Yes. Yes. and Yes. A million times yes. YAAAAAAAS. So, that pretty much sums up this blog post. Bye Felicia.
Okay I’m back. I guess the question is why? Or how do we make the madness stop? For the love of all things sacred and holy, I don’t know. Except that Jesus Followers have an idolized love for all things sacred and holy. But hold up: I don’t want to use the term “Jesus Followers” for those who are afraid of guilt by association. Jesus was NEVER afraid of guilt by association. So if someone is TRULY following Jesus, he/she won’t be either. So I guess the loose term “Christians” will suffice here.
I think Christians are more in love with appearing sacred and holy than they are of actually following Jesus. Why? FEAR. Fear is the answer.
- Fear of judgment by other Christians.
- Fear of guilt.
- Fear of getting it wrong.
- Fear of abandonment (by Jesus or other Christians).
- Fear of not measuring up.
- Fear of not taking a stand.
- Fear that the truth will be watered down, or worse, ignored.
- Fear of “catching” whatever sin disease someone else has (go ahead and laugh – but it’s true).
I don’t have time or space to address each of these fears. But what I can do is point you to JESUS. Now there’s a thought. Jesus was the full embodiment of TRUTH. He was also the full embodiment of GRACE. He wasn’t a balance of the two. No, see, that’s where we get it wrong. We don’t have to balance. We have to try to be BOTH. At the same dang time.
And you know what? It’s possible. Jesus did it. And He lives in us. So we can do it.
- He was full of TRUTH and GRACE when He was face to face with several prostitutes and adulterers.
- He was full of TRUTH and GRACE when He was face to face with cheaters, and liars and those involved in political and financial scandal.
- He was full of TRUTH and GRACE when He was face to face with traitors.
- He was full of TRUTH and GRACE when He was face to face with religious people.
- He was full of TRUTH and GRACE when He was face to face with sick people, poor people, rich people, nice people, mean people.
And He NEVER watered down TRUTH (which is why He was full of it) and He NEVER skimped out on GRACE (because He was full of it). He presented “the Way”, which was Him, and He offered unconditional love and forgiveness, because He could, and then that was it. It was up to the person to accept or reject. He presents. People choose.
We get it wrong when we think we have to PRESENT the TRUTH and CONVINCE people to choose GRACE. Nah. Not on us. We present and then they choose. It’s not on us. Never was.
So this whole fear of guilt by association? It’s not from Jesus. It’s from the devil to keep you from loving the way Jesus did and to keep people living in bondage and away from the freedom of the Gospel. It is TRUTH and GRACE. Both. The end.