I spend a lot of time here whaling on the “Christian” Left, mainly because they pose as believers but teach the opposite of core Christianity at nearly every turn. But there is a dangerous counter-error to their false teachings, namely that you need to stop sinning before you come to Jesus, or that you need to have not done any “major” sins (yes, some sins are worse than others, but all separate us from God in an eternal way and all are forgivable if you come to God on his terms).
I heard a sad tale of a couple who had aborted a child. Feeling great guilt, one asked if perhaps they should go to church. The other said, “I don’t think we’d be welcome there.” Sadly, that is true for many churches. I know of churches that support prison ministry in a broad sense – even sending volunteers into the prisons – but would not welcome any ex-offenders in their congregation. I realize that one must use discernment when adding members, but that attitude saddens me. I know that people with those histories would be welcomed at our church.
Legalism is not only unkind and hypocritical, it reveals a lack of faith in the transforming power of the Gospel.
I don’t think it would have been a compelling Gospel message to me if someone would have said, “I’ve got the best and most important news you can ever hear, and I’ll tell you as soon as you stop being greedy, lustful, angry, covetous, etc.” But back to the “Christian” Left, it is also a ridiculous message to say, “Even though you are greedy, lustful, angry, covetous, etc. you don’t need to repent and believe, because Jesus loves you as you are.”
Avoid Christian liberalism and legalism at all costs. Neither are the real Gospel. Read the Bible carefully and for all it is worth and know the real God and the real Gospel.