Condemn, Condone or Compromise

condemnGalatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Condemn. Condone. Compromise. These seem to be the most prevalent alternatives the church is given in how to deal with the culture.

Condemn it. There’s certainly enough scripture people use to justify this outlook. And it’s the one of which we’re most likely to be accused. Believers come across as quick to judge, harsh and righteously indignant. The Condoners don’t want to judge anyone. They like to quote the scripture where Jesus says to the woman in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you.” They miss the next part…“go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Those who opt for the Compromise position want the best of both worlds…not too hard, not too soft. Kind of like Goldilocks. Solomon casts it in stronger language: “Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked” (Proverbs 25:26).

So what do we do? Must we put shades over our light for fear the glare will drive people away? Do we have to prove to the alcoholic that we love him by buying him a drink? Do we have to sell our birthright in order not to be viewed as legalists or bigots? I don’t think so. I believe there’s another way.

Be Crucified with Christ

When we die to ourselves and let Christ live within us, we discover options other than condemning, condoning or compromising. In being crucified with Christ we let him “love us to death” by sending all our agendas, biases, and defensiveness to the grave. He replaces the “planks in our eye” with vision to see the “specks” in others through the lens of a love refined (Matthew 7:5).  We confront the culture, but as Francis Schaeffer once said, “we confront with a tear in our eye.” That is the good news of the gospel of which we ought never be ashamed.

So are you being squeezed into one of the caricatures of the church? Will you instead, by faith in the Son of God, be the real thing? Will you be crucified with Christ? Will you then speak the truth, speak the truth in love?

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