The Christian Church has failed our communities over the past 50+ years. Rather than preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to those around us, too much time has been spent bemoaning the failing standards of society. To be frank, moralism has seeped into even Evangelical Churches.
If you don’t believe me, check out the rules our parents & grandparents made that are not Biblical in the slightest. Things like going to the cinema is bad and drinking alcohol is bad. For generations, the Church tried to enforce what God expects of His people on the whole of society. Rather than telling friends and colleagues about the Lord Jesus, time was spent correcting work colleagues, friends & family members for behaving improperly. This has led to the church being seen as anti-everything and having very little positive to say about anything.
This couldn’t be further from the Bible tells us we should be doing. Our primarily calling to those around us is not to try and moralise them and make them show “Christian” behaviour even though they are not Christians. Jesus did not come to make people better people. He came to deal with their greatest need. Jesus said in Mark 2, that he hadn’t come for those who were healthy, he’d come for the sick.
Earlier on in the chapter, we are told of a paralysed man who is brought before Jesus for healing. Suprisingly, Jesus doesn’t make the guy better but tells him that his sins forgiven. Initially it looks like Jesus isn’t dealing with the issue. This lame man hadn’t come to Jesus for his sins — he had come because of his legs! He wanted to be able to stand up again and be able to walk like other healthy people. On the face of it that was this man’s greatest need but Jesus turns this sort of logic upside down.
Jesus shows that what’s inside is more important than what’s outside. As terrible as being paralysed was, it was not this man’s greatest need. His greatest need was to have his sin forgiven. His need wasn’t physical, it was spiritual. Humanity’s greatest need is to have their sins forgiven. I wonder, as Christians, if we truly grasp this. We spend too much time trying to moralise society rather than telling people that they need their sin forgiving and that Jesus is the only one who can do that.
Our friends who are gay. Their biggest need is not to become straight, it’s to have their sins forgiven. Becoming straight is not what is needed. Having their sins forgiven by Jesus is.
Our friends who are suffering with illness. Their biggest need is not to be healed, it’s to have their sins forgiven. Being healed from sickness will not make them right with God, only Jesus can do that.
Our friends who spend each weekend drinking much more than they should. Their biggest need is not to stop drinking, it’s to have their sins forgiven. Becoming teetotal will not deal with their sin. Only Jesus can do that.
So stop trying to moralise people and tell them about Jesus – because He is the only one who can deal with their greatest need.