I want to make a few things clear today for my more liberal friends:
- I don’t care who you love
- I don’t care what you do
- I don’t care what decisions you make for yourself
- Your life is not my business unless you try to make it my business
- And I don’t care if you agree with me or not on any given topic
But here’s your problem: God does care.
I tell people if I were the one who wrote the Bible it would read A LOT differently than it does. There are things in it I just don’t like. God wasn’t kidding when He said that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He does things VERY differently than we do and honestly it can be a real pain in the butt trying to follow His ways when everything in our biology, society and intellect tells us to do it another.
But that’s how God rolls. That scripture in Isaiah I noted talks about how His ways are not just different from our ways but “higher” than ours, meaning more holy and righteous. In other words, God is telling us that we won’t understand His ways because our little pea brains can’t even come close to comprehending His ways He is so much higher than we are. That is why He tells us not to lean on our own understanding but in all things trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). God also warns us in Proverbs 14:12 that there is a path that seems right to man but it only leads to death.
I like how Paul puts it in his first letter to the Corinthians chapter 10 verse 23: “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
My friends – you have the right to do anything you want but not all of it is good even if that path looks right to you and makes sense in your own understanding.
- You can love whomever you want but according to God it’s not beneficial to you
- You can use abortion as birth control but according to God it’s rejecting a gift and blessing
- You can say there is no God but according to God that makes you a fool (Psalm 14:1)
- You can claim there is no such thing a sin but according to God you are a liar (1 John 1:8)
- You can practice sexual immorality (adultery, premarital sex/sex outside marriage, pornography, homosexuality, bestiality, etc…) but God says you’re sinning against your own body – God’s temple
- You can get divorced, but God says He hates divorce
- You can hate your enemy, but God says you only will be forgiven as you forgive others
So what’s with God anyway? He gives us free will to do whatever we choose but if we choose wrong we get hammered. Here’s the two that are the hardest on Christians:
- Love your neighbor as yourself
- Jesus says, “If you love me you’ll do as I command.”
These are the two pieces of my faith as a Christian that don’t allow me simply to write you off if you do things with which I disagree. God tells me that it is my responsibility on this earth to love you the way Jesus loves me, and Jesus didn’t just write me off when I was doing things He didn’t like. Instead, my job is to show you how much God loves you by doing my best to show you that love through how I treat you. And God expects me to love you in all ways, including showing you the error of your ways when you are doing something that is permissible but less than what God has for you.
As a friend, I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, or want to sleep with unicorns. But as a Christian I MUST tell you out of my love for you that to reap the full reward God has for you that you need to refrain from sex outside of marriage; not act on your impulses whether you’re straight or gay or whatever you call yourself these days; not follow your biological urgings if you are attracted to the same-sex – it’s an aberration, not what God intends for you; and not to make sex the primary focus on your life but instead make God that focus.
As a friend, I don’t care what you do with your life. If you want to win a “Darwin Award” or be “Chlorine for the Gene Pool” be my guest. But as a Christian I am compelled to love you enough to stop you from doing things that are harmful to you in God’s eyes even when you don’t see it with your own eyes.
As a friend, I don’t care what decisions you make. If you want to gamble away your money; spend hours searching the net for porn; quit your job; date people bad for you what do I care? But as a Christian I have an obligation of love to do what I can to disabuse you of decisions that will cause you pain because you choose things outside God’s will for you!
It’s true that your life is not my business unless of course you are my neighbor whom I am to love. And if you are my neighbor how can I do anything but care about your life?
I’ll be honest and tell you that it’s SO much easier not to care. You can just turn a blind eye to what’s happening around you and in the world, cozy up with your Bible and personal faith, and just bask in the warmth of your own cocoon of religion. But that’s not what Jesus demands of us.
As a disciple of Jesus He expects me to get dirty and to love people regardless of their performance. He expects me to tell them about God, who He is, what He wants from us, and how He can powerfully transform their lives into something incredible. As a disciple of Jesus I have to care about you just like He does which means sharing with you the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, helpful and harmful, and God’s ways and our ways. And I must do this whether you like it or not.
As your friend I don’t care but as a Christian I care deeply. As your friend you can choose whatever you want but as a Christian I so want to spend eternity with you that I have to tell you when you’re not doing it right. As your friend you rejecting God or His ways doesn’t really affect me and what I choose to do. But as a Christian your rejection of God and His ways deeply troubles me because the path you are choosing leads to death and I love you too much to allow you simply to march blindly to your death without me even saying something to try to convince you to take a different path.
So I’m stuck! There are times I really don’t care about you and what you’re doing. It’s your life and if you want to make a train wreck out of it that’s your choice. But I know that God does care about everything in your life big and small, which means as a follower of Jesus Christ I must care about you as deeply as I am able as well.
Thus, at the end of the day I don’t care but God does, which means I do, too.