Fighting The Wrong Fight

Sometimes it seems that we just fight for the sake of fighting.  It feels good and we are, after all, the do it if it feels good nation.  There is a bully in front of us, so we fight.  There is a moral dilemma in front of us, so we fight it.  There is sin in front of us, so we confront it.

 

Unfortunately when we are in the fight we often lose sight of the reasons we fight or the desired outcome.  The other problem is when we fight the outside problems of the world and its sin we often fail to fight or even recognize the inner sin that each of us carries with us.

 

If we look closely at the life and words of Jesus we will find that he seemed much more concerned with the inner issues each man and woman faces than he was with the outer problems that we want to spend so much time trying to correct.  Jesus was not concerned with the cleanliness of the outer man—he told the Pharisees that it was what was in a man’s heart that makes all of the difference.

 

When Jesus was confronted with the woman caught in adultery he responded in a way much different from our modern Christian mindset.  It is ironic that we are considered to be the people who represent Jesus to the world and we cannot repeat his compassion or passion properly.  At any rate, Jesus looked at this woman who was condemned by the law—condemned to death.  He did not condemn her.  He did not require her to repeat a prayer.  He did not give her a tongue lashing.  He did not give her penance to do.  He did not tell her that her freedom would be found in hanging out with some other people who said they were believers.

 

He drove away her accusers and then said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way.  From now on sin no more.”  That seems a rather simple approach to sin and the sinner.  This woman was an adulterer.  She deserved death according to the law and Jesus was unwilling to bring her to death.  She deserved shame for committing such an awful sin and Jesus was unwilling to condemn her and shame her.

 

Instead, he showed her love and sent her on her way confident that love was enough to change a heart and a life.

 

What a refreshing moment!  If only we could do the same, but we must fight sinners and tell them they are sinners and going to hell.  We must force them to change the rules they live by and live by our rules.

 

If only we, the saints believed in Jesus instead of our rules and regulations.

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Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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