John 8:7 NASB “But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
The vast majority of us have read this story where a woman is caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus for His judgement. Interesting that the act of adultery was considered a sin, under the Law, punishable by death, for both the man and the woman but for some unstated reason, they, the accusers, only brought the woman to Jesus for judgement.
Leviticus 20:10 NASB “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
I don’t know about you but I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t sinned or still doesn’t sin, be they Christian or non-Christian, and that includes me. Things that we do or don’t do that we shouldn’t do or should do, actions that we had done or not done. But Jesus also showed us that it is not only our actions, but also what goes on in our minds and hearts.
Matthew 5:27-28 NASB “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
It’s also interesting to note that once Jesus had made His statement about casting the first stone, “beginning with the older ones”, they walked away.
John 8:9 NASB “When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.”
There is a reason for that, the older that we get, the more and more we come to realize, that all of us, without exception, have sinned, many, many times. We have violated God’s nature of holiness, we have demonstrated, internally and externally, that our nature is not like His and we are not like Him.
God’s Word, through the Apostle Paul, tells us that outside of the Church, as Christians, we are not to judge.
1 Corinthians 5:12 NASB “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?”
That means we can recognize sin for what it is, in ourselves and others, but we are not to make a judgement on that other individual who is committing sin, who is not a Christian.
Yes, that guy is a thief.
Yes, that woman is an adulterer.
Yes, that guy is a fornicator.
Yes, that woman is a blasphemer.
But we are not to judge them.
Every wonder why that is?
Actually, the reason for that is pretty basic. We who were sinners, by our very nature, who now believe and trust in the saving work that Jesus did for us on the cross, have been redeemed from the price that our sins deserved, by the saving shed blood of Jesus Christ. Our faith and trust in Him is the ONLY thing that makes us different from those who are outside of the Church. That’s grace, sheer grace.
Yes, I know, we do indeed become “born again” and His Spirit lives within us. I also know that God changes our hearts and minds, but that is brought about by God, we are born of the Spirit, He initiates that. Our hearts and minds do change but once again, that is God working in us. And the changes in our hearts and minds is progressive, it takes time because our relationship with God our Father, Jesus the Son and God’s Holy Spirit is also progressive, or at least it should be. We are to move from the milk of the word to the meat of the word. We are to mature in Christ, in all things, there should be constant growth. There are no water wings in God’s swimming pool, it’s either swim or sink.
I don’t know about you but I am having a hard time with some new TV series that weave in the alternate lifestyle of the LGBTQ community. My wife and I have seen some new series that are available and they seemed like they might be interesting but after one episode, we’ve decided to not watch them anymore. Sometimes we don’t even make it through the single episode. I’m getting so tired of running into the proliferation of LGBTQ lifestyles everywhere I turn. Our scope of programs for TV viewing is rapidly diminishing. That’s OK, it’s no big deal, but I do see it and it does have an effect on me.
Do I judge those who support the alternative lifestyles within the LGBTQ community, no I don’t. I just know that it’s not for me. Sin is sin and there but for the grace of God go I. I don’t hate them, I may not agree with their lifestyle but I definitely don’t hate them. I do however, strongly dislike seeing the proliferation of LGBTQ lifestyles being applauded within our society.
There is a distinct difference between hating an individual and what the individual does.
I also dislike seeing some well meaning Christians who give themselves the right to abandon acting civilly and politely with other Christians or non-Christians, when they encounter others who may hold a different perspective. But I don’t actually hate that individual. Just because we may not agree with someone does not automatically mean we hate them. And yet, that is what I see happening, both within the Church and outside of the Church. Some Christian Republicans that hate Democrats (Christian or non-Christian), some Evangelical Christians hating homosexuals and some homosexuals hating Christians. Hate what some of them do or support, yes, hate them as individual persons, no. Also please note that I specifically used the word “some”.
How is it that so many within the Church have come to use the broad paintbrush perspective? How does that correlate with what Jesus taught us? From my perspective, it doesn’t. Removing the log from our own eye before attempting to remove the twig for someone else’s eye. Jesus ministering to the Samaritan woman at the well and going into their city to stay with them for two days (whereupon many believed). And then there is the “cast the first stone” example. There are many more examples where Jesus went to the home of a Pharisee or responded to the requests of non-Jews.
Are we losing our grasp of the “big picture” from God’s perspective in order to accommodate the worldly “big picture” that we’re rapidly becoming a part of, where wordly politics is the sole vehicle available to preserve Christian morality? Have we forsaken the Great Commission of the Church, that Jesus gave us, in order to establish our watered down version of success? When did we lose sight of the reality that where the heart goes, the mind follows? If the majority passes a law that says it is against the law to gather together as Christians, will you obey that law? Of course you won’t, or at least, many won’t. What makes us think that if we manage to pass a law that says abortion is illegal, it will stop those who still want to have an abortion? Diminish, for sure, no funding, absolutely, but it will not stop those who are determined. Why? Because minds haven’t been changed because hearts haven’t been changed. Whose “big picture” or Great Commission addresses that?
But hey, I’m just an average old fella, looking at God’s Word and telling you what I see.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!