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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Monday, February 27, 2006

Are we known for the wrong things?

I am increasingly bothered by the fact, maybe even disturbed by it, that we as Southern Baptists specifically, and Christians in general seem to really be good at expressing what we are against. We are known for what we are NOT about. We are AGAINST abortion, homosexuality, gambling, speaking in tongues, alcohol. What message are we sending? Is it the message Christ gave us or our own?

We have the single most powerful, life-changing, life-giving, life-affirming message in the world and most people out there can not articulate it. Even if they are not Christians it seems like we have the power to get our message out to people. They know all these things we are against yet we can't get out the message of what we are for. One simple, solitary, singular message of salvation, hope, forgiveness, mercy, love, and grace and we can't share that.

It's the media's fault. They report what they want, right? Not if we don't spew all over the place about the wrong things. If I was a gay gambler with a drinking problem seeking to have an abortion I would never ever think to turn to the church. I would think hey those people are the ones that hate me and don't want me there. They are against me.

Why don't we get it? We play right into the enemies hands. And if when I said enemy, you thought of people or 'the media' then ask God's forgiveness. Our enemy is Satan and he has deceived us into thinking that moralistic rules and telling people what not to do is the answer. Many in our ranks even believe political influence and power is what we need. Have we not learned from history. Everytime we attempt to couple the Kingdom of God with a political party of anykind we 'screw the pooch.' Remember Constantine, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and on and on?

Yes, the full gospel includes mans sin and need for repentence, forgiveness, and a savior. That is the offense of the gospel. Let us, His people, present the message and let it be the offense, and let us stop making up new ways to offend, let us stop creating stumbling blocks. We most often present ourselves as standing with arms folded, or fingers wagging, or hands raised grasping a picket sign. How about for once we stand with our arms wide open lovingly embracing those God has sent us to? I never read the part where Jesus said "Go into the world and stand across the street from them with megaphones and t-shirts and placards"

I am not soft on sin, especially the sins of the religious. And I count myself as among those I am talking too. I am often blinded by self-righteousness, I am all too often caught up in the rants of the 'chosen,' and more times than I want to admit I find myself at the place where I have to turn to Jesus and ask Him to forgive me for my pride and my jugdmental attitude. I just hope that today I can live out love to those that need it rather than listing off the kinds of people I won't accept. I believe there are countless things I could concern myself with, a few things to even worry about, but only one thing that matters enough to share with the world. And when we share that one thing with the world, that can not be taken away.

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