It’s always better to be known by what you’re for rather than what you’re against. If we were merely a political organization, it would be time to shift our stance. But our stance is derived from revelation. We didn’t make up our foundational belief about a murdered Galilean rising from the dead. We didn’t make up the stuff about His promise to return on a white horse, riding on a cloud. We also didn’t make up the stuff about how we should live.
We’re for recovery, but against addictions. We’re for honest face to face conversations, but we’re against gossip. We’re for delicious food, but against gluttony. We’re for repentance, but against sin.
But what if we live in a world where there seems to be more sinning than repentance, more addiction than recovery, and more gossip than facts?
We’re for sex, but against all forms of immorality.
But what if there’s more championing of immorality than healthy sex?
From talking with many of you, I know that this article is going to be read by people who hold to a wide variety of viewpoints. We’re a diverse church community because people from every kind of background have found that Jesus is present at Covenant, and He meets us all right where He finds us. It should be no secret that Covenant Church welcomes all people, but by conviction based on scripture, we hold to the view that the only marriage found in scripture is between one man, one woman, bound together by sacred marriage.
This view that is taught by all the major religions and historically has been held by every Christian movement is now so controversial that it can destroy polite conversation. So, how do we keep the conversation focused on Jesus? We shouldn’t cower or even stutter at stating what the Christian position is on any issue. Our focus should be on the things that haven’t changed, can never change, and will always remain true. Our timeless message holds fast to the following universal truths for all times, cultures, and people.
- Everyone reflects God’s image and is endowed with worth.
- Everyone is broken, fallen, and rebellious. Sin is equally distributed across humanity, starting with me.
- Redemption is possible for everyone.
- The terms of redemption are coming to Christ.
- Coming to Christ means that you come as you are, but don’t stay as you are. It begins by expressing repentance and faith.
- It’s OK to not be OK, but if you profess that Christ now lives in you, it’s not OK to stay that way.
We’re not mad at anyone. Our primary message is never morality. Our message is that Jesus Christ is who He said He is. If Jesus is not Lord, then we don’t have to pay attention to anything He says. The Apostles didn’t show a whiff of interest in arguing over moral principles with non-believers. They proclaimed Christ. Those who embraced Jesus as LORD were then helped, instructed, and persuaded to live differently.
We need to out-live, and out-last, and out-love the current fads and whims of culture. Love has to win out in our message and our mission. If I owned a bakery, I’d bake a cake for gay sinners, the same way I would for straight sinners.
But, “Love does NOT win” when Christians:
- Fail to tell people the truth with humility and grace;
- Cheer people on as they run headlong over a cliff to their destruction;
- Celebrate people’s freedom to destroy themselves;
- Stop believing that God knows what is best for people;
- Doubt God’s power and plan to transform sinners–starting with me–into new creatures.
Christians are called to share the good news of the transforming power of the Gospel. Yes, that is different from holier-than-thou finger pointing. But it’s also different from rejoicing at people’s sudden freedom to become more enslaved.