Sunday, March 04, 2007

What Would Jesus Do? If You Want to Follow Jesus, You Will Be Tested.

Walking in the ways of Christ will bring demanding and uncertain opportunities to test our discipleship. Christ assured of this in scripture. Follow the link below to see one group of Christians faced with just such a test.

Sex Offender Causes Stir at Nev. Church

I think they are probably handling their situation pretty well, but what are your thoughts?

On Saturday evening, our church faced a little test too with a new participant (nothing on the scale of the Nevada church). It will be interested to see how those involved will handle the situation. Maybe Phil will blog about that incident (hope he takes the bait).

Do Christians really want to love those outside their sanctuaries? It isn't going to be easy, but it is critical we do so.

10 comments:

Phil said...

It will in fact be the subject of my Friday post.

That's called a teaser.

JMG said...

Jesus made loving the unloveable his business. It has been my prayer for a long time that I would have a love for those that society throws away.

I have heard people say that sex offenders are beyond hope, that they'll never be "normal," yet at the same time Christians profess that God can do anything. That includes healing the sex offender of the urges that drive him to do what he does. I really admire the Nevada congregation for taking this man in and holding him accountable. Perhaps if more churches took in troubled people with the goal of helping them through love, there would be many fewer troubled people in the world.

Tony Arnold said...

I didn't want to call you a tease Phil! But glad you are doing it. Figured you would.

Great thoughts JMG.

I am in NOLA/Baton Rouge all week, but will be checking in.

Anonymous said...

I am a convicted sex offender born and living in Ireland.

I have read the story about the story concerning the church in Nevada.

Since my sin became known over four years ago I have withdrawn completely from any form of Chirsitan fellowship. Any attempt by me to be seen in any sort of association with Christians would only bring scandal to the church. I understand this. Indeed I believe it is absolutely right that no one should associate with a piece of scum like me. I am going to hell I know and I am choosing to do so knowing that it is what I deserve. I do not want to bring anyone else with me though.

Brent said...

Anon,

You are not going to hell. Nobody deserves to spend an eternity in a place because of bad choices. Please don't adhere to a view that there is a God out there who is waiting to punish you. It is not true.

What you have done is surely bad according to all standards in our society. However, there are reasons you have done some of these things and they are NOT all your fault. You have developed an unhealthy perspective of sex and intimacy over the years. I think that you CAN change, though most of the world has given up on you and those like you.

None of us can shrug our past. We CAN, however, affect our own future. Please find someone who is willing to help you change the way you think and you will find freedom. You can leave hell behind and look forward to a better future. Don't give up on yourself.

David said...

Anon,

I am very much with Brent on this one. I have a very good friend who is a sex offender. He is in prison right now for it. He has said some of the very things you are saying. I tell him that God loves unconditionally, that no sin is beyond God's reach to forgive...nothing can ever separate you from that. My friend can not understand why I would still love him as my friend, he can't even forgive himself and thinks that no one else should either. There is a great difference between not forgiving yourself and the unconditional forgiveness that God extends to you. It is there for the taking if you will only accept it.

JMG said...

Well said, Brent.

Anonymous, I agree that you aren't going to hell, and you aren't scum. And the scandal would be if a church turned you away in your quest for change and freedom. Please don't withdraw from those who can be a positive influence in your life.

Phil said...

My post on the subject is up.

Tony Arnold said...

Anon, I hope you found some comfort here. Thank you for posting.

Tony

Tony Arnold said...

p.s. Anon

There are going to be men and women who will not love you. You may not even love yourself for a long while.

But...God loves you. He won't give up on you, so don't give up on yourself.

God forgives unconditionally, but He never promised to absolve us of the earthly consequences of our sin. Look at David. But God does promise to love us and sustain us through those consequences. And through those tribulations, if our hearts are with Him, we will become something we were not, and He will use us to His glory.

I pray you receive peace and healing. I pray for peace and healing for those you harmed.

You seem to have taken responsibility for your actions. And that is the first step to healing. God be with you.

Tony