Rob Buckingham's Blog

The Moral Police

The problem is that this moral message gets in the way of the church’s real message – the gospel, which is good news.  Some Christians are so busy trying to clean up others’ lives by Christianising them that they miss their real mission – that of sharing the true gospel.  The message of the moral police actually drives a wedge between Christians and the world that God loves.
Jesus didn’t behave this way so why do some of His people?  It’s like trying to clean a fish before you’ve caught it.  Jesus hung around with all sorts of people who had been rejected by the religious crowd of his day (see Mark 2:13-17).  The religious right, who did not understand Jesus’ love and acceptance, scorned Him – and they haven’t changed!
Now I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t have an opinion about moral issues, or have the right to express that opinion, or work for what is right in society.  We greatly respect people like William Wilberforce who worked tirelessly to abolish slavery in the British Empire – even though he was forsaken by much of society, including the church.  Today we respect Christians like Tim Costello who works on behalf of the poor and speaks out on issues like the dangers of gambling addiction.
But these men are a far cry from Christians who see themselves as the moral police called to enforce their view of the Bible’s morality on all of society.  These people build walls rather than bridges and actually keep people away from a relationship with a God who can change their life.
Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world – why should we?  Jesus came to reconcile people to God.  The moral police don’t reconcile, they repel.
The Christian message should be attractive not repellent. The apostle Paul wrote: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sings against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”  There it is, the church’s message for the world – reconciliation.
Of course the moral police are not new.  They’ve been around for centuries – even in Jesus’ day.  He told them once, “you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.  You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to” (Matthew 23:13).
Christians are not called to live as conspirators banded together against the world that is for the time their home.  Rather, Jesus calls his people to live as salt and light “that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” – not be turned away from God by the message of the moral police!

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