Hard Stance on Morality
As I was praying this morning I felt God put this on my heart, and I think it is something of a culmination of what he has been teaching me a lot lately. In a lot of my recent bible studies and writings, I’ve talked about the American church’s hangup on morality, how it seems to be the focus of most churches and is the crux of the American believer. Most Christians and therefore most of the American population believe Christianity is all about being moral, about being a good person. And as I’ve said before, yes, that is a part of it. But this culture does something to people that is very damaging, and it is a specific product of people taking a hard stance on morality. Leaders in the church or just people, in general, take a hard stance in their speeches, publications, and lifestyles, and it contributes to an endless cycle in the Christian world that always spins the non-believer back onto the issue of morality. The appeal of Christianity is not morality. The appeal is not that if you are a Christian you will be a better person and more moral than everyone else. That is not the appeal because that is not what God cares about. He cares about our love, our undying, unrelenting devotion to our relationship with him. God has been making me more and more of the opinion that moral issues that do not directly harm others are completely irrelevant to the progression of Christianity and on a larger scale, the progression of the world. Don’t take that out of context though. You see there is a definite line on the leniency of morality that God has drawn. It’s as simple as this. Those that are outside of the Church, not of God’s kingdom who are lost, are absolutely never to be the object of our judgment. It doesn’t matter what evil, terrible things they do, we are never to make it an issue of morality. God calls us to make it an issue of Love. Remember God told us, “Three things last forever, faith, hope, and love, and of these the greatest is love.” Notice he didn’t say our morality or our ability to not sin. We will never, EVER see America become a Christian nation again until the day the church takes absolutely no stance on morality as it applies to the outside world. When the world sees that the church absolutely does not care who you are, where you’re from, what terrible things you’ve done, then and only then will we see revival. At that point, the church will realize the most powerful and important thing we can do is love the lost with our actions, not our words and our judgments. Only then will Christians take drug abusers into their homes. Only then will they give the homeless a ride to buy some booze with the money they lent him. Only then will we spread the seeds of God’s love in every single interaction with have with the lost.
As I referenced earlier though, there is a definite line in the sand. You step over that line the moment you accept Christ as your savior and you become a member of the body of Christ. At that moment, you are released of your ignorance and immediately become subject to the judgment of the body of Christ (the church and fellow believers). Within the church we are to hold each other accountable ruthlessly, always encouraging and uplifting each other in our relationship with Christ. When I say ruthlessly though, I don’t want that to be misinterpreted either. I don’t mean ruthless as in beating each other up over our sins. It’s more a visual image of our efforts. We are to doggedly and ceaselessly love God and build our relationship with him.
Let’s bring this discussion back to judgment and morality though, for we should end where we began. I have conceded that we submit ourselves to judgment once we enter the body of Christ, however even amongst our fellow Christian with whom we have a common understanding, we can still action our judgments and stance on morality the wrong way. Again, if the appeal of being a member of the body of Christ is that you are finally subject to judgment and moral living, then there is no appeal. Our God is of such caliber that there is no way I can accept that his love has no appeal. His love is succulent, overwhelming and addictive in every way. Within the Church, morality should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. By this I mean our moral living is the baseline, it is done naturally and effortlessly in our relationship with God and should rarely be the focus of our love with him. If we think of morality and judgment this way, then really our judgments are not judged in the typical way we think of them, pointing out what you’re doing wrong and helping define sin for one another. Rather, our judgments within the church should come in the form of how we can help our brothers and sisters fall even more madly in love with God. Our sins are the product of us stumbling in the shallows of our love for God. If we help immerse each other deeper into his love, there is no way we can trip, only drown. We do this by encouraging each other to participate in church events, volunteering to help with the needy, joining study groups etc. This is how we judge, by leading each other to his love, not by leading each other to the definition of our sins.