I love listening to music. I am not a great singer, as my daughter has let me know by asking me to stop singing please, and when I asked her why me and not Mom, she told me that Mom sings good and I do not. But I do like to sing in the car when no one is riding with me. I have loved music as long as I can remember, and have always wished I was more musically inclined. When I was in Jr. High, I joined the school band and played the trumpet. I spent most of my time in band goofing off with my friend Matt. We would joke around, flirt with the girls, and spit wads of paper through straws into the tuba when the band director was not looking. So anyway, I was listening to the radio while driving, and a country song came on the station I was listening to. If you do not know me very well, you may not know that I hate country music. You see, I grew up listening to rock music with some 70's folk type music mixed in. Now it seems like that every station you listen to plays a little bit of everything. My thing is that if I wanted to listen to country music, I would have the radio on a station that only plays country music. I don't know for sure, but I am pretty positive that the country stations are not slipping in a Journey song every once in a while, or a Justin Timberlake song. Why then, when I am listening to the style of music I like am I expected to suffer through a Taylor Swift or Rascal Fats song? It just seems crazy to me. It's kind of like going to your favorite Mexican restaurant and ordering a meal, and when you get your food you find out they have slipped a couple of egg rolls on your plate. Just because a lot of people like egg rolls does not mean that I want to eat egg rolls with my burrito.
The hole situation made me think of how tolerant and inclusive we are expected to be. I am all about loving people where they are the way Jesus did, but I do not have to accept behaviors I know to be wrong. Just because someone wants to justify their behavior by declaring it wright in their own eyes, and then screaming "don't you dare judge me!", does not mean that it magically became OK for them to do wrong. It is critical that we remember that God is the one who declairs if something is OK or not, and it does not magically become fine for someone to sin just because they have declared it not sin. We are also under no obligation to accept their behavior as acceptable just because they claim to think it is OK. In fact God expects us to stand up for what is right, and take a stand for Him. Jesus loved people, but he was not some week namby pamby non confrontational person that slid through life never offending anyone and never calling out any one about their sin. In fact if you read the Bible, you will find a lot of examples where Jesus called people out about their sin. He got right in the face of the woman that came to get water at the well he was resting at. He wasn't "fine" with her behavior, he put it out there and forgave her and told her to go and sin no more. That's the key to the whole thing, how can we share the forgiveness that Jesus offers if we are declaring with our actions, or with our silence and acceptance, that their is no sin, just a difference of beliefs and morals. That is why Jesus was so hard on the Pharisees, they believed that they were innocent of all sins. If we are never forced to face our sin, the realization that we are lost in our sin, their can be no forgiveness. More men die of cancer then women because they refuse to admit that they are sick, and they wait until the last minute to go to the doctor. By that time whatever they have has advanced to such a state that there is not a lot of options for them. That is why Jesus said he came to heal the sick, not the well. We all are sick with sin, but some people just refuse to admit to themselves that they are.