...between an emphasis on the law, and on love. Both are important, yes, but the extreme of either is dangerous.
Pharisees focused on the law, and it hindered their ability to love others, or even accept who Jesus was. Then there's the progressive, modern view that accepts everyone, no matter what... including their sins, without ever giving biblical counsel. "Loving" unconditionally turns into accepting their sins - which isn't conducive either.
The law is important.. but so is love? How do I truly love someone, seeing them as my neighbor and how Jesus did - forgiven - without overlooking the importance of the calling to a holy life? What does this apply to?
I think its that loving others comes first, because Jesus set the example on that one. If we truly love them, maybe we can show them what the Bible says about sin and a holy life, but God is the one who convicts, not us. We can be honest with them, but condemning or convicting is not something that is our job, or should come in the way of our love for them.
In the gospels, if I'm not mistaken, those who come to Jesus had already felt the sting of conviction. Jesus didn't look at them and say, "You're a dirty, rotten, ugly sinner, and you're lost without me so you'd better come running!" No. He said, "Your sins are forgiven." They already knew that He was their only hope. They already knew they were wrong. Jesus simply loved.
So what do we do? Sit here waiting for the broken to come to us? Pray fervently for God's judgement to rain down so that people get scared into turning to Christ? Hang out with sinners so they know that we're not too self-righteous? First of all, the Pharisees said, "He eats with sinners and tax collectors." Jesus said, "I eat with friends."
I don't know what we're supposed to do. I don't have the answer. I do think it takes a lot of prayer, though. And I think that we need to focus on our own 'holiness,' both individually and within the church, and to befriend others - to show love. We (I) need to trust that God will take care of everything, will show us when to speak, and when to embrace.
"God judges. The Holy Spirit convicts. We are to love. Too many Christians try to do all three." - Billy Graham
End: Doesn't it all go back to trust? Do I trust that the Holy Spirit will do the work in their heart, without me shouting out commentary on the sidelines? My job is to love. To be the body of Christ.
To read a more thoroughly articulated post on the sentiments I express here, see this article, "In Search of a Better Gospel," by Micah J. Murray.