First, allow me to define what I mean by a cultural (some may call it pop) christian. Cultural Christians are people who identify themselves as a Christian but do not necessarily adhere to the core beliefs and doctrines that are consistent with the Bible.
Psalm 1:1-6 says,
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.”
Matthew 7:15-20 says,
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
I’ve always loved this analogy that we are all like trees and we are either are healthy (regenerated) and bear good fruit or we are diseased (unregenerate) and bear bad fruit and that the healthy tree can not bear bad fruit and the diseased tree can not bear good fruit.
I am not saying that this means that those who have been regenerated and claim God as there savior can never slip up or do wrong, but rather having an affinity towards a particular sin means you may slip up from time to time, but in being a true believer will always repent and turn from that sin, only through God’s great grace and with His Spirit working in them. I came across this quote from Arthur Pink, which inspired me to write this post. He says it far better than I ever could in his book, “Exposition Of John’s First Epistle” which says,
“‘He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.'(1 John 2:4). The particular design of these verses is to take forth the precious from the vile. In them the apostle describes one of the vital differences which there is between the sheep and the goats. Of the latter it is said, ‘They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him'(Ti 1:16). They adopt the same language as the saints, believe the same doctrines, claim to be resting on the finished work of Christ, and are quite sure of their salvation; yet evince little or no concern for His precepts. They talk glibly, but walk carelessly. This is exceedingly solemn, for those who tread not in the way of God’s precepts are strangers to Him. A man spiritually knows no more than he practices, for spiritual knowledge is radical and influential. It exerts both a restraining and a constraining power, causing its subject to loathe and shun evil and to love and pursue that which is good. Therefore they who keep not God’s commandments have no experiential acquaintance with Him. ‘We cannot know Him as Lord and Father, without being dutiful children and obedient servants’ (Calvin)……..The defects and deficiencies of the Christian’s life are indeed many, nevertheless the one who has been born again evidences it by habitually walking with God.”
I came across this article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/micah-j-murray/why-i-cant-say-love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin-anymore_b_4521519.html on a christian friend of mines Facebook timeline and she was in complete agreement with the article. This article called, “Why I Can’t Say ‘Love The Sinner/Hate The Sin’ Anymore” which basically talked about loving your brothers and sisters in Christ. A direct quote from this article that I really took issue with is when the writer said,
“There is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus. To look at my gay Christian brother and say “God loves the sinner” is to set myself against Jesus and bring condemnation again to those he’s already redeemed.”
This, this is what I am talking about. I do NOT believe there is such a thing as an openly, celebratory Gay Christian. This is completely contradictory to what the Bible says and describes as His followers. Matthew 6:24 says, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other.”
Please, listen to me closely, there is such a thing as a regenerated Christian who is afflicted by same sex attraction the same as there can be a regenerated Christian who struggles with addiction to alcohol, the key is that they are repentant and TURN from things that are not of God. It is okay to struggle because we are all still sinners and are prone to human nature, but the power of the gospel is not a one time salvation experience but rather a day to day forgiveness and redemption by Christ.
I know it seems like homosexuality is the only sin that seems to be pointed out and people think we are just picking on them but I would argue that’s not the case. The issue is that I don’t think I see any other sin that is so openly committed and expected to be accepted. Homosexuals who are out and openly gay celebrate and accept their sexual orientation as a part of their identity that should just be accepted and if anyone speaks in opposition they are seen as closed minded, bigots. But I don’t see it as being a bigot at all, I see it as standing firm in the word of the Lord and holding others accountable who claim to be walking with God and proclaim the Gospel.
So, in closing let me just say that it is so important to do everything in love. So, if you know someone who is openly living in sin and does not yet know God, show them God’s love by loving them unconditionally and being there for them, showing them God’s grace and love and preaching them The Word every opportunity you get. If you know someone living in open sin who claims to be born again and walking in His way, show them love by gently calling their sin to attention and encourage them to repent and turn from their affliction by whatever means necessary. For Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
Being a Christian is so much more than marking that box when you fill out a form. Yes God is good and loving and gracious, but He is so much more than that. Truly knowing Christ and having a relationship with Him means daily repenting and turning from our sins. Might we, as children of God, constantly be examining ourselves, looking to find what is afflicting us and always be quick to repent and turn from our ways so that we might bring glory to God and honor Him in all of our ways.