"But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”" Luke 5:30-32
So, I haven't posted on this blog in a while, but it seems to be a place where I am able to think through various thoughts and inner turmoil, so I felt like it was an appropriate time to make a new post. Recently, I've been obsessing about my Board Game blog (that's probably something that deserves it's own post). One of the opportunities I have been offered is to be a guest blogger and to write a top 10 board games post. I was pretty excited about this and really just jumped at the opportunity. However, after I agreed, I was spending some more time looking on the site and, whereas they have top 10 lists of all shapes and sizes (well, really just always top 10), one of the topics was something like "top 10 porn stars of the decade" or something like that. My heart sank a little bit, and I really started debating on whether or not I wanted to be associated with this site that was willing to openly talk about and compare porn.
Here's the deal. I like sinners. (I almost put that in quotes, but ultimately decided that we are all sinners, so I guess it's just a fact, not a title.) Lots of people that the church has previously outcast I truly enjoy spending time with - they are valuable people! I have had friends who were homosexual, watch pornography, are in prison, and also who have more "acceptable" struggles (some of mine are arrogance and obsessing about things that aren't Jesus (ahem, that other blog...)). I am not ashamed that I spend time with these people that deal with these issues. Some of them are Christian and view these things as struggles, some of them are non-Christian and don't see a problem with what they're doing. If I spent all of my time with a non-Christian friend that was homosexual telling them that they are wrong instead of loving them like Jesus, then 1) I wouldn't be acting like Jesus, 2) I wouldn't actually be a friend, and 3) they would stop hanging out with me. I believe our calling is to love people. Whoever they are and whatever baggage they have - whether they're proud of it or not. Jesus said to love them, not to condemn them. And he lived what he preached (which regularly made the religious people want to kill him).
So, this gets me back to my hesitation with having my name associated with this other site. After I kept thinking and praying, I realized that I wouldn't have any problems being associated with the people from that site in person - I have friends that watch pornography. So, why should I be ashamed to associate with the site? The site doesn't (to the best of my knowledge) actually have porn on it, nor is it telling you that you should watch it - one of the guest posters just happened to have wanted to rank porn stars (which I could see some of my friends doing among themselves). What's more, just because I wrote a different post on the site doesn't mean that I am encouraging people to watch porn.
Here's my honest hope: I am hoping that people that struggle with pornography also like board games. And that since they like board games they click on links to my board game site. And after they are there, they find the link to this site. And now that they are here, they know that Christians struggle with stuff. But more than that, if you're here because you've followed that string of events, I want you to know that Jesus loves you. I don't think that pornography is good nor right, and I don't think that Jesus does either. However, I do know that Jesus would have spent time with you and would have been proud to call you his friend - whether you watched porn, or even if you were one of the porn stars! He would have cherished his relationship with you and he would have unconditionally loved you. If you stumbled upon this site some other way - well, the same goes for you. Jesus loves you too, wherever you are in life. This is something that I need to grasp and hold onto in my own life! Sometimes the most simple phrases continue being uttered well after they feel trite simply because of this - they are true.
Jesus loves you.