“By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.” Luke 15 1-3 MSG
I’ve come to realize that the greatest stumbling block to spreading the message of Jesus Christ isn’t the atheist, anti-religious, or non-believers in Jesus the Son of God. It’s the Christian Moderate who is more devoted to “order”, “traditions”, “rules”, “social status”, “judging in self-righteous” than to social justice and equality, acceptance of all, love, non-judgmental attitude and selflessness. Who prefers warming their church seat and having hallelujah praise the Lord good time in church while they turn around and judge and talk about their neighbor behind their back…who prefer their after church potlucks where the conversation is anything but holy or their church committee positions rather than have the willingness and courage to truly be the Good Samaritan…to stand for Christ love even at the risk of being labeled an outcast or tension maker. The Christian Moderate has been more cautious than courageous and has remained silent behind the false security of stained glass windows. This frame of mind must change my fellow Christians. This mind set from being the person who says at the church meetings “I agree we must evangelize”, but unwilling to think outside the box and try new progressive ways to bring others to Christ…who believes we can continue the same ole conservative traditional ways of reaching others…who lives by a mythical concept of change and growth. A shallow understanding of Christ true mission for the church with good intentions is more frustrating than misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. I do not say these things as one who’s always looking to find fault with the church. I say this as a passionate committed follower of Jesus Christ who loves His church and has been sustained by the spiritual blessings of experiencing the love, forgiveness, grace and mercy of choosing a relationship with Him. I choose to remain true to Christ and His church until my dying days. However, these poignant words written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., still ring true today, “If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.” I often meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust…so my message comes from a place of love and passion of wanting others to have the opportunity to experience “The True Nature of Jesus Christ” to experience His “Essence of Love”.