I’m not as much into Christian music as I used to be, but I still play Christian radio on Sunday mornings on the way to church, to get myself in the right frame of mind. This song from 2012 comes on sometimes. Casting Crowns was never a band I really got into. I was at a Christian music festival in 2004, and I heard someone from this band telling a story between songs about when he was a kid, and he said that algebra class was of Satan, so I decided at that moment that I didn’t like them. But this song is really powerful.
And, to be honest, this is something big that I have always struggled with. Even though I always knew that this wasn’t the point of Christianity, part of the attraction of Christianity for me when I started taking my faith seriously in my late teens was that these were people who also didn’t get drunk or do drugs or sleep around. And that kind of mentality makes it really easy to be judgmental toward those who don’t have lifestyles like mine.
But that isn’t going to help the rest of the world know Jesus. Telling people that they’re wrong and that they’re going to hell is not a way to recruit people to your cause.
It’s a difficult balance to strike. Sin is real and should not be taken lightly. But love is also real, and all of us are sinners and need to be treating each other with love. And, of course, these days, with society so polarized, there are debates over what is and is not sin in the first place.
Like I said, it’s easy to be judgmental. It’s a very real desire to want to be part of a group where I can feel like I’m living life the right way and not like the other people. But all of that is so different from everything that Jesus promised. That sounds more like the words of the religious leaders that Jesus condemned so harshly (Luke 18:9ff).
So how do I handle this? When do I call out someone’s sin? I don’t know, and there probably isn’t a universal answer. All I can do is pray for wisdom and discernment, to know what to say to whom when. And more importantly, I can just love everyone and pray that God will sort everything out, that God will speak to all of us about where we still fall short and how we can grow closer to Him.