The Bible says:
The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come!" And let the one who hears say, "Come!" Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17
While our world is imperfect, with imperfect relationships, God is perfect.
There is much talk in the Christian community about marriage to one person, for life. While that is God's perfect design, it is not always possible. Not because God cannot create miracles, but because He also gives each person a choice to follow Him or not.
There is war, death, disease, abuse and adultery. There are marriage partners who are unrepentant and have dark hearts. But, while God hates divorce, He does allow for unequally yoke marriages to divide and end, and calls us to peace. There can be no marital covenant between a believer and an unbeliever, unless God says otherwise. It is only a legal arrangement at best. (1 Corinthians 7:12-16, Hebrews 13:4-5, Mark 10:6-9, 2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
Take the new legal standing in Arizona recently.
The ruling where gay marriage was made legal in Arizona was signed. While God does outright say in the Bible that homosexual behavior is a sin, the legal system honors their commitments to each other. Yes, we are in a season where the government that was founded on Christian principles, is attempting to walk away from these foundations. We can fight in the world against such immorality, but God will have the last word. He will judge accordingly.
**And, for the record, I do not think that homosexual behavior or homosexual marriage is of God. But, yes, I do know that redemption of homosexual behavior is completely of a loving and forgiving God whose Son died on the cross for all of our sins.
The problem is: "One person for life" has become unusual.
While, I think that marriage between a man and a woman, for life, is a beautiful gift to witness, it certainly has not become the norm. Yes, many of those marriages are in the church walls, but many more people, who live outside of that ideal have been shut out of the Church, and need to be brought into the church walls too. It does not mean that God cannot make second, and even third marriages pure. It means that we need to encourage people to repent before a loving and grace-filled God.
Just as the typical world needs to learn to coexist with the special needs world, so the ideally-lived church needs to learn to accept and coexist with the people who have lived broken, but redeemed lives. It does not matter if they have tattoos and piercings. They cannot just shake the trees of their old lives and make them ideal; but God gave them grace with their salvation.
This issue of less-than-ideal hasn't occurred because they are all lost!
Many are saved, even though the ideal church cannot always understand that. But, because of the world we live in, the imperfections of this world, and the lives lived outside the ideal church, people have imperfect lives with imperfect results.
Unfortunately, some of them view the church walls as God Himself, and blame themselves for imperfections, never receiving God's grace. Others, feel resentment, refusing to trust or step through the doors of a church. All they see is a lack of grace and mercy, and they miss the opportunity to fellowship with other believers, even though they are genuinely saved.
You cannot judge people according to their track records; GOD doesn't
What brings purity is our cleanness before God---our hearts and our confession before the Creator, who gave us the gift of eternal life.
The New Covenant Church is Ekklesia, the people whose hearts are bound together through the heart of Jesus Christ. We are called to be part of the Body of Christ, imperfections and all. Because even if we are living the ideal life, we are not perfect.
Jesus called us to LOVE!
Remember? Jesus said this is the greatest commandment!
So I encourage you, love, friend, and love deeply, because your friends are the whole Body of Christ, both inside and outside the church walls, made perfect in the Spirit of God, even if they aren't living the ideal Christian life. They really do need you and frankly, you need them too.
The Lord's blessing to you and your family~Kim