One of the best decisions I have made in my walk with the Lord is choosing to participate in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). This is my third year doing it and every single year, I am challenged by God’s Word and blessed by the fellowship I weekly enjoy. That being said, this year we’re studying the book of Revelation. I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t thrilled. I love Revelation, but you know… it can get a little gloom-and-doom if not taught with the right perspective. Long story short, they are ROCKING this study and my heart is being re-awakened to things that lay dormant. God is incredibly gracious. That being said, I was doing my lesson this morning and diving into Christ’s letters to the 7 Churches this morning and a question stopped me dead-in-my-tracks.
Enter in this blogpost. The quesiton was “How will you stand for truth in a culture that is hostile to the Lord Jesus Christ and His people?”
Uhh. Umm. Well.
Here’s the thing. I don’t consider myself a wishy-washy Christian. I am not a baby who doesn’t know.
Right is right. Wrong is wrong. And I stand on Jesus Christ being the pillar of truth and His character being love.
I got this.
But then, I got to thinking. I am fully aware that the mission of a Christian is to declare truth out of the place of love. But when I sit down to practically answer that BSF question, I am a little dumbfounded that practically speaking, I’ve got nothing. All I can think about are the two negative extremes of truth and love. I think about Pharisees who use truth (or their version of it) to beat individuals over the head. I think about the ones who tell homosexuals that God hates them. I think about the ones who uses God’s loving challenges as instruments of fear instead of transformation. I think about the people who condemn the aborting mother for making the difficult (or not-so) choice they made. I think about the ones who are so caught up in their religious, Jesus-filled bubble who become appalled at the world outside it.
No. That’s not it. I don’t want to be like that.
But then, I think about the ones who’s truth in love operates out of a false ideology of love. That love is self-seeking and self-serving and therefore truth is relative to whatever works for you. I think about the Church of Sardis in Revelation 3:1-6 and I think about how they had the reputation of being alive, but they were dead. I think about how they assimilated themselves to the culture so much that there was no persecution of them. Sound familiar?
No. That’s not it either. I am called to be the Light of the World. The Salt of the Earth.
What does it look like to stand for truth in love, practically? I’m moved you guys. I don’t want to just answer this question for the sake of “finishing my lesson.” I want to honestly and truthfully seek Jesus and ask Him, because there is a dying and sick world out there, and as believers we are not called to the Church, we are called to the world. The culture of the American Church is off-base guys. As a blanket statement, we are missing out. We are either assimilated to the culture or practicing Pharisaical religion. I’m not saying this in condemnation, I am saying this out of a place of genuine brokenness and lack. I am missing it and so is the mass of believers. We lack grace. We lack a genuine revelation of love. We lack the boldness and courage to stand up and declare truth. We are incomplete (Revelation 3:2).
But. The Good News. The glorious news is that we don’t have to lack. We are not made for lack and Jesus is so merciful that He makes abundance in every area we crave as believers (and even those we don’t) readily available through the Cross. All we have to do is receive it and allow His Holy Spirit to begin to reveal truth and love to us. We need both. We need to marry them and walk with them, understanding that the God we serve is creative and that He will paint this picture for me one way and for you another. Jesus Christ is the way but through Him, the possibilities are endless.
Seeking truth and love,