Jen Hatmaker made a very bold Facebook post recently about the LBGT community. Basically, she opened her arms wide open to LBGT. (To see her post, look her up on Facebook and check out her April 23, 2016 post.) As most Facebook posts go, it stirred a wide range of opinions and comments. There's lots of emotion around a public Christian figure supporting people of the LBGT community.
I loved her post. I actually re-posted it. However, I got into a discussion with a few fellow Christians about whether the statements she made were based in Christian theology. And this got me thinking…can I be loving toward a sinner and still call out the sin? So I’m going to try an experiment with my blog. And I realize this could go incredibly wrong and I might watch my blog followers drop to 0. I might even watch my friends drop to 0 too. However, I’m willing to risk it in the name of Jesus.
What irritated me beyond belief with Jen's post, was Jen's Christian followers' responses to her support of LBGT people. I have to wonder if she replaced LBGT with liar or cheater or divorcee, would Christians so openly oppose her opening her arms and the arms of the church to them? My suspicion is not. Her post wouldn't have been a "statement" if it didn't involve LBGT. No one would have made a fuss if she said the church should open their arms to all the liars in the world. And essentially that is exactly what she said. Sin is sin. Jesus welcomes everyone no matter what sin you have in your life. You don't have to clean up your life before you go to Him. You just come as you are.
So here’s my plan. Starting next week, and for however many days or weeks or even months it takes to cover a good chunk of sin, I’m going to write my blog to a sinner. A sinner according to the bible: The Liar, The Adultery, The Lesbian/Gay, The Cheater, The Murderer, The Potty Mouth-er, etc…you get my drift. I will base what I call out as "sin" on Scripture but I will openly love the sinner, the person. I want people to understand that it is possible to call out the sin while lovingly accepting the person behind the sin. And I want to drive home one point: it is not my place to judge. My place is to love and share God’s words. God is the judge. The only judge.
So Monday I will kick off this journey. I'm calling it my #lovethesinnerexperiment. If reading about your sins in the bible, offends you then I will aim to offend everyone, every sinner.
Mark 12: 29-31
Jesus replied, “The most important is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the only and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other command is greater than these.”
Sins, sinners and love,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.