Thoughts / Just As I Am

Just As I Am

I just watched the ER episode entitled “Just As I Am”. I’m not an avid ER watcher, so I don’t know the characters well… in fact I just had to look up the character’s name. Dr. Weaver meets her birth mother and their relationship deepens until Dr. Weaver tells her birth mother, an evangelical Christian, that she “is” a lesbian and doesn’t want her birth mother’s love unless she also gets approval for “who she is”.

The writers of the show have the birth mother singing in a choir… and the one song we hear the choir practice is “Just As I Am”, thus the title for the episode. The premise, apparently, of the show is to present the hypocrisy of evangelical Christians, who on one hand sing songs like “Just As I Am” and quote the Bible, “nothing can separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:38-39), and on the other hand refuse to say the gay lifestyle as OK.

Why is it that those who choose to engage in homosexual relationships have such a great need for approval? They don’t want love, which both God and Christians freely give them, they want approval. Why? Because they know, deep in their heart, that their choice is to disobey God. They feel the great disappointment that engulfs God because of their choice.

God does not want anyone to perish, He wants everyone to repent of their sins (2 Peter 3:9). And that means acknowledging that our choices, our actions, our thoughts that are contrary to God’s design and God’s will are, in fact, sin. Disobedience. Falling short of God’s perfect design and will.

The Bible is clear. Homosexual behavior is a sin. Just as fornication (sex before marriage) and adultery (sex outside of marriage) and polygamy (claiming to be married to more than one spouse at a time) are sins. Just as pedophilia (sex with children) and bestiality (sex with animals) are sins. Most pedophiles would claim that their actions are a result of “who they are”. Claiming to “be” a homosexual is no different. (See my entry On Being for more on that issue.)

Do the writers of this ER episode really understand the concept of “Just As I Am”? Apparently not. It’s not that we are OK just as we are. It’s that we can come to God just as we are. We don’t have to try to be perfect, or good enough, on our own BEFORE we can come to God. He waits for us to come to Him as the sinners we are. HE THEN CLEANSES US OF OUR SINS AS WE REPENT OF THEM. We come to God as sinners, and we AGREE with God that our choices have been to disobey Him, and God CLEANSES US of the stain of those choices. We can then have the relationship with God that He so earnestly desires as long as we continue to choose to obey God. We may still face consequences for our choices in this life; but, we are pardoned from the eternal punishment we deserve.

Do the writers of this ER episode really understand the message of Romans 8:38-39? Apparently not. These words are to the BELIEVER. Those who have already come to God, just as they WERE, and REPENTED of their sinful choices. These words are to comfort and assure the believer that God is stronger than any earthly or spiritual power. Nothing can pull us away, nothing can pull us out of His love. Absolutely nothing. As long as we REPENT of our sinful choices, we are free to experience the full embrace of God’s love. As we make sinful choices and CHOOSE NOT TO REPENT, we reject His embrace. But His arms are still open, waiting for us to repent.

That’s the way it is. Dear gay brother and lesbian sister, the true Christian can not approve your chosen lifestyle because God does not approve your chosen lifestyle. Do not ask us to approve the unapprovable. Homosexual activity is contrary to the will and desire of God. Period. We love you. God loves you. We and God both wait with open arms ready to APPROVE you when you accept and acknowledge that truth.

awc 2005-02-10 23:57

Just As I Am, Without One Plea

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Charlotte Elliot
William B Bradbury

Words by Char­lotte El­li­ott, 1835. They first ap­peared in The Christ­ian Re­mem­branc­er, whose ed­it­or El­li­ott be­came in 1836. The last verse is from El­li­ott’s Hours of Sor­row Cheered and Com­fort­ed, 1836.

Music, Wood­worth, by Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry, Men­dels­sohn Col­lect­ion, or Third Book of Psalm­o­dy (New York: 1849)

Miss Charlotte Elliott was vi­sit­ing some friends in the West End of Lon­don, and there met the em­i­nent min­is­ter, Cé­sar Ma­lan. While seat­ed at sup­per, the min­is­ter said he hoped that she was a Christ­ian. She took of­fense at this, and re­plied that she would ra­ther not dis­cuss that quest­ion. Dr. Ma­lan said that he was sor­ry if had of­fend­ed her, that he al­ways liked to speak a word for his Mas­ter, and that he hoped that the young la­dy would some day be­come a work­er for Christ. When they met again at the home of a mu­tu­al friend, three weeks lat­er, Miss Ell­i­ott told the min­is­ter that ev­er since he had spok­en to her she had been try­ing to find her Sav­iour, and that she now wished him to tell her how to come to Christ. “Just come to him as you are,” Dr. Ma­lan said. This she did, and went away re­joic­ing. Shortly af­ter­ward she wrote this hymn.

Ira Da­vid Sankey, My Life and the Sto­ry of the Gos­pel Hymns (Har­per & Bro­thers, 1906.), p. 186

Information and photographs found at CyberHymnal.org

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