In light of recent legal proceedings and rulings, it is about time we stopped and thought about the acceptance of different kinds of people. I encourage you to read to the very end before leaving this blog or making a judgment call.
As Christians we are called to love others, especially those who are outcast in our own society. In the very earliest days of Christianity, the church came under a lot of fire for accepting those that society had demonized and ostracized. The church suffered persecution for threatening the established order of things, and yet the church continued to work toward acceptance and reaching for equality among its members, whoever that might be.
In the earliest days of the church, it was an inclusive group of people who loved one another and enthusiastically welcomed new members in the name of the Lord Jesus. Despite pain and threat of death, more and more people flocked to the church for its simplicity of life and doctrine. “Lay down your burdens and find rest,” the church said to those weary of the way things were, tired of having no voice.
In the modern church, we have become closed off, exclusionary. We want people to have everything put together before they walk through the doors, instead of anticipating their pain, struggles, doubts, and insecurities and being ready to meet them with comfort, peace, and love at the door. Through the years of looking toward our own personal salvation, we may have missed the message of Jesus when he said, “For God so loved the world…” Jesus sought to establish a kingdom, here on earth, and we are his ambassadors carrying on that mission to establish God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”
So, in the light of all that I have said, I would ask you to look toward and accept into your churches and hearts those who have been truly persecuted and oppressed for so long…
The poor. The orphans. The widows.