Venture beyond your perception

Social media can be a real blessing and a real pitfall. I enjoy Instagram a great deal more than I enjoy Facebook for many reasons. Facebook my feed is usually bombarded with political posts and judgments from people who are called not to judge and hatred from people who call themselves tolerant. So you see, even though I have tweaked my feed, I still see these things and generally just shake my head, un-offended.

But tonight, I’d like to challenge your thinking on a subject that few seem to venture into without being extreme one way or another. Tonight I saw another post from a fellow believer who was outraged about another lost court case against a Christian florist who refused to make flowers for a “homosexual wedding.” I understand full well what the Word of God says on homosexuality but are we called to judge persons of a same sex attraction? Let me set this up.

“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18 

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Colossians 1:5

“‘On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,  and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.  When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”‘ John 2:1-11

Alright, I think I set this up well enough. So, just a few things to highlight here; Drunkenness on wine leads to ruining your life, Jesus is the exact representation of God Himself and Jesus turned water into wine after people were already wasted at a wedding. Hmmmm…. is this the Bible contradicting itself or did Jesus see the Father’s heart for this newlywed couple and bring out more wine so that the wedding celebration could continue?

Do you think Jesus was sitting in a corner writing a list of all the people that were at the wedding who were drunk? Do you think He was happy to be there and celebrate with them? I know that this was most likely a “straight” wedding but the sexual orientation isn’t what I’m zooming in on, it’s Jesus seeing what the Father was doing in those circumstances in spite of what the word says about drunkenness on wine.

If we’re going to shrug and say, yeah but He was Jesus! But didn’t you die, were raised and seated with Christ and given His Spirit? Why wouldn’t we seek the Father’s heart in regard to other situations that seemingly challenge what we read in the word? This is such a huge subject matter, I could probably spend weeks camped out on it. Jesus challenged the Pharisees continually, from washing hands, to hanging out with rabble to healing on the sabbath. If we are under the new covenant (which we are) then love is our highest command. And love, covers over a multitude of sins.

I guess what I am saying here is that there are a lot of things that happen in this world that go against the word, things that are also heart breaking and unthinkable. Humans were given free will, we don’t always do what we should with our freewill, whether it breaks laws and statutes or not. Sometimes the choices we make harm ourselves and others. We already know this. Why are we still outraged and put it on blast all over the internet when it happens? Why aren’t we more inclined to share what we love, rather than bash what we hate? The way I see it, posting all these horrendous or Biblically “offensive” things that happen in the world is no better than standing in the person we’re judging’s face and calling them every name we feel is applicable.

Would you stand in front of an abortion clinic and call all the women there whores? Would you tell someone who is in a same sex relationship how bad they are and how they’re not going to heaven because of how they are living? What about the thief? Or the person with a problem with alcohol or drugs? Are you going to slander them in their faces too? Why not go after the young girl who stole a pack of gum when she was in middle school? Don’t you want to know who these people are before you place your judgments on them? They are people! God sees them and loves them. Don’t you want to know their story? Jesus hung out with the rough and tumble, talked with them, ate with them. Got to know who they were… He loved them. You will never get someone to see things “your way” by telling them how awful you think they are.

I am going to end this with some final thoughts. ” A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Martin Luther King jr.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Jesus had nothing but love and compassion for those around Him. When someone caught His gaze, in the midst of whatever kind of life they were living, they saw nothing but love on His face. That was one of the most beautiful things about Him, His compassion. We are called to be imitators of Christ.

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