transparency, honesty, confession - and retribution?

I'm sick of these words being thrown around. We have these little things called impact groups, where groups of the same gender gather together for prayer and discussion. It's supposed to be a heartfelt "getting to know you" thing, but more often than not, I'm left with a bad taste in my mouth. The Christians I know think that things like accountability and honesty and repentance are always expected of everyone and that the person who is supposed to do the confessing doesn't have a choice. If we share our faith, we're brothers and sisters in Christ, right? So open up to me. I want to know your life and your struggles and help you get through it. We can do it together. There shouldn't ever be a reason why we wouldn't, right? We're trying to make relationship and trustworthiness mandatory for all people we come in contact with, and at what cost?

I'm quiet and uncomfortable in large, intimate groups, but doesn't mean that I have something to hide. It doesn't mean I suffering inside myself and I'm crying out for help. It doesn't mean that I'm putting up walls as a defense mechanism. When I say that I don't feel the need to stand naked in front of everybody (figuratively, of course), respect that wish. Don't poke and prod and make it your mission to break me. I will be polite as I can be, but sometimes it's hard to keep in check when people are constantly burying their nose in my business. I will be upset with you if you think you are entitled to meddling in my life. It is no longer you being Christ-like and genuinely caring for me. I think a lot of the time it becomes a matter of you not dealing with your own love of gossip.

Don't think for one second that I don't think I've done things wrong. I am not trying to say that I just want to wallow in my mistakes and that I have trust issues. I do have struggles. I am a sinner. But I have wonderful relationships with people that I love and trust, and I will share things with them. I have a choice. Don't tell me that because we're both Christians, I have a right to be confessing everything to you.

That's just a segue into what I came here to say today.

I just came from class.. yup, human health and sexuality. My sexy sense is telling me that this will be a good class for pissing me off, which I'm not entirely sure should be described as "good," but whatever. It keeps me writing. Anyways, a story was shared about an instance where two Bible college students who were engaged (or in a relationship of some kind, though not married) had sex and someone/people found out. The consequence in this situation was that they were expelled from the school.

Maybe this cliche, but what the fuck would Jesus do?

Perhaps the difference here is that they both already knew God's truth and had accepted it and wanted to live it, but that doesn't mean they are unable to sin. They made a mistake. They are still human. I think Jesus would have pulled a John 8:1-11 and said, "Yo, are you guys taking a look at yourselves before you judge and condemn them? There's still forgiveness and love for people who fuck up." You'd think a group of people who claim to want to be Christ-like would exercise a little forgiveness and grace. And if you want to show them the error of their ways, is kicking them OUT of a place where you teach the Bible really the best move? Worst case scenario is they feel like shit and decide not to go to church or anything anymore and say screw it and move in together and have sex a lot and never bother getting married. We had a chance to be Christians where it counted and we didn't bother. I think we do that a lot.

There is always a place for retribution and correction and discipline. Always. But we have to be able to look at the big picture and not be legalists. The men in the passage I mentioned early even said to Jesus, according to the Law, this person should be punished. The school these people went to has a covenant for attending the school, and they signed it. Yes, abiding by laws and government and God's moral laws is all relevant. But there has to be room for our humanness. We aren't Christ. We aren't sinless or glorified - yet. Things aren't as God meant them to be in the beginning. It's things like this that I feel are tests and we're getting the worst marks.

Does the situation change if the people had confessed their mistake? What if they had repented and said to their impact group leader or someone else they trusted, "We did this and now we don't know what to do"? Would the trusted person automatically have this light bulb go on that's like, this is against the rules. I need to tell someone else. Wow, they are so stupid and sinful. I would never have done that.

I don't know the details of what actually happened, but to be completely honest, I wouldn't be surprised if students on campus would react in this way if something similar happened. I think it's shit that people get kicked out of Bible colleges and churches because of certain sins.

Pre-marital sex isn't worse than gossip. Get it together.

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