Offending the Outsiders (Or Disdaining the Damned)

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Well we’ve had another interesting month in the culture wars, especially after the Grammys.  Some things I would be totally oblivious to if we didn’t have Twitter and Facebook.   Christians were up in arms over several things that took place during the awards show.  But I wonder, what good did any of the banter create?  Other than one more time declaring that the Church wasn’t happy.  Another occasion to say what we’re against rather than what we’re for.

I’ve written about this before:  the dangers of social media, the Church’s attitude towards outsiders, and things we do outside the Great Commission.

  • Why do we get mad at outsiders for acting like outsiders?  The better question is “Are Christians acting like Christ?”
  • Did our righteous indignation drive us to pray for outsiders or simply complain about it on Facebook, deepening the divide?
  • Did disdain change to compassion at all?  Did it drive us to share Christ?
  • Did our rants do anything beyond preaching to the choir?
  • Did anyone ask what time our services on Sunday are?  Anyone ask “what must I do to be saved?”  “Could you please tell me about Jesus?”

The Cross and sign carrying bunch continue to declare that the END IS NEAR!  So what are we doing to bring as many people with us as possible?  If Judgment really is upon us (and I don’t doubt it) how about we let the Judge do the judging.  “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways.  God will judge those on the outside…”  (1 Corinthians 5:12).

  • “I have to proclaim the truth.” Have we tried John 3:16, Romans 3:23; 6:23, 5:8, 10:-9-10?  There are 31, 240 verses in the Bible and we continue to fixate on a few of them.  We must be careful in how we “utilize” God’s Word.  Is it to win an argument or debate?  To prove we’re right?  To beat people down, convincing them how messed up they are?  Or do we use Scripture to tell of God’s unconditional love?  Attract people to Christ?  Show folks that only Christ can change people’s lives?  I fear we are presenting the truth without providing hope.
  • “I have to take a stand for righteousness.”  We do that by lifting up Jesus.  In our own lives, we have nothing to show.  If we show Jesus, people will see THE STANDARD: “there’s nobody living right, not even one” (Romans 3:10).  We’re losing the cultural war because of our hypocrisy, the spiritual war because of our apathy, and the war for people soul’s because of our self-righteousness!
  • “I’m not homophobic.  I’m not racist.  I don’t think all Muslims are terrorists.”  While that MIGHT be true, we can still come across that way because of snide, demeaning, and patronizing remarks.  The WAY we communicate hides the message behind judgmental attitudes and Christian stigmas. The burden is on us because we’re the ones fixating on issues like homosexuality and mosque locations instead of the Gospel.
  • “The Cross is an offense!” That doesn’t mean we have to be.  Plus, what did Paul mean by that?  Perhaps that it’s the only way and that goes against mankind’s pride and independence.  It’s despicable because it represented humiliation, agony, punishment for crime, and death.  It’s a place where sin is judged.  It’s where we’re confronted with our sin.  And we beg the questions:  why would a king die for us?

We don’t have to say everything we know or think immediately.  It’s not a bait and switch.  It’s called building relationships with people, not labels!  I’m not saying we hide the truth at all.  But I am saying we need to be patient.  God works in processes.  A renowned oncologist who attends our church told me that an adult dosage of chemo can kill a child.  Proper dosages are to be used at proper stages…not all at once.  Proclaiming truth in love isn’t just about motive but also attitude.  Do we disdain those whom God loves?

Maybe we should save our righteous indignation for stats on abortion, hunger, war casualties, genocide, AIDS, natural disaster, and crime?  Let’s get upset about that!

God would you please give us a radical, compassionate, truthful, courageous and outrageous love for people!

Some additional thoughts…

  • Are we so naive to think that watching a secular awards show will contain nothing that offends us?
  • Maybe we’re not part of their agenda?  Instead of interpreting their behavior as an attack, maybe they’re just living their lives?
  • If we don’t want to be offended, let’s turn off the television, radios, internet, and live in communes.  Unfortunately, we’ll start offending each other.
  • We were warned about the degradation of society.  Let’s not be so startled and surprised.  It’s in the script folks!
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