Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Powerful Immoral Vessel
Believing followers act surprised when unregenerate sinners act like unregenerate sinners. And when they espouse political positions that are counter to Biblical morality, believers seem outraged. But we are supposed to reach out to the lost, not cloud the gospel with all kinds of moral and political wrangling.
What would the average evangelical believer do if he had met the woman at the well in John chapter 4? He might have mocked her in a newsletter or blog. He might have picketed the well for allowing such a woman to drink there. He might have called his representative to find out where he stood on divorce and cohabitation. He might have provided proof that the founding fathers of that well never meant for a woman such as this to use it.
But Jesus did none of those things. In fact, He exposed His knowledge of her sin to reveal to her who He was. And after she knew He was at least a prophet, her heart becomes curious.
Jn.4:25-26 - The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
ou cannot be shouting and condemning and still reach out in God’s redemptive love. But the template presented by THE Redeemer is redemptive. Of course the woman was a sinner, and in fact the disciples it seems were somewhat perplexed that the Master would even speak to such a woman. Do you want to play a part in that skit? Go ahead and befriend an openly gay man in order to draw him to Christ and watch the evangelical Bourgeoisie question your heart and mark you as a compromiser.
This woman had five husbands and was now living with a man who was not legally her husband. Her credentials as a sinner were unquestioned. Morality? She had none. She even had some knowledge of Scriptural things, but she was probably considered a mongrel and an enemy of true Jewish ethnicity. A Samaritan? She wasn’t worthy to even be spoken to. She is exactly why Jesus told her about the defense of marriage act.
But what if she was a Muslim in today’s evangelical climate. What if she practiced Sharia Law? Or what if she was a lesbian? Or what if she had just been to a pro-choice rally? What if she was Nancy Pelosi, Rosie O’Donnell, and Rachael Maddow all rolled up into one? There are millions of professing believers that would look with disgust at such a person. How do I know that? Because they already do.
But what if instead of a Samaritan woman it was Benjamin Franklin who came to the well with one of his many mistresses? What if George Washington came being attended to by a dozen slaves? What if it was Thomas Jefferson while reading a copy of the Bible in which he removed all vestiges of Christ’s deity? There are millions of professing believers who would treat such men with honor. How do I know that? They already do.
But regardless of this woman and her open immorality, look what happened.
Jn.4:28-30 - The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
et me ask you this. After you were saved did you go witness to your whole city? And in light of who this woman was, to say nothing of her social standing because of her gender, she boldly tells all the men that Jesus is the Messiah! And she was so exited that she left her waterpot! And when she was telling the men about Jesus, she didn’t even have time to adjust her living situation. But the men were so taken by her passion, they left the city and went to meet Jesus. Wow! The first altar call and it was given by a Samaritan woman and the entire city went forward!
Jn.4:40-42 - So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
41 And many more believed because of his own word;
42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
ow, theology 101 already! I love this story because it exposes our own hypocrisy and moral self righteousness. The western evangelical church prides herself on her moral stands and conservative credentials, but we don’t have an ounce of the power and passion of this loose woman. We hold up our Bibles and loudly claim to believe it entirely, but it is apparent we don’t believe this story. Oh we believe Jonah and the great fish, but not how Jesus ministered to sinners.
We love dirt and gossip. Instead of Jonah and the revival we see Jonah and the great fish. Instead of Rahab the woman of faith, we see Rahab the Harlot. Instead of Samson who gave his life for God we see Samson and Delilah. You see, the natural man needs to demean others as stepping stones to his own elevation. We are very afraid of being vulnerable and being seen in the sinner’s pig pen, even if we have gone into the muck and mire in order to present life through Jesus Christ. Someone might think we are partaking of their sin. Relax, we are not partaking of their sin, we have enough of our own.
You know what? If we could replace ten thousand evangelical preachers with the spirit of this Samaritan woman, warts and all, we might have a revival that would cause the entire nation to leave their comfort zone and go out to meet Jesus. But I guess we will have to live with what we have. But be encouraged. There are enough liberals, gays, abortion doctors, immoral people, and all kinds of sinners in general to satisfy our unspoken need for an excuse for our powerlessness. I know Greek and Hebrew and my systematic theology is orthodox so how can I sully that with associating with known sinners?

I'm just glad someone didn't get a hold of that Samaritan woman and disciple her to be just like us.


Richard Ludwigson Jr said...

Rick, I am so ashamed and humbled by this post today. God forgive me for my selfishness and fear.

Kirk Boswell said...

OUCH!!! Just got my toes stomped on. Thank you pastor Rick for opening my eyes to my own self righteous hypocrisy. And as Richard said, Lord forgive me of my short sightedness and selfish fear.