Darryl's thoughts on the Christian Faith, Facts, and World Events
I believe that the most unloving thing that a Christian can tell a non-Christian is, "You don't have any sins. You don't need to repent from your sins." Because this simply is a lie that will make the person feel better for a moment but will result in them suffering in hell for eternity.
Dear President Obama, (Open Letter)
I want to take this opportunity to say that I agree with what you said, "When I listen to less than loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned." Since you didn't explain what you meant by that statement, please allow me to explain to you what I would mean if I said it.
We hear a lot about "love" these days but most people don't know what "love" even means anymore. Jesus said, that in the last days, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." (Matthew 24:12 NLT) Sometimes people wrongly assume that if you love someone that you must like or approve of everything that they say, think, or do. Mr. President, you have two daughters and I'm sure that you love them but when they were babies, I doubt very much that you liked changing diapers any more than I do. But but you did it because you love them and you didn't want them to get diaper rash. I'm sure that as they grow up and go to college they will say and do things that you don't like, but you will still love them. What if one of your daughters came to you one day and said, "Dad, I'm a Republican." Would you like it? Would you still love her? I'm sure you would. I'm sure the at First Lady loves you but if she catches you eating junk food, she wouldn't like it because she doesn't want you to get sick or die too early.
Sometimes, true love means telling people the painful truth. Let's imagine that the First Lady started having headaches and the only doctor that was available to you was Dr. Ben Carson. I'm sure that Dr. Carson would do his best to read the various test results as accurately as possible and then he tell you the truth, about whether or not she has a brain tumor, needs surgery, and the risks and pain associated with the surgery. I believe that Dr. Carson would tell your wife the truth because that is the loving thing to do. If Dr. Carson was unloving, he would tell her that she is fine and healthy even when he saw a treatable brain tumor on the MRI scan. Your wife would go away happy because, Dr. Carson said "I am completely healthy." How would you feel if she died a painful and unnecessary death a few months later? That would be unloving. This is what Ephesians 4:15 says, "but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ," Contrast that verse with what Psalms 52:3 says about "Doeg", "You love evil more than good and lies more than truth."
I believe that the most unloving thing that a Christian can say to a non-Christian is, "You don't have any sins. You don't need to repent from your sins." Because this simply is a lie that will make the person feel better for a moment but will result in them suffering in hell for eternity.
Let's take a look at a frequently misunderstood passage 1 Timothy 1:5-11,
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently. We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God. http://biblehub.com/nlt/1_timothy/1.htm
If we are honest with ourselves, we all are mentioned in this passage, while most of us aren't slave traders, many of us are sexually immoral, liars, promise breakers, and anything else that contradicts wholesome teaching. It is sad that Christians have used this verse to single out homosexuality as a special sin, when in reality this verse says that homosexuals are equal sinners in God's eyes as the rest of us. Just as it would be unloving to tell a slave trader, "you were born that way and so while Jesus Christ may be able to forgive and transform the promise breakers, God can't change you." It is also unloving to tell homosexuals that God can't transform their lives as well.
Here is another passage that has been frequently misused 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
If you took this list and made it into a scavenger hunt, I'm sure you could find people with most of those sins in Congress! I'm sure the NSA could find all of them in Washington DC. Of course, don't get too excited because, there are a lot of people who feel pretty cheated over Obamacare so if you look at yourself you are on that list too, as am I (but I'll leave that to you to work out between you and God). But the point of this passage isn't that "none of these (sinners) will inherit the Kingdom of God" but that "Some of you were once like that but you were cleansed...." I do not believe that Christians should discriminate against homosexuals by telling them that all of the other sinners (like me) can be cleansed and made holy but that they cannot be made holy so we need to just pretend that they don't need to be forgiven and transformed by Jesus Christ.
On a final note, we must acknowledge the fact that not everyone who claims to be Christian really is a Christian. That is clear from Matthew 25. Some people are just pretending to be Christian, in your own words, "if a jayvee team puts on Laker's uniforms, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant." The good news is that if we genuinely turn from our sins and turn to Christ for forgiveness and allow Him to take his rightful place as God and King of our lives, He will "clothe us in righteousness." This is better than being a real Laker and having a real uniform.
I just want to say that Jesus Christ truly loves you, President Obama, and because of the grace that God has given me, so do I.
In Christ's Love,
Apologist in Exile
A Christian Apologist, Author, Missionary, Husband, and Father. Darryl has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University (CA), an MA in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University (CA), and a BA in Political Science from Truman State University (MO).
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