I had the opportunity to hang out yesterday with a couple of young adults whom I have great affection for and was able to hear from them what some of the general attitudes are regarding right and wrong and was is considered acceptable among their age-group. I wasn’t the least bit shocked, but still deeply troubled.
I am convinced all over again of the need for disciples of Jesus to be rock solid on our commitment to Truth. I believe that if we compromise at all, we have compromised completely and the stakes are so high. I’m not talking about things that are left to the individual conscience (Romans 14, which, of course calls for limiting ourselves in certain circumstances even if our conscience doesn’t convict us!), but rather those things that are very clearly universally wrong for all people at all times. Keep reading, I’m not calling for protests, militant take-overs, boycotts, or “take our Country back” rallies.
I’m neither a legalist nor a pharisee. I do not believe that being morally upright will get anyone to heaven. I believe that it is the work of the Spirit of God working in an individual to reveal the Son of God who provides salvation through grace alone apart from works of the Law. I believe that this justifying work brings a change in us that causes us to want to live a righteous life (not have to), because it is Christ’s righteous life in us. Further, I do not believe that everything that has been called sin by the pharisees among us is necessarily sin. What I do believe, though, is that Scripture is very clear on what IS sin…on those things I am unwilling to compromise.
On that last point I should be clear: being unwilling to compromise on what is and is not sin is not to say that I am perfectly delivered from all that falls within that category. What I must never do is to change the category of that thing that I struggle with from sin to mere “preference” simply because I like it. I must still call it a sin. Changing my mind on it doesn’t change God’s. If I know that Scripture is clear and I take an “oh, well” attitude, I’M STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR IT because God is the judge, not me. What is DEMANDED of me for forgiveness is to recognize it for what it is and repent of it (which involves turning away from it).
What I must also do is to unconditionally and authentically love those who are completely engulfed in sin without judgment or pride. I must also never make the mistake of believing that loving them enough not to judge is the same thing as being unwilling to confront them regarding that sin. Sin kills. If sin kills and I am unwilling to address that with someone I love, the last thing I am really doing is loving them. Confrontation peppered with grace is incredibly loving and strong…and difficult. But important.
We are all victims of the same cancer called sin. None of us can live perfect lives this side of heaven, but what we can do is live lives that are pleasing to God through acknowledging and repenting of those things that have offended His holiness and caused separation between us. Then forgiveness, healing and restoration comes.
With that at stake, there is no room for compromise.