The way you enter determines the way you’re treated.
The world shows you the wall to climb. Jesus shows you the gate to enter.
I recently finished a thought provoking read from John S. Dickerson called The Great Evangelical Recession. In it Dickerson addresses six areas where the modern day Church in America will change in the coming decades. Then, he lays out his recommended solutions for how we should prepare for them. While I differed slightly with some of his conclusions I really enjoyed the discussion. I completely agree that the American Church is due for dramatic change and I hope to serve as a helpful voice in the process. He mentions the story of one of my mentors, Greg Boyd, and speaks of ideas that have been stirring in my head for awhile now.
Dickerson captures our two options well by saying that ‘What follows is not depressing. It simply tests our loyalty. While confronting these facts, we will be forced to answer, again and again, “Am I more committed to evangelicalism as we know it, or to Jesus Christ, His kingdom, and His message?” That question serves as a great test for each of us in the way we view the future of the church. Are we energized by this or deflated?
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do,whether they are slave or free. Ephesians 6:7-8
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:13
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
I’ve had a specific prayer request for awhile now that God would give me insight into how the church should handle the issue of homosexuality. As nearly all of us can attest, the collective church has done a poor job displaying Christ to gay people. Usually the conversation is all about whether or not it’s a sin and what verses or criteria each side uses to make their argument. I’ve been thinking through this topic on my blog for the last five years as you can see through a couple of examples here and here. While there is certainly a time and a place for that, I’m left wondering if that is ultimately a poor starting point. Instead, what if Christians approached the topic proactively? This has caused me to reflect on a simple question recently.
How can Christians serve gay people?