I’m very sad this morning about this.
My first response: ‘Are you kidding, me?’ Not because he is a particularly great guy or because he is a ‘Christian’. I don’t know him. And I’m enough out of the loop that I wouldn’t even recognize him on the street.
I’m just sad and frustrated that another family gets devastated and another marriage gets blown up.
He’s right about this: MY COMFORT IS THAT GOD IS A GRACIOUS AND FORGIVING GOD TO THOSE WHO SINCERELY SEEK HIS FORGIVENESS AS I DO.
And he’s right about this: BUT I AM SO ASHAMED TO HAVE HURT THOSE I LOVE.
I’m very disappointed.
Let me emphasize 3 things:
1. Sexuality is hard no matter your demographic. It is difficult to be outside of a marriage covenant and to have sexual desires (ie, to be single and to choose the discipline of self-denial). It is difficult to be inside a marriage covenant and be faithful to one person forever and to grow deeper in intimacy and serving each other (see 1Cor 7: 1-5). This is why it matters first and foremost what you believe about Jesus, the resurrection, and the Holy Spirit living in you. We can only approach sexuality the way the Bible describes if we are fully convinced about what God has done in us and for us through His Son. If you are not fully convinced, the behavior is merely rigid moralism. But even with the Holy Spirit, the teaching of 1 Cor 6 is challenging (to be clear, it’s not confusing, not culturally mitigated, not obtuse– it’s challenging. It’s difficult.) It really is hard to follow Jesus and it really is choosing to lay down your rights and it really is letting parts of you be put to death (pruned!) so that real life can happen.
2. ALL of us have a ‘past’. We all have stuff we have done that brings shame and condemnation. What do we do with our guilt and shame? There really is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Ps 32.5 says that God even forgives the ‘guilt’ of our sin. He can wash away guilty feelings and shame. Only God takes seriously the depth of our wrong. He doesn’t flinch at what we have done. And only God moves commensurately to provide forgiveness and new life.
3. Many of us have a ‘present‘. We have stuff we are doing, stuff we are mired in, that feels like it has a real hold on us. We might like to stop it or do something differently, but we don’t know how. We just feel despair. In two weeks (May 30) we will look at Galatians 5 and think about the freedom that Christ brings for those who are in Him, for those who have the Spirit.
There is hope.