Mar 11 2013
If Jesus Had a Blog: Go and Sin No More!

What up!

Haven't blogged for awhile because Matthew ditched his Mac and got an iPad, which he says is great, but I can barely type on the thing.  (So NOT a replacement for a laptop.) I'm a carpenter. I build stuff. I'm not a super-typist.

Anyway: MAN, this planet is off-kilter. Seriously. 

For example, these religious leaders today. They decided to stone a woman to death, because they caught her in adultery.  (Where's the guy she was with? Don't ask. Double-standard.)

Anyway, they're all the "good", Bible-reading, law-keeping sort, and take "stands" against sin - other people's, anyway. So I pointed out that they could go ahead and do that, provided none of them have sinned. 

That ticked them off (surprise!) and they left.

And I told the lady that I didn't condemn her, and to go and sin no more.

This made her VERY happy.

Posted today at 4:32 p.m.

 

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COMMENTS

 

Well, Jesus, I'm sure your well intended, but once again, your not really teaching her a lesson.  She DID sin, and sin is serious. Those were some of our top Bible teachers there today, and you certainly came off like you think its OK to do adultery.  

Again, I know you're well intended, but you can't let people think its OK to sin.

-- lizlovesjesus21

Ya, I agree with Liz up there. It's one thing to be for "grace", because we ALL are for that, of course, but its another thing to just let her walk away after what she did.  You probably had some kids watching, too, who now think God is just fine with sexual immorality.  

Grace is great, BUT... we can't be all "grace, grace, grace..."  

-- randy_g

Jesus, you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater, again.  There's a whole movement of people like you who are just trying to be "cool", and aren't taking a stand against adultery. I'm sure it earns you friends, but at what cost?  You can take the grace thing TOO FAR.  

-- christie

I've been reading your blog for awhile, Jesus, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to switch blogs.

I know you're God and so forth, and I go to church multiple times a week to be on your good side, along with my kids.  But they read this blog, too, and they are going to get the idea that, when they grow up, it's okay to have adulterous sex.  That's not something I want them to be doing.  

I like the stuff you said about how we need to be a GOOD person.  Maybe stick to that.  I'm switching to a blog that's safer for my family.

-- concerned mom

Well, I like the "sin no more" part, but in our culture, so many people just ignore that.

-- Bill

Wait: Are you guys serious?

You honestly think this woman's life wasn't totally changed by this? You honestly think the law changes people, deep-down? 

You'd seriously RATHER they kept their law and killed her?  

You guys genuinely don't think you're just as guilty as she is?  

You think if people are afraid of the law, their hearts will be right with God, and they'll stop sinning?

UH... obvious question here, but... have YOU?

You actually say, "Grace, BUT..."?  Like you really, truly WANT a "but" when it comes to the grace God is showing YOU?

REALLY?

You're worried about the example for everyone ELSE, when you, yourselves have sinful hearts, and you're fully aware of the law?

You WANT to be under the law?

You'd RATHER have big-shot religious leaders pretend they've got their moral acts together, so your kids learn to be THAT way?

You think, "I don't condemn you, go and sin no more," doesn't take sin seriously enough?  Do you think what Jesus does on the cross takes sin "seriously enough" to cover this woman's sin?

Or, let's be honest here, you'd actually rather it didn't.  That way you can keep your, "Grace, BUT..."

You know what?  It's sad, really. Apparently, you haven't experienced grace at all, like this woman just did, or you'd never have this reaction. 

-- Paul of Tarsus

Yeah, Jesus, I'm with most of the people here.  Grace is great and all, but you can over-do it.

I *know* you've got a good heart, and love how you've healed some people, etc.

But just telling someone to "sin no more" after taking away the consequences isn't going to work.

She'll just go do it again, since now she doesn't have to worry about the consequences because you got involved.

-- Ed H.

Yeah, I'm confused, Jesus. I thought you came to teach us how to stop sinning. If that was your point, then why would you do this?

I mean, if you're whole point is "Stop sinning NOW!" it doesn't make any sense that you would do something like this. 

-- Ashlie23asdfasdf

HEY THERE I TOTALLY WORK FROM HOME AND MAKE $36 AN HOUR AND YOU CAN TOO!!!!  I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD HAPPEN TO ME JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND START MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE WWW.WORKFROMHOMEMAKEMONEY.ORG/BIGBUCKS  

-- iworkfromhome

Well, Jesus, I happen to know several of the men you TRIED to embarrass today. And they are EXCELLENT men of God.  So for you to side with a KNOWN adulteress, in front of everyone, when THEY were just doing what God's law calls for, well, that's terrible.

I can see why they are really made at you.  And you claim to be a Christian!

-- Upset

jesus i am so glad u rescued me, to. 

-- horsegurl9

 

May 13 2012
Pride, Pain, and the Price of Gas

This story is simple. It's about me, being an idiot.

I did the following:

1) Bought a new car. First time ever. Still not sure it was a good idea, but we did it. Gets 50 mpg, because it's a diesel, which is interesting because

2) I filled it with regular gas, and that's interesting, becuase

3) That kinda destroys all the fuel lines and stuff, and that means

4) That'll be $7,000, which I don't have, so

5) I rode my bike, carrying extra stuff to work while going uphill and

6) Managed to injure my back, rendering me bedridden for several days, and in excruciating pain, and 

7) I'm an idiot.

And so we come full circle.

-----

I felt dumb. And guilty. And stupid. And like a failure. And some other stuff. 

As I rode my bike in difficult weather, I thought, "I deserve this." As I lay on the couch, in pain from my bike injury, I thought, "This is what I get for what I did. I'm paying the price for my screwing this up."  I was doing penance, and I deserved it.

...and then Volkswagen called, with the total cost, including towing, tax, everything:  $0.

Nothing. The service guy said the parent company was paying for it. It wasn't a warranty thing. We couldn't make them do it. They just did it, in hopes of winning long-term customers, I guess.

ZERO DOLLARS.

I was happy about this, but here's where it gets weird:  Something in me wasn't elated. There was a part of me - there's STILL a part of me - that wanted me to pay a price for it.  Yes, on one level, this makes no sense. Maybe you've never felt that way. Simultaneously thankful, and... strangely helpless.

I blew it, my wife knew it, and she didn't begrudge it. I blew it, and the repair guys didn't make me feel stupid.  I blew it, and did something harmful, and didn't pay a dime. What I got, for my idiocy, was free towing and fixing. And I got a free detailing of the car, and they changed the oil, too. That's what I got.

I had to figure out why this didn't sit entirely well with me: It turns out, I hadn't been "paying the price" at all. I had no control over this. I'm not being held responsible. Even feeling guilty didn't help. There's nothing about me in this, at all.

And that's the problem. It's not about me, not about Brant Hansen.

At. All.

In sports, there's the guy on deck in the bottom of the 9th. He's struck out four times, already, but he has - as they say, all the time, in sports - "a chance to redeem himself," if he gets to the plate. He can still be the hero, and win the game for his team.  

A chance to "redeem himself."

But I'm the guy who struck out four times, waits on deck for his chance... and doesn't get to the plate. The guy in front of me hits the game-winning homer. We win! We're the champions! He did it, not me. I didn't redeem myself. Now, I'm sitting in the locker room, and I should be celebrating with everyone else. 

-----

Truth is, we find this very, very hard to accept, but we can't redeem ourselves. Oh, we like to think we can, deep down, so it's still about us. Carrying around guilt? Still about us. Feeling stupid? Still about us. Feeling like a failure? Still about us. Turning our guilt into seemingly productive energy, seemingly "right" things to do? Still about us. Seems so... so... so "righteous", and yet, when we can't take our eyes off ourselves to celebrate the win, it's just plain about us. That's pride.

And pride always hurts, but it's positively deadly when masked by our attempts to pay our own way with our religious activity. 

The game is over. We're in the religious locker room, still trying to redeem ourselves.

And God is popping the cork.

Feb 01 2012
"I Found Out Today One of My Co-Workers is Transgender..."

 

Here's a question from an Air1 listener.  I forwarded it on to a friend of mine, who handles the questions often in his field of counseling.  Thanks for the great question (I changed the listener's name) and Ray, thanks for your willingness to answer.

Your honest questions, by the way, are always welcome. We have a terrific pastoral staff at Air1.  They can be reached at 888.YES.AIR1.

 

Hi Brant.

I found out today that one of my coworkers is transgender. We had a sensitivity training seminar talking about what terminology to use and how to act around this person. This is the first transgender person that I will have encountered. I want to be friendly and "normal" around this person, but I'm nervous. I believe that God chose gender for each person, so I don't agree with the lifestyle this person has chosen. How would you advise me to act? And, could you please pray for me?

Thanks.

Chelsea

-----

 

Hello Chelsea, 

Friendly and normal is great place to start. It's natural to feel nervous around a new person and if in the process of working together you make a mistake and do the opposite of what your sensitivity training has taught you, just apologize. From a Christian perspective my thought is this...you are responsible to love your neighbor and do unto others how you would have them do unto you right? That's it! We are free from the law of sin and death to love others and judge ourselves so that we live before them as a witness. Even if you disagree with your new coworkers way of life you don't need to say so. Instead find the common ground you can agree on. You might be really surprised what you come to like about this person. 

This is a great opportunity for you to practice valuing someone who needs it. Be a blessing! I know sometimes Christians feel that if we don't "represent" God by telling the pagans that they are living their lives wrong; then as Christians we are condoning the act of sin in a persons life and God is upset with us. But this untrue, in fact by befriending your coworker you are placing value on them. Which is what God did with the woman at the well and many other biblical examples. Jesus was the friend of sinners after all.

One of my favorite quotes by Sy Rogers says this: "People do things (sin) for reasons. This doesn't make their sin okay but it does make it understandable, forgivable, and correctable." You don't have to be a therapist or know why your coworker has made the choices they have. You are not responsible for their lifestyle you are just responsible to live your life before them as a witness as to how good of an advocate God is.

Who knows...maybe if your coworker gets to know you close enough perhaps he or she will ask why you are so different. You can say: God's love, grace, and mercy. You can let them know that God loves them too just like they are (when we come to God in relationship he always takes us further). The point - like in our own lives we needed to find Jesus first before any thing else could be addressed. 

Lastly, take the transgender issue out of the equation. In reality it doesn't matter if someone is gay or straight. It matters if that person is reconciled to God through Christ. Everything else is symptomatic of how surrendered one is.

We are all getting over something in our lives even with Jesus. I'll keep you in prayer that you have the courage to be a friend to this person that is new because being new at work is sometimes hard. 

In Christ,

Ray Sullivan

For more resources: 

www.syrogers.com

www.servingsouls.com