Who is this God I serve? Oh the debates, the complications, and the theories. Is he a God that changes? How can he be the God of the New Testament and the God of the Old? A God of Works, of Silence, of Wrath, of live and let live?
What is this label? Christian. Those that judge, hate, and do what they condemn? Who are these christians? Those that have it figured out? They know the right from wrong, live in nice houses, don’t curse and don’t hang around those that do?
Korean Pastor Lee Jong-rak built a wooden “drop box” on the outer wall of his home. The box was designed to be a surrender location for unwanted babies. Babies with deformities, babies with special needs, babies that would have otherwise been abandoned to die alone find themselves in the arms of a loving father and mother. This is my Jesus, come broken hearted, come with your addictions and your demons, come with your deformed soul and find yourself in the arms of a loving Father.
But how can this loving father also be the God of Justice? Let me put it this way, how can he not? Would he be a God of love if he did not protect his children? When my daughter was two years old, she was taking a nap in her crib. I was rushing about the house getting things accomplished in my precious minutes of alone time. I was startled by the sound of someone in my daughter’s room. Undoubtedly, I heard the sound of her closet door close. With a vengeance and determination, I rushed into her room ready to defeat, protect, and destroy with my own two hands. When I discovered that my baby had crawled out of her bed for the first time, I melted back into her loving mother.
So, why all the hateful Christians? Because they are really messed up. So, why all the judgement? Because the grace of God is not understood. Why all the self righteous, white on the outside and dirty as hell on the inside? Because Pharisees are Satan’s great tool. Remember, they crucified Jesus.
So, I reword and repeat a question. What is the difference between a christian and a nonchristian? What is the difference between a believer and a nonbeliever? I am a christian. I am a believer. It means one thing. I am so screwed up that I know that I need Jesus. And that is the answer, a believer recognizes their nasty, dirty shortcomings and falls at the feet of Jesus. The christian is the tax collector refusing to lift his face to heaven and crying out to God to save him. The world sees the righteous man standing thanking God that he is not like this other man, but Jesus tells us that it is the sinner crying out to Jesus that will be saved.
Lead me to these people, I want to worship with them. I want to sing praises with those that know we have been saved from death and suffering. I want to join with survivors of cancer, survivors of addiction, survivors of sin and praise the God that healed us. I want to hunger for righteousness with those that long for it as I do. Lead me to the place where people know they are hopelessly screwed up and in need of a savior. It does not have to be a building. In fact, I suggest to you that most of the buildings labeled as churches are filled with those that think they have it all together. Jesus roamed without a home, he gathered under trees, on boats, and on mountain tops, not in a building.
Believers gather. Our deliver is coming in the clouds. Knock down the doors that stop us. Armies gather and take up your weapon. This world is not our home, do not find comfort here. Our sins do not stop us, they are a voice from which we have been saved. Build your drop boxes, label it for those in need. Grab a hand and lead someone hurting on the way. Sing a new song. Stand firm.
Take me to church. Take me to the feet of Jesus. Meet me there.