For those of you hoping that the title of this article was the start of a bad joke I have some bad news for you. This is not a joke, there is no twist, and there is no punch line, there are only damaged souls and a serious question to consider.
The question is this; would these people be welcome in your congregation? Let’s say an active abortionist at Planned Parenthood walked into your congregation, would they have a seat next to you? What about the person whose email was just exposed on the Ashley Madison hack list? If a homosexual couple walked up to you before worship and asked “am I welcome here?” what would you say to them?
This post isn’t one born out of anger or a real life occurrence, I’m honestly just curious. I can’t answer for you, but I can answer for myself. I’d like to think that any one of these groups of people could find a place next to me in church. I’d like to think that I could worship with them and not be distracted by their sins. I’d like to think that I’d be impartial and not raise their sins above mine. I’d like to think that I could actively show them the grace of God that I so desperately cling to and encourage those in these sins to reach out for; but honestly, I don’t know what I’d do.
It’s easier for us to sit back and write all those articles on why homosexuality is sinful. It’s easy for us to share those posts on why those murdering children and calling it “choice” are monsters. It’s easy for us in all of those instances to say that “those people need Jesus,” (don’t we all?) but I find myself wondering if we’d allow those people who need Jesus to encounter Him with us when we assemble together to worship Him. I don’t know how those early Christians felt when Saul, the recently converted Christian-killer, walked into the assembly to worship God with them. What I do know is that Saul was grieved by his sins, turned away from them and was ultimately forgiven. I know also that those people who walk into our assemblies today, those broken souls who labor at abortion clinics and pursue the passions of their flesh, will receive that same sweet forgiveness from Christ so long as they approach Him with the same grieving, and soft heart.
Let’s pretend that this next Sunday an adulterer, an abortionist, and a homosexual couple walk into your church building. Will you hear their plea for grace and welcome them in or push them back out into the sinful world they came from?