Sometimes I think we forget what Romans 2:4 says; God's kindness leads you toward repentance.
I had a chat with a guy on Friday night who was intent on putting down anything that appeared to be of the spirit and was outside his box of christianity. "The emerging church" he said, "is heresy". I asked him what the emerging church was, of course he couldn't answer. I asked him did he know any of the leaders names, he couldn't answer that either, I asked him had he ever prayed for anyone 'caught up' in the emerging movement, he couldn't answer that either. It was a difficult conversation! He did go on to say that they 'water down' the gospel. I asked him what that meant, he said they don't preach enough of the blood and cross of Jesus and the wrath and anger of God. I asked him what leads us to repentance. He said the blood of Jesus, I agreed but I said what aspect of God's character leads us to repentance. I told him what it says in Romans 2:4, that it's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. It's not a fear of hell that should lead us to him but a joy of heaven and knowing his father heart towards us.
Why are so many people intent on judging people and crying heresy at the first sign of something not fitting into their box of christianity? The conversation ended with him walking out of the house we were in in a storm when I told him I loved the Shack. This was another sign of end times heresy according to him.
I was so sad for him. He is so caught up in pride and religion that he can't see the Father heart of God and is intent on judging anything that makes him feel uncomfortable. Yes we need discernment, but we need to be very very careful in throwing stones.
When he was giving out about the seeker friendly gospel and as he said "social justice, what's that??" There needs to be a balance. Yes we need to know the depths of our sin and the power of the cross, BUT people need to know about the love of the God who has dealt with their sin and the kindness of a Saviour who would die for us. A God who has chased after us from the beginning of time, who is desperate for us to join in the relationship that is within the trinity. God loves us with the same love he loves his Son with (John 17:23). Amazing.