The inhumanity to man from other human sinners is something to behold and about which we should stand ashamed. There is nothing so utterly distasteful and spiritually repugnant as one sinner judging another, except when a follower of Jesus Christ joins his hands with the fallen and usually antichrist press in a concerted effort to bring to light the sins of some person. And the doctrinally partisan way in which this type of gossip journalism is meted out is another revelation in motivation. And when the dust settles and the sordid facts have been fed to the carnal curiosity of the general populace, the conduit tucks himself in at night with a feeling of a job well done. And a job for Christ nonetheless.
It is time for all us to make a line of demarcation between aggressively standing for Biblical truth in the face of a disintegrating orthodoxy, and the self righteous pleasure that is derived by investigating and perusing the internet to discover and uncover the sins of people including professing brothers and sisters in Christ. How could it be possible that someone who professes Christ can hook up his or her e-mail to secular news sources in order to be alerted to gossip news about the moral failures of others, including other Christians? Until recently I would have never dreamed that technology was possible, much less that anyone would invite that type of news into the sanctity of what is supposed to be dedicated to Christ.
And then to think that a Christian would use that technology to draw dirt about others into their consciousness, and then take that secular story and link to it so others could go to read all about it, is beyond my ability to fully understand and even believe. I was raised as a fundamentalist and we were discipled to avoid reading anything like that whether it was true or not. I do not refer to aberrant teachings and doctrinal distortions, no, I speak of relishing the chance to post the personal sins of others and give a creative commentary, and these sometimes solely originate from lost and secular reporters who enjoy degrading anything Christian. Gutenberg prints God’s Word, we print salacious details of the sins of men and women. Gutenberg called, he wants his press back.
And these wonderful stories run the gamut from divorces to immorality to stealing to pornography to homosexuality and everything in between. A cabaret of sinful activities that draw our fallen interests like the sirens of Sirenum scopuli which, like they, lead people into the jagged rocks of destruction. It’s not enough if someone is destroying their lives, we must spread the news and let everyone enjoy the show. Most of the time we can do nothing for this complete stranger and his calamity, but what does that matter, we still can enjoy spreading the gossip under the shallow and disingenuous contention that you are warning others.
Sin is a dirty business and recreating its history in the personal narrative of other sinners so that different sinners who have mentally committed the same sins makes the publisher a heartless sycophant who fancies himself a servant of God Himself. Have we forgotten the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery? Was our Lord condoning sin, or tolerating transgressions as serious as adultery? Jesus Himself seemed to be drawn to the greatest of sinners and He saved His sternest rebukes for the self righteous. The whole world is in the evil One and already stands condemned with or without our regurgitated narratives copied from the lost pens of sinners who are rejecting Christ themselves.
And just recently a fifteen old young girl named Miley Cyrus has become road kill for the vultures. Does her lifestyle lend itself to destruction? Of course. Is she and her parents wrong if they allow provocative pictures of any kind to be taken of a fifteen year old? Of course. But to approach her mistakes and sins, not knowing with any amount of certainty her spiritual status, with a publishing effervescence that would make the Watchtower envious is neither right nor Christian. This young girl needs prayer and counsel not sweeping condemnation from across the globe and with a special critical interest from within the community of grace receivers. I know many professing teenagers who have done much worse and without any complicity from their guardians.
We are called to contend for the faith and be true to God’s truth, but we are never called to rummage through the trash cans of people’s lives looking for some sin so we can take that dead carcass, bring it to life once again, and feed it to the letching mind’s of people who cannot be praying in earnest for someone like this young girl. It is impossible to both accuse and intercede simultaneously. You cannot serve two masters, you will either serve redemption and hate damnation, or serve damnation and hate redemption.
Brothers and sisters, there is so much hurt and emptiness in this world and the hollow lives that so many live need the voice of light and life to speak into their circumstance. Oh yes some need correction and some even reproof, but never as a public post of redemption less information. Love covers a multitude of sins, and we must carry the broken and rebellious lives of sinners to the cross, not the blogasphere. Where is this heartless Christianity coming from, and why do we feel such a compulsion to rush to expose and not atone (cover)? The devil is well capable of continuing the destruction he so willingly began in these lives, we as repairers of the breach should carry the torch of forgiveness and restoration.
All our correction must be done within the church and not as a public lynching of celebrities and strangers alike. Let redemption course through our lips and lives, even from among us who are considered doctrinal fundamentalists. There is nothing so dead and so lifeless as heartless judgmentalism, it stands in stark opposition to the cross of our dear Lord. And whosoever takes pleasure in the calamity of others does not abide in Christ. Our enemies must be our prayer lists, and those who stumble and fall must be the ones we pick up, treat their wounds, and place them upon our own lives and carry them to restoration. Christianity is more than just staking out positions and watching out to gleefully report the misfortunes of the defenders of other positions. If that is all we have in Christ then we of all men are most miserable.
Little girls, targets of a sensual society, struggle with being affirmed on an appearance and sexual level. All the media outlets do more than suggest that girls are required to look and act a certain way in order to attract boys and in fact be accepted with the female clique, but we as believers must not only reject such notions, we must have empathy and understanding for those little girls who have succumbed to those lies. And in the case of Hollywood little girls, well, they sometimes have no choice because the vicarious and monetary interests of the adults have steered them into a hollow lifestyle that eventually will create a caricature rather than a follower of Jesus Christ. We must take hold of our outrage and allow the Holy Spirit to turn it into a redemptive spirit of compassion that elicits deep prayer and exudes compassion instead of rejection. Christ will look beyond sin in order to redeem and so should we follow in His steps.
Ours is not to construct some repulsive mirror of the National Enquirer or any of the television gossip shows, this world must see a difference in how we treat sinners and their rebellion. We should love the Rosie O’Donnel’s and the Madonna’s of this world and be Christ to them if perhaps one day the Holy Spirit gains access into their hardened hearts. Any harsh or brutal words we might cast their way will pale in comparison to the judgment that awaits them, so we are not called to pronounce the obvious but share the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to the most vile and militant of sinners.
I have written this because my heart is heavy over seeing a young girl pounced upon by saints and sinners alike. It is spiritually unseemly in the extreme, and I would suggest to all who consider themselves fundamental and orthodox in any way to rethink how we approach and speak of sinners and their sin. The doctrine debate continues unabated, the theological slide still must be corrected, and false teachers and heretics must and should be called out. But sinners, lost and save sinners, who stumble and fall, should be shown compassion and restoration and redemption. All of us have sinned and just the sin you and I will commit today is enough to send us to hell forever if God hadn’t shown us grace instead of judgment. There is nothing that misrepresents Christ more than a sinner who has received grace but has little for others.
There was one front page upon which God published my sins. The page was made from wood and the ink was red, very red. The ink had smeared and ran down the page, but the message was ever so clear. And one glorious day God brought me to that page and for the first time I read both my sins and God’s forgiveness. And after I read and understood I asked God what I must do to be forgiven. Jesus asked me whether I believed in Him and His forgiveness and I replied that I did.
“What sin“, He replied, “I see only righteousness now…”.
He proceeded to command me to go and bring others to this same place.