What Are We For?
What Are We For?
By Steve Smith
In their song “Jesus Friend of Sinners”, Casting Crowns Mark Hall, the bands’ lead vocalist, sings:
Nobody knows what we're for. Only what we're against when we judge the wounded. What if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines and loved like You did?
Oh, Jesus, friend of sinners, Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers. Let our hearts be led by mercy. Help us reach with open hearts and open doors. Oh, Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours. (You can watch the video here.)
Is it possible that many times people only know what we are against as Christians instead of what we are for? And if that is true, what are we for? Are we for the same things Jesus was for? Really. Are we? Keep in mind, Jesus had the most time, love and grace for those who seemed to have messed up so bad there was no hope. And his most stinging rebukes were reserved for the religious people of his day.
If you don’t believe it, read John 8. It starts with religious leaders bringing to Jesus a woman caught in adultery, they want to stone her according to the law and ask Jesus what he thinks should happen. He tells them if anyone has no sin feel free to throw the first stone, ironically they all drop their stones and leave. Jesus asks the woman if anyone is left to condemn her, to which she replies no. He says neither do I then, go now and leave your life of sin.
Jesus proclaims himself then as the light of the world, the One who sets people free from their slavery of sin as the true messenger from God from heaven.
Later the chapter ends with the religious leaders claiming Abraham as their father, to which Jesus responds the devil is their father and they are doing his work.
Do you see any present day dangers in these accounts? How would we respond if someone brought someone to us caught in adultery? How do we respond when we find out about a similar situation? Are we ready to spiritually stone the people involved? Or do we respond with grace, mercy and forgiveness bidding them to leave their life of sin while still loving them?
What are we for? How did Jesus respond? Are we the religious group that only comes out on what we are against? Plug in an issue and ask yourself honestly, on that issue would people know what you are for? It is possible to totally disagree with someone on an issue, not condone it, and yet share what it is we are for?
What would happen if we did what the song lyrics said, put down on our signs, crossed over the lines and loved like Jesus did? It was revolutionary to the worst of sinners in His day, do you think it would be in ours?
In Mark 3, Jesus said “all the sins and blasphemies of men may be forgiven except the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”, or the sin of unbelief. In Mark 16, he says “go and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Would it not be better to proclaim what we are for? What are we for? Are we for sinners being forgiven? Are we for the cross where Jesus died to make that happen? Are we for his resurrection from the dead for the hope of eternal life? Are we for sharing the gospel that as Paul says in Romans 1 is “the power of God unto salvation?”
What are we doing? What aren’t we doing? What are we for?