The following is a copy of a response to a Craigslist posting in the Rants and Raves section for Seattle that really upset me. The woman was "ranting" about a woman who smelled bad in her church. She admitted to "trying to help her" but that she just couldn't stand it anymore, and her husband had even declared that when they got into their brand new house, she wasn't allowed over. Blood was shooting from my eyes. So I emailed the woman and carefully, lovingly told her that what she was doing was dangerous because it would turn people away from Christ, because OUR actions reflect on Him and the church. She was dismissive and unrepentant. So I posted the following on Craigslist as a response:
Here, we have a prime example of what is wrong with the church. This is evidence of a blight among Christians that has reached a diseased level of pandemic proportions. If you are a Christian reading this, I want you to first stop before you declare the oft misquoted and misused missive, "Judge not lest yea be judged" or "he without sin cast the first stone" you might want to read the following article, because you are horrifically wrong about what God has called us to do which is judge righteously and with love. So right now, I'll tell you, I am NOT without sin, but as we all have been, am blessed to be given grace, and it is my duty as a fellow Christian, to let you know when you are in the wrong and hope you would do the same for me. Take it with the same grace I give it to you, and use it to make appropriate changes in your life. (link as spoken of):~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now, I want to address the issue of a fellow Christian, making the extremely hurtful decision to express their insensitive rant to the entire world about someone who is difficult for them to find Christ-like compassion for. Their husband even being so selfish and miserly that he declares that they are going to have a nice home soon and she isn't allowed to come in. Well, take a moment and think about Christ's work. Did He only heal, feed, comfort rich, clean and nice smelling people? Is the church suppose to be only for the socially accepted, pretty, popular people in society? No. On all accounts. We are called to give of ourselves. This life isn't meant to be devoid of discomfort. In fact, we are meant to walk outside our comfort zones and help people. It's called sacrifice. You see, Jesus HUNG ON A CROSS after being BRUTALIZED for YOUR (and everyone's) SINS. The very least you could do, is "suffer" the discomfort of something or someone who doesn't smell all together lovely. You know why? Because all our sin, stinks to high heavens like the worst garbage and sewage to God. But you know what? He still loves us. He still wants us to be in heaven with Him.
Now, it's hard, to do what God wants us to do. I can freely admit, I have been a rather insolent and spoiled brat at times when it comes to realizing God wants me to do something I find uncomfortable. I've whined. But I've done so among other Christians so that I get it off my chest and at the same time, am given a swift kick in the behind so I get off my own pedestal and do what I was called to do. If you don't have friends to do that for you, you might want to consider finding a pastor who actually follows the bible and isn't a pansy about telling his congregation the truth, even if it might cost him numbers in the pews. Because that isn't what the church is suppose to be about. When we are in the wrong, we NEED to be called out. This is evident in the verse :
Revelation 3:15-16 ESV
"'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
In other words, if you are going to be a do nothing, weak Christian who only declares they are followers, when the going is good, but gives up when things get rough, you are not worthy and will be left behind. These are words of warning. You are NOT allowed to be stuck up and pretentious as a Christian!
1 John 3:10 ESV
"By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."
In other words, you may as well turn in your "I'm a Christian" card if you are incapable of doing the job you were created for. Which is to bring light and love to this world. Did you bother to ask the woman gently if there was anything she needed? Let her know (carefully and lovingly) that she seemed to need her clothing washed? Then quickly offer to DO her laundry for her while she takes a shower?? Did you consider that maybe she lives somewhere where there is no running water? How about that she is actually homeless? Did you ever consider beyond your own precious sensitivities, that this person is in need and is EXACTLY the sort of person Jesus came to relieve the suffering of?
Your husband declaring his decidedly uncaring and ugly opinion on the matter, that she wouldn't be allowed in your new home, is alarming. For a man to be dismissive and devoid of Christ's calling to protect the weak, vulnerable and needy is beyond unacceptable.
Hebrews 13:1-3 ESV
"Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body."
James 2:14-17 ESV
"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."
Ezekiel 16:49 ESV
"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy."
"... For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "You sit here in a good place," while you say to the poor man, "You stand over there," or, "Sit down at my feet," have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?"
So, in closing, I want you to think hard about the ugliness you just shared with the world. I want you to ponder, how many people you turned away from the saving grace of Jesus and righteously walked to the door of hell by spewing in a public forum. Because who would want to even be friends with someone declaring to be a Christian, but is so self centered, selfish and stuck up? Who would even bother with going to church if it's filled with such pretentious prigs? I wouldn't. In fact, if that is what was being encouraged in a church I was going to, I would leave. Because it would be encouraging a false religion that is contrary to what the is in the bible and mandated by God.
Here is a parting thought, by most of the world now, thanks to "Christians" like you and your husband:
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
-- Mahatma Gandhi
When I emailed you to ask you to remove your hurtful post (which I see you did, thank you)
I found it alarming that your response to me was that you didn't do anything wrong and that if I emailed you again, you would tell your law enforcement husband. For someone in the "serve and protect" business to be unwilling to help people in need is indeed a disturbing thing.
If you want to "be the change you wish to see in the world", consider taking a pledge to do small acts of kindness for those who are in need. Whether it be a need that is physical, emotional or spiritual, be the hands and feet of Jesus. Be a true representation of our Heavenly Father in this broken and dark world. We are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). This is a fun page where you can take a pledge to do kindness in this world: