I feel like I’m living the Chick-Fil-A nightmare all over again.
Remember that? When hundreds of people went and stood in line for hours to buy a chicken sandwich to protest against homosexuality?
And I remember thinking “I wonder how many of those people will actually go and talk with someone who is gay this week? This month? This year? This decade? Hear their story, welcome them into their life? Love them? Share the gospel?” I’m guessing not a lot. I don’t know? I didn’t stand in line. If you did, tell me . . . how many of you have engaged in a conversation with someone who is gay since standing in that line?
Then this week, I scroll through Facebook and I see this:
And I just wish it would stop.
Because every time I see it, I think we keep dividing, we keep judging, we keep hating, we keep pointing the finger, we keep drawing the line in the sand of “you’re in and you’re out” and it breaks my heart.
I sat with a friend just a few weeks ago who is considering the things of Christ and asked her “what is the biggest obstacle preventing you from taking that step and placing your faith in Christ?”
Her answer: “I guess I just really struggle in knowing that Christians believe you’ll go to hell for being gay.”
And my heart split in two. Because you know what Church?? That’s what people see. That’s where we’ve drawn the line in the sand. And it grieves me.
Because that’s NOT where Jesus drew the line in the sand. I struggled even writing this post today, on Good Friday, because I don’t want to take away from what we should really be meditating on.
But the reality is, today changes everything. When you understand today as a gift, a sacrificial gift, a death that we should’ve died, everything changes. Jesus becomes our hero!
God is a Rescuer. The reality is we’re all headed toward an eternity apart from our Heavenly Father because at some point in our life, we’ve rejected this gift.
When I understood that message for the first time, everything changed. I didn’t care about my sexuality, my possessions, my relationships, my career, my status, my looks, etc. I cared about knowing my Hero, my Savior, my Sacrifice, my King. I realized that I had my own understanding and my own way of doing life against the LORD’s, and that is the sin that leads to eternal separation from God.
And we still do the same today. We reject Christ by choosing our own way. By thinking that the God shaped hole in hearts can be filled by something else (sex, drugs, relationships, money, stuff, etc.) We’ve rejected it by exalting our understanding over the Living God’s. “I don’t like it so I won’t believe.”
So what if we started viewing the line in the sand that way? Not us vs. them, or gay vs. straight, or Muslim vs. Jew, but mankind vs. God, and God wins. He breaks the barrier down with The Cross and invites ALL to come. He invites us to His side through His death, the sacrifice of His son, the blood of the Lamb, and welcomes us freely.
That’s what today is all about. I used to be offended when people told me I was a “sinner” or “don’t you know Jesus died for you?” because I didn’t understand. I was a “good person” and who are these churchy people telling me I am going to hell?!
It wasn’t until I stopped listening to “churchy” people and started to get to know Jesus that I understood. I read about who this man was, the historicity of His life and death, and couldn’t deny the evidence anymore. And realized what they had been saying was true (though probably could’ve been said in a much better way).
So on this Good Friday, I hope you consider why this day is good. Because it’s the day when Love changed everything. It’s the day that represents ALL of the lines in the sand becoming a blur, all of our sin being blotted out, and the Door being opened to walk in right relationship with our Creator . . . forever.
To the broken, the lost, the hurting, the outcast, the confused, can I encourage you to look to Jesus? He is the answer.
To the Church, can I encourage to stop drawing lines in the sand and start building relationships with people who are not like you?
If there’s any stance I want to take for my faith in Christ, it’s the stance of LOVE. The stance of surrender to Good Friday, freedom to walk in the Hope that comes on Sunday, and a life that openly proclaims that message to any around.
"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5)
"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
Because really that's the gospel. The good news is that we don't have to live in torment, loneliness, guilt, shame, struggle, or oppression. Jesus died and conquered all of that. We just have to embrace it. We win by losing.
"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" (Matthew 16:24-26)