As Christians we are often told we should disregard tradition, ignore the word of God, and accept any manner of that which we have been instructed to reject. We are accused of being judgmental of the individual person when we point out what God’s Holy Word says about certain lifestyles and choices made by entire groups.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you… Mathew 28:19 & 20
Sometimes people say that as Jesus didn’t address certain topics that are of great concern today we are to assume that he was neutral on these specific sins. However Jesus also said:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21
Although there are many other passages that support the following conclusion, these two verses give Christians reason to offer compassionate correction to those that choose to embrace sin. First Matthew 28, verses 19-20 are part of the sayings of Jesus generally referred to as The Great Commission; the commands to preach and teach the Gospel, second Matthew 7:21 does not say “only those who do as I say” but rather those who follow the word of God will enter the kingdom of heaven.
Perhaps to my readers this seems a redundant message today, as we have approached this topic in many ways during the past several weeks, however as events have transpired it is obvious that we must address this issue once more.
In the paragraph first above I wrote;
We are accused of being judgmental of the individual person when we point out what God’s Holy Word says about certain lifestyles and choices made by entire groups.
In offering compassionate words of correction to fellow sinner–we all have sinned–it is not being judgmental to point out the dangers–both spiritually, mentally and physically–of certain lifestyle choices; but rather a display of concern and an application of the commission given to us by Christ.
Consider this analogy:
A parent assisting a child with its homework, spots a spelling error or a mistake in a math problem the child has incorrectly completed. Is the parent–out of his/her love for the child–to ignore the mistake? Should the parent in a demonstration of inclusiveness accept the error allowing the child to seek his or her own path? No of course not, the prudent response would be to lovingly point out the mistake and help the child to improve his/her knowledge.
In my opinion one of the best verses to illustrate compassionate correction is in John chapter 8. In this story a woman accused of adultery is brought before Christ. After dealing with her accusers who were more interested in finding fault in Christ so that they might discredit his ministry, he turned to the woman and said (i am paraphrasing a bit here) “Then neither do I judge you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Far too often the first part of this verse is used to chastise Christians, they tell us that even Jesus did not judge this woman. However–conveniently– they forget the second part of the statement “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Jesus is telling this woman I know you have sinned, stop it. Is this being judgmental? No, in it Jesus made a statement based on knowledge or perhaps observation, a compassionate correction.
We have all sinned, some of us continue to sin, but Jesus paid the ultimate price for the sins of the world; and even though we have sinned and fall short of the glory of
God, if we accept Christ as our savior we can still enter heaven if we repent and ask God for forgiveness.