Jesus Loved. Shouldn’t We?Posted on: April 7, 2014, by : Jeremy A Walker
Amidst the recent scene of individuals who have taken a stand on one side of the gay marriage stance or another, several prominent people have been seen an enormous degree of criticism for their stances. Additionally, others have called for the boycott of companies represented by leaders who have taken what seem to be antigay stances. Brendan Eich of Mozilla, and Dan Cathy of Chick-Fil-A are two of the more prominent individuals who have taken public stands against gay marriage, and their respective companies have been neglected or championed for these decisions. Many in the media have made this a religious issue, and hoards of people have expressed their opinion on either side. Christians have posted their opinions for and against these individuals and issues.
But as a Christian, what should be my response to this?
Does my eating a chicken sandwich from one restaurant or another, or even using a specific web browser over another, necessarily correlate to my stance on gay marriage? Should it?
I am reminded of a passage in Galatians 2 that I think speaks to this.
11 But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
If we as believers are to engage a world for the sake of Jesus Christ, and run with His gospel as our mission, shouldn’t we share Jesus’ message, rather than the message of men who would have us pursue a religion rather than Jesus?
For those in this Galatians passage, new believers were being asked to follow the old Jewish Law in addition to accepting Jesus as their savior. But how can Jesus be our savior, if we are still trying to save ourselves with religion?
As far as I can remember, Jesus never commanded an individual to modify his/her behavior until after they expressed a desire to follow Him. The follower of Jesus should be as inviting to all people as Jesus was. Regardless of education, color, race, sexual orientation, and previous religious background, Christianity should display Jesus as he is, not how we would like to make him. Conviction, and life change are the work of the regenerated heart, not the disciplined convert.