Sure it (the church) is a mess. People are a mess. But we are all better than the worst things we do. An just as we can see the evil that humans are capable of it in the worst sinners, we can also see the goodness we are capable of in the saints.
- Shane Claiborne, Follow Me To Freedom
I’d love to hear about a church who unassumingly described themselves as ”the church of outcasts and misfits”. Isn’t that a church that Jesus would like to visit?
When I read the Gospels, I am continually reminded that the people that followed Jesus Christ were not the respected, popular, influential people of his day. Instead, the cast of characters that were devoted to him were poor fishermen, ex-tax collectors, ex-prostitutes, healed lepers, and even a diminutive man who liked to hide in trees. Truth be told, they were a band of merry outcasts and misfits, something of an embarrassment and thorn in the side of the respected religious leaders. They weren’t a shame to Jesus, however. They were his mates, his friends, his cohorts.
All too often in our middle class culture, the modern Christian Church tends to fall into the same traps of respectability and influence that ensnared the Pharisees. I want to fight that tendency. Perhaps instead of constantly trying to proclaim our churches as holy and integrous or else as hip and relevant, we should forget the pretense and desire for acceptance and look back at that original group of Christ followers. They were just simple, sincere people who loved each other and had a passion to want to change to the world.
Personally, I’d love to hear about a church who unassumingly described themselves as ”the church of outcasts and misfits”. Isn’t that a church that Jesus would like to visit?
“The secular world of ideas plays the doubting game almost exclusively and is usually scornful of anyone who doesn’t. Ironically, however, the church also plays this game to a great extent. The mystery of the gospel, the paradox of the incarnation, and the wondrous enigma of grace are freeze-dried into a highly rationalized and/or authoritarian system of theologies, codes, rules, prescriptions, orders of service and forms of church government. Everything is written down, everything is organized, so that all can be certain and those in error detected.”
- Daniel Taylor