A Toothless Gospel

Not long ago I found myself in the middle of a difficult conversation with a very dear friend. The issue had to do with choices. My friend—against advice, good judgment, scriptural admonition, and old-fashioned pleading—had chosen to make some lifestyle changes that were clearly out of harmony with God’s Word. Well, I say “clearly”, but for my friend, things were no longer clear. His words to me were simple: “I’ve made my peace with God over this issue. I believe He loves me anyway, so I’ve chosen to stay on this path.”

I was heartbroken. I tried every argument I could think of to help my friend see the error of his ways. But it didn’t matter. Biblical arguments were met with less enthusiasm than a telemarketer’s phone call on a lazy afternoon. He had convinced himself that God was not concerned with the choices he made and that all that mattered was that he still believed in God and still believed God loved Him.

How is it that we, as the body of Christ, have come to trust so completely in a toothless gospel where choices lack consequences? How is it that our eyes have become so blind and our ears so deaf to the dual reality of truth and love? I thought long and hard about these questions in the days following my conversation with my friend. Honestly, I simply don’t have any clear or easy answers for these kinds of dilemmas.

Have you ever had one of those “difficult conversations” in which you couldn’t seem to help the other person see the truth (not an argument, but a genuine plea for caution and redirection)? Have you typically found it easy to balance the dual reality of truth and love, or does it seem that they are often at odds with one another?

In the end, I simply have to echo the heart of Joshua when he declared to the Israelites that, regardless of how others choose to live their lives, “I and my family will worship the Lord” (24:15). It may not always be easy or popular, but at some point, we all must make that choice, and the consequences reach all the way into eternity itself.
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About Eric Wilbanks

Brand strategist. Wordsmith. Change architect. Training specialist. DiSC Certified. Family guy (hot wife and 4 cool kids). Love my Bible, guitars, baseball, and MMA.


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