I grieve when I see what has happened to the church... today. Especially here in the USA. It saddens me because I can see in scripture what we are capable of ~ because of what we have available to us - the Holy Spirit! My husband and I regularly talk about this...how the church's love has grown cold, and has turned into an organization or I would call it a club...of particular ethics ~ because it excludes people. We have seen time and time again that not everyone is 'truly' welcome...as there is a harshness shown against certain sins and religions over others that keep people from coming back or coming at all.
Did Jesus exclude or alienate certain people because of their sin? No, He didn't...In fact He went out of His way to be among them! He wants to forgive and begin restoring them, just like He did you and me. Or do you think the job is too big for Him?...or His love is only for specific people?
We are to love them with Christ's love...then in God's time, He changes them. Have you grown and changed all at once? Most don't...and some issues take much longer .
Rom. 5:20 "Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."
But God is patient, and He asks that of us too. We obey the New Commandment and He'll change them! Another great thing that Christians have forgotten; It is the sick that need a physician!
This truth should satisfy everyone/all sides, that is, if they believe it. Therefore, if homosexuality is a sin, then Christians should do whatever they can to include them, not exclude. To do whatever it takes... to "be all things" so as to win some, as Paul speaks about in 1 Cor. chap's 9-11...so as to bring as many people as possible to our precious Lord.
So much of the bible has been forgotten...like the greatest commandment; loving our neighbor as ourselves. Is the homosexual not our neighbor? Yet many have done the opposite...and have not truly treated some as their neighbor. Please, go to God and ask Him to show you how....
Bring people to God...love them...show interest in their lives...find common ground -- maybe you both like to knit or fish? If they ask you to go to a bar, you can say you are uncomfortable with that, but how about coffee at IHOP? The most important thing is to show them that they are worth spending some time with as Christ did with so many people during His ministry. Then you both go to your own homes after...it's not hard.
As they see the contrast...the difference in how you treat them, versus how most people treat them...they get a chance to taste and see that the Lord is good! God will continue to teach and guide you as you shine His light to others....
We (Christians) have gotten way too far away from what Christ taught...which is to love our enemies. Did He mean it theoretically? I don’t think so. Yes, in our natural mind some of the teachings of Islam are scary. However, what the shame of this is, is that we have a power that does not even compare with theirs, a power that Christ exemplified and a power that is in us that can shine a light so bright as to save their souls.
I think that Islam is growing because of our fear. Yes, I am blaming us...because Christians have something inside of us that can never be replicated or out-done by any other religion! We are allowing our light to be hidden under a bushel of fear. (What are some of the other reasons we hide it?) We have a power and a love that is much greater then theirs....yet, we are not taking the opportunity…the everyday opportunities we have to minister to them…to the many kinds of people coming over to this country we see everyday.
In the grocery stores...the smiles...and the friendly nods...and the "excuse me's"...and all the little ways that can show people that they have worth...can all be used by God to speak to their hearts the message, 'Jesus is real and He loves you'...because you better believe that He will use every opportunity!
There are many people that actually feel trapped in their religion. They grew up in it and don't see a way out...and also have not experienced nor seen any reason to hope for anything better!
Do you have something better?
Taking the little everyday opportunities to care about them, acknowledging them and shining a light so as to make them wonder why you are being nice to them…when they are normally treated the opposite. You take these little steps, and you better believe God will use your example to work in their hearts. (Please see link below)
Remember, that most Muslims are born into Islam and are there because they don’t know anything else, feel no option or place to go otherwise. Here, we don't even have to go anywhere! THE mission field is in our own back yard....right under our noses.
In what I see in scripture, and God's heart for the world (which is why He sent His Son) God wants to see how we will handle something that is right in front of our faces. Will we pass the test? Or will God wink at our fear and our excuses? Do you need scripture to back all of this up? There are many if you take the time….