Much could be said about the new live-action, Beauty and The Beast, movie that is about to be released. I am not a super-fan of Belle, I'm more of an Ariel girl, (that's princess talk for those of you who don't understand) but still, I am one of the many who were completely excited to go see it. Then the news broke.
If you are oblivious to the controversy I am referring to, just google it. I'm sorry. My skills and lack of patience at this point to figure out how to post a link is not a priority. What is a priority is this:
Does sin make you heartbroken or angry? And I guess I need to be specific. Does sin make you heartbroken or angry? Not just one particular sin but ALL sin. Because if it's just one, or a few, then we have a problem.
There is such a thing as righteous anger. We can read about it in the gospels when Jesus enters the temple and is outraged over the corruption of Jewish men selling sacrifices. They were overcharging the worshippers coming to offer sacrifices for forgiveness of sin. These "church guys" were trying to make a buck off the traffic in and out of the temple. This particular corruption would have been very similar to what the early Catholic church would call an indulgence. Pay a certain price and you would be absolved from your sin. Pay a little more, and you could get your loved one out of purgatory. It was completely and totally corrupt, and it was this act that pushed Martin Luther to nail his thesis to the church door. It was this same corrupt spirit that pushed Jesus into pushing over the tables.
These "money changers" at the temple were selling forgiveness. Jesus knew that God alone could offer that, so in righteousness, he cleaned the churched out.
Back to today.
I've heard and read a lot of outrage over this movie. But if we're honest, in the Christian community there is always outrage over homosexuality. It seems to be the main thing we're okay with condemning. What we fail to understand is that the more we cry in outrage over this particular sin, but ignore other, often blatant sin within our churches, we are just a very loud, ugly, noise.
Until we are truly heartbroken or even outraged against the sin being committed within our own walls, we need to be silent over the sin that is outside of them. Until we are ready to "clean out the church" and push over some tables, we have no business trying to tell the world that they should.
Jesus had some experience with church people. Jesus said the Pharisees were so busy trying to keep the outside of the cup clean, they failed to see how dirty the inside was. They were so busy trying to prevent gnats from getting inside their cup, they failed to see they were drinking dirty water. In other words, they were focused on the wrong thing.
They were drinking dirty water.
Every time we read about the Pharisee in scripture, nothing good is said about him. He's a hypocrite, a viper, a bully and incredibly judgmental. What if we are the Pharisees? What if we are so concerned with all the goings on outside, but close our eyes to the corruption within?
When we become truly heartbroken or outraged over all sin, then we have a voice. Then what we say will mean something because we are not divided in our beliefs. We will not be the Pharisees that Jesus spoke of when he said to not follow their example for they do not practice what they teach.
Instead, let it be said of us that we understand how to love and forgive because we have been loved and forgiven. Let it be said that our conversations are gracious and attractive to this world. That we always have the right response for everyone we come into contact with. That we speak the truth but in respect and love. That our words are full of life and hope instead of poison.
Be heartbroken. Be angry. We, as followers of Christ, should be! We are called to be salt and light. But we cannot pick and choose which sin to be outraged over. Let's be heartbroken and angry over all sin that corrupts and leads men down the path of destruction. Let's examine within, so we can shine light without. Let's clean our cups.
Now, excuse me. I believe I'll go turn my dishwasher on.
Matthew 23:3-4 ..But don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never life a finger to ease the burden.
Matthew 23:25 What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy...
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Proverbs 18:21 Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit - you choose.