Last week I talked about what a (Church/church) is and I kind of got impatient with the Church half and spoiled this week a little bit. Oh well. This is a topic I am pretty passionate about, so hopefully you can pick something up from this.
The Church is a family of believers that anyone and everyone can turn to. People within the community should be able to come the Church and ask for help.In turn, the Church should be willing and excited to help meet others needs. Now I know what you’re thinking. “What if someone asks for money to buy useful and reasonable things but uses it for things that the Church doesn’t necessarily agree with or support?” And I know where you’re coming from. Plenty of people have come to my Church and asked for financial help and then used that money for other things. People have asked us for money to buy gas and then are upset when we take their car and fill it up with gas instead of just giving them money to buy things we didn’t intend to be bought. It can be risky sometimes to give people money and all we can do afterwards is hope and pray they use the money as they told us they would. However, we can’t compare the actions of one person to everyone else. One bad apple won’t spoil the whole bunch, right?
The Church should also be hospitable towards everyone. Yes, Baptists, I know it can be so very hard to bite your tongue when a visitor walks into your church and sits in your pew. We shouldn’t find somewhere else to sit, but instead (not because “thats my pew and that’s where I’m gonna sit!”) we should sit with them and build a relationship. Not because we want them to attend our church not another one, but because we want them to feel welcome and learn about the Gospel. We can’t let something like our “heritage” get in the way of someone coming to Christ. One of our jobs as a Church is to build relationships with other families so that they have someone they can trust and rely on.
A certain Church in northeast Kansas which shall not be named, has made the Church as a whole look bad. They have made us look arrogant and unloving. Maybe there are Churches out there who agree with these particular ideas but I, personally, think that they are way out of line. If people are scared to walk within 500 yards of your church for fear that they will be judged or condemned you are not representing Jesus. One line in Andy Mineo’s song “Uncomfortable” says, “I apologize for Christians with pickets sayin’, ‘God hates fags’ I promise Jesus wouldn’t act like that.” Now I know that isn’t a verse from the bible, but it’s still true. One time a friend and I had just finished cleaning up the fellowship hall and we were outside in the parking lot talking. A man parked his car in the parking lot and asked if it was okay to leave his car there a little while, making sure we wouldn’t tow it off. It was a wake-up call for me not because I thought he felt that we would be mad at him, but because I knew he didn’t feel as though we would welcome him to park in any empty parking lot for a little while. He didn’t see the love the church should have. The church should love just as Jesus does. Now I understand we can’t possibly love to the same extent that Jesus does, but we can show love to someone who has never seen love before.
For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
This is how we should act. Everyone always talks about being Christ-like so why don’t we act like Him? If God did not send Jesus to condemn, he certainly did not send us.
One last allusion, this one by Martin Luther King Jr.
“Darkness cannot drive out Darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from MLKJ because it reminds us that we are called to be a light and to love. We are to show the light of the Light and to share the love of Love.