Lets get dirty

I was reading a blog I like the other day and came across this:

"I think that our society - especialy the church - tends to disregard addicts of any kind and turn their back on them when things start to get a little too real. They offer what looks like hope, what looks like support, but only until somebody has to actually take a look at themselves. They offer a helping hand, but it's attached to a very long pole.

By the way - it doesn't help. It makes everything worse. The church is supposed to be God's hands here on earth - but not the back of His hands."

I really liked that.

I've read "ragamuffin gospel" and I'm a fan of Rich Mullins. I think he would agree. More importantly, I think Jesus would agree. Actually, I know He would. Because who did He hang out with? sinners. Dirty, rotten sinners. The Pharisees didn't like it because religious folks aren't supposed to do that. They're supposed to be clean. But the heroes of the Bible, they're not clean. They are redeemed by grace.

Look at this list:

Abraham - child out of wedlock is the father of the Arab people
Rahab - a prostitute
Moses - murderer
Jacob - liar, polygamist
David - adulterer, murderer, polygamist
Peter - liar
Matthew - fraudulent tax collector

And this is a very short list.

I mean, read this:

Matt 9
10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

WOW! How different is that from how so much of the church deals with people? We're really not very good at it. And I'm not sure why. Do you know?

Anyway. If the grace of the Lord covers it all, let's get out there and tell it to the people who need to hear it. Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners. That's revolutionary! And it's - well, it's God. He's pretty revolutionary and we get to get dirty with Him. The coolest thing about it will be when we're all worshiping at the feet of Jesus - all clean, because he came to us sinners to pick us up and make us like Him.


cookiehawk77 said...

We are selfish. We don't like to get dirty. We don't like to get emotionally involved. And we definitely don't like mirrors. We'd rather go around with poor vision than look through God's lens. That might require action on our part.

But we sure want others to look at us through God's lens!


Anonymous said...

For the past three years, the folks from CBC have stayed at the El Paso hotel on the way to Juarez for the Mexico Trip. Every year there's been a collection of prostitutes at the same hotel. Every year I think everybody I know of went out of their way to avoid them.

I gotta tell you - after going through recovery, that really, really bothers me. What a great missedopportunity to share the hope or healing & restoration that God can bring.

And no - I'm not suggesting that we introduce bunch of innocent kids to a bunch of hookers.

I'm just saying that it could have been an opportunity to share Christ that, to the best of my knowledge, has been consistently missed.

We need more whores in church.

-Ian S.

Brandon and Jenny said...

Good point. I guess we miss opportunities all the time.

But did you ever approach the hookers?

Anonymous said...

Never once. Truth be told, it never entered my mind even once until this week.

Now - I have to be completely honest and say that as I was in complete denial about my addiction at the time, I might have been - and probably would have been - pretty vulnerable to 'em, too. I hate to admit that, but it's dangerous for me to pretend that I'm not capable of the "really bad" sins, and that at any given time I'm two decisions away from an utterly unrecoverable failure. Thank God for protecting me, huh?

I wouldn't have been able to in the past, either. I would only be able to do it now that I've been through recovery. Before that I would have been (and was) way too judgemental and condemning of their activities to even approach them. I mean, they were prostitutes, right

And therein lies the problem - the people that need God's love the most are the ones His chosen seem to spurn. I'm just as guilty as anybody - perhaps even moreso.


Michelle said...

I think if we all remembered as Ian says, that we are "two pmaybe more for some] decisions away from an utterly unrecoverable failure", we would show more compassion toward "really sinful" people. After all, who are we to say that, given the same circumstances in our own life, we would not choose the same road they have.