I think it should be enough to say "I love you", without having to add "but I don't approve of what you do".
I am continually amazed that the christian mentality seems to equate love with either pity or perfection. think about it...
You pity that person in sin. On a good day you love them in spite of it.
On a perfect day you love them out of it.
I think that Jesus loves them in it.
Now let's take it closer to home. Jesus doesn't just love them in it...He loves me in it.
We won't take time right now to discuss saint/sinner/redeemed. Let it be enough for this discussion to say that I do still sin. Therefore, I am a sinner. Redeemed, yes. But that is not my point right this minute.
Jesus loves me in my sin.
His love does not wait for me to change. He looks at me smack where I am and accepts me there.
Without ever covering me up with how much of a screw up I am or how much he disapproves of me.
He doesn't talk to me that way. The scriptures that I have been taught to cherish don't read that way anymore....but they used to.
I was raised to revere the bible as the Holy Scripture...the Holy Word of God...the only way that God spoke. All I needed for living was in that book. And believe me, it was full of rules and regulations about life. The life instruction book. That is how christians see it. ok that is fine.
Trouble is, in my experience, once you have a written set of rules/instructions you tend to get busy telling other people how to go about things. You figure that you have the authority to go messin in other people's lives. You poke your nose in. In their best interest of course.
Problem with that is that it is none of your business. It is God's business.
At some point, and Glory to God Hallelujah! I realized that it is not my job to change people. Not my job even when I love them dearly and want them to change. Not my job when they are bugging the crap out of me with their incessant sinning. Not my job when I am super right and they are dead wrong.
I can't think of a place where He told me to take the written word and go make sure that everyone is following it.
Let's look at this another way. If you put aside the written scripture for a minute what do you have left? Could you exist without it?
Do you trust the Holy Spirit of God enough to instruct you if you had no access to the written word?
We do it every day you know. We who have been raised in the church, who know those scriptures by heart, we walk without it all the time. We misquote it, manipulate it to fit our personal preference, disregard entire sections... How do we survive?
Well, mostly we walk around with our heads hung low as we wallow in muck and feel the disapproval of God. Just a bunch of screw ups. Unworthy.
The scripture we know has been drilled into us and set around us as a barbed wire fence. Stay inside.
Death beyond these lines. Here be monsters.
We walk afraid.
Our security feels sketchy at best because we continually look for breaks in the fence. Even in the moments that we feel secure we terrorize others with messages of death.
Don't do that or you will die! Be afraid!
Yet in the scriptures that we have been taught to revere, we see the messages about freedom, and easy burdens, and light and good news.
Why do these get so convoluted with the how to's and what for's?
How does freedom become a death threat?
Even in the places in scripture where there is instruction, it is continually wrapped up in bow of good news.
These men were dealing with some hard stinky human fallacy yet they repeatedly told people to remember that their reward was waiting. They told people to hold on and to rejoice. They encouraged people walk in the freedom that had already been bought and paid for them. For their future. For their now.
Still, we christians take these words and use them to illustrate our depravity.
Love waiting for us to get it all together. Here is how to do it, so do it, moron. Jesus loves you, it's not brain surgery, why can't you get it right?
We talk about grace sometimes. Sometimes we even mean it. Still, hurdling that fence...only the bravest will even try it.
I want to realize each day the newness of God loving me right where I am.
Even when I am testing His mercy and dancing way outside the borders of the barbed wire.
Especially when I believe more than anything that His love depends on that fence...and my staying safely inside.
The words "I love you, but" were never uttered by God.
I put to you today the challenge to love. Period. And I ain't gonna lie to you...it is gonna suck. Hurt bad. Exquisite pain in the name of Jesus.
It is going to rip your heart in two to have to love someone in their sin.
Just forget the words condone and approve.
Trust God...who defines Himself as Love... to do all the work that your "not condoning" can't get done.
Trust Love to rush in and bind and heal and restore all the places that you don't approve of.
Believe that it is enough to Love God and Love others as you love yourself. (yeah, that is the tricky part)
Here is some instruction for you...stop telling everybody what to do, or not do.
(you see the irony here don't you)
I can only speak for my journey. All the places where I said "christians", and "you" and "them"...I meant me.
I am talking to myself here but you can listen in.
Actually, the following words are not me...they come from my Love.
I love you. Period.