Let The Crusty Folk Into Church

The commission given to us by Jesus to spread the gospel (Mark 16:15-16/ James 2:1-13) through ministering to the poor and downtrodden is one that can be unpleasant to one who has lived in a comfortable environment (That would include most in modern society).  There is a so-called Christian ethic that values comfort and cleanliness above the dirty work of taking risks to help those who seem to be a little suspect.  I have heard stories in the past few years and unfortunately in recent days where people who like that "good ole time religion" aren't too privy to the homeless or uncooth drifter coming into the walls of the church building.  One of the greatest excuses I have heard is that they are afraid for the children.  My response to that is that if they are so concerned, maybe they should help with the children's ministry.  When someone in the church is willing to turn someone away because they are a little "crusty" so to speak, they are basically telling that person that they aren't worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Wreckless statements like that concern me to no end.  I have a feeling that Jesus would have a lot to say.  I realize that there are sometimes good reasons to turn someone away from the fellowship (Matthew 18:15-20) and if they are a believer in the church it is certain that fellowship must be broken if they are given the opportunity to repent and fail to do so.  I will save the curch discipline debate for another blog.  Actually, accountability among the comfortable in the church fellowship is typically non-existant.  But when someone who looks a little different comes in, people are ready to protect the innocent from indecency.  Nevermind that gossip and backbiting are more common in the modern church and damaging to the soul than some other sins that seem to get magnified (ie..drinking and smoking).  There is great problem with some or perhaps many in the church who just want to hear a good sermon they agree with and maybe have a social event here and there.  I am not against those things, but if that is all we do we are missing the point.  We should put feet on those sermons and take it to work, and anywhere else we go.  But, we should also talk to the drunk in the gutter, or addict, or the homeless person who is down on their luck and need help.  We don't need to wait for them to get their life straight before we are willing to help them and invite them to our fellowship where we have the words of eternal life and hope everlasting.  So if you are afraid, you need to get your Bible out, read, repent, believe, and put away fear.  Taking risks is what we do.

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