When we think of the life of faith we think of moral rules. It’s part of our culture to think that religion gives us the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of life. But, what if we don’t agree with the way the church has defined right and wrong? What if we don’t measure up to the standards that the church puts forth?
These are BIG questions… and more than a few folks have walked away from the church over them. Our theme this week is being ‘born again’… and I think this idea in the Christian faith points us to focus not upon right and wrong so much as focusing on God’s yearning for us… and our seeking after God.
Truth be told, we are all a little wrong when it comes to moral purity. We are all a little wrong when it comes to full knowledge and understanding of truth. We are all a little wrong when it comes to our motivations, methods, and character. The fact that the church has ‘demonized’ certain lifestyles over the centuries is at best unhelpful, and at worst, hypocritical.
No one can be ‘born again’ under the judgement of being ‘wrong’… we need freedom from judgement in order to flourish as the people God created us to be. Think about it: true peace, joy, love, and grace only grow in our lives when we do not feel condemned. This is Good News because it is exactly what God has planned for us. Many of us know the famous Scripture: John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
But, how many of us know what follows in Jon 3:17 (Thanks to Pastor Derrick for reminding us of this a few weeks ago):
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
In order to be ‘born again’ we have to live in a place where being ‘good’ or ‘good enough’ by church standards is not THE standard.