The Christian Church (by which I mean the buildings themselves as well as the collective body of individual believers) should be the first place to go when human beings are hopeless, desperate, lost, or in great pain. It is possible to point the finger at many things and accuse X, Y, or Z as responsible for “moral decline” or the decline of the church’s influence, or whatever… but the fact that for some people, the church is the LAST place they’d want to go for help tells me that the Church, collectively, is not living up to its earthly commission.
I know I’m far from perfect and the gap between what I am doing for the world and what I wish I could do for the world is vast. But I want better for the Church, because I want better for the people who need Jesus the most. There are many who suffer that have been turned away by the attitudes and hateful words they see, even before they have ever knocked.
DO NOT send away those who are sinners! Watch your words and actions, because they send a clear message: “You are not welcome in this house, in the house of God.” What hope can we give to a hopeless person, to a hurting person, when we have made it clear that they do not belong?
Never forget that “WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us.” Spending time solely in the company of “saints” is not our commission. For if you love only those that love you, what good is it? Anyone can do that.
To paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13, we may have silver tongues. We may have knowledge, prophecy, theology. We may donate money and time, and we may have strong faith. But if our hearts are filled with disdain, judgment, or hatred, WE HAVE NOTHING.
If we have not love, we have nothing. Christ died for the sinners. He said “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
How did he do this? Personal relationship. By reaching out to people, by knowing them, by speaking hope and love into their lives with his words and actions. Can we say the same about how we treat sinners? Or do we say:
Lazy welfare bums! Get a job!
Disgusting homosexuals! Burn in hell!
Nasty, trashy sluts!
WHAT KIND OF WORDS ARE WE USING? Had a desperate abortion? Burn in hell, babykiller. Woman got raped? How was she dressed? Was she drunk? She was probably asking for it. (Slut.)
How do we EVER expect people to knock on the door of a church when they’ve ALREADY been turned away long ago?
Watch the news. Watch the pundits, preachers, and protesters. Listen to the bile spewing with every word.
Does it sound like Jesus to you? Because it makes me fucking sick.
The world deserves better than a hateful church.