Though the volume has increased in recent years, the American Church has been dividing over whether it should be primarily about proclaiming truth or about serving others since at least the mid-20th century. But, it’s an unnecessary choice to make. These two things need never be separated and should never be separated. On the same night Jesus commanded us to remember how His broken body and shed blood rescues us from sin (that’s the truth), He commanded us to demonstrate our new life by serving others (that’s love).
Christians worldwide are preparing to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection is the central event in the Holy Scriptures, the pivotal moment of the story of Christ, and the foundational belief of a Christian worldview. Even more, if it happened, it is the pivotal event in all of human history. Some skeptics, however, find the story hard to believe. A few have even gone so far as to assert that the story of Jesus’ resurrection was simply borrowed from pagan myths.
A USA Today writer condemned the NCAA for allowing Oral Roberts University's team to play in the NCAA Basketball tournament because of the school's biblical views on marriage. Over the weekend, the university’s president responded by sharing that the school simply believes in biblical morality and always has. He added that the school considers such morality to be best for all its students, faculty, and alumni. In other words, ORU embraces biblical morality because such morality promotes "the basic values of human decency."
The fundamental assumptions of a Christian worldview are straightforward. Applying the fundamental truth of a Christian worldview, particularly in this cultural moment, is not so straightforward. For example, this past week we heard from a single woman wrestling with whether or not to go through with an international adoption.
In an ever more secularized society, it is urgent that Christians redouble our commitment to the personal integrity that enables our public witness. As I noted yesterday, sin always affects more than the sinner. To stand publicly for Jesus, we must first spend time privately with Jesus.
How should Christians respond when Christians sin? We need to separate the message from the messenger, hold each other to the standards of Christ, and balance grace and consequences. To the last point, I wrote that “sinners can be forgiven, but they must seek restitution.”