My mom used to tell me consistently that it wasn’t wise to throw out the baby with the bathwater when I didn’t agree with someone about a topic. For those who didn’t know my mom and yours wasn’t like her, this means that we can glean good things from everyone so take what helps and leave the rest. I know that I may not agree with even my husband 100% of the time, but I do learn a lot from him and he is able to change my mind about things. I choose to give him a voice in my life, he has definitely earned it through his loyalty if nothing else. Still, we do not agree on some really deep subjects. This is what I know, God will change my mind, his mind, or both of us, but He will not leave us in this place of disagreement. My job is to pray, be open to his belief system on the topic, be open to change my mind (repent), and be quick to listen. I’ve learned that love looks like that, and my ultimate goal in life is to love well.
I’ve heard thousands of messages from pastors and teachers in my life. In times past, I would throw someone’s teaching out the window if I didn’t agree with one thing they would say. Now, don’t get me wrong, if it’s anti-Biblical, I’m gone. But, if it is a difference of interpretation from a well-meaning heart, I can still hear them. That hasn’t always been the case, even though my mom gave me that good advice from childhood. Walking away won’t change a heart, pointing out the error we believe differently won’t save a soul; instead, praying and sitting with the Father will work miracles in one or both of us.
Recently I have been flooded with belief systems and interpretations of Scripture that do not line up with mine. Interestingly, the topics have all been topics that Jesus and I have wrestled with for many years. At this point, I am pretty steadfast in my core belief systems on these particular topics. One of the topics is homosexuality. Those who have followed my blog, you are aware that we have two children who are in that lifestyle in this current time. This week someone came after me with the following verse…
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV
The topic? Homosexuality. I knew it would come, that is why I have learned to “guard my heart above all else” (Proverbs 4:23). Hubby and I have prepared for this, God has prepared us. We went through the normal stages of grief, denial, separation, healing, acceptance. We accept our kids, we do not agree with all of their choices. They accept us, they do not agree with all of our choices. God has given me a true interpretation of the verse above but let’s just say this, the interpretation always includes love first.
Starting with the first question of the verse, we can immediately see that those of us who believe on the name of Jesus Christ and that He died for our sins, rose again, and paid the ultimate and final sacrifice are not the topic of Paul’s discussion. He begins with “the unrighteous”, I know that I am not a part of the category He is speaking about because I am the “righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21). I also know that our children are not a part of that category, they chose Jesus as young ones and are the righteousness of God in Christ. They knew He was God, Jesus was their Savior, and Holy Spirit lived in them at a young age. Some may ask then, “Why would they do things that God tells us could disqualify them?” Why do any of us do things that could disqualify us from the Salvation we hold so dear? Why did the Israelites make a golden calf? (Exodus 32) They were the chosen ones, the ones who saw the Red Sea turned into a highway, how could they do things that would separate them from their Savior? The answer is sin in this world, and none of us escapes it (Roman 3:23).
The second part of that first question says that the “unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God”? Guess what? The Kingdom of God is here. Now. What Paul is saying is that in the here and now, people who practice those things will not see His blessings that come when we find the narrow road and walk in it. In all honesty, I have not walked fully in human righteousness, and I don’t know anyone but Jesus who has. I’ve been drunk, greedy, an idolater, sexually immoral (prior to marriage), and many other things I read in God’s word that are sin. I’ve been in those places of sin since the time I was saved at the age of nine. I would venture to say that I am still an idolater because I tend to put things of this world ahead of God’s will for me too often and must repent, but for many years I didn’t know repentance was even a thing. I know I was still saved. God still loved me, I was still the “righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21), and now He has brought me to a place in our relationship that I want to please Him first, though I still fail. Gratefully, I am not disqualified.
We knew this attack would come, after all Hubby and I are called into marriage ministry. How easy it is for the world to disqualify us because of our children’s choices. But, when the body of Christ attacks, we know that they have room for growth and they need prayer. We know that we do not have to live in whatever shame is driving them to go on the attack. Recently there was a politician who said awful things about “rights” that Christians have to hold some sin accountable and not others, I fully disagree! When anyone is calling out people to punish them for sins, all I can add is you better watch out that God doesn’t turn that back on you. Pride is just as ugly to God as homosexuality, and it comes before a great fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Jesus is working out our Salvation in us all the time. Gratefully there is only one sin that fully will separate us from God and that sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Red letters, Matt 12:31-32). I know I have often wished that I would have been made perfect when I chose Jesus and my heart believed. That isn’t how God works most of the time. My Salvation happened at nine, the journey however, had only begun. God draws us to Himself and He will never leave us where we are. We are so fallible while we are here, but God never disowns us and He is never surprised by our sin. His love reaches through the sin in this world and captures our hearts in a way that no man can. He woos us to His way of living so that we will inherit His Kingdom starting here and now (Philippians 2:13). We all long for that Kingdom life, but His word says that few will find it. The more we obey His Word, the closer we get to the narrow gate He talks about in Matt 7:13-14. I’m so grateful that our sin doesn’t disqualify us after we are grafted into the family of God (Romans 11:11-31).
My prayer is that you will grow as I share things the Lord has shown me. My heart is that all of us would realize that we are sinners in need of a Savior. I know we will get more attacks in this area as God increases our territory, and I know that He will give us strength for the journey. Ignorance of God’s Word can cause people to do and say some really painful things to others. Using His Word to attack someone is never OK. When I have a relationship with someone, and I know they love me and I love them, only then do I have the right to ask God if He wants me to reveal Scripture to that person. And I only can offer His Word if my heart truly is for the other person to know God’s love even more. That should be the goal of all of His kids because that is the heart of our Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit that lives in us.