Posted by: Kerry Spencer | May 6, 2009

Kerry’s May Newsletter

Greetings friends and family!

Homosexuality and abortion. It is one thing to debate these issues in schools, churches, and the political arena. It is a whole different matter to discuss these issues personally with the people who actually count these as their personal experiences. To them these are not simply “issues,” they are reality. And we must treat these people not just as statistics and oddities but as precious souls created by God.

Caren is a middle-aged, former drug-addict who is one of our regular 8am Bible study attendees. Recently after I finished teaching, she asked to talk to me. Caren shared with me the guilt that she carries with her over the three abortions she has gone though. She told me she realizes she has sinned in many ways, but the guilt over the abortions is especially burdensome. I tried to comfort her with the Gospel and tell her that Jesus calls for those who are “weary and heavy-laden” to come to Him and have rest. She seems to doubt that it could be that easy. She is still wrestling with the feeling that not even God’s grace is great enough to atone for what she has done.

Corey has recently moved into our transitional program. He is the first person I’ve met who has shared the fact that he is both an unashamed homosexual and a professing believer in Jesus Christ. He tells us that he knows that God created him as a homosexual. He has examined all the Scriptures relating to homosexuality and still doesn’t see anything wrong with his sexuality. I totally disagree with him on the immorality of homosexuality. Yet I’m also coming to understand that everyone’s sexuality is severely messed up, no matter how we try to hide it. We all need support and encouragement to fight against our sexual struggles. Sadly, it seems that all Corey has received from the church is contempt and rejection. I am ashamed to say it, but I’m also having to fight my tendency to want to either smack him over the head with the scriptures or avoid him altogether.

Clearly, abortion and homosexuality are two of the hot-button issues of our time. I have to imagine that if Jesus were still walking around in the flesh, He would not just be in the middle of the debate, but in the middle of homosexuals and those who abort babies. The Pharisees rightly accused him of being a friend of “tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:19). They made this accusation as if it were a bad thing. Apparently, the Pharisees failed to acknowledge the fact that they were sinners themselves.

Notice that Jesus didn’t simply spend time with and tolerate sinners, but he was their friend. This is amazing given that Jesus was the holy, perfect, creator of all things. Jesus loved sinners and He still does. He was and is drawn to sinners because, as He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Mark 2:16). So Jesus comes not only to love but also to heal people. The problem for some is that that they don’t know that He is the cure.

This is where we come in. You’ve probably heard it said that a Christian is a beggar trying to show other beggars where to get food. We could also say that a Christian is a healed person trying to share the cure with the sick. Sometimes this means telling people they are sick. Sometimes this means telling people they are using the wrong cure. Sometimes it means telling them there is only one cure. These truths often upset and offend people. But they are still truths that need to be told. As Christians we must speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). This is the struggle, being compassionate yet firm in sharing the truth.

Ultimately, Caren and Corey, you and I, all need the same things. We need God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness. Jesus is the remedy. Though we are healed, we have the tendency to run away from the sick and huddle up with other “healthy” people. This is easier and safer than going back to the sick with the cure that we’ve so graciously been given. But again, we need to follow Jesus’ example. He abandoned easy and safe to come to us and to die for us. He also called us to follow Him.

• Please pray that we at Jeff. Street would be bold and compassionate in sharing the truth, the cure, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
• The Summer HOPE team is coming! On May 26th, Matt, Lindsey, and I will be joined by about 10 new teammates. Please pray for us all in this transition and for our new relationships.

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