6 With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Christians are accused of belonging to a high and mighty club, where they decide who’s good enough to pass the gates. But in reality, the only password is the word ‘sinner’ and we all share it. Our goal, to be free of it once and for all; to throw away the rule book and be loved by a God who ‘keeps no record of wrongs.’
But it seems to me that another club is the sneering elite of the skeptics, and that those who seek to cling to their faith are the ones left out in the cold, blamed for the world’s ills, ridiculed for believing in the good parts of their antiquated faith.
For both sides love is demanded. For Christianity love is commanded. Of course tolerance, say both. The one says there are no sinners but those who say the word ‘sinners.’ The other says equality comes from the baseline of common humanity. We all fall short, not just in our sex lives but in many other ways. And we all, whether or not we choose to accept it, judge others by our own rule book.
Jesus said, first commandment, Love God. And the second is like it; Love Your Neighbor. Ah, said those standing by him, but who is your neighbor? And so Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.
A man lie bloody and squishy looking beside the highway. First to walk by, the religious scion of society; a priest. ‘Eww,’ he said, and passed by on the other side of the road. Second to walk by, religious scion number two, a Levite. He passed by as well. And third to come along, the Samaritan, who, even more than base Gentiles was snubbed by the Jews of the time. And what did the Samaritan do? He cared. He stopped and showed compassion, he was gentle and tended to the man’s wounds. He carried him to a safe haven and paid for all of his care.
In short, who passed the test of love?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galations 5: 22, 23
This is the real rule book of Christianity.