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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Word For The Week

One thing that I find humorous within the Body of Christ is people's tendency to rile against sins with which they are not familiar while minimizing the sins that confront them day-in and day-out. People kill me harping on the sin of homosexuality while ignoring or minimizing the sin of covetousness. One of those made the Ten Commandments while the other did not, so you might think that coveting should be a bit more important on the "Thou Shall Not" list, but that would require people to look at the wood in our own eyes. Both of those are sins and need to be equally opposed - the GLBT community and Madison Avenue ought to receive an equal response, but Advertising firms give equally to the DNC and GOP, ergo hypocritical silence from the Religious Right.

Jesus spoke of this kind of hypocrisy when He told the parable about the Pharisee and the Publican. The Pharisee was a self-righteous hypocrite who went to church regularly and bragged to God that he was better than everyone else - especially better than that sinner over there. Too many of us have a "That sinner over there" mentality - we know that we have our own issues, but surely we're better than that sinner over there. There's always a "that sinner over there" that we can point to as a point of reference for our own self-righteousness, but that does not justify us before an all-righteous God. We can always look for that sinner over there whenever we want to feel righteous in and of ourselves, but if we ever get a look at the God who created the heavens and the earth we will confess like Isaiah, "Woe is me, for I am ruined!"

The Bible teaches that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All. There is no one righteous; no, not one. And if we know that the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord then why aren't we trying to be more effective witnesses for Jesus Christ? We seem to be more interested in justifying ourselves in our own eyes, declaring that we're better than that sinner over there. And we wonder why people aren't trying to hear us when we try to witness about the goodness of Jesus - could it be that to them we sound like a clanging cymbal? We go to speak about how Jesus will deliver them from a life of sin and all they hear is CLANG! We try to speak to them about Mary's baby and all that is heard is CLANG! We try to tell them that we want to help them yet all that can be heard for miles and miles is CLANG! Our mouths are moving but all that is being heard is CLANG CLANG! CLANG CLANG! We know that whomever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, but how then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a credible witness?

If you ask people to do a word association with the word "Christian" you will probably be surprised as to how few Americans name the name of Jesus Christ. You will hear the word "Coalition" associated with "Christian" or "hypocrite" or "Republican" or "Klansman" in some parts. Rarely is the name of Jesus Christ associated with the term "Christian" - what has happened to our witness? Is there any wonder why people are rejecting Christianity? If my sole understanding of Christianity was that which is propagated by the Religious Right then there's no way on God's green earth that I'd be in any way associated with those people - I'm better than those sinners over there...

You see, self-righteousness cuts both ways - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The truth of the matter is that it isn't about the Religious Right or the Religious Left, it's about Jesus Christ, and when you give your life to Him and submit to His Lordship you will hear the tripe of the the Religious Right and Left for what it is - CLANG CLANG! CLANG CLANG!

May The LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who offers Himself to you,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM

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