I’ve been re-reading Philip Yancey’s book called What’s So Amazing About Grace? In the beginning he shares this story that a friend of his told him.
A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick, unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through sobs and tears she told me she had been renting out her daughter– two years old! —to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit. I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one thing it made me legally liable—I am required to report cases of child abuse. I had no idea what to say to this woman.
At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to a a church for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naïve shock that crossed her face. “Church!” She cried. “Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They’d just make me feel worse.”
“What struck me about my friend’s story is that prostitutes much like this woman fled toward Jesus, not away from him. The worse a person felt about herself, the more likely she saw Jesus as a refuge. Has the church lost that gift? Evidently the down-and-out, who flocked to Jesus when he lived on earth, no longer felt welcome among his followers. What has happened?
I’ve pondered this question for years. What has happened? How have we as the church lost our way? When did it become about being right instead of being refuge? When did it come about posting our credentials? When did it become about creating mocking names about offering children to Molech? When did it become Ok to mock and jeer those we disagree with or those we agree with who aren’t as mean as we want them to be? When did Jesus tell people to take their plank and shove it? How many people have walked away from the church because those who made it up forgot how dirty they truly were? Somehow, we’ve lost our way as a church. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the blogosphere where people can hide behind any name they want and say whatever they want to say. Someone can call 15 year old girls painted whores of Sodom and write Tabloid titles because they don’t have to see the pain they are causing people. Somehow, the political party you belong to is more important than the family you belong to. If we believe we are criticizing children of God then we are family. If one is not criticizing God’s children then we’re violating all sorts of Scriptures not in the criticism but in the name calling. Lines are being drawn not about salvation but about what is worn on Sunday’s to church.
And the whole time people who’s lives are being blown apart just keep on dying. They just keep on living the wrong way because Darn It, I AM RIGHT!!! One camp picks apart a person in the other camp because he doesn’t go far enough down the Theological trail with them. They may agree that one goes to Heaven by believing on the work on Christ but down the path they disagree so it’s Ok to tear each other apart. I wonder, does this make you as sick as it does me?
Here’s what the Apostle Paul had to say about it,
The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
I wonder how many people have been devoured by someone who “was right” and “justified.”