Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Plank in the Church's Eye

We are currently in a series at The Journey called Counter-Culture. In this series we are exploring why Christianity runs so much against the grain of our cultural ideals and norms. We are looking at how Christians should respond to increasing hostility against us and our message. 

One of the issues I'm going to be addressing this week, and next week with much more detail, is the issue of homosexuality. This week my main focus is the charge of being judgmental and intolerant. As I have been working on this message, I have points of concern with proponents of homosexuality practice being normalized in our culture, even our churches. But I also have some problems against opponents of it. 

One of the greatest areas of concern I have for the church is our hypocrisy. Some of the charges of hypocrisy against the church are unwarranted and simply flippant accusations. Others are merited. Churches which stand strongly against homosexuality, do so by pointing to the Bible's teachings. I agree with this stance. However, the same churches seem very silent and unwilling to stand as strongly against divorce and premarital sex between heterosexuals. 

Between those three issues: homosexuality, divorce, and premarital sex between heterosexual couples, the least prevalent one most churches deal with is homosexuality. In fact, most churches are filled with people who have divorced or are divorcing. They are also filled with people actively engaged in sex before marriage. Yet most remain largely silent on these issues. 

I'm not suggesting we start crucifying those divorced, having premarital sex, or homosexuals, Jesus was crucified for all three groups. I'm suggesting that the church needs to be sure we are dealing with the planks in our own eyes if we are going to approach with integrity the speck in someone's eye. 

I'm not excusing or damning anyone in those three categories of biblical sin. I believe the church needs to deal with all of them with truth and grace. Let's not pick certain sins to focus on. Let's speak honestly and biblically about them. Let's call people to repentance. Let's show that God's ways are better and more satisfying than forging our own. Let's remind people that there is room at the foot of the cross, where Christ covers over our sin and brokenness. But let's certainly not suggest that one sin is inexcusable while we turn a plank-filled eye away from others.

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