There's Room at the Cross for You

I can't get some thoughts out of my head. I am sort of constantly appalled by "Christians" who have nothing better to do than alienate entire groups of people...you know, the ones who protest and picket and hand out jabs like party favors.
I kind of get their "righteous indignation," and they'll use that example of Jesus' behavior in the temple overturning tables every time. I mean, as followers of Christ's example, we should hate sin.
But we should never hate PEOPLE. Jesus seemed to get more infuriated with the religious people of his time than any of the so-called "sinners." He hung out with the sinners. He wanted them to experience his presence. He knew that one of the best remedies for sin was to experience his unconditional love. Most of our brokenness and sin comes from fear and insecurities. The presence of God can heal us of these "diseases" and at least set us on the road to wholeness.
We are all plagued by sins. Even those who consider themselves holy--hello, pride, anyone? What dangerous ground when we as a group are identified by who and what we're AGAINST. I am sad that the Christian "haters" can't see the intrisic irony. It makes me think they're just stupid and ignorant, and then I have to repent for thinking that.
The only way for anyone with any condition of the heart that separates him/her from God to be reconciled to God and be free from sin is to draw near to God. How can sinners do that when people of our faith effectively block the way?
So, scoot over...you with your agenda to rid the world of fill-in-the-blank sinners, heathens, God-haters...Let's all bow at the foot of the cross and allow the Lord to heal us of whatever we bring to Him. They'll know we are Christians by our LOVE and RELATIONSHIPS, not by our arguments or moral policing. Find opportunities to build relationships with people and speak into their lives as God would lead, but let's not build picket lines and dare the non-believer to cross.

And I leave you with the words to one of my favorite old hymns: Do we believe it?

The cross upon which Jesus died
Is a shelter in which we can hide
And its grace so free is sufficient for me
And deep is its fountain as wide as the sea.

There's room at the cross for you
There's room at the cross for you
Though millions have come, there's still room for one
Yes there's room at the cross for you.

Though millions have found him a friend
And have turned from the sins they have sinned
The Savior still waits to open the gates
And welcome a sinner before it's too late.

The hand of my Savior is strong
And the love of my Savior is long
Through sunshine or rain, through loss or in gain,
The blood flows from Calvary to cleanse every stain.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Hey Shelley,
I agree with what you are saying. Churches (and Christians) that are condemning of the people who practice whatever pet sin on which they choose to perseverate often do not show the love of Christ, and frequently do not make a distinction between condemning the sin and condemning the sinner.
I also think that sometimes it's good to look at the flip side of the coin, too. Churches that refuse to name sin as sin are equally not showing the love of Christ.
I think our message should be,"come as you are, but don't stay that way." We need to encourage those around us (and ourselves) to fall at the feet of Jesus and be transformed by the renewing of their hearts and minds.