Why do so many Christians forget where this church thing all started? Why do we forget where we come from and who started all this?
It all started with a Jewish man who bucked all the social trends of his time. This man broke all conventions. You think I’m making this stuff up – Look at these examples
In a time when women where considered worthless (or even property in some cases) this man, Jesus, spent time with women; even Samaritan women, who Jewish people considered the lowest of the low.
Then there was the sinners – oh there were loads of them. The ‘establishment’ wanted nothing to do with them; Jesus spent the majority of his time with them. There was a man called Zac – he was a tax man for the invasion army. He was, to say the least, hated and yet Jesus had dinner with him – spent time with the worst of the worse.
The list goes on – lepers; prostitutes; the demon processed; the sick; collaborators with the authorities etc etc etc.
So with the example we have why do so many churches and so many Christians forget where we come from? Why do they (we) forget that Jesus walked and talked with ‘all the wrong people’ of his time?
So here’s the thing – we need to talk with and walk with ‘all the wrong people’ of our time.
Now I’m not sure who they are where you are but here, at the Melbourne Welsh Church in Melbourne, Australia, all the wrong people might look homeless, or like refugees, or maybe gay, or different from us, or maybe the same as us – hey, maybe we’re all the wrong people; maybe I’m all the wrong people and this Jesus guy wants to talk to me.
You’re special – You are reading this sign instead of looking at your phone – Thanks.
The number of accidents involving pedestrians in Australia’s cities has gone up quite significantly over the past 15 years and research has been conducted into why. One of the main reasons, the study concluded, is that many people are too busy looking at their phones and not at where they are going and just step out into traffic and get hit and injured. I’m sure most of us have had to move so that the oblivious phone staring muppets don’t walk into us. Maybe (like me) you have even been an oblivious phone staring muppet yourself.
If so then this blog is for you, if not then it’s for you anyway because we’ve all been guilty of muppetry of some form or other.
Today we are updating that famous bit from Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 7 –
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Q. How do you know if there is a vegan, an atheist or a politician in the room?
A. They’ll tell you!
An old joke that makes a good point……
The world is full of people who think they know the answers to everything. They churn out their ideas if you want to hear them or not. We’re in the midst of a run up to an election and we’re hearing a lot of this stuff. America, apparently, is having an election too (who knew?). So we are being inundated with these people who have the answers to everything and really want to tell us all about the stuff we really don’t need to know about. Let’s be fair though (even to politicians) they are not the only ones afflicted by this problem. We all know people like this (being totally honest, on some subjects I am one of these people – if I ever am around you just tell me to stop will you?).
Most of the time it’s harmless; most of the time it’s just people wanting to share (too much) information. Sometimes, though, it can be dangerous, very dangerous.
Take the people who claim to know exactly who God hates. There are many of them and I seem to find it quite funny that God seems to hate exactly the same people as they do!
There are those that claim that (and I kid you not on any of these) that women who don’t cover their heads in church will be punished by God; left handed ? – watch out you’re stuffed!; not as white as Jesus was (which gets me every time – as he was MIDDLE EASTERN) well if you’re not as white as the historically accurate (?????) paintings we have made of Jesus you are not welcome here; in a relationship with someone who has the same chromosomes as you, please don’t come here, neither we nor the God we’ve made up, want you, and the list goes on; there are churches that will exclude you if you don’t earn a certain amount of money every year because if you aren’t hitting the target then your faith in God isn’t strong enough and, therefore, God hasn’t blessed you enough. So unless you’re in a Porsche or above please stay away from church.
THIS STUFF IS REAL – you can’t make it up – let’s talk about planks in eyes shall we????!!!!!
Now before you all write in the comments section that I’m just as bad as all the rest and how do I know that my view of God is the right one? etc etc etc – I agree. All this stuff is my opinion. The plank in my eye is HUGE and I need all the help God can give me to get it out but I am not going to use my version of God to condemn people who don’t agree with me.
I make fun of those who condemn others for not believing what they do – and I could, and probably should, place myself among them. What I say is my opinion of what I think the Scriptures say – the whole love your neighbour thing, the whole Jesus eating with the publicans and sinners stuff, the whole I come to serve not be served attitude, that judge lest ye be not judged bit. That’s where I’m coming from.
So yes. I’mm sure I have a plank in my eye but what I’m saying is so do a lot of other people and they should look for the plank first before they go searching for sawdust specks – look at the sign and not your phone.
As I have said before on this blog and I’m sure I’ll say again – I am bold to paraphrase the words of the great Aretha Franklin – THINK!
Think about these things – thing if I’m right or wrong – think if there is another answer – read your Bible and see what you think it says – challenge me – challenge them – challenge everything.
I don’t think God wants mindless clones who have a list of people they hate (and therefore God does too). I think that God wants people who search for truths and when they find them hold on to them and share what they have learned with others – not force their version of the truth on others but who show it by living it; being it; showing it in all they do.
So stop staring at your phone, remember you have a plank in your eye – every bit as big as everyone else.
You’re a muppet- but a muppet who can change the world around you by being the truth you have learnt. So do it! Be the change you want to see.