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You might be a liberal/conservative if...

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Do you remember the story of the woman caught in adultery? Can you also remember Jesus' reply to her at the end of the story? If you remember that he said to her neither do I condemn you, then you might be a liberal. If on the other hand, you remember that he said to her to go and sin no more, then you might be a conservative. He said both, but is it not strange how liberals and conservatives tend to remember different parts of the story?

The story is found in John 8:1-11. Conservatives can tend to jump straight through the story to Jesus telling her not to sin any more. However, liberals can tend to leave this part out or minimize it and emphasize Jesus' non-judgmental attitude. Both are part of the story and we need to see both to get the whole picture of how Jesus approaches sexual sin or any sin for that matter. We live in a world where Christians at both extremes of the debates over various sexual sins are verbally at war and often cannot see that the complete picture is neither one of condoning sin, nor not one of condemnation.

Jesus' first act was to defend the sinful woman from religious extremists who wanted to publicly shame and kill her. Do we defend sexual sinners from society's condemnation or do we act like those Christians who can only condemn those who cheat on a spouse, can only judge gay people or can only criticize those who have sex before marriage? Remember, non-judgmentalism is not the same as condoning. It is simply saying that we have no right to judge. It's none of our business. It is Christ's job and his alone at that great Judgment Day.

Even Jesus is not ready to judge now. In fact he did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17). So what do some Christians do? We condemn the world. It's not our job and it's not our business. Our business is to join Jesus in his job of saving. Perhaps we should listen to Jesus' own words to the religious. Who is without sin cast the first stone. Before he even got to the "go and sin no more" part, he had already told her that he did not condemn her.

There are two reactions that Christians can have towards sin. One is becoming a hater and the other is becoming a lover. It is clear that if we are truly to love our neighbor, then the approach of condemnation is sinful. It is not even following Christ's own example. His example was not one of condemnation. His attitude was always one of love, and that is the bottom line. Let's ask ourselves if we are haters or lovers. The only legitimate response for liberal or conservative Christians is non-judgmental, non-condoning love.

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