You may or may not agree...

But in the end it really doesn't matter who wins an argument, because that doesn't change how we treat people, it just makes us feel better about being right. I found this video through a tweet from the author of a blog I read and thought that it was pretty relevant to life today. I have written recently about a friend of mine going to prison; accepting and loving people wherever they are is certainly my flavor of the day. The great thing is that in this video you can substitute just about any other form of socially "unacceptable" behavior in place of "gay", and although the song wouldn't rhyme anymore, it reflects how I feel about accepting people where they are. I am no better than anyone, it is just that my mistakes aren't as public. For instance, a little white lie is much easier to swallow than a mistake that is against the law of the land.

So, how do you feel about it? Is it just easier to write someone off because they have made a mistake. Is it easier to not forgive them, is it easier to be angry? Maybe in the short term. But in the long run it will be easier to love. I had a conversation with a relative the other day and we were talking about reconciliation. He said that if someone in church leadership disqualifies himself, the church should accept him back if he repents. It never felt right, but I think that I now know why. The reason I have a problem with that viewpoint is that it puts conditions on our love. As a follower of Christ, I would posit that we are not called to love when it is easy or convenient, but to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I hope I get comments on this one because it is important that we are constantly examining how it is that we are treating other people. Meanwhile, enjoy a cute video, complete with backup dancer.

Comments

  1. You said you hoped for comments...... :)

    Many times the questions that we frame in terms of "either this or that" are actually "both this and that".

    You have a lovely child. Will you not discipline them in some manner along the way ? Not because you do not love them but because you do in fact love them ? In the present life your goal would be to ensure they do not wind up in the same situation your friend you refer to finds himself. They must learn the limits of acceptable behavior.

    We are not individuals alone we all exist in community. When we fail we damage others around us. You ask the question in terms of Church. When I sin it hurts the Church. This is especially true if the sin is public.

    It is not a question of do I love the leader who did something or do I want to punish them. It is a question of I love the leader and I love the Church. And I pray for the salvation of both. For the good of all in community and also for the ultimate salvation of the leader discipline must be enforced. As Paul said turn one over but not as an enemy but as a brother.

    Consider Moses. Did God not Love him ? Yet when he publicly sinned was he not punished ? And yet we find him standing with Elijah at the transfiguration.

    And just like your child will at times think you are being mean and not understand why you won't let them play with something shiny and interesting that is very dangerous and instead will remove it from them, or them from it, or perhaps even swat their hand and tell them no. In the same way God disciplines us individually and as communities and we look at his actions and ask how could a loving God have done this ?

    God is Love. If we do not understand how a loving God could do something we should not question God. We should question our understanding of life and of love.

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  2. I completely agree that there is acceptable behavior. I agree that when we sin as individuals, we hurt the church. I agree that there should be discipline and consequences for inappropriate behavior. In this we are in agreement. But this is not the issue that I have. Justice is being done. Disciplinary consequences have taken place. But there is no reaching out as a body to restore. I am not excusing my friend by any stretch of the imagination, he hurt me too.

    My wish is that the church would stop trying to distance itself from him just to protect itself. My wish is for the people that are judging him the worst to learn to love him through all of this giant, hurtful mess.

    I know that the wounds are still raw, but letting them heal with bitterness is not the answer. There has to be reconciliation or love will not rule the day, which it must. I still fall back on the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 5:43-47, which says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

    Clearly we are not to love only when it is easy. Justice is being done, judgment is not ours.

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