You hang out with “them?”

Posted: August 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

Last night, a girl at our small group said she recently had conversation with an older woman, and informed her that she went to Crosspoint (and clarified it was the church – our church – which meets in the theater behind the mall).  Upon hearing that, the older woman commented something like, “Oh…that’s nothing but that church full of whores and drunks.”

Abso-freakin’-lutely!!  That puts us in great company:  Jesus’ accusers accused him of hanging out with prostitutes, drunks, and tax collecters.  We would not be truly engaging our mission to reach lost people if we did not reach out to lost people.

It amazes me how many critics of our church are out there.  Last night, others spoke up about how they were actually personally criticized or even shunned for attending our church.  Sure, there’s always the larger theological error where people believe you should only “do church” a certain way (which I won’t go into again right now), but the “personal” nature of people’s criticisms is amazing.

  • “They don’t teach the Bible there.”  Huh?  Mmm…okay, obviously you truly don’t know what you’re talking about.
  • A commercial on the radio:  “Are you tired of church feeling like ‘entertainment?’  Do you want a church that takes the word of God seriously?”  Hmm…again, no idea what you’re talking about.
  • “Do you know the kind of people that go there?”
  • “Well, the only reason that I think she (a sinner) goes there is because it’s Crosspoint and they will accept her.”

Here’s the thing:  Too often, churches expect people to “fix” their lives and personal problems before they will be truly welcomed by the congregation.  Quit drinking, then we’ll accept you.  Give up that lifestyle, hen we’ll accept you.  Put on a tie…wait, we can provide you with one…then we’ll accept you.  You’re an unwed pregnant teenager, so…hmm…have that kid, get married, and we’ll talk to you again in 9 months.

I wish I was being totally sarcastic, but I am not.  This attitude is real and it pervades the mindsets of many churches and the Christians within those walls.  And by demanding that people change before they walk through our doors, we forget that it’s only Christ who can change us and we deny people the very environment they need where that change can happen.

That is why we at Crosspoint “do church” the way we “do church.”  Everything – from our song selection to our videos to our stage design to how they are welcomed at the front door – is designed to make people who are uncomfortable with church feel comfortable and ready to do their business with God.  We welcome anybody – people who struggle with sexual sin, alcoholics, even “legalistic” Christians – so that they can come inside, make real friends, and find a safe place where they can do their business with God.  We do not ignore or excuse sin, but what sense is there in shunning people with real sins and cutting them off from the very place where God might begin a work in them?  Or are we forgetting that we, too, are sinners and that we are only saved by the grace of God and that is EXACTLY what we need ourselves???

A church should be a place that demonstrates the love of Christ and the grace of God to all people, just as God demonstrated his own love to us – even though we were still sinners (Romans 5:8 – look it up).  That is what saves us.  That is what changes lives.

So, “whores and drunks” come to Crosspoint?  Abso-freakin’-lutely!  And we would welcome more and more.

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Comments
  1. Jason says:

    rock it Kevin. Former legalistic Christian ,Jason. Thanks for helping to do church the way we do

  2. RevScottie says:

    Great post Kevin. We roll the same way up here at Journey! Drunks, whores and IT guys. What a combination 🙂

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