Observation: Those who have sinned greatly and publicly been beat down by the spiritual elite, tasted grace, repented and walk humbly with the Lord have been the one’s to most encourage and lift me up personally into Christ. Those who seem righteous and most spiritual are the one’s who have most wounded and marginalized or overtly sought to exclude me. That is hard to process. I mean, who likes to be wounded and marginalized?
I’m processing some past and present experiences this morning as I read the Word and am recalling experiences with people and I’m just observing that what the “Christian” subculture seems to value in the post-Christian south is the very thing that actually hurts and wounds other Jesus followers and repels sinners.
I don’t play the “Christian elite” thing and I’m not a cookie cutter preacher boy. I’m educated. Well educated. I’m a grammar nerd although I’m dyslexic (only Jesus can pull that off, hip hip hooray for the work of the Spirit!). I’m rough around the edges. I didn’t attend cotillion, so I’ll probably use the wrong fork but I’ve been in some really cool places with some really cool people globally and I didn’t screw it up (maybe a Spirit thing again). I’m salty with language although the Lord has curbed some of that and some of it he has not (I have read Ezekiel and he was salty too, so I feel like I’m in good company). I don’t want my boys to have “clean mouths” and dirty hearts. A boy ought to know how to place a word just right, right? I don’t want to fit into the “Christian elite”. I actually disdain that culture. It smells like Matthew 23 to me. I’m growing more and more discontented with it and learning to hate it. It’s that culture that repels the Matthews (government tax guys) and the whores who wet Jesus’ feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair. That “Christian elite” culture are the one’s wondering in their hearts why Jesus lets the whore do that to him while refusing to wash his feet, greet him properly and anoint his head (see Luke 7:36-50).
I do believe the bible…all of it. I believe it is inerrant. I believe the crazy things in the bible that many either ignore, hate others for or push aside because it makes them uncomfortable or challenges the fact that they are practical atheists. I preach it as it’s written and, by the Spirit’s help, properly interpreted. I try to have no “golden cow” doctrines that I won’t let Scripture shape. I don’t fit nicely into any camp except that crazy crew of Northwood Church Planters that Bob Roberts has shaped. I love Jesus to the point I’ll go to places where I’m in danger and might not return home because I want those people to know the King and his rule in his Kingdom. I’ve got minor health issues resulting from places I’ve pooped and places I’ve been on this earth for the sake of the kingdom, and it’s so worth it because Jesus is alive and walking with me and showing me more of his rule as I submit to him and count my life as less that I may gain Christ. Don’t hear me tooting my horn. I’m a fool, great sinner, and idol factory. But I don’t like the “Christian elite” culture. I don’t think Jesus did/does either.
I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t want my people or my family to take on any feel other than that of the Kingdom as articulated by my King, Jesus. I don’t want to be like what has repelled sinners for so long. I want to be liked by sinners. Sinners loved Jesus. Sinners were attracted to Jesus. Jesus never tolerated their sin, he called it what it was, but they loved him, and he sent them away transformed. He came to call the sick and sinner not the righteous. I want to be like that. Sinners don’t like the “Christian elite”.
TRCC, love the King and love sinners and love each other. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), the bible tells us. So, don’t be elite. Love. Be the least. Be like Jesus.
“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45