Thursday, July 8, 2010

What Would Jesus Do To Those Who Would Say He Would Sin?

Charles Sheldon introduced the world to the question What would Jesus do? when he wrote the book In His Steps 114 years ago. I can’t help but think that that question gets answered in a far different way today than what Sheldon thought it would way back in the day. As I was driving into work yesterday, I had the radio on and I heard about a woman preacher within the Presbyterian Church who is facing church discipline for conducting Sodomite weddings. That is unless the Presbyterian Church votes to change their constitution to define marriage as between two people rather than between a man and a woman. The words I heard her say were, “I was only doing what I believed Jesus would want us to do.”

I had thought to write about the ecumenical movement today, because I see so many writers who go to writers conferences and come away thinking that it would be such a good thing for all Christians to put aside their differences and worship together because “we all agree on the important things” but when I heard about this I realized that if you can’t look at current events and see how wrong it would be, nothing I can say will persuade you. I mean get real! At what point did supporting fornication become what Jesus would have us do?

One church sign read, “Jesus in not a law maker, but a life giver.” The Bible never says that. Jesus himself said that he didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it (Mathew 5:17). Some people have this idea that because we are under grace the law is of no use. Others have taken this a step farther and would throw out the Old Testament completely. They would have us think that Jesus is all about forgiveness. They would have us believe that old time Christianity is outdated. The belief seems to be that the world has moved on and Christians need to move on too. That, they believe, is what Jesus would do.

Remember what Jesus would say after he had forgiven someone? “Go and sin no more.” The woman who as caught in adultery wasn’t stoned, but Jesus didn’t give her permission to keep doing what she’d been doing. We are to love people who sin, but loving people and encouraging them in their sin are to different things.

Look at the Book of Jude. Read it. Study it. It’s a short letter, but it has a lot to say. If anyone has a right claim they know what Jesus would do, Jude does. There is some dispute exactly who Jude was, but any of the possibilities would have made him more aware of what Jesus would have done than what we are. He may have been the Apostle, thought that is somewhat unlikely. He may have been the son of James the brother of Jesus, but most likely he was a brother of Jesus, one of the sons of Joseph and Mary. So we’re looking at a book written by a man who at least learned at the feet of Jesus and it’s very likely that Jesus changed his diapers. Now how’s that for knowing what Jesus would do?

What does Jesus have to say about people like this Presbyterian preacher woman? He reminds us that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their fornication (verse 7). He calls them filthy dreamers (verse 8). He calls them ignorant (verse 10). He calls them spots on our fellowship meals and clouds without water (verse 12). He says they walk after their own lusts (verse 18). He calls them sensual and says they aren’t listening to the Spirit (verse 19). He promises judgment (verse 15).

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to believe a man who grew up in the same home as Jesus and promises judgment on people who are trying to teach ungodly doctrine. And while we may be able to pull some of these back (verses 22, 23) we are not to take part in their ungodly ways.