Christ’s life is a demand. You don’t want to be reminded of it. So we don’t have to see what happens to the truth. A darker time is coming when men will be more clever. They won’t fight the truth, they’ll just ignore it. I paint their comfortable Christ. . .Someday, I’ll paint the true Christ.”
Terrence Mallick’s 2019 A Hidden Life
Have you ever heard people say things like, “If Jesus were alive today, he would be hanging out with the LGBTQ+ community”?
It seems to be a pretty popular viewpoint. Some use it to augment a point.
A sort of “Well, Jesus would do this, so you’re wrong” position.
This kind of rebuttal hides the fact that sodomy is one of the four sins crying out to Heaven for vengeance. But perhaps, it is meant to make us more accepting or tolerant, especially regarding things taught as incompatible with the Catholic Church.
However, this argument is not just weak, it is invalid and reveals ignorance of Christ Our King.
Yes, Jesus kept company with sinners, but it wasn’t all fun and games. He never said, “You’re enough!” Or “Continue living like this.” No. When Christ encounters the sinner, He calls them out of their sin. He tells them to go and sin no more. John 8:11
Mary Magdalene is a fantastic example. While the details of her life may be a little murky, traditionally, she is believed to be the Gospel’s penitent woman, whose tears fell on Our Lord’s feet, as well as an adulteress, though some speculate prostitute. Regardless, through a life of sin, the devil held her in his shackles. Christ cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene, and in turn, she became a faithful follower of Christ. Her former life, whatever sin it included, was renounced. She left that life and followed Christ.
Do you see the difference? Our Lord wasn’t going to brothels to hang out and affirm people in their sin, but in encountering those enslaved to sin, He called them to something greater: a life of virtue.
“He has gone to be the guest of a `sinner.” Luke 19:7
But what about the story of Zacchaeus?
Again, we see a similar theme. Zacchaeus is not a righteous man. He abuses his position as a tax collector by lying and stealing. When Our Lord passes through Jericho, Zacchaeus desperately wants to see Christ all the same. So, he climbs up into a sycamore tree, where Jesus calls him down.
“Today, I will go to your house!”
In Zacchaeus’ encounter with Christ, Our Lord calls him out of his sin. He not only repents, but we also see that he intends to make retribution.
“I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Luke 19:8
In Matthew 19:16-30, we read the story of the rich young man. He wishes to grow closer to Christ, but he is not willing to part with his material goods for the sake of his Eternal King. As a result, he goes away, distraught because his love for the world is greater than his love for Christ. And Christ lets him go.
Christ encounters sinners so that He can make saints out of them, some hear His call, and others turn away— too in love with their sin to give it up. But today, in the age of “Bro-Jesus”, where Jesus is our fun-loving pal instead of Our King and Savoir, we often forget that Christ never says “You are enough.” Rather, He reminds us that, on our own, we are capable of nothing, but through Him, all things are possible. Matthew 19:27
Christ came to this earth to open the gates of Heaven. He died to make reparation for sin, your sins, and mine. When we choose to be obstinate in our sin or claim that Christ would affirm us in our sins, we make a mockery of our Lord’s Passion because instead of consoling Him, we choose to add to the weight of the Cross.