Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Does Your Church Welcome Difficult People?

With the current firestorm in America over sex, marriage and faith, it seems a good time to ask a question about change. Does your church go beyond morality to transformation? Would you have welcomed a guy by the name of Saul into your fellowship when you knew he was a terrorist and killer with blood on his hands?

Imagine the scene. James, the Chief Elder of the House Churches in Jerusalem, came to the secret meeting place of the Gathering of Elders with a request. It went something like this.

Well, Brothers and Sisters, things are going well in some regards ever since Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell with us and in us on the Day of Pentecost. It seems that in the ten years since that each house group has been effective in reaching our families and friends with the good news. 

Several of you are multiplying and separating so we can accommodate more people into our homes for The Lord's Supper and prayers. We seem to be safe from the Romans and the Pharisees that caused us so much trouble. 

I recently received a letter from our Brothers and Sisters up in Damascus. One of the former dwellers in Jerusalem has come to faith in the Risen Lord and wants to return here to visit with us. Which of you would be able to take this Brother in and care for him? 

After some discussion it comes out that the "Brother" is Saul of Tarsus, the terrorist and persecutor of so many martyrs. What kid of discussion would you imagine the Elders would have about inviting Saul to their homes and secret Elder meetings? 

Is your church a welcoming community?

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