"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our Mission, Should We Choose To Accept It

We the church must not directly attack the world’s sin,
but offer redemption to the world’s
Directly attacking the world’s sin is worse than futile,
as it inoculates sinners against the gospel.
Instead, the church must clean its own house,
so it can shine as Christ’s unsullied example of holiness,
offering His loving redemption to the world’s sinners.
      Need a mission? We can produce a glitzy show, and reap megabucks in donations, by condemning the world’s sins from the public media stage, and maybe even throwing in a few spectacular, apparent healings now and again.
      There’s a huge mission here: Tens of thousands of Couch-Potato-Christians get to feel good by serving as card-carrying Faith Partners, and in return for their monthly pledges, eagerly anticipate the postal carrier’s delivery of those great, token gifts. There is an organization for these generous brethren: Super Unselfish Christian Knights and Ever Responsible Saints, or, S.U.C.K.E.R.S.
      While these Christian Media Personalities claim to advance Family Values and line churches’ aisles with repentant sinners, their main talent lies in lining their own pockets with the proceeds from selling Charismatic indulgences. But, while those obvious charlatans create quite a stir, by far the greater damage comes from rank-and-file Evangelicals who, with the best of motives, wag their bony, judgmental fingers at the world’s sinners, condemning them to hellfire and damnation for the sins they really can’t help doing. Simple fact: Sinners sin. They always have, they always will. And even their most repugnant, disgusting sins won’t embed them any deeper in perdition than the church members, whose sin is judging sinners.
      Sinners need conviction, not condemnation, before they can respond to Christ’s loving, gospel of grace. And only One Person can deliver that conviction deep into their sin-sick hearts. That Person is God’s Holy Spirit, doing His work in His time.
Father, in Jesus’ Name, convict us, Your church, of our judging, all our other fleshly works of sin, so that Your Spirit of Holiness will shine through us like a beacon over the world’s craggy rocks, directing sinners to Your eternally safe harbor. That is Your will, Father, and our mission.

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