God has chosen the foolish, the weak, the bottom of the barrel, the despised, the nobodys. Give Him glory!
1 Corinthians 1:27:28,31
Recently I passed a country club and noticed the sign out front that read "members only". Obviously this is a not so gentle reminder that only certain types of people are welcome in this club! I promise you that the fine folks that are in this club have no notion of having the "Ernest T. Bass" types in their fellowship! They want it restricted to the "uppity" types much like themselves. I have no problem with country clubs restricting their fraternity to whoever they want, after all its their club. My gripe is with churches who have the same mentality as country clubs. I've never actually seen a church sign that restricted their communion to certain types but I've been inside and the message was loud and clear! It was as obvious as the sunshine that this place is reserved for those who have mastered the proper lifestyle. People still struggling with sin (especially sins that make our "ten worst" list) are not at all part of the family of God here! Go clean yourself up to our standard and then you can come in. Two great problems with the religious restrictions in so many churches. For starters when did it become your church? I was under the impression that the church belonged to Jesus Christ since the Bible says plainly that "He purchased it with His own blood". If He bought it He should be the one to arrange it as He pleases. You can't come in my house and start rearranging the place as you please because its not your house! You can get arrested for that. Secondly, if I read the Bible correctly, when God walked on this earth He chose to associate with the very people that are "persona non grata" in most churches today. He was accused by the ministers of "eating with sinners" more than once. A quick look at His closest circle reveals that He had a preference for struggling sinners that had a bit if a problem meeting religious standards. His "chief of staff" was a hot tempered, prejudiced, ignorant, uneducated outdoorsman. He aligned Himself with thieves, the immoral, failures and the outcasts of society. When asked why He spent His time with such losers He responded; "the well don't need a doctor, only the sick". Enough said! Truth is that the God of heaven did not intend for His church to be a country club for the polished but rather a hospital for the needy. Praise God! That's the only way I could have gotten in! I am thinking about putting a little tag at the bottom of my church sign that reads "sinners only"!
Father, I am so grateful for this thing called "grace"! That the perfect God of creation calls the struggling and imperfect into His family! Thank you for loving and receiving those of us who couldn't qualify on our goodness! Why don't you have somebody write a song about your "Amazing Grace"?