-20). In the same context Jesus encourages an endless readiness to forgive others, as Peter asks “…how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him” (Matthew 18:21-35).
What Should We Focus On?
Time and space does not allow me to hardly begin to address the scope of this issue and it is sometimes dangerous even to bring it up if we can’t really explore it properly. But one thing I offer, to contemplate on, is this question: what does standing firmly on truth mean for us? In part, one can argue that behavior is always built on what we believe which is, of course, our greatest assumption right now. But in our effort to determine what our role is in this whole picture of dealing with complex “moral issues”, and how to continue to offer the gospel in love and grace, the struggle is: what exactly is God’s role and what is our role and responsibility? There may be a difference between challenging people based on our conviction to defend doctrinal truth as opposed to moral evil (sin) towards me personally. If we explore this path we may discover a distinction towards affirming truth and defending truth.
For your contemplation,