Preaching to Myself
I had a lengthly conversation w/ someone on IM tonight about the church (in general) and why it is that we (the church) tend to feel like it is our job to change people.
I was sharing with him about the diversity of people we see come through our church doors on any given Sunday (and many with great regularity) who seem to feel very safe in our church and how easily we could screw that up by attempting to change their lifestyles and issues.
The bottom line is that it is our job (as the church) to love and accept people PERIOD. We have absolutely no power to change them, nor is it our job to. That is the job of the One we represent. Our job is to love, accept and teach truth.
Does it mean that we support someone's lifestyle if it is contrary to scripture? No.
Does it mean that we allow any person, regardless of their lifestyle, to serve in areas of leadership and oversight? No.
But does it mean that we have to remind ourselves that being a Christ follower means following in the footsteps of Christ who effectively shared the Truth and at the same time reached out with love and acceptance to people regardless of their background, economic status, sexual preference, etc...? Yes.
It's one thing if the Scriptures offend people. There's nothing we can do about that except to not use them. But then we better remove the word "church" from our sign. But it's a whole different issue if I or any other church leader offends people by being judgemental or sarcastic towards people who are in the process of finding Christ.
Ok, I'm done.