What is wrong with Christianity in North America? Sixteen days ago (when I wrote this) someone walked into a nightclub and shot a whole lot of members of the LGBT community. The outpouring of love and support that came immediately afterwards was refreshing to see, but...
Why does there always have to be a "but"?
But it didn't take long for many people uncomfortable with the reality that their neighbours are a part of or endorse the gay community to come back out into the daylight and start spewing vitriol again. Christians have been fighting back and forth for the last two weeks about whether or not homosexuality is a sin, fighting to the point of name-calling and verbally abusing each other. In honesty, I agree with one side's theology on the issue, but the behaviour of both sides is deeply, deeply embarrassing to me, and much more importantly, to the Great Commission Jesus has set us on.
The Great Commission calls us to first be heralds of the Gospel; to be bringers of Good News. We are not called to be harbingers of doom.
[bctt tweet="We are called to be heralds of the Gospel, not harbingers of doom." username="thekevinseguin"]
To be certain, there is an aspect of doom within the Gospel message. There must be, and I can't (and won't) ignore that. The mission we have been given, however, is to bring mercy and love, to proclaim good news to captives that they are free. Free from sin, free from shame, and free from condemnation. Repentance from sin is an integral part of that, of course, but sanctified living and putting sin to death is also a continual, life-long mission for the Christian.
Note how I phrased that, putting sin to death is something that Christians are called to for the rest of their lives. Christians. People who are already in the kingdom. People like you and people like me.
Jesus' sacrifice on the cross covers all sin, all of it. Yes, even that one; especially that one. When we talk about forgiveness from sin we mean ALL sin. Both the sin nature we were born into and also the individual sins we commit and continue to commit.
Gay people are going to be included in the Kingdom, gay people are going to be excluded from the Kingdom.
Straight people are going to be included in the Kingdom, straight people are going to be excluded from the Kingdom.
Baptist people are going to be included in the Kingdom, baptist people are going to be excluded from the Kingdom.
Presbyterians, black people, white people, brown people, I could go on and on.
When we talk about salvation, let's talk about Jesus, the Good News first. Then, and only then ought we talk about behaviour, and when we do that, let's have some grace with one another.