Number two on my Christian music playlist is probably Casting Crowns. A little more popular, a little more feel-good, but still some pretty convicting stuff from time to time. They've got the goods.
I was recently directed to a song of theirs I had never heard before called “Jesus, Friend of Sinners.” Obviously, it is about Jesus loving sinners and the fact that He spent a lot of time with them during His time on earth. It is a good song with a great message. However, there are a few lines in there that I can’t get out of my mind. So, like I often do, I am now going to write about those lines in an attempt to clear my mind.
♫Nobody knows what we're for only what we're against when we judge the wounded.
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and love like You did.♫
Wow. I have felt this way for a long time, but I have never been able to find the words. I see “Christians” protesting, picketing, complaining, writing hateful letters, and verbally attacking folks for what they believe to be sinful behavior. They want to make it abundantly clear that the Bible teaches that certain things are wrong. They want their stance to be known, and they want to be seen and heard proclaiming that stance so there is no confusion about their opinions.
Yes, the Bible tells us that certain behaviors are sinful. But aren’t we all sinners? The Bible does say that we are to purge evil from among us. But doesn’t it also say that we should remove the plank from our own eye before worrying about the speck in someone else’s? We are commanded to gently restore our brothers and sisters when they fall into sinful behavior. Yet, Jesus said that the greatest commandments revolve around love.
If all the world sees is Christians condemning, judging, and looking down on people that are struggling to find God, why in the world would they be interested in knowing the Christ we claim to follow? If we are only outspoken about what we are against, how will people ever know about the love and freedom that a relationship with Jesus provides?
The only people that we see Jesus confronting in the Bible are the religious leaders that were missing the big picture. He spent most of His time with the lowest of the low in His society. He had meals with them. He prayed for them. He loved them.
So if the term Christian really means “like-Christ,” it seems that we are way off base. And if we want to change that, it starts with you and it starts with me. Let’s show this world who the real Jesus is.