Merry Christmas from Bolz Ministries!
I wrote an article on social media that I wanted to share with you:
As a spiritual voice of love, I wanted to share about a part of this love that is getting lost in some liberal Christianity. This may be the counterpoint to what I usually find myself addressing — a bad religious undertone that seems to always be hiding in corners of our faith.
Sometimes we can come into a mentality that feels spiritual and righteous because we want to defend people out of sentimentality for who they might be one day or who they once were. We believe in the best version of themselves they could be, even though they are committed to bad behavior. It can be as easy as not adjusting boundary lines with someone who is passive aggressive or verbally abusive, or even defending people who are drug addicts, murderers, dictators, or rapists. Yes, Jesus did come for them too, and we have to find a way to love with appropriate boundaries and even see them through his original intention for their heart; however, this doesn’t mean we should always excuse bad behavior or look past their crimes to validate the “could be.” Boundaries still have to be observed and actually enforced to create a healthy love culture.
I remember one of the drug addicts I took, literally, out of a homeless shelter to give him another chance. I was fighting so hard for him, I actually fought harder than he was fighting for himself. At one point my best friend said, “You are fighting so much for him to have a better life, you are defending his bad behavior and putting us all at risk. He isn’t changing.” This is when I realized I had a slightly codependent version of God’s love. Anytime you fight for someone’s reputation or life in a way that violates your core healthy relationships, you have become codependent.
Another good example is a mother I met in the South whose son was in and out of jail for petty crimes. She said to me one day: “He just needs a good Christian girl to make him honest.” In other words, she was praying that a woman would rescue him from his bad behavior. Poor woman! I wouldn’t inflict my badly behaving relative on a good person! Ultimately those making poor choices need to self-manage, even if we are sent at times to help them. Help and rescue are two very different things though. Help gives tools while codependent rescue usually involves doing things for them they should be doing for themselves.
Sometimes we have an idealistic love for people, for countries, for celebrities, and for leaders that causes us to be skewed in our representation of them or in our fight for them.
I have been seeing Christians fight for people who are doorways of unrighteousness. These Christians try to bring validation and spiritual meaning to these people’s lives, even though the ones they are fighting for aren’t trying to be known this way.
Take Castro, for example. I have seen recent social media posts by people trying to praise what he did in his lifetime that was right, to try and “respect the dead,” making him out to be a James Dean type of glorified warlord. He was never remotely held accountable for his crimes, but some people in the church are willing to defend his honor, thinking it’s righteous to highlight the few good things he did. I remember going to Germany in the ‘90s and meeting with some young adult Christians who were trying to justify some of what Hitler represented as well.
In other words (in the Western world), we tend to want a happy ending for people, to bless them … but if you have been under the power of other people’s criminal sin or exhaustingly bad behavior, you don’t think this way. You aren’t trying to find meaning in their lives as much as you are trying to allow the meaning of Jesus to come into their lives to give their existence its true meaning.
We don’t rejoice when our enemies die, but we also don’t embellish or exaggerate their one good decision — to defend them to the world around us — when their whole life is full of crazy destruction.
I have seen so many Christians who minister in Hollywood fall into this trap. They become co-dependent to someone who has influence and fight for him, even when that person is committed to gross behavior. One young entertainer that was preying on young women in churches in Hollywood, and even getting them to go to sex clubs and worse, was the hero of one of my closest Hollywood friends. He’s defend him saying, “He is a true believer!” He knew about some of the guy’s past mistakes but ignored them because of the causes and charity work he was doing. He was offended that we were on guard (relationally) with the entertainer. I just wanted to protect our Christian girls from him.
One day I called him to confront him. One of our girls had been coerced into more than she’d bargained for by this guy. He wasn’t used to being confronted because in his life as a celebrity, everyone did whatever he wanted; but with the information that the girl had given me, he knew he couldn’t deny what he’d done. He backed off and said sorry. I asked him if he was the kind of sorry that wanted to change or the kind of sorry that felt bad he had been caught. He didn’t want to change, so I have kept him out of the Christian communities he preyed upon. It came out in the newspaper later that he had committed some acts with underage girls, so I am no longer a watchman in the situation; people know about it. Our mutual friend came to me later and said, “What was I fighting for?” And I said “For the idea of his redemption and for God to use him. You closed your eyes to his sin that he was not willing to give up, but you could have been a different asset to him by loving him with healthy boundaries … if he would have let you (I doubt he would have).
Unconditional love only becomes unconditional when we protect it with healthy boundaries, and that is one of the most controversial parts of Christianity. Religious people will tell you to avoid certain types of people, justifying that their sin is your boundary. Liberal people will tell you to violate your faith to love someone in a way that ends up not being fruitful long term. We have to strive for a balanced life of love. Love says yes! wholeheartedly, but sometimes love has to say no! as well. That is something that a whole group of liberal thinkers in the church are wrestling with: Is it okay for us to say no to someone in order to protect our pursuit of faith and still believe we are for unconditional love?
What do you think?
END OF YEAR GIVING
Bolz Ministries is experiencing so much growth in every area we are going after. We set some strong goals this year, and we not only accomplished them; God overtook our efforts and made so much more happen! We are planning on 2017 being an even bigger year of providing families with great resources, spreading teaching on the prophetic, impacting entertainment industry people, teaching and equipping people, and creating media items. Will you be a part of it all? Your one-time gift or ongoing partnership makes all the difference in the world. GIVE HERE!
COMING UP WITH BOLZ MINISTRIES
Growing Up with God Kids Event – check out our amazing event for children ages 7-12 coming January 2017! We will be teaching them to hear the voice of God and strengthen their connection with Him!
Daystar TV : Dreams and Mysteries – I am hosting every Tuesday and Saturday. Watch Here.
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