Thursday, April 13, 2006

Borrowing... (Part Four)

***This is the end of a four part series. Please read Part One, Part Two and Part Three first.***

4. I’m sorry we said that you needed to fix yourself first.
That to be a Christian you needed to first stop sleeping with your girlfriend, or dropping the f bomb, or smoking, or stop being gay. The truth is, the whole message of Jesus is that he starts making us into something new after we run into him. I won’t apologize for beautiful morals – I think God has a way of living that is better than what we’ve done a lot, and that his purity and perfection should be an inspiration for us to change into a whole new thing. And change is one the thick streams of hope in the Christian life.

But sometimes we’ve really gotten accidentally turned around on which came first – and the word “holiness” got thrown into the mix like a spear that we could throw at people, or a shield that we’d try to put between you and us. Everyone needs forgiveness, healing, and love. Daily. Especially me. My heart is as dark as ever, sometimes. Did we forget that if don’t live in state of grace toward others, that Jesus says he can’t give grace to us!

And while we’re at it, sometimes we’ve forgotten that real change is on the inside. Back in the day, the Board for Protection of Aborigines in Australia made this mistake. The missionaries with that group dressed local peoples to look more Western, and started thinking it was proof of inward changes towards Christianity.

But the blame really does fall on me. I can’t tell you the times when I’ve silently looked you walking down the sidewalk, and judged you just because of the way you dressed . Love inside comes well before change outside, and I’m sorry we said that you needed to fix yourself first.

*** Hope you found this as insightful and as challenging as I did. I'd love to open a dialogue on any or all of these points so comment away. Once again, I remind you that although I agree fully, these are not my own words. The talented author is Chris Ridgeway and I encourage you all to check out his blog as well. -lisa :) ***

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