Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I Surrender!

What does that mean?
When countries are at war with each other and one surrenders, what does it mean?
When a criminal is in a battle with law enforcement officers, gives up the fight, throws down his weapons and comes out with his hands up in the internationally recognized "I surrender" pose, what does it mean?

According to it means:

1   to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress: to surrender the fort to the enemy; to surrender the stolen goods to the police.

2   to give (oneself) up, as to the police.

3   to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.: He surrendered himself to a life of hardship.

4   to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.).

5   to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.

So why do I ask this question on this day?

I ask because of all of the media publicity about religious freedom and the rights that we have, particularly as Christians. Yes, religious freedoms should apply equally to all of us, but it seems that it is the Christian groups that are making the news these days.

When I think of religious freedom, I think of being able to worship the way I choose and to live life according to a set of principles in which I believe. If, according to my beliefs, stealing is wrong, then I shouldn't steal. If  being unfaithful in marriage is wrong, then I should remain faithful to my wife. If being gay is wrong, then I shouldn't live a gay lifestyle.

If I am a business person, I should conduct my business with honesty and the moral character that reflects my personal beliefs.

Serving somebody that has been convicted of stealing, doesn't make me a thief. Providing product to a person that is divorced due to an unfaithful marriage doesn't make me and adulterer; and doing business with an LGBT person doesn't make me gay. Denying services to these people is not a reflection of Christian beliefs; it is a reflection of self-centered "I don't like those people" thinking.

And perhaps, you have the right to do that -- but let's not call it religious freedom. Let's just call it what it is -- bigotry.

Most evangelical Christians believe that when we surrender to Jesus; we surrender our will to Him. We give up our ways and begin to imitate His ways.
We don't have to sin to serve sinners.
Jesus came to us while we were sinners!

Jesus travelled through Samaria and talked to a Samaritan woman that was of poor reputation.
She was a Samaritan.
She was a woman.
And she was divorced (several times) and living with a man.

Jesus did other crazy things that were considered unbecoming to the religious establishment. He had dinner with tax collectors. He touched lepers. He healed on the Sabbath. He showed compassion to the very least in society.
And then, He went willingly and innocently to the cross to pay for the sins of all of us -- while we were yet sinners.

It may be true that our grand country -- the US of A -- gives us certain religious freedoms, but our Savior does not.
As followers of Jesus, we have surrendered our will to Him. We have only His will.
Would Jesus serve those that are sinners?
He served me.
And if you are a Christian, He served you, too -- while you were a sinner. 
It didn't make Him a sinner.
He remained holy and pure and innocent so that He could be the perfect sacrifice for all of us that are sinners.

The only real task that Jesus gives us where others are concerned is to tell them the story; to tell them His story.
Tell them, "God loves you."
Tell them, "Jesus died for you."
Serve them with the compassion of Jesus.
Be Jesus to them.
We are the ambassadors of the kingdom to this lost and dying world.

If you are a follower of Jesus -- love Him by loving the ones that need to know Him, too.
If you are not a follower of Jesus -- know this:

God loves you.
And Jesus died for you.

John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

A wise and kind message. I applaud you, John!

John Hill said...

Thanks, Angel.
Unfortunately, there are many that will not read it since they have ceased to read my liberal rants.
Many of my "religious" friends are convinced that I have been duped by the far left and and have stopped reading my posts.
C'est la vie!