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:
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.