When I want a good laugh sometimes I walk in a Christian book store and read the titles of books. I love Christian books. But some writers confuse our work and Gods work. Get it straight God is the master I am the servant. He takes care of the big stuff I do the little stuff. Sometimes I mess the little stuff up.
One thing that is God’s stuff is the culture. God completely controls the culture. The Bible says:
Ephesians 1:21–22 (ESV)
21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
God rules over all authority, power, dominion, name and church. All things are under his feet. So the next time you are in the Christian book store you too can giggle at the book titles about changing our culture or what we did wrong to let the culture get in this condition. Rest assured God has a plan and it is on schedule.
So the culture is Gods job. What is ours? Simple it is to be salt and light. My job is not to save my lost friends it is to be salt and light. I am close to them They need to see my light and taste the goodness of God. They can not do that if I am holding a sign they find offensive. “But Pastor I am holding this sign to show people our culture in going down the drain”. God’s job not yours. Salt and light has nothing to do with a sign. It is all about one human loving another.
How do we stand for what is right and live close enough to the lost to be salt and light? We need to look to what Jesus did. He always stated the truth without respect of person. If you are always afraid of hurting peoples feeling speaking the truth will be hard for you. Sometimes the truth hurts. After speaking the truth Jesus would foster a relationship. When the woman was brought to him caught in adultery. Jesus said you who are without sin caste the first stone. You do understand they could have started throwing rocks. The law said stone her. Jesus wrote something in the sand that caused them to respond differently. But most Bible scholars believe Jesus began a long relationship here. Nicodemus was told something difficult by Jesus. But a long relationship started that lasted past the death of Christ.
The hard part is speaking the truth and fostering a relationship at the same time. In my life it has worked many times. It has also failed a few. I have a friend that is gay. Before I knew he was gay I had clearly stated what the Bible says about homosexuality being sin. When he told me he was gay, the first thing I said was I want to keep being your friend. He said the same thing. We agreed I would not require him to stop being gay to stay friends. And he would not ask me to bless his lifestyle to stay friends.
Now I am not saying our friendship has not been stressed a few times. He is not the closest friend I have. But we are still friends. I have shed salt and light into his life. He has helped me understand why some gays feel the way they do about some Christians. He is no longer in a gay lifestyle. I can’t take any credit for that, the gay lifestyle itself caused that. But he has not accepted God, yet. He may not ever accept God. Not my job. My job is to be salt and light, and a friend.