Over the last year I’ve witnessed two movements of God come into question over the liability of doing ministry, especially when it’s ministry with those people. So, because of the most recent occurrence, I have spent another restless night trying to figure that one out?
I pulled out my old tattered bible and searched and searched for scripture that backs up the claim that I heard last night, “I could never support this because I might be sued just because my name is on the church roll.”
I used my fancy phone and my small lay-in-my-lap computer to search as well, but to no avail? I am lost on what to do when we’re faced with the modern day incarnation of the Salem Witch Trials.
Have we actually become a church of such means and yet of such little sustenance that we are making excuses because we don’t want the lost in our churches because they have real world problems?
They don’t look like us, they don’t have a home, they have been in jail, they haven’t been in church long enough, they’re not a member (pretty tough when you’re not welcome) and on and on and on.
Wow, really? That sounds a whole lot like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
There are nearly 100 bible passages dealing with our responsibility of service on caring for the poor. Proverbs 28:3; “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.” Or Isaiah 58:6, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”
I John 3:17; “If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him,” but I have to believe that these people know that?
So what has Satan deceived us with? Are we so vanilla that we have forgotten that there is risk in the Gospel? That our fellow brothers and sisters throughout the world have given their lives for the resurrected Christ just as he did for us? So that’s why I struggle, so that’s why I have nothing left for the church that has everything and turns away the lost.
I had to come to terms ten years ago that my passion and my calling was not everyone’s. At first that was a tough and heart breaking lesson. Thankfully, through great growth and a huge support system I have the honor of serving with some of the best like-minded people in the world.
The writer of Hebrews said, “For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)
Jesus said, “So that you don’t show your fasting to people but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.[a] 19 “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures[b] on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.” Matthew 6:18-20
Like so many times in our American life we see the turmoil and struggle that faces us in every class system of every day. We look back and yearn for a kinder and gentler way of life where the summer days seemed to last for weeks and the worries of the world were far removed.
In conclusion, and to quote the young methamphetamine addict who stood and addressed us last night, “I thank God for the 50 men who not only weighed the liability of the Gospel, but risked their own lives to be locked in prison with 50 convicts to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t.”
Honestly, I would follow this young brother into the gates of Hell with a water pistol. I think it’s about time that those people show the church how to share the true and living Gospel of the resurrected Christ.
Join us at 8th Street. You will never be the same.