On the Outside
Attitudes Speak Louder Than Actions
I can understand why some churches are adamant about keeping some people on the outside.
I understand. But I don’t agree with it.
Gays, divorcés, and the homeless are just a few types of folks that scare the living Jesus out of common churchgoers. They are uncomfortable and the current church cultural climate is one that sells comfort in place of sacrifice. As if Jesus suffered only so we can sit in plush pews while listening exclusively to the music that makes us feel best about ourselves. But I digress…
Take A Closer Look At Jesus' Disciples
Jesus’ disciples were a mix of “those” type of people – the ones that made most feel uncomfortable. Simon was a political zealot who may or may not have murdered an enemy. Matthew was a tax collector who turned his back on his own people to work for the tyrannical government. Judas came from another town. John was a just a teenager in the times when the stories of the King killing all the male babies were probably still making the rounds. They were a group that may have had no other reason to be found together other than the call of Jesus.
Yet, in the mainstream American media’s perspective, today’s followers of Jesus are of one mind, one heart, and one political persuasion. While I don’t think this stereotype is completely factual, it is the burden that churches bear. Some churches have earned that stereotype by pulling up the Welcome Mat when “those” people walk by and it is to those churches that I write these words: Who are you to close the doors on people trying to find Jesus?
Aren’t we supposed to be emulating Jesus and pursuing the goal that all might come to salvation? If Jesus chose twelve socially “incompatible” people to be in his inner circles why do you fight so hard to keep certain types of people out?
But I suppose the creature comforts of the modern American church are too much to sacrifice.
Have you ever had the Welcome Mat pulled back when you walked in a church? Would you care to tell us about it in the comments below?
A place for exploring the Church in the American context. Issues may get political, cultural, and philosophical — but it’s always personal.